U.K. #1 downloads: "Run" - Leona Lewis; "Hallelujah" - Alexandra Burke
U.S. #1 downloads: "Live Your Life" - T.I. ft. Rihanna; "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" - Beyoncé
On the 4th, the Biography Channel on U.S. cable premieres a biography of The Who.
On the 6th, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey receive their Kennedy Center Honors from U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice at a State Department dinner.
On the same day, Billboard puts the new DVD The Who: Kilburn 1977 at #1 on their Top Music Videos list.
On the 7th, Pete and Roger attend the Kennedy Center gala with outgoing President George W. Bush and fellow honorees, Barbra Streisand, Morgan Freeman and
George Jones. A brilliant, soulful performance of "Love Reign O'er Me" by Bettye LaVette brings tears to Pete's eyes and causes Streisand to lean over to Pete
and ask "You wrote this?"
On the 14th and 15th, The Who put on special shows for thewho.com fans at the indig02 in London. The second night features a performance of the rarely played live
"Slip Kid". On the 17th is a performance at the same venue for the general public.
On the 23rd, Pete and Roger are interviewed together on the CBS Early Show. Pete: "very few other people have tackled them, Who songs. And I don't think it's
because they're difficult to do. I think it's because, once Roger has done a Who song, it's difficult to come close."
December 2003 (10 years ago)
U.K. #1 downloads: "Leave Right Now" - Will Young; "Changes" - Kelly Osbourne and Ozzy Osbourne; "Mad World" - Michael Andrews and Gary Jules
U.S. #1 downloads: "Stand Up" - Ludacris ft. Shawnna; "Hey Ya!" - OutKast
On the 2nd, Roger Daltrey is a presenter at the DVD Exclusive Awards at the Wiltern LG Theater in Los Angeles.
On the 3rd, a collection of John Entwistle's guns, shotguns and other accessories are auctioned at Bonham's Auction House.
On the 5th, Roger performs with Led Zeppelin tribute band Swan for the Intermedia Films Christmas party at the Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood.
On the 8th, John's son Chris Entwistle wins a smuggling case that was brought against him prior to his father's death. Chris was charged with illegally
bringing in 15,000 cigarettes and 20 bottles of spirits from France. He wins the case by proving that all of it was for John's private use.
On the 10th, the CD Kids Will Rock You is released in Japan. It features "My Generation" sung by children ages 9 to 13.
On the 17th, Classic Boat magazine reports that Pete has recently purchased the 1975 Sandy Balfour-designed classic motor cruiser Balandra
from Berthon's Shipyard in the U.K.
On the 19th, an ad for General Motors' Hummer II backed with The Who playing "Happy Jack" is voted by The Wall Street Journal as Ad of the Year.
On the 28th, Pete is interviewed in The Observer. His remark that, during the scandal of the previous January, he would have shot himself if he
had owned a gun, is widely reported.
On the 30th, Q magazine, in their just-published Feb. 2004 issue, declare Keith Moon's entire life to be the "Most Insane Moment In Rock."
On the 31st, Pete closes the year by writing the first draft of a poem/song called "More Misery."
December 1998 (15 years ago)
U.K. #1 CD singles: "Believe" - Cher; "To You I Belong" - B*witched; "Goodbye" - The Spice Girls; "Chocolate Salty Balls (P.S. I Love You)" - Chef
U.S. #1 CD single: "I'm Your Angel" - R. Kelly and Céline Dion
On the 4th, The Daily Mail reports that a firm of yacht brokers is suing Pete Townshend over the sale of two of his boats.
On the 4th, Roger is a guest on WPLJ's Rocky Allen Show. On the 9th, Roger Daltrey appears on CBS This Morning out of New York City.
Afterwards he and Audra McDonald light the 1998 Broadway Christmas Tree. The following evening Roger appears on NBC-TV's Late Night With Conan O'Brien.
On the 31st, John Power of the group Cast tells New Musical Express that he recorded the demos for the forthcoming Cast album
at John Entwistle's home studio in Gloucestershire with Bobby Pridden engineering.
December 1993 (20 years ago)
U.K. #1 CD singles: ""Mr. Blobby" - Mr. Blobby; "Babe" - Take That
U.S. #1 CD singles: "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" - Meat Loaf; "Again" - Janet Jackson; "Hero" - Mariah Carey
The Ramones release their CD Acid Eaters featuring a cover of "Substitute" with Pete on background vocals recorded in New York the previous April.
Pete's alcoholism, which flared up earlier in the year, reaches a peak this month. His New York girlfriend Lisa Marsh urges him to seek help.
December 1988 (25 years ago)
U.K. #1 cassette singles: "First Time" - Robin Beck; "Mistletoe and Wine" - Cliff Richard
U.S. #1 cassette singles: "Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley" - Will to Power; "Look Away" - Chicago; "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" - Poison
On the 5th, Pete, Roger and John appear from London on the U.S. television show Today promoting the new Who's Better Who's Best compilation.
Afterwards they tape interviews and segments for a "Who Day" on MTV that airs on the 18th.
The tapings done, the three and Who manager Bill Curbishley meet to discuss a 25th Anniversary tour. John says he has found new bass equipment that will
allow him to play quieter. Roger says he has written some new songs. Things are going well until Curbishley brings up possible dates for the tour. As the reality
of the tour sinks in, Pete has a panic attack and abruptly leaves.
The next day, Pete is visited by his friend Robert Greenfield as he works on The Iron Man at his home studio in Twickenham.
Pete tells Robert that, despite pressure, he will not tour with The Who. He informs Curbishley and the rest of The Who the next day.
December 1983 (30 years ago)
U.K. #1 45's: "Uptown Girl" - Billy Joel; "Only You" - The Flying Pickets
U.S. #1 45's: "All Night Long (All Night)" - Lionel Richie; "Say Say Say" - Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson
During the first week of the month, Roger appears on a British talk show and declares The Who are still a going concern.
On the 7th, at Pete's request, Warner Brothers terminates The Who's contract despite their failure to deliver another two albums as specified. A sizable amount of
the advance money has to be returned.
Pete attends a private showing of Andy Summers' photography in London.
On the 16th, Pete releases a statement declaring he is breaking up The Who. "I will not be making any more records with The Who. It's already been stated that
our tour of America in 1982 was our last, and I can now add that I will not perform live again anywhere in the world with The Who." Roger, John and Kenney have
nothing to do with the statement and afterwards express shock and anger at Pete's decision and the idea that he could break up the group on his own. "It was a wonderful
Christmas present," Roger tells the press, sarcastically.
Kevin Dubrow of Quiet Riot tells Rolling Stone The Who are his favorite band and Roger his favorite singer. He says The Who on Live At Leeds were the heaviest
heavy metal band of all time.
On the 24th, the BBC premieres their new production of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors, starring Roger in the dual roles of two servants named Dromio.
December 1978 (35 years ago)
U.K. #1 45's: "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" - Rod Stewart; "Mary's Boy Child - Oh My Lord" - Boney M
U.S. #1 45's: "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" - Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond; "Le Freak" - Chic
On the 2nd, "Trick Of The Light" backed with "905," the first Who single outside Japan to have both A and B-sides written by John, is released in U.S.
On the 9th, Roger is interviewed in the New Musical Express. He mentions Kenny Jones as The Who's new drummer.
Whose Who?: A Who Retrospective by Brian Ashley and Steve Monnery is published.
The Village Voice places Who Are You at #17 in their year-end Pazz & Jop critic's poll. Also during this month, MCA releases Who Are You
as a picture disc LP in the U.S.
Principal photography on the movie version of Quadrophenia concludes by the middle of the month.
On the 16th, Alice Cooper's album From The Inside is released. The inside gatefold shows an insane asylum with the words "Inmates From The Memory Of Moonie."
On the 27th, Roger is interviewed by members of the Who's News fanzine. He says that Pete has already signed his solo contract with Atlantic but that The Who
haven't decided on a new label (he would prefer CBS). He says Kenney Jones is "the fourth member of the band from now on" but that this is just for studio work,
not for live shows. He says The Who "are like an open wound; we need to seal it up."
December 1973 (40 years ago)
U.K. #1 45's: "I Love You Love Me Love" - Gary Glitter; "Merry Xmas Everybody" - Slade
U.S. #1 45's: "Top of the World" - The Carpenters; "The Most Beautiful Girl" - Charlie Rich; "Time in a Bottle" - Jim Croce
On the 1st, Quadrophenia receives Silver certification from the British Phonographic Industry.
On the 2nd, The Who arrive in Montreal, Canada, disembarking from the plane wearing paper hats made out of French in-flight newspapers and singing the
French national anthem. That evening they perform at the Montreal Forum.
Early the next morning The Who and twelve members of their entourage are jailed in Montreal after Pete and Keith wreck their hotel suites.
They manage to post bail at 1:15pm when the local promoter pays $5,995.34 in cash to the police station and they perform that night at the
Boston Garden where they rail to the audience about the Montreal police. John will go on to commemorate the arrest in the song "Cell Number Seven"
on his solo album Mad Dog.
The Boston Garden show of the 3rd sees yet another song dropped from the live Quadrophenia. "Helpless Dancer," which had featured
a live mellophone performance by John, is excised for the rest of the tour.
On the 4th, The Who perform at Spectrum in Philadelphia. The show is recorded and later broadcast in quadraphonic sound on The King Biscuit Flower Hour
syndicated radio show in the U.S. from which it is widely bootlegged. "Won't Get Fooled Again" has a commercial release on the 1998 CD King Biscuit: Best Of The Best
and on the 2007 fan club CD View From A Backstage Pass along with "The Punk and The Godfather."
On the 5th, The Who take the train to Washington, D.C, finishing the North American tour on the 6th at The Capital Centre. This show is
also recorded by The King Biscuit Flower Hour and remains in their vaults although it is never broadcast. The photograph used for the poster
insert in the Odds and Sods album is taken at this show and "5:15" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" are commercially released in 2010 on The Who Greatest Hits and More
Before the show John Swenson interviews Pete who says Quadrophenia now seems "incredibly calculated; a winding up of Who affairs in that era,"
and adds that he as a writer and The Who as a band will have to find a new direction. "I don't want to wave the rock 'n roll flag for the rest of my life."
Rolling Stone carries their article on The Who tour, "Who's spooky tour: awe and hassles." Pete and Roger comment on the friction between them
during the recording of Quadrophenia. Pete says the band tried to accomplish too much and admits that the lack of audience reaction was not what he expected.
On the 7th, in an interview in the Washington Post, Roger says that Dallas was the only weak show of the North American tour.
As soon as Pete comes home from the tour, he begins work in his home studio on the soundtrack for Tommy: The Movie. This keeps him from participating
in the second all-star concert version of the orchestral Tommy at the Rainbow Theatre on the 13th and 14th. Roger as Tommy is, in fact, the only
Who member to perform although Keith is there supporting his friend Viv Stanshall playing Uncle Ernie. Keith had just returned from an audition for the
movie Stardust, the sequel to That'll Be The Day. He tried to get Ringo Starr's role from the first film but had to settle for the same role
as in the previous movie, that of drummer J.D. Clover. David Essex, star of both movies, does appear in this production of Tommy as does Roy Wood.
On the 14th, Richard Harris' performance of "Go To The Mirror" from the Orchestral Tommy backed with "Underture" is released in the U.K. It fails to chart.
In Popular Music and Society, William J. Scheick writes: "Who's Next: a reappraisal." He provides a scholarly analysis of the album and says it is also a concept album.
"The Real Me," backed with "Water," is released as a single in Japan.
Lester Bangs gives a more positive review of Quadrophenia in Stereo Review than had Dave Marsh or Lenny Kaye, but he questions whether any rock
'n roll band should be doing rock operas no matter how successful. Meanwhile Mike Jahn in High Fidelity pans Quadrophenia saying it has no plot, but it would
have been a masterpiece if it contained "words that one could follow."
The Shadows release their LP Rockin' With Curly Leads featuring a cover of "Pinball Wizard/See Me, Feel Me."
On the 18th, 19th, 22nd and 23rd, The Who make good on their pledge to replay London after the problematic Lyceum shows of the previous month by
performing at the Edmonton Sundown. The only problem is that Roger is suffering from a throat ailment. Despite this, Pete later says these were the best live
Quadrophenia shows. On the second night, "Pinball Wizard" and "See Me, Feel Me" are dedicated to director Ken Russell. The supporting act is Babe Ruth.
December 1968 (45 years ago)
U.K. #1 45's: "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" - Hugo Montenegro; "Lily The Pink" - Scaffold
U.S. #1 45's: "Love Child" - Diana Ross & The Supremes; "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" - Marvin Gaye
On the 1st, The Who receive a bill from Sound City for repair of a 4x12 speaker cabinet: "Bottom speakers gone".
On the 6th, The Who play a Xmas Ball at Maxwell Hall at the University of Salford. The next night, they are at the University of Bristol.
On the 9th, The Who report for the cast rehearsal of the television special The Rolling Stones' Rock 'n Roll Circus at the Londonderry House Hotel
in London. Afterwards they race off for another gig at the Pavilion in Bath.
On the 10th, The Who again assemble at Stonebridge House Studios in Wembley under the direction of ex-Ready Steady, GO! director Michael Lindsay-Hogg.
Glyn Johns is the audio producer, his first time recording The Who since he was the engineer for producer Shel Talmy on the My Generation album.
Johns is seconded by The Who's usual engineer Damon Lyon-Shaw. The first day sees only more rehearsals, press photography and some incidental filming.
On the 11th, filming for the show proper begins. The Who record three takes of their mini-opera "A Quick One While He's Away" and, despite being one of the first acts
filmed, they don't come on until after 4pm. Following this comes a succession of acts including an all-star performance of "Yer Blues" with John Lennon, Eric Clapton
and Keith Richards. Finally the Stones come on after 1am, performing a set before a tired audience. Once the Stones see the film of their low-energy act back-to-back
with The Who's road-tested, white-hot performance, they reject the material, planning to reshoot the next July. After Brian Jones' firing and death, the Stones try to
sell the show to The Who, then stick it on the shelf. Bootlegs appear during the next decade, but none of the film is seen until The Who's performance is unearthed for
The Kids Are Alright. A break between the Stones and then manager Allan Klein causes more delays, until the entire special is released on video in 1996.
Through the rest of the month, The Who continue working on the Tommy opera at IBC Studios Monday through Thursdays while performing live to pay for the studio time.
On the 12th, they play the University at Reading with Jess Roden again coming onstage to sing "Magic Bus."
On the 15th, "Magic Bus" hits its peak on the German charts at #20.
Opal Butterfly releases a cover version of "Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand" as a single in the U.K. It fails to chart.
The 17th sees "The Who's Xmas Party" at the Marquee in London for their last ever performance at the venue where they had first come to the capital's
attention during their residence in 1964-1965. This time Who fan Nigel Cornthwaite comes onstage to sing "Magic Bus" with the Who. "A great new group" named Yes
is the opening act.
On the 19th, The Who appear at the Pavilion Ballroom in Worthing and on the 21st at the Gaiety Ballroom in Ramsey, Huntingdon.
According to members of The Pretty Things, Pete shows up at the Track Records Christmas party with a copy of their newly released album S.F. Sorrow, the first
album-length rock opera, and plays it for the guests. Pete, however does not remember this and claims not to have heard the album at the time.
He is not alone. The album flops in the U.K. and is not released in the U.S. until 1970. Tommy will come out and become a huge success before anyone
notices The Pretty Things' prior milestone.
December 1963 (50 years ago)
U.K. #1 45's: "She Loves You" - The Beatles; "I Want to Hold Your Hand" - The Beatles
U.S. #1 45: "Dominique" - The Singing Nun
The Detours perform at St. Mary's Ballroom in Putney (1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd), the Oldfield Hotel in Greenford (5th, 12th, 14th, 19th), the Glenyln Ballroom in
Forest Hill (6th, 20th), the California Ballroom in Dunstable opening for Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders (7th), the Evershed and Bignoles Apprentice Association
Social Club Dance at the Feathers Hotel on Ealing Broadway, London (13th), and the White Hart Hotel in Acton (29th).
Pete's American friend, Tom Wright, is busted for cannabis and deported. Before he goes, he gives his mammoth record collection of American R&B to his schoolmates
Pete and Richard Barnes.
On the 19th, Pete fills out an official audition form for The Detours to appear on the BBC Light Programme. Entwistle is listed as "Bass - J. Johns." Nothing comes
of the request.
The St. Mary's Hall, Putney show on the 22nd is a watershed for Pete as The Detours open for the Rolling Stones. Pete gets to meet the Stones through an introduction
brokered by his friend Glyn Johns, then the lead singer for the group The Presidents. Brian Jones and Mick Jagger are quite friendly to a star-struck Pete. Standing backstage,
he sees Keith Richards swinging his arm in a circle as a warm-up before the curtain is raised on the Stones' performance. Within the next week, Pete takes that motion
and makes it part of his stage act; spinning his arm furiously while crashing his fingers against the strings of the guitar, a move called "the windmill" that becomes
December 1958 (55 years ago)
U.K. #1 45's: "Hoots Mon" - Lord Rockingham's XI; "It's Only Make Believe" - Conway Twitty
U.S. #1 45's: "To Know Him Is To Love Him" - The Teddy Bears; "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" - The Chipmunks with David Seville
Form Master Parkinson describes the 12-year old Keith Moon on his report card: "His behavior is rather young for his age. His air of perky spriteliness, while refreshing for a time,
is, I feel, largely put on for effect. It is time he adopted a different line."
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.