Page updated February 1, 2023. This is a highly abridged version of all the things that happened to and around The Who in July. Click the INDEX button at the bottom for access to the full history.
New music releases: "Mockin' Bird Hill" - Patti Page; "I Apologize" - Billy Eckstine; "Would I Love You (Love You, Love You)" - Patti Page; "Beautiful Brown Eyes" - Rosemary Clooney
Sonny Boy Williamson releases his first recording of his song "Eyesight To The Blind" on 78rpm. The Who will cover it eighteen years later for their album Tommy.
New music releases: "Little Darlin'" - The Diamonds; "Butterfly" - Andy Williams; "Gone" - Ferlin Husky; "Knee Deep in the Blues" - Guy Mitchell
On the 6th, Bill Haley and His Comets bring their rock 'n' roll sound to the Dominion in London for a four-night stand. Cliff Townshend accompanies his 11-year old son Pete to one of these shows.
New music releases: "Good Luck Charm" - Elvis Presley; "Mashed Potato Time" - Dee Dee Sharp; "Wonderful Land" - The Shadows; "Johnny Angel" - Shelley Fabares
On the 2nd, the BBC tunrs down Roger Daltrey's application for The Detours citing "insufficient experience". Around this time, The Detours make some adjustments in their line-up. At John Entwistle's recommendation, Pete Townshend comes in as one of the group's rhythm guitarists. Peter James leaves, followed by Roger's friend Reg Bowen who had been supplying a radiogram the group was using for amplification. Pete suggests they get amps on hire purchase and Roger builds cabinets for them to make them look larger and more powerful than they actually are.
New music releases: "Kissin' Cousins" - Elvis Presley; Hello, Dolly! - Carol Channing and Various Artists; The Third Album - Barbara Streisand; "A World Without Love" - Peter and Gordon
On the 1st, John tunes in to Thank Your Lucky Stars and sees another band called The Detours. This band, hailing from Liverpool, had formerly been known as Lee Curtis and The Detours, but became simply The Detours after Curtis left. Now they are riding a short-lived wave supplied to all the Mersey Beat groups by the success of The Beatles. John goes to Roger, Pete and Doug Sandom and breaks the news. With one group called "The Detours" already appearing on national television, they realize they will have to change the name of their band.
On the 7th, The Beatles touch down at Kennedy International Airport (recently renamed after the President's assassination), officially beginning what will later be dubbed the "British Invasion" of America. That same evening The Detours gather at the art school flat on Sunnyside Road Pete shares with friend and fellow student Richard Barnes. Barnes later recalled: "The first two names that I thought of were 'the Group' and 'the Name.' Pete came up with 'The Hair.' Another contender was 'No-One,' or 'Ladies and Gentlemen, the next group is called "The Group."' But I finally thought 'The Who' worked best for many reasons. It made people think twice when they saw it and it worked well on posters because it was so short and therefore would print up so big...it narrowed down to a choice between either 'The Who' or 'The Hair.' Pete suggested 'The Hair and The Who' and seemed really keen on it, but it sounded too much like the name of a pub...The indecision was resolved by Roger who came around to the flat the next morning to pick Pete up...'It's The Who, innit?' So that was that and a new name had been born."
On the 20th, The Who play their first show under that name at the Oldfield Hotel In Greenford. Doug Sandom later recalls: "We finished our set and Lou took the mike and said, 'Who's up here next week?' and they're all going 'The Detours,' and he's going 'The Who,' and they're going 'The Detours,' and he's going 'The Who,' you know, and it was ridiculous."
New music releases: "Stop! In The Name Of Love" - The Supremes; "Eight Days a Week" - The Beatles; Introducing Herman's Hermits - Herman's Hermits; The Rolling Stones, Now! - The Rolling Stones
On the 12th, The Who head to Broadcasting House for their second audition for the BBC Radio's Light Programme at the ungodly hour for rock 'n rollers of nine in the morning. The BBC sniffily notes that two of the members are 25 minutes late for the recording. Once assembled in Studio S2 The Who perform "Baby Don't You Do It," "Louie Go Home" and "Shout and Shimmy."
On the 13th, two months after they had announced its imminent release, Billboard magazine contains a full-page ad for "I Can't Explain" declaring it to be a breakout hit in Michigan and Ohio.
On the 16th, The Who London 1965 perform at the Marquee Club where they are filmed for French television performing "Heatwave", "Tell Me More", "Shout and Shimmy" and "Smokestack Lightning". The footage is later broadcast on the ORTF TV 2 program Seize Millions De Jeunes March 18. Pete and manager Kit Lambert are both interviewed, the latter in French. Sticking to English, Pete expresses his doubts about marriage and mocks religious belief.
On the 19th, The Who learn by letter that J.E. Grant has given them the go-ahead to appear on the BBC Light Programme after they pass their audition of the 12th with four votes out of seven. The same day is more good news as "I Can't Explain" makes its first appearance on a British chart, popping up at #45 in Record Mirror. Four days later "I Can't Explain" shows up as well on the New Musical Express charts at #28. The single has been in stores for over a month.
New music releases: If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears - The Mamas & The Papas; "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration" - The Righteous Brothers; "Nowhere Man" - The Beatles; Ballads of the Green Berets - SSgt. Barry Sadler
On the 4th, The Who begin their first headlining "theatre" tour in a three day test run starting at the Astoria Cinema in Finsbury Park with support Screamin' Lord Sutch & the Savages, the Merseys, the Fortunes and the Graham Bond Organization. The other two nights are the Odeon Cinema in Southend-on-Sea (5th) and the Empire Theatre in Liverpool (6th).
On the 12th, Melody Maker reports that "Circles" is not working out as the next Who single. Little does anyone outside The Who and their immediate circle know exactly how much it isn't working out. In fact, on this day, The Who sneak into Olympic Sound Studios on Carton Street and record their new single "Substitute" and a new version of "Circles." Pete takes the job of producer from Shel Talmy with Terry Brown as engineer. John turns the single into one of his most prominent performances by turning up his amps when no one is looking. Keith Moon later calls Pete when he hears the single demanding to know who they got to drum on it. He has no memory of being at the session despite his noisy yell on the record.
Also on the 12th, "My Generation" reaches it peak on the U.S. Billboard charts at #74. New York station WMCA is reported to have finally started playing the single after overcoming objections raised by the Mothers League of Stammering Boys.
On the 18th, the news breaks in New Musical Express that The Who are leaving Brunswick and U.S. Decca for the new Reaction label in Europe and Atco in the U.S. Former producer Shel Talmy threatens the group with payback that he soon delivers, launching a lawsuit against the band and its managers.
"Substitute" was to have been released on the 18th but is stopped because of the lawsuit. That night The Who are safely across the border in Scotland, performing at the Volunteer Hall in Galashiels.
The 19th finds The Who at the Memorial Hall in Norwich followed by the Oasis Club in Manchester (20th). Immediately after this show, Colin Jones photographs the band for their appearance on the cover of next month's Sunday Observer magazine. The next day they play the Beachcomber Club in Preston.
On the 26th, Billboard gives some more details about The Who's migration to Reaction records. It is apparently a notable part of a new deal to have the U.S. label Atlantic move their output in the U.K. from British Decca to Polydor. The article also lists Robert Stigwood, who runs Polydor's new Reaction label that has gotten The Who, as "the group's agent". The article mentions that Shel Talmy has threatened legal action, that Atlantic will now issue The Who's records in the States, and that they will soon rush-release "Substitute".
New music releases: How Great Thou Art - Elvis Presley; "Happy Together" - The Turtles; Surrealistic Pillow - Jefferson Airplane; "Sweet Soul Music" - Arthur Conley
On the 1st, Swedish Television airs part one of a Popside special showing The Who recording "Bucket T." On the 5th, "Bucket T" backed with "So Sad About Us" is released in Sweden and the popularity of the Popside program sends the single to #1. It is The Who's biggest hit in that country. "Bucket T" is also released as a single backed with "Run Run Run" in Norway and Denmark.
Pete tells Beat Instrumental he is working on a full-length rock opera. Pete: "It takes place in the year 1999, when China is breaking out and is about to take over the world. The hero loses his wife and decides to go and live in this tiny country, which is about to be overrun by the Chinese. The hero goes through hundreds of situations, and there is music for each. He goes out in a boat and gets shipwrecked, he has a bad nightmare, and so on." Pete never finishes the work and part of it is subsequently released as "Rael" on The Who Sell Out but the publication of this article fires the pistol in the race for someone to be the first to actually put out a full-length "rock opera".
Who manager Chris Stamp moves The Who's New York business office into the same building housing Premier Talent on the 17th. The head of the agency, Frank Barsalona, had turned down The Who the year before, mistakenly thinking they were the clients of lawyer Allen Klein. Stamp takes advantage of Barsalona's absence on vacation to get his partner, Dick Freedberg to sign The Who. Barsalona, on his return, finds local disc jockey Murray The K desperate to book his lead client, Mitch Ryder, for his upcoming Easter extravaganza. Barsalona, hoping to either get rid of Murray or find a booking for this British band with which he is now saddled, demands he take The Who as well. Murray agrees to the price.
New music releases: "Honey" - Bobby Goldsboro; "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" - Hugo Montenegro; "Cry Like a Baby" - The Box Tops; "The Horse" - Cliff Nobles and Company
On the 1st, The Who and The Small Faces begin the long flight back to London from Auckland, New Zealand with stops at Fiji, Honolulu and San Francisco.
Rolling Stone magazine votes The Who the Rock and Roll Group of the Year, applauding "their totally original sound, their refreshing attitude, their fine instrumental work, and excellent song writing."
On the 11th, The Who go into IBC Studios to complete the recording of "Glow Girl" as well as recording the backing tracks for "Call Me Lightning" and "Little Billy."
Three weeks after their return from New Zealand, The Who face another long flight, this one to Los Angeles, to finish their new single and begin a six-week North American tour. Pete had flown over a few days earlier to meet Rick Chapman, head of Meher Baba Information at Berkeley.
On the 21st, the tour begins with a concert at the Civic Auditorium in San Jose, California. Pete arrives after being driven down the coast in Chapman's 1959 Lincoln Continental. Sagittarius and Blue Cheer open the show. Beginning with this concert, The Who introduce extended jams of "Shakin' All Over," "Relax" and "My Generation."
For the 22nd, The Who head up the coast to play Bill Graham's Fillmore West in San Francisco where a brand new $35,000 P.A. system has been installed. Opening acts are The Nice (taking the place of a last-minute cancellation by The Vagrants) and Cannonball Adderley and his Sextet. It is reported that The Who receive the highest fee yet paid for any artist to perform at this venue. Who manager Kit Lambert flies over from London to supervise recordings of this show and the next two nights for a album to be called The Who - Live At The Fillmore set for release that June.
On the 23rd and 24th The Who show moves over to The Winterland in San Francisco, a move prompted by high-ticket demand.
On the 26th, The Who return to Los Angeles and Gold Star studios to finish recording and mixing "Call Me Lightning" and "Little Billy." Prior to this, they head up to the Hollywood Hills for a photo shoot.
Around the same time (probably the 27th), The Who are taken to an abandoned warehouse in Hollywood by director Austin John Marshall who shoots a Monkees-style promo film for "Call Me Lightning" featuring a mechanical Keith being pursued by the other band members. It is later featured in the movie The Kids Are Alright with "Cobwebs and Strange" placed on the soundtrack.
On the 28th, The Who and their entourage board a bus for a three-day trip to Canada. Accompanying them is photographer and road manager Tom Wright plus a groupie. The groupie spends most of her time on board having sex with everyone but a reluctant Pete.
New music releases: Retrospective: The Best of Buffalo Springfield - Buffalo Springfield; "It's Your Thing" - The Isley Brothers; "Time is Tight" - Booker T & The MG's; "Only the Strong Survive" - Jerry Butler
On the 4th, manager Kit Lambert brings in the Guardian's rock critic Nik Cohn to listen to rehearsals of the song "Pinball Wizard" inspired by Cohn's love for the table-top game. Accompanying him is the young woman who is the subject of his book Arfur: Teenage Pinball Queen.
On the 6th, Down Beat magazine prints the article "The Who: an appreciation," in which Harvey Pekar declares The Who second only to The Beatles. This is the same Harvey Pekar who will later author the American Splendor comic.
On the 7th, The Who record the final studio version of "Pinball Wizard" at Morgan Studios in London.
On the 12th, the B-side for "Pinball Wizard," the instrumental "Dogs, Part Two," is recorded at IBC Studio A, London. It is at this point called "The Dark Side Of...".
New music releases: Sweet Baby James - James Taylor; Hey Jude - The Beatles; "ABC" - The Jackson 5; Morrison Hotel - The Doors
On the 10th, The Who record and mix the second song written entirely by Roger, "Here For More," at IBC Studio B in London for release as the B-side of "The Seeker."
Having given up pouring through all the concert tapes recorded during the 1969 North America tour to create a live LP, Pete has two concerts booked for The Who at the Universities of Leeds and Hull. Leeds is held first on Valentine's Day at a student refectory that seats only 2000. The entire concert is recorded although a loose cable creates a "crackling" noise. The Who are in top form, however, giving a particularly great performance. A small bit of the concert is shot on 16mm by a student. In 2007, the film is linked up with the audio and some of it is released on the Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who DVD.
The next night at Hull University features another great performance. This time there is no crackling but a quick listen to the beginning of the tape convinces Pete that the bass guitar was not recorded. The absence is later found to affect only the first four songs and the entire performance is released in 2010.
On the 20th, an inquest is held into the previous month's death of Keith Moon's chauffeur Neil Boland under the wheels of a car driven by Keith. The jury takes ten minutes to declare the death "accidental" and release Keith from culpability. The verdict pleases neither Boland's parents or the police, the latter wanting to bring charges against Keith for being drunk behind the wheel.
On the 25th, The Universal Spiritual League releases an album dedicated to Meher Baba called Happy Birthday. It is produced by Pete and features six Pete solo tracks including the demo for "The Seeker."
New music releases: Tapestry - Carole King; "Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)" - Raiders; Love Story - Andy Williams; Stoney End - Barbra Streisand
On the 1st, the videotaping of Frank Zappa's bizarre movie 200 Motels begins at Studio A at Pinewood Studios, concluding on the 7th. Keith plays a randy nun/groupie cavorting with other groupies before dying and ascending to heaven. Backstage, Keith meets and begins an affair with fellow actor and groupie Pamela Miller a/k/a Pamela Des Barres who will later write about their relationship in her book I'm With The Band: Confessions Of A Groupie.
On the 13th, the seventh "The Pete Townshend Page" called "Change - by taking people up" is published in Melody Maker. In it he discusses the purpose and plot of the Lifehouse film: "The Young Vic becomes the 'Life House', the Who become musicians and the audience become part of a fantasy. We have invented the fantasy in our minds, the ideal, and now we want to make it happen for real. We want to hear the music we have dreamed about, see the harmony we have experienced temporarily in Rock, become permanent, and feel the things we are doing CHANGE the face of Rock and then maybe even people."
Finally on the 14th, the first real session of Lifehouse begins at The Young Vic Theatre on London's South Bank. A special audience of 200 are invited to attend. Filming is scheduled but probably never occurred. However, the session is recorded, along with the other Lifehouse sessions, by Glyn Johns' brother Andy. The tape is not for release but for purposes of later review. Another session is held the next day.
New album releases: Harvest - Neil Young; "Tiny Dancer" - Elton John; Greatest Hits - Blood, Sweat & Tears; Eat a Peach - The Allman Brothers Band
On the 10th, The Who assemble at a studio in Blackfairs for Tony McGrath to shoot a recreation of their 1966 photo for a new cover article in The Observer. Keith is late in arriving from a Disc and Music Echo party at Hatchett's Club in Piccadilly where he and John accepted The Who's award for Best Live Band. John can be seen restraining Keith who has tried to attack the hapless photographer. The issue is released 19 March.
New records: Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite - Elvis Presley; Billion Dollar Babies - Alice Cooper; 16 Greatest Hits - Steppenwolf; "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" - Dawn featuring Tony Orlando
On the 16th, Billy Nicholls' "Forever's No Time At All" backed with "This Song Is Green," is released by Track in the U.K. The A-side was previously released on Pete's solo album Who Came First and is the only single released from that album. It features Pete on synthesized flute. The B-side credits Pete as recording engineer. The single fails to chart.
On the 17th, The New Seekers' cover "Pinball Wizard/See Me, Feel Me" hits the U.S. charts. It ultimately reaches #29 in Billboard, #21 in Cash Box and #16 in Britain.
New music releases: Skeletons from the Closet: The Best of the Grateful Dead - Grateful Dead; "Bennie and The Jets" - Elton John; What Once Were Vices Are Now Habits - The Doobie Brothers; "Hooked on a Feeling" - Blue Swede
On the 9th, The Who take Quadrophenia to Europe beginning at the Palais des Grottes in Cambrai, France supported by the Dutch band Alquin. By now Quadrophenia has been cut down to "The Real Me," "The Punk And The Godfather," "I'm One," "5:15," "Sea And Sand," "Drowned," "Bell Boy," "Dr. Jimmy" and "Love Reign O'er Me." The Parc Des Expositions in Paris show is on the 10th. The venue doors are opened eight hours before the show because of the crushing pressure of the crowd on the glass doors. The venue proves inadequate in another way. Three songs in, The Who blow the electrical transformer. Fifteen minutes pass before power can be restored.
Keith returns to Palais des Expositions, Les Arènes, Poitiers, France for a Who show on the 15th. On the 16th, a reception is organized by Polydor Records in Paris, in the Palace Hotel Georges V, where The Who receive gold discs for Quadrophenia. On the 17th, they play the Palais des Sports in Toulouse, France, Parc des Expositions in Nancy, France on the 22nd and Palais des Sports in Lyon on the 24th. After this show, most of the hated backing tapes for the live Quadrophenia are packed away, never to be used onstage again.
New music releases: Physical Graffiti - Led Zeppelin; An Evening With John Denver - John Denver; "Philadelphia Freedom" - Elton John; "Wildfire" - Michael Martin Murphey
On the 3rd, Ken Russell's bizarre re-imagining of the life of Franz Liszt, Lisztomania, begins a four-month shoot ending May 23. Roger, star of Russell's soon-to-be-released film, Tommy: The Movie, plays Liszt with Paul Nicholas (Cousin Kevin) as Richard Wagner, Ringo Starr as The Pope and Rick Wakeman, who is also supplying the soundtrack, as Wagner's creation Siegfried.
When he is not on set, Roger spends the early part of this month completing his second solo album, the disco-influenced Ride a Rock Horse.
On the 21st, John and Ox begin a U.S. tour occasionally opening for the J. Geils Band. The tour stops at the Civic Auditorium in Sacramento (21st), the Winterland in San Francisco (22nd and 23rd), and Long Beach Arena (26th). The night of Long Beach, MCA holds a promotional party for the release of the Mad Dog album. Both Pete, in town to promote Tommy: The Movie, and Los Angeles-native Keith attend.
On the 22nd, the soundtrack to Tommy: The Movie is released for the U.S. market a month ahead of the movie. It contains five new Townshend compositions and surpasses the chart position of the original album, reaching #2 despite widespread negative reviews in the rock press.
On the 28th, John's fourth solo album, Mad Dog, is released. With only one or two exceptions, the album is roundly panned by the rock press and sells less than John's previous efforts. It does not chart in the U.K. and reaches only #192 in its one week on the Billboard charts.
New music releases: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 - The Eagles; Silk Degrees - Boz Scaggs; Run with the Pack - Bad Company; A Trick of the Tail - Genesis
Hearing that Keith cannot control his ingestion of drugs and alcohol, The Who call him back to London ahead of the upcoming tour and demand that he see Meg Patterson, the acupuncturist who aided Eric Clapton in his addiction. Keith tells her and her husband that he is possessed by demons named Mr. and Mrs. Singh.
New album releases: Rumours - Fleetwood Mac; "Hotel California" - The Eagles; "The Chain" - Fleetwood Mac; Love at The Greek - Neil Diamond
Tony Klinger, director of videos for Roger's new solo album One Of The Boys, presents Who manager Bill Curbishley with a proposal for a film about the Who called "Kids Are Alright." Curbishley says he will present it to the band. He does tell Klinger that a young Who fan named Jeff Stein has been searching for old film and video of The Who but fails to mention that Stein has already received Pete's permission to make a documentary about The Who almost exactly the same as Klinger's and has already shown the band a ten-minute test reel.
On the 25th, Keith Moon checks himself into Cedars-Sinai Hospital to dry out for three days.
New records: Van Halen - Van Halen; Even Now - Barry Manilow; "Night Fever" - The Bee Gees; "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" - Meat Loaf
Pete expresses his displeasure over a violent argument between his parents by putting his hand through a glass window. The injury further delays recording on Who Are You.
New music releases: Spirits Having Flown - The Bee Gees; "Tragedy" - The Bee Gees; Rickie Lee Jones - Rickie Lee Jones; "Oliver's Army" - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
On the 6th, Tommy opens as a musical in London's West End. The script is based on the screenplay to the film written by Pete and Ken Russell. Allan Love stars as the afflicted hero and Paul Tomlinson and John Hole direct. The first nighters give it an enthusiastic but seated ovation. Chris Welch in Melody Maker gives it a positive review although he finds much of the story pretentious. Variety pans the production. It closes after 118 performances.
New music releases: Against The Wind - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band; "Shining Star" - The Manhattans; Greatest Hits - Rose Royce; Mad Love - Linda Ronstadt
Around the 13th, Pete arrives in Los Angeles to visit director Nicholas Roeg in an effort to get him to direct a film of Lifehouse. Roeg is not at his Los Angeles residence but his then-girlfriend, actress Theresa Russell, is. Pete, Theresa and a friend end up going that night to see Pink Floyd perform The Wall live. Before or after the show Pete uses cocaine, later saying it was the first time he had used hard drugs since becoming a Meher Baba disciple. Whether it was the influence of the drugs or the beauty of his companion, Pete becomes strongly infatuated with Ms. Russell and the next day shows up at Theresa's doorstep to make a plea for her affection. She turns down the smitten Townshend. This incident and financial woes brought on by The Who's film company investment, bring the second attempt to film Lifehouse to a failed conclusion.
On the 15th, Pete assembles his demo reel of songs for the new Who album at Warner Brothers Recording Studios - Studio C in North Hollywood. It is an all-night drink-and-drug-fueled session with Pete recording the demo for "Teresa," later retitled "Athena" for The Who's It's Hard album (Pete's demo is later released on Scoop 3) and guitar and vocal overdubs for the song "What Is Love".
On the 18th, Pete is back in London to play his demo tape for the assembled Who. The probable track listing is "Teresa," "It's In You," "How Can You Do It Alone," "Daily Records," "You Better You Bet," "Dirty Water," "Don't Let Go The Coat," "Dance It Away" and "What Is Love." The band is not enthused by what they hear. After listening time is over, Pete surprises Who mixman Bob Pridden by demanding he go out and score him some cocaine.
New music releases: Face Value - Phil Collins; Moving Pictures - Rush; Feels So Right - Alabama; "Jessie's Girl" - Rick Springfield
Starting on the 3rd, The Who play two nights at the Rainbow Theatre in London. The two hastily scheduled shows are a benefit for Erin Pizzey's Chiswick Family Rescue Organization and were requested by Pete's wife Karen. At the first show, Pete drinks four bottles of brandy on stage, improvises songs and long guitar solos without informing the other band members and stops the show to harangue the crowd.
Amazingly the U.K. tour continues after this with Pete better behaved but often noticeably drunk on stage. The next show is at the Brighton Centre (7th) followed by two nights at the Lewisham Odeon (8th and 9th), two nights at the Apollo Theatre in Glasgow (14th and 15th), two nights at the Playhouse Theatre in Edinburgh (19th and 20th), two nights at the City Hall in Newcastle (24th and 25th) and the Deeside Leisure Centre near Queensferry (28th).
Backstage, the night of the 8th, Pete is visited by Ringo Starr's son and daughter Zak and Lee Starkey. Zak is quite inebriated and Pete "in spite of my own excesses" gives Zak a scolding.
On the 27th, the first Who single recorded after Keith Moon's death, "You Better You Bet," is released in the U.K. The b-side is John's song "The Quiet One." It reaches #9 on the charts.
New album releases: Mountain Music - Alabama; Always on My Mind - Willie Nelson; The Concert In Central Park - Simon & Garfunkel; "Edge of Seventeen" - Stevie Nicks
On Valentine's Day, having beaten back his addiction to alcohol and drugs, Pete checks himself out of Meg Patterson's clinic and returns to London.Shortly afterwards Pete meets with Roger, John and Kenney who are already preparing to record a new album, rehearsing twice a week at producer Glyn Johns' home and using Andy Fairweather-Low as a stand-in for their absent guitarist. Pete is impressed with how good they sound but admits he only has two songs ready (probably "Theresa" now called "Athena" and "Popular" re-written as "It's Hard"). Hesitant to write more after The Who's lukewarm reaction to his Face Dances demos, Pete tries to find a common topic in which his bandmates are interested to make the basis of a new batch of songs. Not surprisingly, they find they have little in common except for a vague concern about the Reagan administration's escalation of the nuclear arms race and Margaret Thatcher's promotion of it. Pete sets off to write a politically-themed album addressing nuclear conflict, decreased spending on social services and other topical concerns.
On the 24th, MTV begins the "I Want My MTV" ad campaign featuring Pete, among others, declaring the phrase.
New records: "Beat It" - Michael Jackson; Frontiers - Journey; War - U2; "Total Eclipse of the Heart" - Bonnie Tyler
"It's Hard" backed with "Dangerous" is the last 45rpm single of new Who material released in the U.S. It fails to chart.
New music releases: Into The Gap - The Thompson Twins; Out of the Cellar - Ratt; "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" - Phil Collins; The Works - Queen
On the 17th, Roger's first solo album for WEA Records, Parting Should Be Painless, is released in the U.K. The title, based on a similar song title on the album, seems to be a comment on Pete's recent departure from The Who. The contents, which show Roger going in a "new wave" direction, do little to please the critics. Wayne King in Record calls it disappointing while Colin Irwin in Melody Maker says it has all the "zest of a caterpillar." The album does not make the charts.
New music releases: Control - Janet Jackson; The Ultimate Sin - Ozzy Osbourne; "Kiss" - Prince and The Revolution; "The Final Countdown" - Europe
On the 1st, the second single from Pete's solo album White City, "Give Blood"/"Magic Bus (live)" is released in the U.S. The 12" version also has "Won't Get Fooled Again (live)." Despite heavy rotation for the video on MTV, the single fails to chart.
Rolling Stone reports that Roger has started on another solo album and that in 1987 he and Pete will collaborate on a non-Who album. Pete later says that giving him the song "After The Fire" satisfied the need for them to work together.
On the 15th, Ted Hughes writes back to Faber & Faber's managing editor Matthew Evans about Pete's idea of an The Iron Man musical: "If Pete Townshend can make even a rambling kitten of The Iron Man, I'll be more than delighted. Spur him on."
On the 27th, Roger's tribute to Keith Moon, "Under a Raging Moon", is released in the UK. It is released in different formats including a double 45 EP pack with live cuts from 1985. It peaks at #43.
New music releases: "Man in the Mirror" - Michael Jackson; Now and Zen - Robert Plant; The Best of OMD - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark; Tear Down These Walls - Billy Ocean
On the 8th, The Who receive a Lifetime Achievement award from the British Phonographic Industry and perform during a live TV broadcast from Royal Albert Hall in London. No one probably knows it at the time, but it is Kenney Jones' last performance with The Who until 2014. The Who are faded out right after they start "Substitute" when the program overruns. Just before the show, Pete is told his daughter Aminta has been taken to the hospital with pneumonia. Pete comes within a hair of leaving and later says he regrets he didn't.
On the 12th, "My Generation" backed with "Substitute" is released as a single in Britain, peaking at #68. The 12" and CD version has, in addition, "Baba O' Riley" and "Behind Blue Eyes."
Roger appears on Entertainment Tonight and says he doesn't believe he will sing anymore because after poor sales for his last solo album he feels he no longer has an audience for his solo work.
New music releases: Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em - MC Hammer; Shake Your Money Maker - The Black Crowes; Damn Yankees - Damn Yankees; Here in the Real World - Alan Jackson
Rolling Stone magazine publishes their year-end readers' survey. The Who's 1989 tour places #2 for both Best Tour and Worst Tour, #3 for Comeback of the Year and #2 for Most Unwelcome Comeback. John is #2 for Best Bass Player.
New music releases: "Losing My Religion" - R.E.M.; Auberge - Chris Rea; Innuendo - Queen; Marc Cohn - Marc Cohn
Pete is stocking up at the computer store. "By February, I had access to a whole set of Apple computers for music, graphics, animation and word-processing."
On the 28th, Roger attends the premiere of Buddy's Song in London. The premiere is a charity showing raising money for the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre and HIV/Aids charity Positively Women. Buddy's Song, starring and co-produced by Roger, is based on the Nigel Hinton novel Buddy and a 1986 TV adaptation that also starred Roger. In the movie, Roger plays a middle-aged Rocker (as opposed to Mod) raising a teenage son who wants to enter the music business. The actor playing the son, Chesney Hawkes, releases a single from the movie, "The One And Only," that goes to #1 in the U.K. charts.
New music releases: Hard Workin' Man - Brooks & Dunn; "I Have Nothing" - Whitney Houston; "Rooster" - Alice in Chains; Live: Right Here, Right Now - Van Halen
On the 24th, Q magazine prints a letter by Chris Charlesworth decrying the sorry state of the Who's CD catalog and lack of a career-spanning boxset retrospective. The next day, Pete calls him up and gives him permission to begin a CD reissue program and the compilation of a Who CD boxset.
Pete completes two years of on-and-off recording for his next solo album Psychoderelict. On the 27th, he delivers the master tapes to Atlantic Records.
New music releases: Dookie - Green Day; "Streets of Philadelphia" - Bruce Springsteen; Reality Bites (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - Various Artists; Pronounced Jah-Nay - Zhané
On the 23rd and 24th, Pete, Roger and John Entwistle are reunited, somewhat, at Carnegie Hall as part of Daltrey Sings Townshend: A Celebration, an all-star-assisted Roger performance of Pete's songs with an orchestra led by Michael Kamen. Although Roger and John perform together, Pete performs his two numbers, "And I Moved" and "Who Are You," without either of his former bandmates. The three do not appear together on stage until the finale, a performance of "Join Together," where Roger and all the guest stars group on stage.
Other guests include The Spin Doctors doing "I Can't Explain," Alice Cooper doing "I'm A Boy," Linda Perry doing "Dr. Jimmy," Lou Reed doing "Now And Then," Roger, Sinead O'Connor and The Chieftans doing "Baba O'Riley" and "After The Fire," and Eddie Vedder performing "Let My Love Open The Door," "Squeeze Box," "Naked Eye," and "My Generation." A compilation of the two shows is cablecast that weekend as a pay-per-view special. Eddie Vedder's performances are edited out, according to Roger, "because he's a star."
New music releases: The Woman in Me - Shania Twain; Pieces of You - Jewel; Greatest Hits - Bruce Springsteen; "Dear Mama" - 2Pac
Des McAnuff, trying to get a movie version of Pete's musical The Iron Man made, meets with Warner Brothers who have agreed to put up $50 million. Their one requirement is that the title be changed to The Iron Giant to avoid copyright problems with the Marvel Comics' character.
New music releases: The Score - The Fugees; All Eyez on Me - 2Pac; "Don't Look Back in Anger" - Oasis; "Because You Loved Me" - Celine Dion
On the 11th, BBC Radio One airs an hour long special called Lifehouse: The One That Got Away. Excerpts from Pete's original 1970 script are performed by actors and Pete, Chris Stamp and Andy Johns discuss the failure of the Lifehouse idea to get rolling. Pete expresses great bitterness about it and his frustration at trying to get across to the other members of The Who what seemed to him a very simple idea.
New music releases: White on Blonde - Texas; Baduizm - Erykah Badu; Unchained Melody: The Early Years - LeAnn Rimes; Secret Samadhi - Live
On the 2nd, Pete holds a party at "LA 2" in London to celebrate the London staging of the musical Tommy getting 8 Olivier Award nominations. Pete plays a 75-minute set. John is also there but doesn't perform. Roger is then in Los Angeles working on the Showtime sitcom Rude Awakenings.
On the 16th, The Laurence Olivier Awards are handed out. Tommy wins for Outstanding Musical Production, Des McAnuff for Best Director, Chris Parry for Best Lighting Designer and Tim Hatley for Best Set Designer.
New music releases: Ray of Light - Madonna; International Velvet - Catatonia; The Wedding Singer - Various Artists; "This Kiss" - Faith Hill
On the 10th, The John Entwistle Band holds a record signing at Tower Records in Los Angeles. They sell a limited edition CD single of "When The Sun Comes Up" with vocal by Alan St. Jon intended for their forthcoming album Music From Van-Pires. Unfortunately rights issues over the music delay the album for over two more years by which time the song will have a new vocalist.
New music releases: "No Scrubs" - TLC; The Slim Shady LP - Eminem; FanMail - TLC; "It's Not Right But It's Okay" - Whitney Houston
On the 7th, The Times of London reports that the BBC has commissioned Pete to complete his rock opera Lifehouse for presentation as part of Britain's millennial celebrations
New music releases: The Better Life - 3 Doors Down; "Dancing in the Moonlight" - Toploader; "Pure Shores" - All Saints; Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants - Oasis
On the 2nd, Pete Townshend's commercial site www.eelpie.com comes on line shipping out orders for the boxsets Avatar and Lifehouse Chronicles.
On the 15th, BBC Sessions, the collection of live and studio Who tracks recorded for the BBC from 1965 to 1970, is released in the U.S. and Europe. European purchasers get the extra tracks "Man With Money" and the complete "Shakin' All Over/Spoonful" unavailable on the U.S. CD. However, U.S. purchasers have the option of getting a seven-track bonus disc unavailable in Europe if they buy BBC Sessions at Best Buy department stores. The CD peaks at #101 in the U.S., #24 in the U.K. and #50 in Japan. Arion Berger in Rolling Stone says it "highlights how mad, bad and dangerous the Who were in 1965." Billboard says "it's as good of an entry way as any into the Who's immense catalog." Gavin Martin in New Musical Express says "the contrasts they thrived on ensures freshness and excitement still springs with shocking directness from these recordings."
On the 25th and 26th, Pete presents Lifehouse Live at the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London, the theatre whose management rejected a Tommy performance by The Who back in 1969. The show features John "Rabbit" Bundrick on keyboards and some other members from the 1989-era Who. Roger is not present as he is in Australia at the time but John is a member of the audience. He spends most of the show hanging out at the bar signing autographs. The Lifehouse songs are performed in the style of Pete's original demos rather than The Who's interpretations made famous on Who's Next. Pete also premieres a new song, "Can You Help The One You Really Love?" The concert is simulcast and recorded on audio and video for later release on CD, DVD and the Internet.
New music releases: Everyday - The Dave Matthews Band; Brushfire Fairytales - Jack Johnson; "Ride wit Me" - Nelly; Wow Gospel 2001 - Various Artists
On the 16th, Pete publishes a letter he wrote to Mojo magazine in response to his mentioning that Kit Lambert, Brian Epstein and Robert Stigwood were gay in an article he had written the previous month about a 1967 meeting with John Lennon. In the letter he says that Who manager Kit Lambert never approached him sexually even when they were sharing a flat but that Robert Stigwood did. He also admits that, before his involvement with his future wife Karen Astley, he had doubts about his own sexual preferences.
New music releases: Come Away With Me - Norah Jones; O - Damien Rice; The Essential Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash; "Anything Is Possible/Evergreen" - Will Young
On the 7th, The Who plus guests perform for the Teenage Cancer Trust at Royal Albert Hall with supporting act The Electric Soft Parade. Pete puts in a lackluster performance telling the audience several times that he's bored.
The following night at the same venue Pete is a bit more alert but a trifle unsteady. At one point he falls offstage. This show will be the last in John Entwistle's 37-year career with The Who.
On the 13th, Pete answers questions from fans in The Independent. He says "I don't want to go into the studio with The Who. Roger does."
New music releases: Get Rich or Die Tryin' - 50 Cent; "Can't Stop" - Red Hot Chili Peppers; The Definitive Collection - Lionel Richie; "X Gon' Give It to Ya" - DMX
On the 5th, Roger Daltrey begins radio appearances in Britain discussing the upcoming Teenage Cancer Trust concerts. He makes headlines on the 9th during an interview on Virgin Radio when he describes the investigation into an alleged connection between Pete Townshend and child pornography on the Internet as a "witch hunt" and "the worst thing I have ever had to deal with in my life."
New music releases: "Candy Shop" - 50 Cent featuring Olivia; It's Time - Michael Bublé; "Dakota" - Stereophonics; G4 - G4
On the 9th, Roger Daltrey receives a "Commander of the British Empire" award from Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace for his charity work with the Teenage Cancer Trust. His wife Heather, his sister Jill and his grand-daughter Lily attend. Says Roger about the Queen, "I don't think she's a rock 'n' roll fan. She'd probably fall off her podium if she heard The Who's songs."
On the 22nd, Petra Haden's a cappella recording Petra Haden Sings The Who Sell Out is released by Bar/None records.
New music releases: "Hips Don't Lie" - Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean; "SOS" - Rihanna; Corinne Bailey Rae - Corinne Bailey Rae; In My Own Words - Ne-Yo
On the 4th, Pete Townshend posts one of the last chapters of his blog novella The Boy Who Heard Music. The climax takes place at a benefit concert for a New York rocked by terrorist attacks. Pete says in the comments section that he wrote this in 2000 and handed it in to his publishers a year before September 11. "The bombings I write about were meant to be London style bombings I imagined might one day come to NY. This was not prescience: after all terrorists had already tried - I think I was in NY when the car bombs went off underneath the building. After the bigger tragedy I thought about taking this part out of the story, but I included it without much modification."
On the 28th, Pete moves into his home studio, Oceanic, to record the backing tracks for the new Who album Endless Wire. Pete plays everything himself for the most part. Pino Palladino (bass), John Bundrick (keyboards) and Peter Huntingdon (drums) are pulled in to give a Who-like rock band sound to some tracks.
New music releases: "Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin')" - T-Pain featuring Yung Joc; "Cupid Shuffle" - Cupid; Life in Cartoon Motion - Mika; "Girlfriend" - Avril Lavigne
On the 8th, Pete Townshend and Roger perform a four-song acoustic set in London at a lunchtime press conference to mark the announcement of the band's European tour. Held at the Hospital venue in Covent Garden, the duo perform "Won't Get Fooled Again", "Behind Blue Eyes" "Mike Post Theme" and "Tea & Theater". Commenting on the tour, Pete says, "What holds Roger and I together is the music, and what we realize is that the audience put us there. When they vote us off, we'll go."
On the 9th, the world premiere of the official stage musical of Quadrophenia is performed by students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff. Director Tom Critchley, writer Jeff Young and musical director John O'Hara adapted the album under Pete's guidance. The musical contains no dialogue and fleshes out the story by including "Substitute" and "I Can't Explain" in the score.
On the 20th, Pete and Rachel hold an In The Attic show at the 160-seat Joe's Pub in New York's East Village. Pete plays a five-song acoustic set, but the highlight of the night has Pete duetting with Lou Reed on versions of the Velvet Underground classics "I'm Waiting For The Man," "White Light/White Heat" and "Pale Blue Eyes."
On the 25th, Pete begins blogging selections from his unfinished autobiography Pete Townshend - (who he?). Some parts of it will not make it into the official release Who I Am.
New music releases: "Ridin' Solo" - Jason Derulo; "Drop the World" - Lil Wayne featuring Eminem; "My Chick Bad" - Ludacris featuring Nicki Minaj; "All I Do is Win" - DJ Khaled featuring T-Pain, Ludacris, Rick Ross and Snoop Dogg
On the 4th, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey perform an acoustic set before hosting a press conference in Miami. Pete again responds to protestors against his presence due to his 2003 placement on Britain's Sex Offender's Registar. "I kind of feel like we're on the same side."
On the 7th, The Who perform a twelve-minute set during the half-time show at The Super Bowl. Roger later complains of lights that blinded him throughout the performance while Pete's underwhelmed response is "We had as much fun as we could have." The press grouses about The Who's age and complains about the lack of younger acts during the yearly sports extravaganza. Nevertheless, the next day's ratings show the Super Bowl had its biggest ever television audience with 106.5 million people watching the game and The Who.
Pete throws doubt on The Who's future in the latest issue of Rolling Stone claiming his tinnitus has returned and "if my hearing is going to be a problem, we're not delaying shows. We're finished." One note of hope is an in-ear monitor recommended by an audiologist that Pete will try out at a 30 March charity show.
New music releases: "Starships" - Nicki Minaj; Our Version of Events - Emeli Sandé; "Take Care" - Drake featuring Rihanna; "Part of Me" - Katy Perry
On the 10th, Pete Townshend announces he has joined a campaign to save one of West London's last remaining eel pie and mash shops. A. Cooke on the Goldhawk Road in White City was used as a filming location for the movie Quadrophenia. "I realise change is inevitable, but to think of Shepherd's Bush without Cooke's is inconceivable." The protest comes to nothing and A. Cooke closes July 2015.
New music releases: "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)" - Fall Out Boy; "Started from the Bottom" - Drake; "Lay Me Down" - Sam Smith; "Just Give Me a Reason" - Pink featuring Nate Ruess
The 2012/2013 touring edition of Quadrophenia spends its last month of touring North America starting off at The Oracle Arena in Oakland (1st) and the Reno Events Center in Reno (2nd).
The 8th and 10th find The Who back at The Joint in Las Vegas. Pete again slices his hand open doing windmills during "5:15" and the show is paused while he gets bandaged. During the encore, Roger Daltrey cuts two songs because audience members down front will not stop smoking even after Roger curses them out.
New Music Releases: "Psycho" - Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign; "Boo'd Up" - Ella Mai; "Friends" - Marshmello and Anne-Marie; "Love Lies" - Khalid and Normani
On the 8th, Roger calls in to Q104.3 to help announce Roger Daltrey Weekend and promote his upcoming show at Forest Hills Stadium.
On the 12th, Roger records a YouTube video supporting a man who is doing a charity walk through Italy to raise money for homeless charities.
Got anything wrong?
E-mail me by clicking HERE
Click on the Index button to go to the full history from the beginning through 2016.
Tweets by BrianInAtlanta
The Who: Concert Memories from the Classic Years, 1964 to 1976
The Who's Official Website
As always, thanks to
A note about photographs: