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April 2009 (5 years ago)

U.K. #1 download: "Poker Face" - Lady Gaga; "I'm Not Alone" - Calvin Harris; "Number 1" - Tinchy Stryder ft. N-Dubz
U.S. #1 radio play: "Right Round" - Flo Rida; "Poker Face" - Lady Gaga; "Boom Boom Pow" - The Black Eyed Peas
2009 Perth poster 2009 Perth poster

The Who conclude their third tour down under at the Acer Arena in Sydney (1st) and the Equity Stadium in Perth (4th).

In The Attic DVDIn The Attic DVD

On the 7th, Best Buy releases the exclusive 2CD-1DVD set Rachel Fuller Presents In The Attic with Pete Townshend and Friends. Coincidentally, on the same day, The Sun reports that Karen Astley has applied for divorce proceedings against Pete, ending their 40-year marriage.

On the 20th, Roger Daltrey appears on a Sky News spot "If I Were Chancellor" talking about help for the TCT within the NHS. The video shows him playing snooker with a teenage cancer victim.

The Pinball Wizards CD

On the 27th, The Pinball Wizards release their CD My Generation (The Ultimate Who Tribute) featuring 10 Who covers.

April 2004 (10 years ago)

U.K. #1 CD singles: "Five Colours In Her Hair" - McFly; "F**k It (I Don't Want You Back)" - Eamon
U.S. #1 radio play: "Yeah!" - Usher ft. Lil Jon & Ludacris

On the 2nd, an Australian promoter papers Sydney and Melbourne with posters saying Who's Touring? hinting at a Who tour of Australia. A Japanese website called "Rock Odyssey" hints on the 14th of Who shows in Japan, a country where The Who had never before toured.


On the 4th, the SAS Band (Spike's All Star SAS Band) featuring Chris Tompson, Tony Hadley, Paul Young, Leo Sayer, Arthur Brown, Fish, Mark Shaw, Tom Robinson, Richard O'Brien, Roy Wood and Roger Taylor release The SAS Band live DVD. It contains a cover of "My Generation" with vocals by Leo Sayer and lead guitar by Formula 1 driver Damon Hill.

On the 7th, Roger receives a lifetime achievement award for The Who at the Capitol Radio Awards in London.

Recliner Make A Friend CD

Also on the 7th, the group Recliner releases their CD Make a Friend featuring a cover of "The Kids Are Alright".

Ronnie Lane Memorial Concert logo

On the 8th, Pete performs at the Ronnie Lane Tribute Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. He does "Evolution" solo, and then performs "A Heart to Hang Onto" with the Kenney Jones band.

On the 10th, Pete publicly apologizes to John Entwistle's mother Queenie for some remarks he made about John in the previous month's issue of Uncut magazine.

British Rock Symphony UK DVD British Rock Symphony UK DVD

On the 12th, a DVD of the British Rock Symphony, featuring Roger performing "Street Fightin' Man," "5:15," See Me Feel Me," "Let It Be" and "Pinball Wizard," is released in the U.K.

Evening Standard Pete Townshend Rachel FullerEvening Standard Pete Townshend Rachel Fuller

On the 14th, the Evening Standard prints a pic of Pete and his partner Rachel Fuller out and about after she lands a recording contract with Universal Records.

Outrage Cause For Pause CD Outrage Cause For Pause CD

On the 21st, the Japanese heavy metal band Outrage releases their CD Cause For Pause with a cover of "I Can See For Miles" sung phonetically in English.

2004 The Kids Are Alright UK DVD2004 The Kids Are Alright UK DVD

On the 26th, Sanctuary Visual Entertainment releases the restored The Kids Are Alright on DVD in Europe. It tops the DVD sales chart there.

Tommy DVD-A Tommy DVD-A

On the 27th, Geffen releases Tommy: Deluxe Edition on DVD-A in the U.S.

On the 29th, the press reports that Roger recently told a Radio Academy audience that he listens primarily to BBC Radio 4, adding that Woman's Hour was one of his favourite shows. "But they f***ed up. Radio 4 used to be great until they moved The Archers. Then they've got these dreadful quizzes that no one listens to. If I listen to anything now it's Kiss FM." The moderator is former The Old Grey Whistle Test presenter Bob Harris.

Kevin Russell My Generation CD

On the same day Kevin Russell comes out with the CD My Generation featuring a jazz instrumental cover of "My Generation".

April 1999 (15 years ago)

U.K. #1 CD singles: "Flat Beat" - Mr. Oizo; "Perfect Moment" - Martine McCutcheon; "Swear It Again" - Westlife
U.S. #1 radio play: "Believe" - Cher; "No Scrubs" - TLC
The Who This Month logo

On the 1st, this website is launched.

The Who Millennium Collection CDThe Who Millennium Collection CD

On the 6th, MCA Records release, for the U.S. market, the budget-priced best-of CD, The Best Of The Who: The Millennium Collection.

April 1994 (20 years ago)

U.K. #1 CD singles: "Everything Changes" - Take That; "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" - The Artist Formerly Known As Prince
U.S. #1 radio play: "The Sign" - Ace of Base; "Bump N'Grind - R. Kelly
1994 Tom Wright exhibit 1994 Tom Wright exhibit

On the 13th, an exhibit of photos taken by Pete Townshend's old art school friend Tom Wright is held at The Center for American History at The University of Texas in Austin. Wright was The Who's official photographer from mid-1967 through 1968. The exhibit continues through April 29th.

Mick Ronson Memorial Concert CDMick Ronson Memorial Concert CD

On the 29th, Roger Daltrey and Pete's brother Simon Townshend perform "Baba O'Riley" and "Summertime Blues" at a memorial concert for Mick Ronson and the Hammersmith Odeon in London.

Meanwhile, on the 30th, Pete performs at a private party at the West Bank Café in New York City. The party is in honor of the first anniversary of the Broadway musical The Who's Tommy.

April 1989 (25 years ago)

U.K. #1 cassette singles: "Like a Prayer" - Madonna; "Eternal Flame" - The Bangles
U.S. #1 radio play: "Eternal Flame" - The Bangles; "The Look" - Roxette; "She Drives Me Crazy" - Fine Young Cannibals; "Like a Prayer" - Madonna
W.A.S.P. The Real Me PS W.A.S.P. The Real Me PS

W.A.S.P. releases their cover of "The Real Me" as the A-side of a single.

Rolling Stone reports that The Who are thinking of using Joe Walsh as a second guitarist during their summer tour.

Roger is filmed performing the part of the street singer in Menahem Golan's film of Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera that will be released as Mack The Knife.

The Who 1989 press conferenceThe Who 1989 press conference

On the 24, Pete, Roger and John Entwistle appear together at a press conference at Radio City Music Hall in New York City to announce they will again tour as The Who that summer. Pete tells the press that he still experiences hearing problems and gets a laugh when he says, "we will play very, very quietly."

An Eye For An I promo record An Eye For An I promo record

On the 29th, Pete records a promotional interview at Atlantic Studios in New York City concerning his forthcoming album The Iron Man. The interview is later released as a promo LP called An Eye For An I.

April 1984 (30 years ago)

U.K. #1 45: "Hello" - Lionel Richie
U.S. #1 radio play: "Footloose" - Kenny Loggins; "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" - Phil Collins
The Relay newsletter Apr. 1984 The Relay newsletter Apr. 1984

On the 7th, The Who fanzine The Relay publishes an interview with Roger about the end of The Who. Roger says Pete "made a very big mistake" breaking up The Who and adds "you can only take so much of being treated like a turd." He says he hates Dave Marsh's Who book Before I Get Old, describing it as "a great, fat book as big as a Bible mostly comprised of lies." He also says Richard Barnes' book The Who: Maximum R&B is "dreadful." Dave Marsh is interviewed in the same issue and calls the It's Hard song "I've Known No War" a "despicable piece of s***."

On the 10th, John's estranged wife Alison wins libel damages from Channel Four Television and Goldcrest Films and TV. While appearing as a guest on the defendant's show Gastank, John had called his wife a "go." She did not sue John who she is currently divorcing because he apologized and asked for the remark to be cut before broadcast.

On the 12th, Roger performs "Free Me" and "Parting Would Be Painless" at the Golden Rose Pop Festival in Montreux.

On the 14th, Roger's single "Walking in My Sleep" enters the Dutch charts where it will peak at #35.

Roger is interviewed in Rolling Stone where he strikes a bittersweet tone about the breakup with Pete but says he hopes Pete can find personal happiness.

On the 25th, Pete is interviewed by Scott Muni in London for a live transmission to WNEW-FM in New York. During the interview, Pete's brother Paul calls in. The next day Muni interviews Roger.

April 1979 (35 years ago)

U.K. #1 45's: "I Will Survive" - Gloria Gaynor; "Bright Eyes" - Art Gunfunkel
U.S. #1 radio play: "Tragedy" - The Bee Gees; "What a Fool Believes" - The Doobie Brothers; "Knock on Wood" - Amii Stewart; "Heart of Glass" - Blondie
1979 Long Live Rock PS 1979 Long Live Rock PS

On the 1st, the advance single from The Kids Are Alright soundtrack, "Long Live Rock" backed with "I'm The Face" & "My Wife (live)" is released in Britain. The seven-year old A-side peaks at #48.

On the 7th, John holds the first recording session for a new solo album that will emerge over two years later as Too Late The Hero.

On the 9th, The Who, now with John "Rabbit" Bundrick on keyboards and Kenney Jones on drums, begin rehearsing their stage act. Over the next two-and-a-half weeks they rehearse for a total of six days. The rehearsals are filmed by the BBC as part of a feature on the programme Nationwide and footage of The Who rehearsing "Who Are You" and "Sister Disco" are later released on the 30 Years Of Maximum R&B video.

In the early part of the month Roger and Kenney are interviewed on the BBC children's programme Swap Shop.

Kenney Jones tabloid Apr 1979Kenney Jones tabloid Apr 1979

On the 21st, Kenney is interviewed in Melody Maker. He says being picked to fill Keith's chair has made him nervous.

April 1974 (40 years ago)

U.K. #1 45: "Seasons in the Sun" - Terry Jacks
U.S. #1 radio play: "Hooked on a Feeling" - Blue Swede; "Bennie and the Jets" - Elton John; "TSOP" - MFSB and The Three Degrees

On the 1st, Keith Moon and his chauffeur and minder Dougal Butler leave life in England behind and move to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles. It is Keith's intent to become a tax exile, as so many of the successful British rockers have done, but he never manages to stay out of England long enough to escape the long arm of Inland Revenue.

Beginning on the 2nd and continuing over the next four days, sync pulses and playback mixdowns are prepared at Ramport, Eel Pie, Goring and CTS Studio, The Music Centre in Wembley for use during filming of Tommy.

Meanwhile, Keith records the first version of his cover of The Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby" at the Record Plant in Los Angeles with John Sebastian, Mark Volman, Howard Kaylan, Jesse Ed Davis and session drummer Miguel Ferrer. Former Beatles road manager Mal Evans is the producer.

On the 8th, Ken Russell completes the shooting script for Tommy.

McCartney Moon Lennon Apr 1974 McCartney Moon Lennon Apr 1974
Photo: Peter Butler

On the 9th, Keith joins Ringo Starr and Jim Keltner, all playing drums during the recording of "Rock Around The Clock" and "Loop De Loop" for the John Lennon-produced Harry Nilsson album Pussycats. Keith also plays congas on "Mucho Mungo"/"Mt. Elga" and Chinese wood blocks on "All My Life." Paul McCartney drops by for the session and he and Lennon are photographed together for the last time by Dougal.

Eric Clapton Pete TownshendEric Clapton Pete Townshend

On the 10th, Pete attends an Eric Clapton comeback party held at The China Garden Restaurant in Soho.

Moon Lennon Santa Monica house Moon Lennon Santa Monica house
Photo: Peter Butler

On the same day Keith and Dougal move out of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel into a $5000 a month rented beachfront house on the Pacific Coast highway in Santa Monica, sharing it for a time with John Lennon and May Pang.

Pete Townshend at the Roundhouse 1974Pete Townshend at the Roundhouse 1974
Photo: André Csillag

On the 14th, Pete performs live for the first time as a solo act at The Roundhouse in London as part of a charity concert to raise funds to buy a coach for the Camden Square Community. At one point he gets into a shouting match with a heckler. On the same day, Keith and Ringo appear on The Flo And Eddie Show live on KROQ-FM in Pasadena. Keith plays Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and surf music records.

On the 15th, seven days of overdubbing and sound mixing for the Tommy soundtrack at Ramport and CTS begins. The Elton John Band's recording of "Pinball Wizard" is completed.

Son of Dracula poster Son of Dracula poster

On the 19th, Keith leaves his residence at the Santa Monica beachhouse to return to London for the filming of Tommy. On the same day, Ringo's film Count Downe, now retitled Son Of Dracula and featuring a cameo by Keith, premiers at the Atlanta Film Festival.

The filming of Tommy begins on the 22nd. The first scenes are interiors at Harefield Grove, a country estate in Middlesex, and involve Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed, Robert Powell and Barry Winch. Pete watches on set for changes which would require re-writing of the score.

Ken Russell films Cousin KevinKen Russell films Cousin Kevin

On the 24th, filming begins of the "Cousin Kevin" sequence, also at Harefield Grove.

New Musical Express 27 Apr 1974 New Musical Express 27 Apr 1974

On the 27th, Pete reviews over a dozen current singles in New Musical Express including a new single from The Beach Boys, which he calls "mediocre." On the same day, filming of the "Fiddle About" sequence begins.

The 29th sees three more days of filming begin on the "Cousin Kevin" sequence at Harefield Grove.

April 1969 (45 years ago)

U.K. #1 45's: "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" - Marvin Gaye; "Israelites" - Desmond Dekker & The Aces; "Get Back" - The Beatles with Billy Preston
U.S. #1 45's: "Dizzy" - Tommy Roe; "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)" - The 5th Dimension

On the 1st, The Who continue rehearsing their new Tommy-centered act at the Community Centre, Westcott Crescent in Hanwell. Other rehearsal dates are the 3rd, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 21st and 23rd. Pete recalls in his autobiography that, after the last rehearsal, Keith took him for a drink, looked him in the eye and said, "Pete, you've done it. This is gonna work."

On the 2nd, they go back to the old set, performing at the Pavilion Ballroom in Bournemouth. The Third Ear Band and the Embers open.

On the 5th, Melody Maker groups The Who with Led Zeppelin and Free as one of "The heavy mob." The article describes their sound under the new label "heavy" rock, a label that will eventually mutate to "heavy metal."

On the 10th, The Who perform "Pinball Wizard" on Top Of The Pops. Keith upsets the show's director with his antics.

On the 11th, Pete is interviewed at BBC Studio 2, Kensington House, Richmond Way, West London. He describes the plot of Tommy in a little over a minute. It is released 31 years later on the BBC Sessions bonus disc.

On the 12th, Keith gets his chance to rate records without knowing who recorded them in the Melody Maker article: "Blind Date: Keith Moon".

"Pinball Wizard" enters the Dutch charts on this day where it will ultimately peak at #12.

On the 13th, The New York Times Magazine contains literary criticism of rock lyrics. One song discussed is "Substitute".

The Who on Tom Jones showThe Who on Tom Jones show

On the 16th, The Who record their appearance on ITV's This Is...Tom Jones at Elstree Studio Centre, Borehamwood. They mime to a newly recorded instrumental track of "Pinball Wizard" with live vocals by Roger. It is first broadcast in the U.S. on the 18th and in Britain on the 20th.

On the 19th, New Musical Express contains the article: "Moon: drummer extraordinaire". The same day's Melody Maker has the article: "Why The Who aren't pop anymore" with quotes from Pete and Keith. Pete declares, "I feel anti-pop now. I don't call our music 'pop' any more. It would be nice to be in a pop industry where music with meaning sells, but that happens so rarely."

The Who publicity photo Apr 1969 The Who publicity photo Apr 1969
Photo: Marc Sharratt

During the month, The Who take another series of publicity photographs, these shot in a park for antique vehicles.

During this week, Tommy is mastered at IBC Studio A. Discarded at this point is a Pete-written linking song, "Cousin Kevin Model Child," that will not resurface until the 1998 re-issue of Odds and Sods.

On the 22nd, The Who play the Institute of Technology, Casino Club, in Bolton, Lancashire.

Also on the 24th, The Who tape another appearance on Top Of The Pops. Any hopes that Keith will be under control this time are dashed when Tony Blackburn, the BBC DJ who had branded "Pinball Wizard" as "sick", appears as host. Keith answers his criticism by hurling drumsticks at his head.

28 Apr 1969 Who ad28 Apr 1969 Who ad

On the 25th, The Who perform at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland supported by Jimmy James and the Vagabonds and Fred's Jazz Band. This is the first documented live performance of Tommy before a paying audience. Tommy rolls along to the Community Centre in Auchinleck supported by The Merry Macks and Pure Greed on the 26th, the Kinema Ballroom, Dunfermline supported by The Shadettes on the 27th, and the Whitburn Bay Hotel in Sunderland, Durham on the 28th.

On the 26th, "Pinball Wizard" reaches its U.K. chart peak of #4 staying there for the next three weeks.

April 1964 (50 years ago)

U.K. #1 45's: "Can't Buy Me Love" - The Beatles; "A World Without Love" - Peter & Gordon
U.S. #1 45: "Can't Buy Me Love" - The Beatles

Around this time The Who get their first manager, later described by the band as "a Jewish doorknob seller" named Helmut Gorden with dreams of being the next Brian Epstein. He buys The Who a van, new clothes and (imitation) leather jackets.

4 Apr 1964 Detours ad 4 Apr 1964 Detours ad

The Who play the Oldfield Hotel in Greenford on the 2nd, the Glenlyn Ballroom in Forest Hill on the 3rd and 6th and the White Hart Hotel in Acton on the 5th. They even play one leftover date as "The Detours", opening for the Tony Meehan Combo, at at the California Ballroom in Dunstable on the 4th.

Doug SandomDoug Sandom

Helmut Gorden sets up a pair of auditions that take place on the 9th. That morning The Who audition for Chris Parmeinter of Fontana Records in a basement café on the Edgware Road. Parmeinter is impressed by Pete, Roger and John, but does not care for drummer Doug Sandom. Pete explodes angrily at Doug so Doug quits the band although he agrees to stay on through the weekend. From there, The Who go to Studio S2 at Broadcasting House to audition for an appearance on the BBC Light Programme.

13 Apr 1964 Who ad 13 Apr 1964 Who ad

On the 10th, The Who return to the Glenlyn Ballroom opening for The Undertakers on the 10th and the Goldhawk Social Club in Shepherd's Bush opening for Wee Willie Harris on the 11th. The show of the 13th is at the 100 Club on Oxford Street in London supporting The Mike Cotton Sound. It is Doug's last date playing drums with The Who.

Also on the 13th, Pete writes a letter to the BBC apologizing for applying twice for a position on the BBC Light Programme, once as The Detours and once as The Who. He confirms that they are now called The Who.

Pete later recalls that during this month his late-night gigs caused a lecturer at his art college to ask about his health since he was obviously tired and distracted. Pete confessed to playing in a band but when the lecturer learned what he was earning, he urged Pete to quit school and pursue music full-time.

18 Apr 1964 Who ad18 Apr 1964 Who ad

On the 16th, The Who return to the Oldfield Hotel with drummer Dave Gold from Marshall's Music Shop. Over the next couple of weeks, The Who will go through a succession of quickly hired replacement drummers including a young Mitch Mitchell, later of The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Known dates are the Goldhawk Social Club on the 17th, the Florida Rooms in Brighton on the 18th, the Glenlyn Ballroom on the 20th and 24th, the latter supporting The Merseybeats, the Oldfield Hotel on the 23rd, the White Hart Hotel on the 26th and the 100 Club, again supporting The Mike Cotton Sound, on the 27th.

On the 28th, The Who hear from the BBC. It's a letter of rejection for the BBC Light Programme.

Around this time, the last piece of The Who puzzle is added. Pete, Roger, John and promoter Bob Druce remember that, while The Who were playing a show with some old drummer, "an impudent geezer" with "his hair dyed ginger wearing a ginger suit and holding a glass of brown ale" loudly announces that he can play better than their drummer. The Who invite the upstart onstage where he plays wildly to "Roadrunner" and succeeds in breaking the old-timer's drum pedal.

Keith Moon early 1964 Keith Moon early 1964

That impudent geezer, of course, is Keith Moon. Unfortunately, when Moon biographer Tony Fletcher researched the story, he found that the Beachcombers, the group Keith was in at the time, have no memory of his ever having dyed his hair and none of the club's regulars ever remember seeing Keith's live audition. In addition, the manager of the Oldfield Hotel at the time clearly remembers Keith stopping by on a Tuesday to see if any groups were looking for a new drummer. Told The Who were indeed so bereft and were rehearsing that night at a drill hall in Acton, Keith hurried off to meet his destiny.

As with so much of The Who's history, one can get only so close to the truth and no closer. If you believe The Who's story, the date of the event was probably their performance at the Oldfield Hotel on the 30th. If you believe the Oldfield Hotel manager's story, it would be the 28th.

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Doug Sandom book

The Who Before The Who
The new book by The Who's original drummer (yes, before Keith Moon!), Doug Sandom.
Available through Amazon Kindle and hardcover.

Sensation The Making Of Tommy DVD

Sensation: The Story Of Tommy DVD
Feature-length documentary on the conception and recording of the rock opera.
Now released.

Wilko Johnson Roger Daltrey

Wilko Johnson/Roger Daltrey – Going Back Home
New recording
Out in the U.K.
U.S. release Apr. 8.

Simon Townshend Denial

The new album by Simon Townshend
Out April.
Click HERE for more.

Tommy Super Deluxe

Tommy Super Deluxe Boxset
Tommy in 5.1, 20 Townshend demos and a new live recording from 1969

The Who in The Studio

The Who In The Studio 1964-1974
Now with interactive studio map!

The Who in Nederland

The Who in Nederland
A new book by Raymond Steenwijk
From their first appearance in an Amsterdam studio in 1965 to Quadrophenia at the Ziggo Dome in 2013.
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As always, thanks to John Atkins, Richard Barnes, Kevin Berger, Chris Charlesworth, Alan Clayson, Tony Fletcher, Ed Hanel, Gary Herman, Joe Giorgianni, Bruce Kawakami, Matt Kent, Max Ker-Seymer, Karen Kimber, Olle Lundin, "Irish Jack" Lyons, Dave Marsh, Alan McKendree, Joe McMichael, Andrew Motion, Andy Neill, Scott Smith, Christian Suchatzki, John Swenson, George Tremlett, Richie Unterberger, Dave van Staveren, Mark Ian Wilkerson, Stephen Wolter and all the others who did the original research and provided the aid that led to this page.

A note about photographs: None of the photographs used on this site are by purchase agreement with the original photographer. I try to credit when I can discover the name of the original photographer but, in most case, sources in newspapers, old copies of Creem Magazine, and even some Who books, do not credit photographers. If you are the photographer or represent the photographer and you do not want your photograph posted, please get in touch and I will remove it immediately. This is a wholly non-profit site (if you could see my bank account, you'd know it's quite the opposite!) established to provide an historical overview of The Who.