Page updated October 1, 2020. Here's a selection of events from October. Look through all the years for even more!
October 1944 (77 Years Ago)
On the 9th, John Alec Entwistle is born at Hammersmith Hospital in Acton.
October 1956 (64 Years Ago)
Pete and John enter Form 1 at Acton County Grammar. Within a few months they meet, become friends and start up the first of several after-school bands.
October 1964 (56 Years Ago)
Early in the month, The High Numbers audition for EMI at Studio 3 of The Beatles' hangout, Abbey Road. They record several cover tunes including "Smokestack Lightning." The tape is released as instrumentals only on a bootleg in the 2000's.
On the 10th, journalist Virginia Reading accompanies Who manager Kit Lambert to a gig to witness Pete's guitar smashing and misses it while she is shmoozing with Kit in the adjoining bar. Pete later recalls this incident in the film The Kids Are Alright, saying Kit came up to him saying, "Pete, we missed it! Do another! I'll pay for it."
On the 14th, Pete's song "It Was You", written as a class assignment in art college, is sold to Dick James Publishing with Eula Parker and Barry Gray receiving 25 percent each and a credit for co-authorship on future releases. Pete's father Cliff signs for him. The songwriter's address is given as 30 Disraeli Road, Ealing WS.
On the 22nd, Lambert receives a letter of rejection of The High Numbers from EMI. The rejection letter is later included with the Live At Leeds album. Since the reason the group is rejected is their lack of original material, Kit and Chris set up Pete with a Vortexion reel-to-reel recorder and tell him to get writing.
From this time on almost all Pete songs will be written and presented as completed demos, a style of presentation then unknown in England. His first pieces with the new system are a dance song called "You Don't Have To Jerk" and a male chauvinist/hot-rod song (meant to appeal to both Roger and Keith) named "Call Me Lightning."
On Halloween night the band performs at the Waterfront Club at the Cliff Hotel in Woolston, Southampton, Hampshire. It is the last show they play where they will be promoted as "The High Numbers."
October 1965 (55 Years Ago)
Despite having been kicked out of The Who after his dust-up with Keith on 26 September, Roger is reinstated at the managers' insistence, at least until they can find a replacement. Roger keeps his fists in his pockets as The Who make a sullen reunion at the Dungeon Club in Nottingham on the 1st.
On the 12th is a belated birthday party for John. The next night at midnight, The Who go into IBC Studio A in London for a midnight session to record their next single. The final release version of "My Generation" is laid down as is another future classic, "The Kids Are Alright." The next day Glyn Johns makes mono mixes of the two songs plus the U.K. b-side to "My Generation," "Shout and Shimmy", that had been recorded in April. He also prepares the 2:42 edited version of "The Kids Are Alright" that will ultimately be released in the U.S.
At the same time, word begins to leak out about Roger's precarious position in the band. Variety reports on the 13th that "The Who lead singer Roger Daltry may quit the group".
On the 29th, The Who's new single, "My Generation" backed with "Shout and Shimmy," is released in the U.K. by Brunswick. Derek Johnson says in New Musical Express, "Analyse the ingredients for a hit and you'll find them all in this disc. A storming, raving shake-beat, with crashing cymbals, raucous guitar, reverberating bass and hand-claps throughout - and that's just the backing. The lyric is topical and loaded with teenage appeal, about the snooty approach of some adults to youngsters. Sung with verve, a strong blues feel and an occasional stuttering gimmick, with chanting supporting the soloist."
October 1966 (54 Years Ago)
On the 1st, The Who is on the cover of Disc and Music Echo with the headline "Why pop art is now just OLD HAT." Pete says The Who are pretty much finished with the pop-art clothing of a year before. His new thing is "writing musicals and operettas." He says the band's biggest ambition is to break in the U.S. and that Who fans there already consider them the third-biggest British band behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones although Pete concedes The Who haven't made it to that position yet.
On the same day, "I'm a Boy" reaches its official chart peak in the U.K. at #2.
On the 3rd, The Who go into CBS Recording Studios in London to record and mix Pete's "Don't Look Away" and John's first composition, "Whiskey Man," for the new album. At the end of the session Pete asks John what his other song will be for the album and John, having not given it any previous thought, remembers a discussion of funny animal names he had with Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones in a nightclub the evening before. He says it will be a song about a spider named Boris. John rushes home and quickly composes the song. The next day "Boris the Spider" is recorded at Pye Studios, London along with Keith's composition, "I Need You (Like I Need a Hole in My Head)," a somewhat obscure attack on The Beatles who Keith believed were using code words to talk behind his back.
Later in the week The Who record "Run Run Run" and the version of "I'm A Boy" that will ultimately appear on Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy in 1971. During the time of these sessions, Jimi Hendrix comes in to ask about equipment. Pete remembers him as "strangely dressed." Keith greets him with an immediate "Who let that savage in here?" Jimi asks Pete what amps he is using and tells his manager Chas Chandler to get him one of each recommendation.
On the 11th, "Bucket T" is recorded and mixed at IBC and Pye Studios. The recording is filmed by Peter Goldman and sold to Swedish television. Also filmed is an interview with Pete conducted by Inga-Lill Palm.
On the 18th, The Who record their first and only band-created television special at Wembley Studios for Ready Steady GO! as half the show (about 16 minutes) is turned over to the foursome. Only memories and publicity photographs remain of this show which involved The Who clowning around on set between numbers, performing "Batman" while wearing capes, sending up Cliff Richards' "Summer Holiday" in a mime sequence and smashing their instruments at the end. It was this final act which deeply upset British viewers on the show's airing on the 21st.
Ready Steady GO! fans write to Melody Maker to blast the show: "More a disaster than a happening." "I have rarely seen a group perform so much concentrated rubbish in such a short time." "It produced in me a feeling of complete nausea." "It took me years to save for my guitar, and seeing The Who holding theirs by the neck and smashing them on the floor and pushing them through amplifiers made me sick."
With that behind them, Roger, John and Keith run off to Copenhagen on the 19th. Pete misses the flight as well as the press conference held at the Star Club. While there Helle Hellman interviews John for the Danish Beat magazine. John says his hearing is going and he has already developed the habit of seeming to listen and respond to people he cannot hear.
Back in Britain, Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones has only praise for The Who in New Musical Express. He calls them "unbelievably good" and adds that The Who, The Stones and The Beatles are the only British groups "to evolve something completely original in visual and musical production."
On the 28th, the lawsuit between The Who and their ex-producer Shel Talmy is settled out of court. Since the courts showed that they were going to side with Talmy, The Who's management ends the lawsuit by giving Talmy five percent of the royalties on all Who releases for the next five years (approximately three times what each member of The Who would get). Few would have believed then it would amount to much but, as it eventually includes the albums Tommy, Live At Leeds and Who's Next, the deal nets Talmy millions.
October 1967 (53 Years Ago)
On the 2nd, mono master copies are made for "I Can See For Miles," "Armenia (City in the Sky)," "Early Morning Cold Taxi" and "Girl's Eyes." This mono mix of "I Can See For Miles" restores the opening power chord missing from the U.S. mix.
On the 11th, "Heinz Baked Beans," "Odorono," probably "Medac", a more complete version of the "Top Gear" promo song and several linking commercials are recorded at De Lane Lea. "Tattoo" is recorded on the 12th.
On the 14th, "I Can See For Miles" backed with "Someone's Coming" is released in Britain. Derek Johnson in New Musical Express calls it "less tuneful" than The Who's previous hits. Chris Welch in Melody Maker says: "In a town without end, with a moon that never sets, there is a fire burning. It is the fire of The Who, once thought diminished or dying, but obviously glowing with that renewed heat. Forget Happy Jack sitting in sand on the Isle of Man, this marathon epic of swearing cymbals and cursing guitars marks the return of The Who as a major freakout force. Recorded in America, it's a Pete Townshend composition filled with Townshend mystery and menace, and delivered by the emphatic Mr. Roger Daltrey. Nobody could deceive him because there is magic in his eyes and he can see for miles. And The Who are going to see their way back into the charts." Record Mirror says: "A first-rate Pete Townsend number...the idea is that the bloke can see for miles and know exactly when his girl is short on faithfulness. Tremendously tough guitar figures and powering percussion, but topped by a fairly soft vocal line. Great harmonies on the repetitive title theme. Flip: Rather more routine, I thought, but interesting." And Tony Palmer raves in The Observer: "The Who have a sensational new record out this week, 'I Can See For Miles'. It has all the rowdy exuberance that one always hopes their music will contain. Somehow their last few records, such as 'Pictures of Lily' and 'Happy Jack', have been just too clever, too self-consciously articulate. But now the Who's instinctive violence has broken loose with brilliant effect. Peter Townshend and his men have made as yet no great contribution to the development of pop music. They ignore the mystic east, seem not to have heard of the flower-gazing junkies of San Francisco, don't write meaningful words, have private lives that are totally devoid of public tittle-tattle. Yet to me they are the Sir William Walton of pop music - masters of the royal fireworks, giants of the occasional and the ceremonial...their music has a natural pageantry, a rich and gaudy display of shouting and stamping. They do what everyone else has been doing for years, but much better. A pounding ostinato bass is used to batter quite a simple lyrical motif into an endless stream of chordal frenzies; the lead guitar, meanwhile, screams away with a falling counterpoint of relentless fury, whilst Keith Moon, astride his 14 drums, gives a breathtaking demonstration of free rhythmic drumming. Each bar is subdivided into what sound like totally arbitrary divisions, which are thus continually unpredictable and always disturbing. It is positively Bartokian in its elemental excitement and, like the song itself, has the appearance, at least, of spontaneous outburst. All these elements are fused in a devastating ending. The singer, Roger Daltrey, has made his last appeal; the lead guitar is wailing like the entire Highland Pipe Band; the drummer is quiet; the music is screwed up a quarter-tone, and, all of a sudden, the bass guitar followed quickly by the drummer and singer comes roaring in at full tilt with the same ostinato bass that began the piece. It is a master stroke. Of its kind, the record is matchless."
Sometime during the month, David Montgomery takes the photos for The Who Sell Out at 11b Edith Grove, Chelsea. John misses the session in which he is to sit in a bathtub filled with baked beans, so Roger has to take his place. The beans are freezing cold but Roger is game.
On the 16th, mono masters are made of "Tattoo," "Odorono" and "Rael (1&2)." The ending is chopped off "Odorono", not to surface again until the 1995 The Who Sell Out reissue.
On the 20th, vocals for John "Speedy" Keen's "Armenia City In The Sky" and Pete's "Jaguar" are recorded at IBC Studio A, London. Keen and Daltrey handle the vocals on the former (with much studio effect work) and Pete and Keith sing "Jaguar." Also recorded is a full remake of "Rael". This version is deemed inadequate and it sits in the vaults until the 2009 The Who Sell Out - Deluxe Edition.
On the 24th, the final album version of "Mary Anne With The Shaky Hands" as well as all the interstitial "ads" for the album are recorded at De Lane Lea Studios in London. Also recorded this month is John's song "Silas Stingy" with Pete on organ at Kingsway Studio, London. With the exception of one track, this completes the recording of The Who Sell Out that had taken over five months.
October 1968 (52 Years Ago)
On the 9th, The Who hire a bus from Paris and are photographed on board with female models and a small menagerie of animals, all to promote their new single "Magic Bus". Divested of the animals, the bus travels through London as The Who and the models toss streamers at passers-by. The trip runs into one snag when they are banned from riding in front of Buckingham Palace.
On the 11th, two-and-a-half months after its U.S. release, "Magic Bus" is released by Track Records in the U.K., backed with a complete version of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." John Wells in New Musical Express says, "...a real driving powerhouse number written by Pete Townshend, on which the boys really go to town...a great one for dancers, particularly in the clubs, and certain to restore the boys to the British charts."
Also on the 12th, Decca releases the LP Magic Bus - The Who on Tour. A collection of Who A-sides, album tracks and leftovers, the album gets bad marks in the Underground press for its title that could mislead buyers into thinking it was a live album. Unaware of the album prior to its release, Pete is furious with Decca. Despite, or perhaps because of the confusion, the album reaches #39 on the Billboard charts making it The Who's first Top Forty album in their U.S. album charts. The LP also features a new stereo mix of "Magic Bus".
The Who's label Track Records also releases a compilation for the coming Christmas market. The cover is supposed to be a painting of an atomic bomb explosion made by David King, one of the designers of The Who Sell Out cover. Manager Chris Stamp had hired him, but the cover is rejected at the last minute for reasons unknown and a new cover is hastily assembled. A collection of previously released Who A and B-sides, Direct Hits goes retail in Britain on the 18th. Unlike its American cousin, the album fails to reach the album charts.
Also on the 12th, The Who again board the 100-year old bus for another promotional drive around London. Afterwards, Pete is reported to say "I've had enough of this -- circus." Keith adds, "I bet the record doesn't even make the charts after this."
Reports have The Who continuing the Tommy LP sessions at IBC Studios, London from the 21st through the 24th from 2 to 10pm. Songs Pete is known to have written by this time are "Amazing Journey", "Sensation", "Welcome", and "We're Not Gonna Take It".
October 1969 (51 Years Ago)
On the 11th The Who returns to The Grande Ballroom in Dearborn, Michigan with local band Alice Cooper and The Sky opening. The Who and Cooper bond as Keith comes out during the latter's set to join drummer Neal Smith during his solo on "The Ballad of Dwight Frye." The next night is another show at The Grande Ballroom with support by All The Lonely People and The Amboy Dukes. Dukes' guitarist Ted Nugent later claims Keith made fun of him backstage for his refusal to take drugs.
After the 26th, The Who split up for separate vacations in the U.S. Pete flies down to Florida with roadie "Wiggy" Wolff to spend time at his old friend Tom Wright's father's farm. One night "at three in the morning drunk out of my brain," Pete writes The Who's next single "The Seeker."
October 1970 (50 Years Ago)
For further promotion, Decca releases a second single from Live at Leeds, "Substitute"/"Young Man Blues". A few stock copies are pressed before the single is cancelled for commercial sale and is distributed as a promo disc only.
Who clothing and pieces of equipment are included in one of the first Rock collectibles auction at The Fillmore East on the 13th. The items include a pair of broken drumsticks, a shard of one of Pete's guitars, Roger's suede fringe jacket from the Isle Of Wight concert and a disposable lighter Keith had thrown away.
Sometime during this month Roger also finds time to marry for the second time. His new wife is the American model Heather Taylor. He later says they agreed to the marriage even after he explained that when he was on the road he "wouldn't be the Pope." To date, they are still married.
On the 24th, Pete tells Disc and Music Echo that the Who's maxi-single is still in the works with the tracks "Water", "Don't Know Myself", "Postcard" and "Now I'm A Farmer". He says the tracks are from an abortive LP The Who had recorded which also included "Naked Eye" and "Heaven and Hell". He also talks about a new film for The Who and says the songs written for it are "The Note", "We're Moving" and "The Two Of Us." The article says The Who are toying with the idea of putting out a double album with each member controlling a side and that they are looking for a studio large enough to hold the occasional concert.
Meher Baba makes the cover of the Rolling Stone as Pete pens the cover story explaining his devotion to the avatar.
In Creem, Pete says that the film of Tommy has been put on hold as he has plans for another Who film. On the 31st comes a Melody Maker article, "Who's cheap singles plan dampened." In it, record executives call Pete's plan for marketing cheap maxi-singles unfeasible. The format is popular in budget-conscious Britain but is unknown in America. Ultimately the maxi-single is cancelled after U.S. Decca refuses to release it.
October 1971 (49 Years Ago)
On the 15th, two tracks left over from the Who's Next album sessions, "Let's See Action" backed with "When I Was A Boy," is released. Derek Johnson in New Musical Express calls it "a much less berserk item than the majority of the group's discs...This could fare better than many of The Who's singles, because its appeal should be wider than that of the group's heavier work." It reaches #16 in the U.K. charts. The single is released everywhere in the world except the U.S. where Decca decides to pull the two album tracks "Behind Blue Eyes" and "My Wife" for a single release. Decca's choice peaks at #34 in Billboard and #24 in Cash Box.
On the 23rd Melody Maker prints an interview with Roger by Chris Welch called "Squire Daltrey" conducted at Roger's newly purchased country mansion. Of Who's Next, Roger says "It's good for what it is, treading water." He also reports that the Lifehouse project is now being written as a film called "Guitar Farm" with shooting scheduled to begin January 1972. "Guitar Farm" is actually a script written by friends of Pete prior to the composition of Lifehouse that inspired some of the action in the latter work.
On the 30th, Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy is released in the U.S. First pressings include an insert with notes. This collection of Who singles is the first time many U.S. Who fans hear the group's pre-Tommy catalog and several tracks such as "I Can't Explain" and "Substitute" become rock radio staples after years of cultish obscurity. To help matters along, Decca/MCA also re-releases "I Can't Explain"/"Bald Headed Woman" and "My Generation"/"Out in the Street" on 45. The album peaks at #11 in the U.S. charts and remains the most-loved of all the many, many, many Who best-of compilations.
October 1972 (48 Years Ago)
On the 5th, Keith and Pete attend a press party at the Europa Hotel in London to announce that The Who have sponsored a race car in the RAC Daily Mirror Rally of Great Britain. They are photographed on the hood of the car pouring champagne for two bikini-clad models. John misses out on the festivities as he is in the U.S. on a three-week promotional jaunt for his new solo album Whistle Rymes.
On the 25th, Keith reports to the set of That'll Be The Day at Warners Holiday Camp where he is playing drummer J. D. Clover in the rock 'n' roll movie set in the late 1950s. He is on set through the 27th there and at the Lakeside Inn in Wootton Bridge on the Isle of Wight.
October 1973 (47 Years Ago)
On the 3rd, The Who record the visual part of their appearance for the following evening's broadcast of Top of The Pops 500th Edition. The audience is made up of celebrities and industry people. Angered at the requirement to pre-record their performance, Pete smashes his guitar and gives the BBC industry people in the audience the finger while Keith throws wigs from the prop department. A lifetime BBC ban on The Who is imposed until a letter of apology is sent and accepted. An edited version of the taping airs the following night.
On the 5th, "5.15," from the new album Quadrophenia, is released in the U.K. The flip side is a 1970 studio recording of "Water" that John had recently mixed for the Odds and Sods project. Roy Carr in New Musical Express calls it the "most dynamic single of the year" while Chris Welch in Melody Maker say it "sounds a lot like The Stones, vocals aside." The single will ultimately reach #20 on the charts.
On the 24th, filmmakers Richard Stanley and Chris Morphet arrive to film that day's Quadrophenia rehearsals at Shepperton. When Roger discovers that, after a run-through of half the show, the cameras have not been rolling, he explodes at the movie crew. A drunken Pete goes after Roger, poking him in the chest with his finger. Knowing his reaction to physical threats, the roadies grab Roger before he can respond, but Pete tells them to let Roger go. When they do, Pete hits Roger in the arm with his guitar. Roger responds with an uppercut, knocking Pete out cold on the floor. Roger accompanies Pete to the hospital, terrified that he has killed him. The attempt to film The Who performing Quadrophenia is canceled permanently.
The massive Quadrophenia double album is released in the U.K. on the 26th. However the initial run sells out quickly and, due to a shortage of vinyl caused by the OPEC oil embargo, additional copies are not pressed for another week and a half.
On the 27th, Quadrophenia is released in U.S. at the same time as a single version of "Love, Reign O'er Me" with a different mix from the album. The B-side is "Water." The album peaks at #2 in the U.S. charts but the single reaches only #76 in the Billboard charts and #54 in Cash Box.
On the 28th, The Who open their U.K. tour at the Trentham Gardens in Stoke-on-Trent. For the first and only time with Keith Moon, The Who perform the entirety of Quadrophenia live. Pete has to change guitars twenty times for all the different capo settings the work requires. While The Who are performing, John's white leather jacket is stolen from backstage as well as the flying lady emblem off his Cadillac.
October 1974 (46 Years Ago)
On the 4th, Odds and Sods is released in Britain and on the 12th in the U.S. The reviewer in Records and Recordings states that only The Beatles could put out an album of outtakes as good as Odds and Sods while Roy Carr in New Musical Express calls Odds and Sods better than most bands' final products and Steve Simels in Stereo Review says Odds and Sods is more satisfying than Quadrophenia. The album reaches #10 in the U.K. and #15 in the U.S. The British version features the song titles on the back in Braille and is the last Who release on former Who managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp's Track Records label.
On the 10th, Keith goes to friend Oliver Reed's estate where they are photographed dressed in clown costumes. It is Reed's intention to go to the polling station at Coldharbour Village dressed as a clown and Keith joins in.
October 1975 (45 Years Ago)
On the 1st, Keith Moon appears on John Peel's BBC Radio One show to preview side one of The Who's new album The Who By Numbers. John Entwistle appears the next day to preview side two. He says Pete's songs are so personal that he is unable to discuss them.
On the 3rd, The Who's first full-length studio album of new material in two years, The Who By Numbers, is released. It gets strong marks from Roy Carr in New Musical Express who headlines his review "Once upon a time, Pete Townshend was young and full of hope. That was then." Chris Charlesworth in Melody Maker calls the album subdued. It reaches #7 in the British charts.
Also on the 3rd, The Who begin their first U.K. tour in two years at New Bingley Hall in Stafford. Also premiering that night is The Who's new laser light show. During "See Me Feel Me" and again during "Won't Get Fooled Again" laser beams of various colors are shot out over the band into the audience. Cost of the lasers; £70,000. There is some concern about them causing damage to the audience. John "Wiggy" Wolff, The Who's production manager, runs his hands right in front of the low-watt lasers for the benefit of the press to prove they are safe. Despite this the Greater London Council bans the lasers during The Who's forthcoming Wembley Arena shows.
After this The Who take a short break from the tour so that Roger can promote his new film Lisztomania. Unfortunately he comes down with a chest fever and cannot attend the movie's world premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York. Due to the resumed Who tour he also doesn't make the movie's Los Angeles premiere on the 17th at the Fox-Wilshire. It is probably just as well. Reviews of this bizarre treatment of the life of composer Franz Liszt focus on the style of director Ken Russell and almost all are scathing. Despite its rock star cast, the movie fails to follow the box office success of Russell's Tommy.
October 1976 (44 Years Ago)
The 9th and 10th find The Who sharing the bill with The Grateful Dead at the Alameda County Stadium in Oakland. On the 10th, Keith sings "Spoonful" and "Johnny B. Goode" during The Who's encore.
The Who proceed to the Memorial Coliseum in Portland (13th), the Seattle Center Coliseum (14th), the Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton (16th), the Winnipeg Arena (18th), and the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto (21st). At the end of the Toronto show Pete goes into a jam during "My Generation" and sings a bit of the lyrics to "Who Are You." The Toronto show will be Keith's last before a paying audience.
On the 23rd, the press announces the engagement of Keith and his long-time girlfriend Anette Walter-Lax. The wedding is set for 15 December with Pete as best man and Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr accepting invitations. The only problem is Keith forgets to tell Anette about it.
Pete later says of this period "(we) had no new album, nothing happening, no feeling of existing, and every time we picked up a paper, there were sniveling little brats [the punk rockers] knocking us."
October 1977 (43 Years Ago)
On the 3rd, Pete is interviewed on a pre-recorded segment of Capitol Radio's Your Mother Wouldn't Like It. He says he gets ten offers a week to produce punk-rock bands. He also declares The Who have reached the end of what they can do.
Recording continues throughout the month on the new Who album. "Who Are You" and "Sister Disco" are recorded at Ramport and Goring Studios, London, "Love Is Coming Down" is begun on the 18th at Ramport and "New Song" begins on the 24th and continues on the 27th.
On the 27th, tension between Roger and producer Glyn Johns comes to a head. According to fellow producer Jon Astley, "Roger leaned over the desk while Glyn was sitting there and he said 'Can I hear a bit more bass?'' Glyn stopped the machine and said 'What?' and Roger said 'I just want to hear a bit more bass in the mix.' Glyn said 'We're listening to all this f***ing work that they've done, and you want to hear a bit more bass?' At that point, things exploded. It was unbelievable. They both stormed out, and then I heard this kerfuffle in the corridor and Glyn came back in the control room with tears in his eyes, holding his nose and saying 'That's it. I'm going home.' Roger had nutted him and driven off in his Ferrari." Jon Astley is promoted to full producer. Johns returns to work with The Who five years later.
October 1978 (42 Years Ago)
On the 3rd, Pete joins the Paul McCartney-led supergroup Rockestra to record "Rockestra Theme" and "So Glad To See You Here" released in 1979 on the LP Back To The Egg.
On the 9th, Keith Moon's ex-wife Kim marries former Small Faces member Ian McLagan at Wandsworth Register Office in South London. Keith's mother attends the wedding.
On the 14th, Pete is interviewed for the first time since Keith's death in Melody Maker. Having stated several times over the last year that he had no desire to tour again with The Who, Pete now announces plans for the band to hit the road again. He mentions Kenney Jones among several other drummers as potential replacements for Keith, how he wants to add keyboards and brass to The Who, and how it will be necessary to lower their on-stage sound to protect his hearing. Pete is photographed in Brighton on the set of the movie Quadrophenia.
On the 21st, The Jam's single "Down in The Tube Station at Midnight" enters the British charts. On the flip side is a cover of "So Sad About Us" and the picture sleeve carries a tribute to Keith.
Kenney Jones later says it was this month that The Who told him he had the job of drummer. In addition to his long-time association with the mod movement as the drummer for the Small Faces, Kenney had become Britain's most sought-after session drummer after the break-up of The Faces, impressed Pete while filling in for Keith during the recording of the Tommy soundtrack, and was a favorite of John as well.
October 1979 (41 Years Ago)
The Quadrophenia Soundtrack is released in the U.K. on the 5th, in the U.S. on the 6th. It features new remixes of half the original album, three new Who songs and a side of favorite Mod songs of the early 1960s. It peaks at #23 in Britain, #46 in the U.S.
October 1980 (40 Years Ago)
On the 25th, The Who re-release their long out-of-print first album My Generation in the U.K. It is identical to the original release with the exception of the word "Virgin" (the label of the new release) in place of "Brunswick." Bruce Malamut reviews it in Melody Maker and calls it a timeless classic. It reaches #20 in the British charts.
October 1981 (39 Years Ago)
On the 10th, John's Too Late The Hero LP enters the U.S. charts. It peaks at #71 becoming the only John solo record to hit the Top One Hundred in the U.S. Along with the LP, John also releases the single "Too Late The Hero" backed with "I'm Coming Back" in the U.K. In the U.S. "Dancing Master" is the flip side. A video for the song "Too Late The Hero" is also shot and appears on MTV at this time.
Pete later reveals that at this time he put the recording of his second solo album for Atlantic, All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes, on hiatus. He said he was unable to concentrate on recording due to his worsening problems with drugs and alcohol.
On the 17th, MCA's new cash-in on The Who's back catalog, Hooligans, hits the U.S. charts. It contains the first U.S. LP releases of "Let's See Action," "Join Together", and "Relay" and peaks at #52. There is also a single, "Had Enough"/"Bargain", pulled from this LP released in Canada.
October 1982 (38 Years Ago)
On the 11th, Pete is contacted in New York by Henry Mount-Charles of the prestigious publishing firm Faber & Faber. Henry says he is moving back to Ireland and would Pete like to take over his old job?
On the 12th, Pete is interviewed by the BBC while riding through New York. Pete expresses his disdain for playing Shea. "I don't like the look of it. I'll be glad to say goodbye to it. I'm saying bye-bye to it now. 'Bye-bye Shea Stadium, I'll never fucking see you again.' Who needs it? I never wanted to be a baseball player." The New York Post reports "Riot At Who Concert" and says 100 people are hurt and 13 are arrested at this show. The next night's show is professionally recorded and filmed and released on DVD in 2015. The opening acts are David Johansen and The Clash.
1982-10-12 - Shea Stadium from thewho.net on Vimeo.
1982-10-13 - Shea Stadium from thewho.net on Vimeo.
THE WHO - THE END is the cover of Rolling Stone. Kurt Loder interviews the members. Pete and Roger say The Who will cease touring but will continue producing records. John tells Loder he sees no point in making more records if The Who won't tour. Pete and Roger later say they were surprised by John's remarks, claiming he never expressed these sentiments directly to them.
Richard Barnes' first version of The Who: Maximum R&B is published. It includes a flexidisc with Pete's demos of "My Generation" and "Pinball Wizard."
On the 24th, Roger rents a yacht for a Who press party on San Francisco Bay. During the five-hour tour, Pete and Roger remain at opposite ends of the boat, grousing to the press about what the other said to Rolling Stone.
On the 29th, The Who hold a press conference at the 20th Century Fox lot in Hollywood. Fox CEO Alan Herschfield announces that The Who's final concert in Toronto will be available live on pay-per-view in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan and South America. At the conference Pete declares that there will be no more Who tours "of this scale" although there may be a tour of Europe. Roger says there will be no more tours although there may be individual shows. John says he is completely opposed to stopping touring.
October 1983 (37 Years Ago)
On the 1st, Dave Marsh's mammoth history of The Who Before I Get Old is published. The book concentrates on The Who's early career.
On the 29th, Jonathan Miller's television production of John Gay's 18th-Century The Beggars' Opera is broadcast on BBC Two. Roger plays the starring role of the rascally Macheath. Coincidentally, Roger will later play the role of the Streetsinger in Mack The Knife, a film of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's modern adaptation, The Three-Penny Opera.
October 1984 (36 Years Ago)
On the 8th, Pete begins a battle against his nemesis of the early 1980's, heroin. He gives an interview to The Times called "My crusade to beat the drug menace." On the next day Pete addresses a meeting of Young Conservatives at the Tory Party conference, pushing the Thatcher government to consider funding treatment centers for those addicted to heroin.
On the 23rd, Pete stages and performs at an anti-heroin benefit concert at The Moonlight in Hampstead. Making their live debut at this show is a new band called The Stone Roses. Their drummer, Alan 'Reni' Wren, also sits in for Pete's set.
While all this is going on, Pete also begins bringing the business of The Who to a close. "Roger Searle, Mick Double and Alan Smith of ML Executives, formed by our road crew after the Tommy movie windfall, wanted to take over the company, and we needed to establish a fair value. It was extremely difficult. It turned out that not only did we have to find a way to give this company and all its assets to our road crew, we also had to sack them and pay them a severance. The final closure was a sober moment."
October 1985 (35 Years Ago)
On the 1st, The Wall Street Journal writes an article on Pete's position at Faber & Faber. Pete says he feels bitter that The Who continued to perform after the Cincinnati tragedy and that he no longer respects the "young snotty Herbert" who wrote "My Generation."
On the 5th, Roger's solo single, the Pete-penned "After the Fire" backed with "It Don't Satisfy Me" hits the U.K. charts. It will peak at #50.
On the 11th, Pete is interviewed by Jools Holland on Channel 4's The Tube. He then debuts his new solo band Deep End.
In an interview in Spin magazine, Keith Richard compares Pete to Alfred Hitchcock: "Townshend made better Who records than the Who did together. He used to go there with the album already finished, and the rest would come up with some dubs, but his was ten times better than the finished record. It was just a matter of them imitating what Peter had already laid out. Kinda Hitchcockish. After doin' the storyboards, makin' the actual movie was a drag for Hitchcock. His whole thing was puttin' it all together."
On the 18th, John and his mansion Quarwood are featured on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. The show contains footage of John playing with the first lineup of his solo band "The Rock".
October 1986 (34 Years Ago)
Playing For Keeps, a teen comedy, is released by Universal Pictures. The movie is directed by Bob and Harvey Weinstein in their sole directorial effort before forming Miramax. Their distribution deal comes thanks to the star-packed accompanying soundtrack album including a new song by Pete, "Life To Life."
Rolling Stone reports that Pete has bought Chapel House, a mansion in Twickenham that once belonged to the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson. It is thought to have cost £750,000.
On the 18th, John performs with Chuck Berry at the Felt Forum in Madison Square Garden as part of Berry's 60th birthday celebrations. John is in New York trying to put together a release deal for his new album The Rock after his deal with Atlantic fell through. John succeeds in finding a label with plans to release it in time for Christmas but the day the contract was to have been signed, the record company is raided by the F.B.I. and shut down.
October 1987 (33 Years Ago)
In Rolling Stone's 20th anniversary issue, Pete calls "Won't Get Fooled Again" "...the dumbest song I've ever written". In the next issue, Rolling Stone reports on rumors that The Who are planning to tour again.
October 1988 (32 Years Ago)
Pete's investigation the previous month about the possibility of recording a new Who album filters down to the music press this month. Q magazine claims that Pete, Roger and John held a meeting to discuss the album and Kenney Jones showed up to announce that he wanted nothing to do with it. "A collective sigh of relief is believed to have arisen from the remaining members." Rolling Stone also reports on the rumors.
The Who become an object of historical study as John Atkins sends out the first issue of his Who journal Generations. Each issue primarily delves into the band's past with Atkins' first major work a catalog of all the Who's television appearances.
Comedian/actor Bob Saget tells KITS radio that he wanted to perform "My Generation" on an episode of ABC-TV's family comedy Full House but censors nixed it for fear the stuttering would offend viewers.
October 1989 (31 Years Ago)
On the 3rd, The Who gather for a photo-op outside the Hard Rock Café in London to promote their upcoming shows in the U.K. Pete smashes a guitar for the cameras.
October 1993 (27 Years Ago)
On the 15th, Pete oversees auditions at the Young Vic Theatre for the production of his musical The Iron Man. One beginning actor chosen by Pete for the role of "Picnic Dad" is 24-year old Stephen Moyer (True Blood). Around the same time Pete records "Iron Man Recitative" that later appears on Scoop 3.
October 1994 (26 Years Ago)
While in Los Angeles, John convinces long-time side girlfriend Lisa Pritchett-Johnson to accompany him back to Quarwood. She will remain there until after John's death.
On the 24th, the first Internet resource for Who knowledge, The Hypertext Who, is established by Wes Biggs at the University of Southern California.
October 1996 (24 Years Ago)
On the 4th, Pete and his future wife Rachel Fuller meet for the first time during an initial meeting in London of the Quadrophenia touring band. "I looked up to see Zak Starkey with a girl who at first I took to be his wife... One thought crossed my mind: I don't care whose wife she is, I really want to get to know her."
In early October Pete Townshend, his brother Simon, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle and the rest of their large band and projection equipment set up in Portland, Oregon for rehearsals of Quadrophenia before beginning the first leg of their U.S. tour. The live narrator is replaced by a filmed one projected on a large screen behind the band (the film is directed by Roger). Gary Glitter continues as "The Godfather" and Billy Idol as "The Bellboy." From this point on, the band is called "The Who."
October 1997 (23 Years Ago)
On the 22nd, The Who Concert File by 'Irish' Jack Lyons and Joe McMichael is published by Omnibus.
October 1999 (21 Years Ago)
On the 29th, The Who returns as a five-piece unit, the first time since Live Aid fourteen years before, when they play iBash for the Pixelon Corporation in Las Vegas. Pete is on loud electric guitar as songs long unplayed, such as "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere," are revived. The show is later released for home video as The Vegas Job. None of this helps Pixelon. Within a year the Pixelon Corporation goes out of business after its founder is discovered to be a fugitive wanted for bilking elderly investors of $1 million during the 1980s.
October 2000 (20 Years Ago)
After the cancellation of a concert on the 2nd at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on the 2nd, The Who begin a four night stand at Madison Square Garden on the 3rd. The Wallflowers open after Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes cancel, rumor has it because Page did not want to appear to be opening for The Who. The other dates are the 4th, 6th and 7th. 58,433 tickets are sold for the four shows with the Garden at 93% capacity for a gross of $4,080,814. The shows will be John Entwistle's last full-length concert appearances with The Who in the U.S.
On the 6th, CBS-TV premiers a new crime show, C.S.I., that has licensed "Who Are You" as the theme song. The show will become the most popular on the planet for some time spawning three Who theme song laden spinoffs, exposing people to The Who who had never heard them before and providing Pete with a shelf full of awards.
October 2001 (19 Years Ago)
On the evening of the 20th, The Who perform at The Concert For New York at Madison Square Garden for police and firefighters, many of whom hold up photos of loved ones and colleagues lost in the collapse of the Twin Towers. The show, assembled by Paul McCartney, is carried live on VH1 in the U.S. Up until this point, all the musical tributes have been heartfelt but downbeat performances fitting a nation still in shock and grief. Earlier, Roger had suggested The Who also perform a more reflective set but Pete overruled him, saying The Who should simply be who they are and do what they do best.
After John Cusack's introduction, The Who roar out delivering a blistering, triumphant four-song set, climaxing with "Won't Get Fooled Again" against a backdrop of the now-lost towers. The policemen and firefighters begin pumping their fists into the air and the mood changes from one of grief to one of anger and pride. All those watching including the newspaper reviewers and even the attending President Clinton acknowledge that The Who steal the show from their famous co-stars. They seem to catch the spark of a world rising in wrath and defiance.
Afterwards, Pete and Roger return to the U.K. but John remains to play with The John Entwistle Band at a benefit concert of their own the same night as the Concert For New York at B.B. King's Blues Club. Phoebe Snow and the tribute band Who's Next also perform. There is another show on the 21st. It is followed by another show at Vanderbilt's in Plainview, Long Island on the 22nd and Toad's Place in New Haven, Connecticut on the 23rd. The latter date will be John's last with his band and his last performance in the U.S.
October 2002 (18 Years Ago)
On the 12th, Pete writes a long diary entry on the future of The Who: "What is The Who? It is a brand name, and two old guys called Roger and Pete. I think I'm going to stick with the two old guys and let the brand name look after itself."
On the 13th, Pete reposts his diary entry "A Different Bomb" about his personal investigation into Internet child pornography. He had intended to take down the entry but, "I just heard that another young woman who Double-O had put into treatment for depression and anxiety related to sexual abuse at the age of 8, had started drinking again. Sometimes this all feels so bloody futile. But I am determined to do my bit."
On the 24th, a memorial service for John is held at St. Martin In The Fields in London. Steve Luongo, John Hurt, Bill Curbishley and Matt Kent speak. Roger leads the church in "Boris The Spider."
October 2003 (17 Years Ago)
On the 28th, a double CD Tommy: Deluxe Edition is released mixed by Pete into 5.1 digital surround on SACD and with a disc of bonus tracks. It is later released on DVD-A as well.
October 2006 (14 Years Ago)
On the 14th, Billboard reviews The Who's new promo-only single "Tea & Theatre" / "It's Not Enough": "Rock radio longing for windmill power chords and old-school pyrotechnics will cringe, but triple-A should dig this intimate, wistful conversation between two legends just having tea."
The reviews for Endless Wire appear on the 27th. Rolling Stone gives it 4 out of 5 stars. "Daltrey and Townshend have made a record as brazen in its way and right for its day as The Who Sell Out and Tommy were in theirs." The Times also gives it 4 out of 5: "Unlike their later albums, though, it never tries too hard, never attempts to touch the Zeitgeist: it gets by on its self-deprecating, daffy charisma quite nicely." The Guardian gives it 3 out of 5: "...you never feel like you're being cravenly invited to wallow in nostalgia: all these elements are pressed into the service of something undeniably modern." The Independent provides only 2 stars: "...the energy seems dissipated through weak arrangements." while the Los Angeles Times ponies up 2½: "The album is inconsistent — sometimes impenetrable, sometimes enlightening — but always engaged."
Endless Wire, the first Who album of new music in twenty-four years, is released on the 31st. It peaks at #9 in the U.K.. and #7 in the U.S.
October 2011 (9 Years Ago)
On the 31st, Pete delivers the first John Peel Memorial Lecture at the Lowry Theatre in Salford. Asked to speak on the subject of music in the age of the digital download, Pete makes press by slamming iTunes and Apple for failing to use its streaming music profits to find and promote new artists. At one point he refers to Apple as a "digital vampire".
October 2012 (8 Years Ago)
On the 8th, Pete Townshend's long-awaited autobiography Who I Am is published in the U.S. Australian publication follows on the 9th and the U.K. on the 11th. Reviewers remark on how little fun Pete seems to have had being a famous rock star. Simon Garfield in The Guardian calls it "strangely joyless", Rob Sheffield in Rolling Stone describes it as "a quest to explore his defects and contradictions" and Robert Christgau in The New York Times notes "he takes pains to examine his faults and tell stories that make him look bad."
October 2013 (7 Years Ago)
On the 30th, Roger appears at the United States Capitol to sing after the unveiling of a bust of Winston Churchill. Roger was invited to the event by House Speaker John Boehner.
October 2015 (5 Years Ago)
New music releases: "Sorry" - Justin Bieber; "Hello" - Adele; "My House" - Flo Rida; "Me, Myself & I" - G-Easy and Bebe Rexha
Thirteen Who dates in North America during this month are postponed as Roger recovers from meningitis.
On the 8th, Keith Richard comments on The Who in Rolling Stone: "I always thought Daltrey was all flash. And I love Pete Townshend, but I always thought the Who were a crazy band, anyway. You would say to [Keith] Moon, if you were in a session with him, 'Just give me a swing,' and he [couldn't] ... He was an incredible drummer, but only with Pete Townshend. He could play to Pete like nobody else in the world. But if somebody threw him into a session with somebody else, it was a disaster. There's nothing wrong with that; sometimes you've got that one paintbrush, and you rock it."
Also on the 8th, the film The Who at Hyde Park is shown in various U.S. movie theaters.
Apologetix releases another Christian parody of a Who song "I Can't Escape" ("I Can't Explain") as the b-side to a single.
On the 16th, Jean-Michael Jarre releases his album Electronica Part 1: The Time Machine featuring a co-composition/performance with Pete on "Travelator (part 2)".
On the 27th, the official Who book The Who: 50 Years: The Official History is published and on the 30th, the boxset The Who: The Track Records Singles 1967-1973 is released in the U.K.
Got anything wrong?
E-mail me by clicking HERE
Click on the Index button to go to the full history from the beginning through 2014.
Tweets by @BrianInAtlanta
WHO - The New Album - #2 in U.S., #3 in U.K.!
The Ox by Paul Rees
The Age of Anxiety
The Last Four Years
Tommy at 50 book
Lifehouse - The Graphic Novel
Thanks a Lot Mr. Kibblewhite
Let the Good Times Roll
As Long As I Have You
Join Together (with the band)
Live at the Fillmore East 1968
Who Came First 45th Anniversary
Quadrophenia and Mod(ern) Culture
The Who Maximum A's and B's
The Who Live at the Isle of Wight 2004
The Who On The Who edited by Sean Egan. A large collection of uncut interviews with The Who.
The Who's Official Website
As always, thanks to
A note about photographs: