January 2010 (5 years ago)
New album releases: Animal - Ke$ha; Contra - Vampire Weekend; Need You Now - Lady Antebellum; The Betrayed - Lost Prophets
On the 10th, Pete Townshend and his daughter Emma write pieces for The Sunday Times. Pete uses part of his space to defend himself against a group that wants to ban him from performing at the upcoming Super Bowl over his expired placement on Britain's Sex Offenders Registry.
On the 19th the album The Who's Greatest Hits - Live is released on iTunes. The selection of rare and previously unreleased live tracks from The Who's long career is an addition to the previous month's Greatest Hits release.
On the 22nd, The Rubinoos release their album Biff-Boff-Boing! featuring a cover of "Boris The Spider".
On the 26th, will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas tells Billboard that he is currently remixing The Who's "My Generation" to which he has added Slash on guitar. The track is set to premiere during the upcoming Super Bowl and sales will raise money for Haitian Earthquake Relief.
January 2005 (10 years ago)
New album releases: The Documentary - The Game; Be As You Are - Kenny Chesney; Tourist - Athlete; Pushing The Senses - Feeder
On the 13th, Roger Daltrey records an interview in London for the first show in a new TV series titled For The Record. He is interviewed by Harvey Goldsmith, who asks questions covering the whole of his career, taking in The Who and its formation, Roger's solo career both in the recording studio and in the film business and bringing it right up to date with his recent award of his CBE.
On the 15th, Pete attends the final performance of a play about The Four Seasons, Jersey Boys, at the La Jolla, California Playhouse. Also present at the event are Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio of the Four Seasons. The show raises $40,000 for victims of the recent Asian tsunami.
Pete is the cover story in Guitarist magazine on stands this month.
On the 18th, Starbucks Hear Music releases Sweetheart: Love Songs containing M. Ward's pedal-steel cover of "Let My Love Open The Door."
On the 25th, Outlier releases their album Outlier featuring a cover of "I Can't Explain".
On the 28th, Roger is interviewed by Dave Simpson in The Guardian. The interview receives widespread coverage for Roger's remarks about the scandal-plagued Pete Doherty, saying "He is a genius. But I've known many people like that and they're all dead."
On the 30th, The Who Live at the Isle of Wight 1970 DVD is awarded Gold status for sales in the U.S. by the RIAA.
Also on the 30th, the Mail on Sunday reports that Robert Stigwood, the producer of the movie versions of Tommy and Grease, wants to remake Tommy as an animated film.
On the 31st, Roger 2-CD solo career retrospective Moonlighting is released by Sanctuary.
January 2000 (15 years ago)
New album releases: Voodoo - D'Angelo; Rainbow - Mariah Carey; The Screen Behind the Mirror - Enigma; J.E. Heartbreak - Jagged Edge
On the 8th, Roger performs with the British Rock Symphony in a private concert at the Dobson Arena in Vail, Colorado as part of the Vail 2000 Sports International. Billy Preston also performs and Simon Townshend plays lead guitar.
The Picket in Liverpool officially renames their recording studio "Pinball Wizard" in Pete's honor due to his longtime support.
Oasis records a cover version of "My Generation" late this month. They have to contact Matt Kent at Pete's website to get a copy of the lyrics.
On the 17th, Vonda Shepherd sings "See Me Feel Me" on that night's episode of Ally McBeal.
January 1995 (20 years ago)
New album releases: Balance - Van Halen; Behind Closed Doors - Thunder; Octopus - The Human League; Cocktails - Too $hort
On the 12th, an edited version of the Daltrey Sings Townshend Carnegie Hall concert of 1994 airs as a special on the U.S. Disney Channel.
Maximum BBC, a bootleg made up of The Who's appearances on BBC radio 1965-1970, is released in Japan.
Around this time, Ye Olde English releases Tommy A Rock-Steady Opera, a version of The Who's opera performed in ska style.
Pete meets a man named Oleg collecting for a charity on the street in Teddington. He says he is collecting money for a new orphanage in Russia to fill the gap between State and criminal facilities. Pete will try to help, but his efforts will ultimately lead him down the path to the greatest scandal of his career.
January 1990 (25 years ago)
New album releases: A Bit of What You Fancy - The Quire Boys; Hats - The Blue Nile; Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors - Fish; Flood - They Might Be Giants
On the 17th, The Who are at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York as they are inducted into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame by the members of U2. Mandy Moon is also on the stage during the award ceremony representing her father. She points out to the crowd that daddy Keith Moon couldn't be there that night partly because he had been banned from the Waldorf-Astoria. Pete, speaking about rap music, states, "it's not up to us to try to understand it, it's not even up to us to buy it, we just have to get the f*** out of the way." Afterwards they perform "Substitute," "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Pinball Wizard" with Pete on acoustic guitar.
Rolling Stone reports that Roger is working on the films Father Jim, Buddy's Song and a Keith bio-pic.
January 1980 (35 years ago)
New album releases: The Pretenders - The Pretenders; Permanent Waves - Rush; Short Stories - Jon and Vangelis; Christopher Cross - Christopher Cross
On the 8th, Pete attends a Clash concert at Brighton Top Rank. From a book by their road manager Johnny Green, A Riot of Their Own: Day and Night with the Clash: "In the Brighton Top Rank, the dinner-suited manager came to find me. 'There's someone at the door who's not on the guest list.' Pete Townshend was in a bright red jacket, steadying himself on the arms of two women. He came and gave a nod backstage: 'Jam up with you boys later?' 'Yeah, all right.' The band were toweling down before the encore. Townshend went back on stage with them. He came on, fists pumping the air, and I plugged his guitar in. No sound came out. I'd given him one of Mick's old guitars with a duff lead. I wandered off to replace it. I didn't hurry. He wasn't the Clash." After he gets a working guitar, he joins them for "Garageland", "Armagideon Time", "English Civil War" and "Louie Louie."
On the 16th, Variety reports The Who have left their U.S. record label MCA and signed to Warner Brothers Records for $12 million dollars.
Chet Flippo writes a lengthy report on December's Cincinnati tragedy for Rolling Stone . He reveals that various citizens and city officials had warned that something like this was going to happen at Riverfront Coliseum as early as three years before. In another article, promoter Larry Magid calls the tragedy a "symptom of society" that could happen again.
During the month, Pete and Kenney Jones demo Pete's new songs "Don't Let Go The Coat" at A.I.R. Studio One, London and "You Better You Bet" at Eel Pie Studios, London.
January 1975 (40 years ago)
New album releases: Blood On The Tracks - Bob Dylan; Melissa - Melissa Manchester; Promised Land - Elvis Presley; Down By The Jetty - Dr. Feelgood
John Entwistle's Ox continue their University tour of the U.K. playing Edinburgh University on the 10th, Leeds University on the 11th, Plymouth Guildhall on the 14th, Exeter University on the 15th, Brunel University, Uxbridge on the 17th, Liverpool University on the 22nd, the University of East Anglia on the 24th, and Leicester University on the 25th. Unicorn is the opening act at all the shows.
In an interview in Creem, Pete denies that The Who are breaking up but gives less than favorable reviews to solo releases by Roger ("I don't like that kind of music. I don't like that kind of album.") and John ("I don't really like his albums either").
On the 25th, Tony Palmer gets a sneak preview of the new Tommy movie for Melody Maker and declares it "a major work of art."
On the 29th, Keith Moon and David Essex attend the U.S. premier of the movie Stardust at the Sack Cheri Complex, Boston. Afterwards Columbia Pictures holds a cocktail party at the Ritz-Carlton.
On the 31st, Keith attends a party celebrating Lynyrd Skynyrd's Academy Of Music show.
January 1970 (45 years ago)
New album releases: Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel; Chicago - Chicago; A Song For Me - Family; Hello, I'm Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash
On the day after New Year's, Keith spends the day with his old band The Beachcombers, then takes them out to the Speakeasy. They find it difficult to keep up with their high-living former drummer.
On the 3rd, Melody Maker has the article "Who in row over those 'late' concerts." They report that John and Tony Smith were refused permission for a Who concert at Glasgow's Kelvin Hall for March 22nd because the hall management had heard bad things about The Who from the Palace Theatre, Manchester and The Hippodrome, Bristol.
Rolling Stone, in their year in review rate Tommy the most overrated album of the year, "four sides of music that would have made a great single album."
On the 4th, Keith travels to Hatfield to preside over the opening of a disco at the Cranbourne Rooms adjoining the Red Lion pub. Accompanying him is his wife Kim, his friend and drummer for the Bonzo band "Legs" Larry Smith and Smith's girlfriend, all driven by Keith's chauffeur Neil Boland. A group of skinheads also show up at the disco. After Keith and his friends leave and get in Keith's Bentley, the skinheads attack the car, surrounding it and throwing pennies and stones. Boland gets out, trying to clear a path and is quickly set upon by the crowd. Keith, in a panic, scoots under the wheel to try to get them out of danger and stomps on the gas propelling the car forward while Smith tries to steer from the backseat since Keith cannot drive. The car travels 100 yards down the road to another social club where they stop to get help. When Keith gets out, a van driver tells him someone is under the car. Keith looks. It is Boland, pinned under the car, his head crushed. The next morning is a field day for the tabloid press as they spread the story of the rich, drunken rock star who ran over his chauffeur.
Plans for the Who to go in studio and record this week are cancelled due to Boland's death. Instead, on the 6th, Damon Lyon-Shaw at IBC Studio A, London, mixes a preliminary Who live album from Bob Pridden's two-track tapes recorded during the 1969 U.S. tour. The tracks are "Young Man Blues version 1," "I Can't Explain," "Fortune Teller," "Young Man Blues version 2," "Summertime Blues" and "Shakin' All Over."
On the 9th, the first inquest into the death of Neil Boland is held, but is immediately adjourned, postponed until February 20th. Keith knows it is not his fault but takes it to heart anyway, brooding on his role in Boland's death for years after.
Also on the 9th, "Legs" Larry Smith, as "Topo D. Bil," releases the single "Witchi Tai To" in the U.K. Keith is a guest percussionist on the track.
Pete is interviewed by Chris Welch in the Melody Maker of the 10th. He discusses the future of Tommy and his plans to produce an album by a group formed around his old art school friend Andy Newman.
Having begun the "opera house" tour at the London Coliseum in December, The Who take their new opera to the Theatre des Champs Elysses in Paris on the 16th and 17th, the first rock act allowed to perform in this home for French opera. The second night is broadcast live on Europe 1 as part of a Musicorama special.
Before the next leg of the tour, The Who jet back to IBC Studios in London on the 19th to record their first post-Tommy record "The Seeker." Pete plays guitar, piano and produces as Kit Lambert is unavailable due to recent dental surgery. Damon Lyon-Shaw engineers the session.
On the 24th, The Who give their first royal command performance, playing Tommy at Der Kunglige Teater in Copenhagen as the Dutch royal family attends. Due to the bitter cold in Copenhagen on this date, Pete introduces the opera as "Tommy on Ice!" Despite the royal kudos, The Who find no room at the inn as their reservations at the Copenhagen Inn are turned down due to a hotel policy against "long-haired pop groups."
Also on the 24th, Melody Maker reports that The Who are expected to be the subject of a documentary for European television to be made by Granada's Jo Durden-Smith. Also reported in this issue is The Royal Albert Hall's refusal to be the site of a benefit concert for "Release" and the National Council for Civil Liberties. The concert was to have featured John Lennon, The Who, The Incredible String Band and King Crimson.
On the 26th, The Who perform at the Stadt Opera House in Cologne, West Germany. German President Heinemann and Chancellor Willie Brandt attend the show. The German government also declares The Who a cultural attraction meaning that their receipts will not be subject to taxation. The Who donate their $2500 salary to the Save the Children Fund. The Who play there again the next night, and then travel to the Deutschland Stadt Opera House in Berlin on the 28th.
On the 30th, The Who return for another Tommy performance at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Backstage, Pete writes the song "I Don't Even Know Myself", an attack on rock writers analyzing his personality through his songs.
January 1965 (50 years ago)
New records: "Tired Of Waiting For You" - The Kinks; "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" - The Animals; "Tell Her No" - The Zombies; The Rolling Stones No. 2 - The Rolling Stones
January begins with The Who playing the Ealing Club on the day after New Year's, The Red Lion in Leytonstone on the 4th and back to The Marquee in London on the 5th with The Boys (later called The Action) opening.
Early in the month, David Magnus takes a series of photographs of the band to use in promotional advertisements for their first single.
On the 9th, Melody Maker features their first review of a Who gig. 16 year-old fan Nick Jones raves about the "weird and effective techniques of guitarist Paul Townshend" and declares The Who "must surely be one of the trendsetting groups of 1965." On the day that review comes out, The Who can be found at Club Noreik in Tottenham.
On the 12th, it's back to the Marquee Club with The Boys again opening. The tally shows over £57 is raised at the door but Roger and Keith net only £2 for the night and Pete and John only £1! The following night they are at Wolsey Hall in Cheshunt.
On the 15th, The Who finally get their first record in the shops as "I Can't Explain" backed with "Bald Headed Woman" is released in Britain on U.S. Decca's U.K. subsidiary Brunswick Records. Derek Johnson reviews it for New Musical Express: "...It's insidious and insistent, with an arresting backing - a blend of Mersey beat and surfing! Keep your eyes on this one..." and Record Mirror declares: "One of the most stylish British groups, pungently presented on a fastish beater with some first-rate vocal ideas. They have a good 'feel' for a song, with a good beat. Might do very well."
On the same day, Pete fills out a third audition application to get his group on the BBC Light Programme. He lists the bassist as "John Brown."
"John Brown", a/k/a John Entwistle, takes a step into stardom and hires a chauffeur, a chap named David Langston who, due to his nose, is quickly nicknamed "Cyrano". Cy Langston will go on to play an important role behind the scenes of The Who, most notably as the author of the song "Early Morning Cold Taxi".
On the 17th, The Who play opening act to P.J. Proby, The Mike Cotton Sound, Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers and Sandra Barry at the New Theatre in Oxford. Thirty-two years later, P.J. Proby will play "The Godfather" during The Who's 1997 Quadrophenia tour. On the 18th, the band returns to headlining at the Technical College in Westminister then back to the Marquee on the 19th
On the 22nd, The Who pre-tape their first appearance on Radio Luxembourg's Ready Steady Radio! at the Marquee Club. The show is broadcast on the 31st. The taping is followed by shows at the Corn Exchange in Chelmsford (23rd), an all-night rave at the Club Noreik in Tottenham (23rd-24th) and the Marquee again (26th). Opening for The Who at the all-night rave is The Muleskinners featuring future Small Faces' keyboardist and second husband to the future Mrs. Moon, Ian McLagan.
On the 29th, The Who begin pushing their fame beyond London, appearing for the first time on Ready, Steady GO! playing "I Can't Explain." To insure a good reception, Kit Lambert packs the audience with The Who's fan club, the 100 Faces and gives everyone Who football scarves to wear.
The Who finish up this busy month where they started, playing The Ealing Club on the 30th.
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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.