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Page updated November 1, 2022. 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.

November 1963

New music releases: "Sleigh Ride" - The Ronettes; "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" - Darlene Love; "I Want to Hold Your Hand" - The Beatles; With The Beatles - The Beatles

According to Pete Townshend's liner notes for Mose Allison's Greatest Hits, this was the month that he first heard Allison's music at Tom Wright's flat on Sunnyside Road. Wright, who came to the U.K. from Alabama, would introduce Pete to R&B, leaving him his gigantic collection of records after he is deported over a pot bust.

Detours article Detours article

On the 21st, the Acton Gazette and Post prints an article called "The Detours are finding a way to fame." According to Detours fan club president Angela Dives, over thirty people have joined the Detours fan club and the number is growing fast. Angela will dissolve the fan club when The Detours become The Who and will marry ex-Detour Colin Dawson in 1965.

30 Nov 1963 poster 30 Nov 1963 poster

On the 30th is The Detours' first performance at the Railway Hotel in Greenford, in a club that is a Mod hangout run by Pete's friend and fellow art school student Richard Barnes.

November 1964

New music releases: "Blue Christmas" - Elvis Presley; "Downtown" - Petula Clark; "I Feel Fine" - The Beatles; Blue Midnight - Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra

Out with "The High Numbers", in with "The Who" as the band returns once and for all to that name with their show at the Railway Hotel on the 4th, they play The Mine at Carpenders Park Station, on the 7th, the Trade Union Hall in Watford and on the 9th, the Corn Exchange in Rochester.

25 Nov 1964 ad 25 Nov 1964 ad

On the 7th, Who managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp place an ad for The Who in Melody Maker. It features the first known use of Richard Barnes' lettering of "The Who" and the slogan "Maximum R&B." Also in that issue is an address for The Who Fan Club.

Shel Talmy circa 1964

Having failed to sell The Who to a record label, Kit and Chris turn to The Kinks' producer Shel Talmy, having Pete write a song in the Kinks' style to present as a demo. This song, "I Can't Explain," is chosen by Talmy over Pete's other demo submission, "Call Me Lightning," for The Who's first single which Talmy records as an independent producer, then sells to Decca Records in the U.S. Around the second week of November, The Who go into the studio (The Who remember IBC Studios, Talmy clearly remembers Pye) and record "I Can't Explain". For the flip side, Talmy has the band record the African-American chain gang classic "Bald-Headed Woman" that Talmy is claiming as "author" due to the use of his arrangement (The Kinks had also been forced to record the song on their first album). Session guitarist Jimmy Page is present but does not play on the A-side, only the B because, according to John, Jimmy would not let Pete borrow his pedal to play some needed fuzz guitar. Another group, The Ivy League, are brought in to add backup vocals.

The Naturals It Was You The Naturals It Was You

Before "I Can't Explain" can be released, Pete Townshend gets his first published song credit on the 20th on the flip side of an obscure single. The Naturals' release on Parlophone, "Look at Me Now" has Pete's song "It Was You" on the B-side. Credit is shared with Eula Parker and Barry Gray as part of the publishing deal with Dick James the previous month. The single fails to chart.

1964 Marquee Poster 1964 Marquee Poster

On the 24th, The Who get their first major London booking, a sixteen-week residency on Tuesday nights (the lowest-attendance night) at The Marquee Club. To advertise the show, Kit and Chris plaster the West End of London with black posters designed by Pete's friend Brian Pike featuring a windmilling Townshend, a large "The Who" logo, and the legend "Maximum R&B." Copies of this poster are later included in the Live At Leeds album and the design becomes The Who's first iconic image. Fewer than thirty people attend despite free tickets given to Who fans at the Railway Hotel and free whisky bought for the audience by Kit and Chris. The Sneekers open for The Who.

November 1965

New music releases: A Man and His Music - Frank Sinatra; "Don't Mess With Bill" - The Marvelettes; The Best of Herman's Hermits - Herman's Hermits; The 4 Seasons' Gold Vault of Hits - The Four Seasons
Pete Townshend Record Mirror Nov 1965 Pete Townshend Record Mirror Nov 1965

On the 6th, Pete gives the Record Mirror the most accurate story as to why the Mod in "My Generation" is stuttering: because he is "blocked up" (high) on speed. Sentences later, he denies it. "No, he's not blocked; he just can't form his words".

On the 10th, The Who go back into IBC Studio A to complete their first album for a Christmas release. "The Good's Gone," "La La La Lies," "It's Not True" and "Much Too Much" are recorded. The next day is taken up by a flight to Manchester to play "My Generation" live on Top of the Pops, then back in the studio on the 12th to complete the album, recording "A Legal Matter" and an instrumental based on The Sufaris' "Waikiki Run" called "The Ox." Nicky Hopkins is present to play piano throughout both sessions and, at one point, he and Keith wander over to another studio and play on The Merseybeats' song "I Stand Accused," Nicky on piano and Keith on gong. The Who's first album that The Who would later claim took six hours to record is actually done from first track to last in seven months of intermittent trips to the studio.

1965 Glad Rag Ball programme 1965 Glad Rag Ball programme

On the 19th, The Who perform at the Glad Rag Ball at the Empire Pool in Wembley. The London Students Carnival, Ltd. assemble the all-star show at which The Who are third-billed. The Who perform in front of 10,000 people, their biggest audience to date but the demands of the gig cannot stop backstage Who tempers from boiling over on stage. Roger complains about the inadequate sound system and storms off halfway through the set. The rest of the band carries on until The Who's sound system is installed at which time Roger agrees to return. Some of the other acts are shouted down or pelted with pennies in what is agreed to be a disastrous concert.

My Generation Billboard ad My Generation Billboard ad

On the 20th, "My Generation" backed with "Out In The Street (You're Gonna Know Me)" is released in the U.S. The single doesn't do well in the States but becomes a gigantic cult influence on recently formed American garage bands.

Melody Maker 20 Nov 1965 Melody Maker 20 Nov 1965

On the same day Melody Maker breaks the story of the near firing of Roger. They claim that Roger has been fired and will be replaced by Boz Burrell of the group Boz's People. Manager Chris Stamp denies the rumors in "The Who split mystery." However, the rumors are at least partly true (Boz Burrell may have been considered but later said he was never approached for the job).

On the 27th, "My Generation" reaches its official U.K. peak at #2 being beaten out of first place by The Seekers' "The Carnival Is Over". Also on the 27th, Pete gets a call from ex-art-schoolmate Karen Astley. "We had a long, funny conversation and decided to start seeing each other".

November 1966

New music releases: Greatest Hits - The Temptations; "I'm A Believer" - The Monkees; "Snoopy vs. The Red Baron" - The Royal Guardsmen; "(I Know I'm) Losing You" - The Temptations

Prior to the 5th, The Who record an acoustic version of "Happy Jack" (not released until 1995) and various sections of Pete's mini-opera "A Quick One While He's Away".

Who to change labels! Who to change labels!

On the 5th, Record Mirror announces the formation of Track Records and says The Who will be the first act released on that label. They also say that The Who's new album will be titled "Jigsaw Puzzle."

On the 8th, The Who go into CBS Studios in London and record at least two takes of the backing track for their next single "Happy Jack". John and Keith then go to Regent Sound and record John's new composition, "I've Been Away," during a half-hour session while Roger and Pete are off at a pub. On the 10th, Roger records his vocals for "Happy Jack". It is at this time that Keith Moon is forced to lie on the floor of the studio so he won't add his off-key vocalising to the backing track. Keith impishly pops up just as the song concludes, causing Pete to proclaim "I saw ya!" that remains on the release version.

Ready Steady Who EP Ready Steady Who EP

Two 45's come out on the 11th. The official one is The Who's first U.K. EP Ready Steady WHO that was supposed to be live tracks from The Who's recent television special but, for legal reasons, have studio tracks substituted. It goes all the way to #1 on the U.K. EP charts but isn't released in the U.S.

La La La Lies Brunswick label La La La Lies Brunswick label

On the same day, Brunswick releases the last of its "spoiler" singles, "La La La Lies" backed with "The Good's Gone." It reaches #17 in Sweden but fails to chart in the U.K.

Also on the 12th, Kit Lambert in Record Mirror says that The Who's next album and single will not be the first releases on Track Records because of "certain difficulties" and will be released on Reaction instead.

Count Five Psychotic Reaction LP Count Five Psychotic Reaction LP

Around the 12th of this month a San Jose, California garage band, Count Five, releases their first album Psychotic Reaction with covers of two Who songs, "My Generation" and "Out In The Street." They are believed to be America's first recorded Who covers and begin the long-lasting influence of The Who on the U.S. garage and punk rock sound.

A Who fan club newsletter of this time gives a track listing for "Jigsaw Puzzle," probably as the album stood prior to the writing and recording of "A Quick One While He's Away." It is "I'm A Boy" (the version that ultimately ends up on Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy), "Run Run Run", "Don't Look Away", "Circles", "I Need You", "Showbiz Sonata" (later retitled "Cobwebs and Strange"), "In The City", "Boris The Spider", "Whiskey Man", "See My Way", "Heat Wave" and "Barbara Ann".

November 1967

New music releases: Magical Mystery Tour - The Beatles; Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. - The Monkees; Disraeli Gears - Cream; By the Time I Get to Phoenix - Glen Campbell

On the 2nd, the recording of The Who Sell Out is finally finished as Kit Lambert calls Pete in to IBC Studios in London to perform a solo number on acoustic guitar, "Sunrise." The track replaces the mock advertisement song "Jaguar" that will "grace, space, race" many a bootleg until its official release in 1994.

In the Melody Maker of the 4th a report of The Who package tour from opening act The Herd's 17-year old lead singer, Peter Frampton: "The Who were last on and their act was cut to three numbers. Pete Townshend did his nut. But it was understandable because they lowered the curtain on him. Some of our lighting which was left on stage got broken. But he apologized later. Actually, I'm afraid to speak to him at the moment!"

On the 11th, Billboard reports that The Who have signed a product endorsement contract with Vox and will use only Vox guitar and amps for the next five years in all public performances including radio, TV, movies and concerts. They record radio advertizements at the time that are not released commercially until 2021.

The Who at Shawnee High School The Who at Shawnee High School

On the 15th, The Who return to the U.S. for another tour. The 17th, sees them opening for The Buckinghams at the Shawnee Mission South High School in Overland Park, Kansas.

On the 17th, the scheduled release date for The Who Sell Out comes and goes after Odorono deodorant threatens to sue over their appearance on the album cover. Chris Stamp is sent out to negotiate with lawyers for all four of the products mentioned on the cover to get their permission to release.

On the 18th, "I Can See For Miles" reaches its chart peak in the U.K. at a disappointing #10. Pete, who thought the single an easy #1, is devastated and begins to feel he has lost the ability to write hit singles. Pete later said "I spat on the British record buyer".

Pete Townshend Cow Palace 1967 Pete Townshend Cow Palace 1967
Photo: Baron Wolman

Also on the 18th, The Who join the "Festival of Music" on the 18th at the Cow Palace in San Francisco with fellow acts The Association, the Everly Brothers, Eric Burdon and the New Animals, Sopwith Camel and the Sunshine Company. The Who are the curtain closers for the first half of the show. In the break between shows, Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner holds his first interview with Pete (printed in the Jan. 20, 1968 issue). Pete will become a near fixture in the magazine over the next decade, providing both lengthy interviews and articles.

On the 25th, The Who are back in New York as Billboard places "I Can See for Miles" at its peak chart position of #9. This will be the highest-placing single release in The Who's long career.

November 1968

New music releases: The Beatles [a/k/a The White Album] - The Beatles; Greatest Hits - The Association; Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell; "Build Me Up Buttercup" - The Foundations
Pete Townshend recording Tommy Pete Townshend recording Tommy
Photo: Baron Wolman

On the 9th, Melody Maker's Chris Welch reports on the recording of The Who's new rock opera, titled "Deaf Dumb and Blind Boy." Producer Kit Lambert says it will be ready for Christmas release.

On the same day, "Magic Bus" reaches its U.K. chart peak at #26, one position lower than their previous failed single "Dogs".

15 Nov 1968 NME article 15 Nov 1968 NME article

The 15th also sees New Musical Express carry the article "Pete Townshend keeps The Who live." Pete mentions that the hero of the opera plays pinball and the story ends at a holiday camp. The mentions of "pinball" and "holiday camp" mean that two events that will change the content of The Who's rock opera have already happened. Pete plays an early version of Tommy to The Guardian's Nik Cohn who considers the story of a deaf, dumb and blind kid who becomes a messiah "po-faced". Knowing Nik is a fan of the arcade game of pinball, Pete replies, "did I mention he's also a pinball champ?" Pete runs back home, writes a new song, "Pinball Wizard" and peppers the opera with references to pinball. The other event comes from the lengthy group discussions on how to end the opera. Keith chimes in wanting it to end at a holiday camp and offering to write a song for it. Pete is enthused by the idea but not of Keith writing a song for the piece, so he pens "Tommy's Holiday Camp" and credits it to Keith.

On the 30th, The Who's new U.S. album Magic Bus - The Who on Tour reaches its chart peak at #40, becoming their first album to break the Top Forty barrier.

November 1969

New music releases: Let It Bleed - The Rolling Stones; Willy and The Poor Boys - Creedence Clearwater Revival; Ummagumma - Pink Floyd; "Whole Lotta Love" - Led Zeppelin
Who denied lodging Who denied lodging

Before the Ohio University show at the Raccoon Creek Rock Festival in Athens, Ohio on the 7th, The Who are refused admittance to their hotel because they are "long-haired hippie entertainers who smoke marijuana and cause trouble." The student committee find the Who lodging in nearby Lancaster, Ohio.

On the 8th, Melody Maker announces that The Who will be performing their rock opera at London's Coliseum. Pete later reports that The Who tried to get Covent Garden but were refused. The refusal is particularly galling for Who manager Kit Lambert who had planned on The Who performing their rock opera Tommy there as an act of revenge for his father, composer-conductor Constant Lambert, who was blackballed by the famed opera house.

In the issue of the 22nd, Melody Maker prints a letter from composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber about whether his Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat has a better claim to the title of first pop opera than Tommy. Webber states that the first pop music opera was John Gay's 1728 The Beggar's Opera.

November 1970

New music releases: All Things Must Pass - George Harrison; Greatest Hits - Sly & The Family Stone; Tea for the Tillerman - Cat Stevens; American Beauty - Grateful Dead
Meher Baba on the cover of Rolling Stone Meher Baba on the cover of Rolling Stone

Meher Baba makes the cover of the Rolling Stone as Pete pens the cover story explaining his devotion to the avatar.

On the 30th, John begins recording the first Who solo album, Smash Your Head Against The Wall at Trident Studios. Recording will continue for the next two weeks with Keith dropping by to play bongos on "Number 29 (Big Chicken)" and to sing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" for the fade-out to "I Believe In Everything."

November 1971

New music releases: Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin; Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, Vol. II - Bob Dylan; Fragile - Yes; "Let's Stay Together" - Al Green
Peter Rudge Peter Rudge

Around this time Peter Rudge takes over the Who's management for their U.S. tours and other projects from the increasingly remote Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp.

Record producer Lou Reizner approaches Pete with the idea of releasing a fully orchestrated version of Tommy. Pete gives his blessing, forgetting that his manager Kit Lambert had dearly wanted to orchestrate the opera. Kit is deeply hurt when he finds out which drives another wedge between Pete and Kit.

Rolling Stone prints a lengthy review of Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy written by Pete.

The Who Charlotte ad 1971 The Who Charlotte ad 1971

On the 20th, The Who open their second North American tour of the year at the Charlotte (North Carolina) Coliseum. They are the first rock act to sell out this venue. Keith greets the crowd, "It's nice to see so many people in Charlotte. I didn't know there WAS this many people in Charlotte!" The pre-recorded tapes mess up and Pete almost drags Bobby Pridden over the amplifiers.


On the 26th, Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy is released by Track in the U.K. Kit Lambert had delayed the release trying to change the song selection but failed as too many copies had already been pressed. The album peaks at #9 in the charts.

The Who at a Warehouse ad The Who at a Warehouse ad

The month winds up with two nights at The Warehouse in New Orleans (29th and 30th). The first night at The Warehouse is later booted as Gutter Punks At A Warehouse. While in New Orleans manager Chris Stamp brings in rock critic Nik Cohn to work on the script for a Who movie. Pete suggests the title "Rock Is Dead, Long Live Rock" about the history and personalities of The Who. Nik accompanies the band on tour and interviews them for the script.

November 1972

New music releases: They Only Come Out At Night - The Edgar Winter Group; Burning Love and Hits from his Movies, Volume 2 - Elvis Presley; Europe '72 - The Grateful Dead; No Secrets - Carly Simon
Whistle Rymes Whistle Rymes

On the 3rd, John's second solo album Whistle Rymes is released in the U.K. The U.S. release is the following day. The album's name is deliberately misspelled in reference to the usual mistaken spelling of John's last name as "Entwhistle". The U.S. boosts the LP to #138 on the Billboard charts. A single, "I Wonder" backed with "Who Cares?" is released in the U.S. around the same time but fails to chart.

John continues recording his third solo album Rigor Mortis Sets In at Novasound Studios, London.

Orchestral Tommy booklet Orchestral Tommy booklet

On the 24th, the all-star recording of Tommy by the London Symphony orchestra is released in the U.K. In the U.S. it is released on the 27th. Pete sings the Narrator, Roger sings Tommy and John sings Cousin Kevin. The elaborately packaged double album reaches #5 in the charts and becomes the only non-bootleg Who-related album to be released in the short-lived Quadraphonic format. The success of the album will lead Rizner and Robert Stigwood to revive the idea of making a movie of Tommy.

Relay US ad Relay US ad

On the 25th, a new record featuring unadulterated Who is released in the U.S. "The Relay" backed with "Waspman" will peak at #39 in Billboard and #33 in Cash Box.

November 1973

New music releases: John Denver's Greatest Hits - John Denver; The Singles 1969-1973 - The Carpenters; "Piano Man" - Billy Joel; Piano Man - Billy Joel
The Who at Newcastle 1973 The Who at Newcastle 1973

On the 5th, the wear on the band caused by the complicated Quadrophenia material explodes into violence on stage. During the performance at the Odeon Theatre in Newcastle, Pete loses it during "5:15" when the tapes come in too slow. He attacks road manager Bobby Pridden, drags him over the soundboard, starts ripping up the tapes, before announcing to the audience that he will never play live again and stalking offstage. The curtain drops only to go back up ten minutes later as The Who with Pete come back onstage, perform a ten-minute jam of "Sea and Sand", and walk off for good.

Pete Townshend and Keith Moon on Look North Pete Townshend and Keith Moon on Look North
Photo: Graham Hughes

On the 6th. Pete and Keith appear on the local TV show Look North to apologize for Pete's actions the previous night and to declare that the tour will continue, as it does that evening and the next at Newcastle's Odeon Theatre.

The Who at Lyceum 1973 The Who at Lyceum 1973
Photo: Robert Ellis

On the 11th, the Quadrophenia tour moves to a three-night run at the Lyceum in London. Problems continue as the venue proves to be too small for The Who's gigantic stage rig, eliminating good seats in a venue that already had too few decent sightlines of the stage. This causes a crush to the front resulting in some twenty fans passing out from the pressure. The Who are forced to stop temporarily after the first three numbers so order can be restored.

On the 20th, what Rolling Stone will later dub "The Spooky Tour" begins at the Cow Palace in San Francisco with Lynyrd Skynyrd as the opening act on the tour. Beginning with this show "The Rock" is dropped from the already truncated Quadrophenia set list. They are lucky to get that much done as, before the show, Keith gets dosed with PCP and, after playing groggily throughout the concert, passes out, is revived after a half-hour break, returns and passes out for good during "See Me Feel Me".

Scott Halpin Scott Halpin
Photo: Michael Zagaris

Pete calls out for a drummer to replace Keith and 19-year old Scott Halpin is chosen from the audience to take his place. The Who plus Halpin play "Smokestack Lightning," "Spoonful" and "Naked Eye" before calling it a night. The show is simulcast on radio stations KSAN, KOME and KZAP and unofficially videotaped in black and white by promoter Bill Graham.

Cameron Crowe in the 70s Cameron Crowe in the 70s

After the show The Who and a still-comatose Moon fly to Los Angeles. Accompanying them is a 16-year old freelance rock writer who interviews Roger in first class. That 16-year old, Cameron Crowe, will later write and direct a fictionalized version of this time called Almost Famous and becomes one of the world's most famous Who fanatics.

November 1974

New music releases: Greatest Hits - Elton John; Heart Like A Wheel - Linda Ronstadt; Sheer Heart Attack - Queen; "Free Bird" - Lynyrd Skynyrd

On the 8th, Keith hosts In Concert (ABC-TV U.S.) from Los Angeles and performs a drum solo on a Perspex drum kit containing live goldfish.

Postcard picture sleeve Postcard picture sleeve
French picture sleeve

On the 23rd, a single from Odds and Sods, "Postcard" backed with "Put The Money Down," hits the U.S. charts, ultimately peaking at #64 in Cash Box. It is the first Who single in the U.S. with an Entwistle A-side. France also releases "Postcard" with "I'm The Face" on the B. John does not get the A-side in Japan, however, where "Long Live Rock" replaces "Postcard".

November 1975

New music releases: Greatest Hits - ABBA; Chicago IX: Chicago's Greatest Hits - Chicago; A Night At The Opera - Queen; History: America's Greatest Hits - America

On the 18th, The Who fly to New York to begin the first leg of their North American tour. Although the band is mostly itching to hit the road again and they have a new album to promote, the tour does have some elements of a moneymaking project due to the fact that the band's standing lawsuit with their former managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp has frozen all the proceeds from their songs and albums prior to The Who By Numbers. The freeze will remain in effect until early 1977.

75-11-20 ticket

On the 20th, The Who begin their 1975 North American tour in Houston at The Summit. The show is released on DVD in 2007.

Nov 20, 1975 post-show orgy Nov 20, 1975 post-show orgy
Photo: James Fortune

Tensions are relieved at an after-show album party held by MCA that turns into an orgy. Keith is photographed performing — in more ways than one — with topless groupies. The cops are called in and John and stage manager John "Wiggy" Wolff are arrested for "disorderly conduct". John finds the policeman who has arrested him shares his last name. When John tells him his name is also Entwistle, the policeman thinks John is making fun of him. John and Wiggy spend a couple of hours in jail before they are bailed out.

Squeeze Box US promo picture sleeve Squeeze Box US promo picture sleeve

On the 22nd, a single from The Who By Numbers, "Squeeze Box" backed with "Success Story" is released in the U.S. Pete considers "Squeeze Box" The Who's most embarrassing single but, to its author's shock and chagrin, it becomes a Top Ten hit, spending 16 weeks in the Billboard Top One Hundred, the longest chart action for any U.S. Who single.

November 1976

New music releases: Greatest Hits - James Taylor; A Star Is Born - Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson; "Carry On Wayward Son" - Kansas; "Somebody to Love" - Queen

On the 5th, the soundtrack for All This And World War II, containing Keith Moon's recording of "When I'm Sixty-Four," is released in the U.K. It peaks at #23.

Keith Moon as Rommel Keith Moon as Rommel

On the 11th, All This And World War II has its world premiere in Los Angeles. Keith Moon attends, dressed appropriately as Field Marshal Rommel. The movie leaves critics incredulous that a movie made up of nothing more than Beatle covers with World War II footage over it was ever approved by 20th Century-Fox. It quickly vanishes rarely to be seen again.

November 1978

New music releases: Greatest Hits 1974-1978 - The Steve Miller Band; "September" - Earth, Wind & Fire; Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits Volume 2 - Barbra Streisand; The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire - Vol. 1 - Earth, Wind & Fire

John travels to Los Angeles to negotiate with MCA over how much of The Who's original recording of Quadrophenia can be used on the Polydor soundtrack for the film. MCA will only agree to allow 50% of the original album to be used, insisting that if The Who want to use more, they will have to record all new versions.

John Entwistle and Maxene John Entwistle and Maxene

Also during this trip John starts dating Maxene, a waitress at the Hard Rock Café in Los Angeles. She will ultimately become My Wife #2.

November 1979

New music releases: The Wall - Pink Floyd; "Rock With You" - Michael Jackson; ELO's Greatest Hits - Electric Light Orchestra; "Another Brick in The Wall" - Pink Floyd

On the 19th, Pete begins recording the first solo album for his new contract with Atlantic Records with producer Chris Thomas.

On the 21st, Pete and John "Rabbit" Bundrick attend a party at the home of Mike and Sue Vickers. Pete invites Sue and her daughter Jackie to accompany The Who on the upcoming U.S. tour. They agree. Sue will ultimately leave her husband to marry Rabbit, a marriage that will last until her death in 2007. Pete, keeping it all in the family, begins an affair with the daughter that runs through the next year and inspires the song "You Better You Bet".

November 1980

New music releases: Greatest Hits - Aerosmith; Hi Infidelity - REO Speedwagon; Eagles Live - The Eagles; The Jazz Singer - Neil Diamond
Bill Szymczyk and Kenney Jones Bill Szymczyk and Kenney Jones

On the 4th, The Who and producer Bill Szymczyk are back at work on the long-delayed Face Dances album as the soon-to-be hit single "You Better You Bet" is recorded at Odyssey Studios. Szymczyk had been unable to record The Who over the last several months due to injuries he sustained in a car accident followed by a commitment to produce The Eagles' live album.

November 1981

New music releases: Business As Usual - Men At Work; Memories - Barbra Streisand; For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) - AC/DC; Diary of a Madman - Ozzy Osbourne

Pete puts himself into a hypnotherapy clinic for five days in an effort to overcome his drug and alcohol addictions. Also during this month, a doctor prescribes the anti-anxiety drug Ativan. Pete becomes addicted to that as well.

November 1982

New music releases: Thriller - Michael Jackson; Greatest Hits Volume 2 - The Eagles; Records - Foreigner; The John Lennon Collection - John Lennon

Rolling Stone reports that Pete and Roger got in a backstage argument during the previous leg of the North American tour about why this was the final tour. They also report that Roger's sister has died of cancer. Her death will eventually lead Roger to his work with the Teenage Cancer Trust.

November 1984

New music releases: Like A Virgin - Madonna; Make It Big - Wham!; Reckless - Bryan Adams; Alf - Alison Moyet

On the 4th, ITV begins airing an ad for the American Express credit card featuring Roger at his trout farm.

Who's Last UK cover Who's Last UK cover

On the 9th, the live double-album Who's Last is released. John's original version, beginning with a late Keith Moon-era Who performance and continuing up to the 1982 tour, is rejected by MCA because it does not concentrate on The Who's well-known hits. John abandons the project and the album is hastily cobbled together by Dave Langston, mostly from The Who's December 14th and 15th, 1982 concerts at Richfield Coliseum in Cleveland, Ohio. There is a simultaneous release of a single "Twist and Shout" backed with "I Can't Explain." The album receives the worst reviews of The Who's entire career. Wayne King in Record dubs it "a stinking piece of product," while Kurt Loder in Rolling Stone says no major band has ended their career "on so sour and sickening a note." The album peaks at #48 in the U.K. and #81 in the U.S. The single does not chart.

On the 13th, Pete and Roger have their first joint interview since the breakup of The Who on BBC2's Whistle Test. Almost a year after Pete left The Who, the atmosphere between the two appears conciliatory.

November 1985

New music releases: Promise - Sade; The Broadway Album - Barbra Streisand; Now That's What I Call Music! 6 (U.K.) - Various Artists; Now - The Christmas Album - Various Artists
Pete Townshend Brixton 1985 ad Pete Townshend Brixton 1985 ad

On the 1st, Pete performs at Brixton Academy with an additional show the next evening, the proceeds of both shows going to Pete's Double O charity. David Gilmour of Pink Floyd plays electric guitar while Pete sticks to acoustic. Pete's backing band Deep End will eventually form the nucleus of the 1989 touring Who. The performances are recorded and filmed and later released on vinyl, CD and videotape.

Face The Face US PS Face The Face US PS

On the 2nd, Pete's new single "Face The Face" backed with "Hiding Out" from the White City album is released in the U.S. It fails to chart in the U.K. but becomes Pete's last Top Forty single hit in the U.S. The accompanying video goes into heavy rotation on MTV. On the same day the all-star "Sun City," credited to Artists Against Apartheid, enters the U.S. charts. Pete is one of the artists. The single peaks at #38 in the U.S. but goes to #21 in the U.K.

White City Movie Ad White City Movie Ad

On the 27th, Pete's mini-movie White City is released on videodisc and videotape. The film shows Pete playing a fictional version of himself, visiting an old working-class friend who is recently divorced from a swimming instructor and lives in the titular housing project. Following the movie is an explanatory interview with Pete and an in-studio performance of a song not included on the accompanying LP, "Night School."

November 1987

New music releases: Whenever You Need Somebody - Rick Astley; All The Best! - Paul McCartney; "Fairytale of New York" - The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl; Now That's What I Call Music! 10 (UK) - Various Artists
John Entwistle Blood Drive 1987 John Entwistle Blood Drive 1987

John begins his first solo tour of the U.S. since the breakup of The Who. Backing him is a Westchester band called Rat Race Choir with Dave Chmela on vocals, Mark Hitt on guitar, Jack Hotop on keyboards and Steve Luongo on drums. On the 6th, John and the band are interviewed on Howard Stern's radio show in New York. That night or the next sees their first performance of the tour at The Chance in Poughkeepsie. On the 8th, they are part of the K-Rock Rock and Roll Up Your Sleeve Blood Drive at The Bottom Line in New York. The audience is made up of the first 400 people who volunteer blood for the drive and John is interviewed by CNN.

The Daily Express reports that John is seeking to sell his mansion near Stow-on-the-Wold to pay his back taxes.

November 1988

New music releases: Greatest Hits - Journey; Greatest Hits - Fleetwood Mac; G 'N R Lies - Guns 'n Roses; Private Collection: 1979–1988 - Cliff Richard

On the 9th, Westwood One holds a live album party to celebrate the coming U.S. release of Who's Better Who's Best. Pete and John in London and Roger in Budapest field questions from listeners. Pete denies that The Who are recording a new album. Kenney Jones' absence is thought to confirm rumors that he is no longer a member of The Who.

November 1989

New music releases: ...But Seriously - Phil Collins; The Best of Rod Stewart - Rod Stewart; Greatest Hits 1982-1989 - Chicago; Affection - Lisa Stansfield

On the 2nd, The Who wrap-up their 25th Anniversary tour with a final night at the Royal Albert Hall in London. It is The Who's last performance before a paying audience for over six years.

November 1990

New music releases: The Immaculate Collection - Madonna; Serious Hits... Live! - Phil Collins; Carreras Domingo Pavarotti in Concert - The Three Tenors; I'm Your Baby Tonight - Whitney Houston
My Gay Secret My Gay Secret

At the beginning of the month, a press release is issued about details included in the newly-published book of interviews Rock Lives by Timothy White. One of those details contains some out-of-context remarks Pete made about the song "Rough Boys" that seem to imply that he is gay. The press grabs this misperception and runs with it, with headlines such as "My Gay Secret," "Out of The Closet," and "I Am Woman". Pete refuses to contradict the reports. Recalling the "scandal" three years later he says, "I don't want to let it be known that it is in any sense an important part of my self-image to be thought of as a breeder. I don't want to deny bisexuality as if I were being accused of child molestation or murder, as if it were some crime or something to be ashamed of, because that would be cruel to people who are gay". He finally officially denies being gay in 1999.

November 1991

New music releases: Dangerous - Michael Jackson; Achtung Baby - U2; We Can't Dance - Genesis; Shepherd Moons - Enya

Des McAnuff, assigned to put together a musical version of Tommy, begins meetings with Pete at the Royalton Hotel in New York. In the two months since he badly injured his wrist, Pete has been questioning his relatives about his past and he will weave some of his family revelations into the musical.

November 1993

New music releases: Greatest Hits - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers; The Colour of My Love - Celine Dion; The Sign - Ace of Base; So Far So Good - Bryan Adams

On the 23rd, Pete is interviewed by Terry Gross on the National Public Radio (U.S.) program Fresh Air. He discusses how, after his 1991 hand injury, he began to investigate his childhood and discovered he had repressed memories of abuse by his grandmother.

November 1994

New music releases: Crazysexycool - TLC; MTV Unplugged In New York - Nirvana; Hell Freezes Over - The Eagles; Miracles: The Holiday Album - Kenny G

Roger and John's lawsuit with Pete over money due from The Who's Tommy comes to an end as their attorneys request an additional $75,000 to proceed.

November 1999

New music releases: All The Way... A Decade of Song - Celine Dion; 2001 - Dr. Dre; Breathe - Faith Hill; Now That's What I Call Music! 44 (U.K.) - Various Artists

During rehearsals for their upcoming Chicago shows, Roger and Pete get into a heated argument and Roger walks out of the reunion. Pete gets him to return by writing Roger a letter telling him their friendship is the most important thing they share.

The Who and Eddie Vedder 1999 The Who and Eddie Vedder 1999

On the 12th, The Who perform for the first of two nights at the House Of Blues in Chicago. Tickets for the event, held to raise money for the Maryville Academy, are $300. The opening band is Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and his other band C Average. Pete suffers with painful tinnitus due to the proximity of Zak Starkey's drums. Also, for the first time after Pete Townshend had written the song for The Who to perform at Live Aid in 1985, The Who finally get around to playing "After The Fire.". It is later released on the short-lived CD From The Blues To The Bush.

Pete Townshend Q magazine Nov 1999 Pete Townshend Q magazine Nov 1999

Pete answers questions posed by fans in Q magazine. He takes exception to someone calling Roger Daltrey "a wanker" saying, "He made me who I am. I owe him a lot and I love him".

On the 29th, The Radio Times prints an interview with Pete in which he says he's not gay, he has a girlfriend, and he and his wife Karen are currently separated.

November 2000

New music releases: 1 - The Beatles; A Day Without Rain - Enya; Black & Blue - Backstreet Boys; The Platinum Collection: Greatest Hits I, II & III - Queen
The Who on The Simpsons The Who on The Simpsons

On the 5th, The Simpsons airs their 250th episode "A Tale of Two Springfields" in which Homer tries to restore his divided hometown by getting The Who to perform. Roger and John voice themselves while Pete's brother Paul provides his sibling's voice. Excerpts of "The Seeker" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" are used in the program.

Pete Townshend Birmingham 2000 Pete Townshend Birmingham 2000
photo: Ross Halfin

"Won't Get Fooled Again" stays in the spotlight as, on the 7th, Election Day in the U.S., Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush uses the song during a political rally. Word gets back to Pete who, on stage at Birmingham NEC on the 8th, states, "He didn't ask my permission, I don't know if he asked Roger's, so the new President of the United States is what I would call a c**t". Roger replies, "He'll hang you for that" referring to the former Texas Governor's record for executions. It is the first but not the last time the paths of The Who and the new U.S. President cross.

On the 9th, Time magazine prints a letter by Pete stating, "I don't really give two shits who uses it. Even some Who fans get its intention wrong don't they?" He goes on to note that for him, a big political issue would be the lack of state-supported health care for the poor making America seem "a much more brutal country than it really is."

On the 16th, Rolling Stone declares "My Generation" the 33rd best pop song of all time.

On the 22nd, Pete reports on his website that Roger got upset when he had announced that there would be no Who album recorded anytime soon. He had to telephone him and calm him down.

Royal Albert Hall ad 2000 Royal Albert Hall ad 2000

On the 27th, The Who headline a charity show benefiting the Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Albert Hall. Special guests joining The Who on stage are Eddie Vedder, Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, Bryan Adams, Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics and violinist Kennedy. The show is broadcast in a truncated version on OnDigital TV in the U.K. and later released in DVD and CD formats.

November 2003

New music releases: Number Ones - Michael Jackson; Greatest Hits - Red Hot Chili Peppers; Call Off the Search - Katie Melua; Closer - Josh Groban
Greg Lake during Real Good Looking Boy recording Greg Lake during Real Good Looking Boy recording
Photo courtesy: John Bundrick

On the 13th, Pete announces on his website that The Who will be performing 29 March 2004 at the Royal Albert Hall. Also recently finished is the recording of his song "Real Good Looking Boy" that will become the first studio track by The Who to be released in thirteen years. Performing on the song are Pete, Roger, Simon Townshend, Zak Starkey, John Bundrick and, replacing a touring Pino Palladino, Greg Lake. The session is filmed by famed documentarian D. A. Pennebaker and is released on DVD in 2007.

November 2004

New music releases: Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson; Encore - Eminem; Love. Angel. Music. Baby. - Gwen Stefani; How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb - U2

On the 10th, Pete announces that the forthcoming Who album "will not be a concept album" and his working title, "Who2," "is only partially tongue-in-cheek." He also announces that he will not add to what he has already published of his planned book on how the Internet has fostered child abuse, A Different Bomb. "I can't venture publicly into this area again."

November 2006

New music releases: Konvicted - Akon; Beautiful World - Take That; Daughtry - Daughtry; "Snow (Hey Ho)" - Red Hot Chili Peppers

On the 18th, Endless Wire hits its U.S. peak at #7 on the Billboard charts. It also peaks at #2 on Billboard Rock Albums chart.

November 2007

New music releases: Spirit - Leona Lewis; The Ultimate Hits - Garth Brooks; As I Am - Alicia Keys; Exclusive - Chris Brown
View From A Backstage Pass CD View From A Backstage Pass CD

On the 5th, The Who's official website,, is launched. New members receive as bonus a special 2-CD set of archival live Who recordings View From a Backstage Pass. The CD is mixed by long-time Who soundman Bob Pridden with Sean Witt. Pete and Roger both write messages for the opening although Roger admits "I feel about as useful as a pork chop in a synagogue with all this Internet bollocks."

November 2009

New music releases: I Dreamed a Dream - Susan Boyle; My World - Justin Bieber; The Fame Monster - Lady Gaga; Greatest Hits - Foo Fighters
Roger Daltrey Clearwater 2009 Roger Daltrey Clearwater 2009
Photo: Tracy May

A problem appears for Roger during this month's extensive tour of North America. He loses his voice in the middle of the Cleveland show and cancels a gig in Baltimore due to "a sore throat". It is much more than that. Roger is suffering from pre-cancerous nodes on his vocal chords and he is on the tour as possibly his last if a planned operation in December fails to recover his voice.

November 2011

New music releases: Take Care - Drake; "The Motto" - Drake featuring Lil Wayne; Up All Night - One Direction; Talk That Talk - Rihanna
Roger Daltrey and Robert Plant at opening of Townshend-Daltrey Cancer Center Roger Daltrey and Robert Plant at opening of Townshend-Daltrey Cancer Center
Photo: Jae C. Hong

On the 4th, Roger Daltrey and Robert Plant join to open the UCLA Daltrey/Townshend Teen & Young Adult Cancer Program at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The ward, the first of its kind in the United States, is inspired by the similar wards Teenage Cancer Trust had opened in the U.K. and marks the beginning of The Who's personal push to bring cancer care to teenagers and young adults in the U.S.

November 2012

New music releases: "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Taylor Swift; "Clarity" - Zedd; Take Me Home - One Direction; "Scream & Shout" - and Britney Spears

On the 12th, Roger and Pete address a packed lunchtime crowd at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Roger leads the way speaking in support of the Who Cares charity and the new Teen Cancer America, meant to continue the work of Britain's Teenage Cancer Trust to the United States. Pete does his part later participating in an interview and call-in on National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation.

Chris Stamp, Mike Shaw, Jack Lyons Chris Stamp, Mike Shaw, Jack Lyons
Chris Stamp, Mike Shaw, "Irish" Jack Lyons
Photo: Jack Lyons

The Who family also suffers some great losses during the month. On the 17th, Mike Shaw, original member of the crew from the High Numbers days, passes away. Then on the 24th, Chris Stamp, half of the Lambert & Stamp management team that brought The Who to fame, dies at age 70.

November 2013

New music releases: "Happy" - Pharrell Williams; "Say Something" - A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera; Frozen - Original Soundtrack; Midnight Memories - One Direction

During this month, Roger records the album Going Back Home with guitarist Wilko Johnson who has been told he is dying of pancreatic cancer. The recording takes a week and uses Wilko's touring band of bassist Norman Watt-Roy and drummer Dylan Howe. The studio is Yellow Fish in Uckfield (Roger: "Unfortunate name for a place, but a great studio.")

On the 17th, Roger announces his political move to the right in The Sunday Times Magazine. He denounces the Labour party, claiming they allowed mass immigration and by doing so undermined British workers. "I will never forgive them for destroying the jobs of my mates, because they allowed their jobs to be undercut with stupid thinking on Europe, letting them all in, so they can live 10 to a room working for Polish wages." He says he will not rule out voting for Nigel Farage of UKIP in the next election.

November 2014

New music releases: "Uptown Funk" - Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars; "Blank Space" - Taylor Swift; "Time of Our Lives" - Pitbull & Ne-Yo; "Take Your Time" - Sam Hunt
The Who blue plaque 2014 The Who blue plaque 2014
Photo: Judy Totton

On the 16th, The Who receive a blue plaque from The Heritage Foundation (U.K.) unveiled at The Goldhawk Club. A reception is held afterwards at the Marriott Hotel Regents Park.

On the 17th, HD Tracks and iTunes release a completely new stereo remix of the album My Generation with missing parts from the surviving tapes "recreated" by Pete and Roger.

On the 23rd, The Who kick off their The Who Hits 50! tour at the Yasalam After-Race Concert at du Arena, Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It is The Who's first concert in the Middle East.

November 2015

New music releases: 25 - Adele; "Baby Shark" - Pinkfong; "Love Yourself" - Justin Bieber; "Stressed Out" - Twenty-One Pilots

The Who Hits 50! tour remains in limbo as Roger continues to battle the effects of meningitis.

November 2017

New music releases: "Heaven" - Kane Brown; "Him & I" - G-Eazy and Halsey; "Up Down" - Morgan Wallen; "Rumor" - Lee Brice

On the 1st, Pete presents the Artist Loyalty award to long-time Who manager Bill Curbishley at the 2017 A&R Awards in London.

Roger cannot attend as he is continuing his solo tour of North America on the 1st at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida. Additional dates are at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre in St. Augustine, Florida on the 3rd with Edgar Winters opening, and the Avalon Ballroom Theatre at the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario on the 6th and 8th.

On the 11th The Mirror reports that The Who have negotiated to take over Sir Elton John's residency at the Colosseum Theatre at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. They are expect to get £250,000 per night.

Ray Davies Tom Jones Roger Daltrey Ray Davies Tom Jones Roger Daltrey

Roger is back in London on the 13th as 600 people gather to witness the unveiling of "The Adoration Trilogy: In Search of Apollo" in the Raphael Gallery of the Victoria & Albert Museum. The photo collage is created by British photographer Alistair Morrison who, with the aid of Roger, took pictures of 60 legendary men of rock and pieced them together in one image using digital technology. Alice Cooper, John Paul Jones, Donovan, Kenney Jones, Peter Frampton, Bill Wyman, Peter Gabriel, Sir Tom Jones, Paul Weller, Sir Ray Davies, Carl Palmer, Chris Farlowe and Sadie Frost join Roger at the unveiling. The project benefits Teen Cancer Trust and The Who's charity Teen Cancer America.

On the 16th, Billy Corgan decries in an interview the lack of interest in new music by living rock legends: "It's no longer 'I hope I die before I get old.' Pete Townshend was just through Chicago doing 'Quadrophenia' with Eddie Vedder and an orchestra, right? So these works live on. But Pete Townshend is one of the greatest living songwriters in the world, there should be more interest in his new work than the past. It should be proportionate - that's going to be my argument until the day I die. I think people will one day kick themselves that they didn't take more advantage of these great living artists - and I mean LIVING in capital letters - and use that vitality. Pete Townshend should be documenting, and I'm sure he is, he should be documenting every stage of his life, not just when he put on skinny trousers. You know what I'm saying?"

Speaking of new Pete Townshend music, Elkie Brooks says in an interview on the 26th that Pete has written a new song for her which will be on her next album. Unfortunately, it appears that to date, her recording of the song has not yet been released.

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