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Page updated July 1, 2024. This is a highly abridged version of all the things that happened to and around The Who in July Click for access to the full history.

July 1956

New music releases: "Don't Be Cruel"/"Hound Dog" - Elvis Presley; "My Prayer" - The Platters; "Canadian Sunset" - Eddie Haywood and Hugo Winterhalter; "Honky Tonk" - Bill Doggett
Gaiety Theatre, Douglas

On the 28th, Cliff Townshend takes his son Pete to a showing of a movie featuring the rock 'n roll music of Bill Haley and His Comets at the Gaiety Theatre, Douglas. Pete remembers the movie as being Rock Around The Clock although, given the date, it is almost certainly Blackboard Jungle. In any case, swing band member Cliff declares the music "not bad" but young Pete finds the new style "amazing."

July 1962

New music releases: "She's Not You" - Elvis Presley; The Music Man (Original Soundtrack) - Various Artists; Ray Charles' Greatest Hits - Ray Charles; "Palisades Park" - Freddy Cannon
Doug Sandom

Doug Sandom becomes the drummer for The Detours. He is not only older than the rest of the band, but has eight years more performing experience than they do. His first full-time gigs with the Detours start this month with a five-week occupancy at the Paradise Club.

Keith Moon and The Escorts

Sometime late in the month, Keith Moon gets his first steady position as drummer with the band The Escorts.

On the 30th, the Detours' rhythm guitarist Roy Ellis drowns while swimming in the Thames. The Detours inherit his Vox 15s amp.

July 1963

New music releases: Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash; Trini Lopez at PJ's - Trini Lopez; "Sweets for My Sweet" - The Searchers; "My Boyfriend's Back" - The Angels
Detours tape box

Around this time The Detours have their only recording session in the basement of the home of Barry Gray, the musical director of the children's TV programme Thunderbirds. The Detours are go with two Pete Townshend songs, "It Was You" and "Please Don't Send Me Home" plus Chuck Berry's "Come On," then in release by The Rolling Stones. The tape resurfaces in the early 2000's, but has not yet been released.

July 1964

New music releases: Something New - The Beatles; "Dancing In the Street" - Martha Reeves & The Vandellas; "A Hard Day's Night" - The Beatles; The Best of Jim Reeves - Jim Reeves
Im The Face 1964 Fontana promo

On the 3rd, "Zoot Suit" backed with "I'm The Face" and listed as by "The High Numbers" is released on Fontana Records in the U.K. Derek Johnson in New Musical Express says, "The High Numbers are highly topical with their novelty lyric about male attire, 'Zoot Suit.' Medium twister, but with an inconsequential tune. Harmonica leads into broken-beat unison vocal on 'I'm The Face.' Compelling styling, but weakish material." Record Mirror, however, gives the single a rave, calling "Zoot Suit," "an ultra-commercial blues-flavoured dance tune that grows and grows on you." Disc gives it 3 stars out of 5 but remarks "the tunes are almost non-existant." Only 1,000 discs are pressed and although members of The Who fan club write to pirate radio stations, using assumed names on multiple letters, asking for the songs to be played, the single fails to get airplay or generate sales.

On the 11th, "The Who" open for Chris Farlowe and The Thunderbirds at the Trade Union Hall in Watford, Herfordshire. The next night, it's "The High Numbers" who give their first live performance under that name at The Florida Rooms in Brighton.

On the 13th, Academy Award-winning director John Ford begins production of his movie Young Cassidy in Ireland. Production assistant Chris Stamp works on the film to fund his business partners Kit Lambert and Mike Shaw who have been scouting London's nightclubs for the last few months looking for a visually interesting unknown band. Lambert and Stamp's idea is to manage the band to stardom while making a film of the process.

Railway Hotel ad 14 July 1964

On the 14th, the group, now billed as "The High Numbers", return to the Railway Hotel. Kit Lambert, a posh young man looking quite out of place in a Saville Row suit, watches The High Numbers noisily bash away at their songs between bouts of arguing between themselves. He later says they projected "an evil excitement." Lambert immediately calls Stamp telling him they have found their band.

18 July 1964 ad

Probably on the 18th, Stamp flies over from Ireland to see the new discovery as Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds open for The Who at the Trade Union Hall in Watford. It also may have been at this show that Stamp is accompanied by fellow Young Cassidy crewmember and potential investor Michael Douglas, son of Kirk Douglas. Michael declines to invest in this noisy London band.

On the 19th, The High Numbers audition for Lambert, Stamp and Mike Shaw at a gymnasium at Holland Park Comprehensive School in the Campden Hill Road, West London. Needless to say, they pass the audition. From there they catch the 5:15 to play the Florida Rooms in Brighton.

According to Pete, also around this time, Pete Meaden, in an effort to keep some control over The High Numbers, has them audition for Andrew Loog Oldham, manager of the Rolling Stones, at The New Carlton Irish Club in Shepherd's Bush. Kit Lambert unexpectedly shows up. Oldham turns the High Numbers down, leaving the way clear for Lambert and Stamp to take over the group. Pete Meaden agrees to relinquish his part of the control of the group for a payment of £250. Meanwhile manager Helmut Gorden, on vacation in the Seychelles, receives a letter informing him his services will no longer be needed. He immediately launches legal action but fails when it is pointed out that the group members who signed his contract were underage.

July 1965

New music releases: "Unchained Melody" - The Righteous Brothers; "Help!" - The Beatles; Out of Our Heads - The Rolling Stones; "I Got You Babe" - Sonny & Cher

On the 1st, The Who are filmed performing live versions of "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" and "Shout and Shimmy" for Ready Steady GO! With great luck a kinescope of this show survives and "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" is later used in The Kids Are Alright and many other Who documentaries.

Melody Maker 3 July 1965

On the 3rd, "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" reaches its U.K. peak at #10. The same day Melody Maker interviews Pete under the headline "Well, What Is Pop Art?" Pete declares The Who's next single, "My Generation" will be "anti-middle-age, anti boss-class and anti-young-marrieds."

July 1966

New music releases: The Best of The Beach Boys - The Beach Boys; "You Can't Hurry Love" - The Supremes; "Wouldn't It Be Nice" - The Beach Boys; Somewhere My Love - Ray Conniff and The Singers

The Who perform at the Technical College in Westminister (9th). This last show is filmed by the CBC and snippets of four songs and backstage interviews are later broadcast on their show Take 30 From London.

The Who get to take a few days off as Keith becomes a papa. Amanda Moon is born to the secretly-married drummer and his wife Kim on the 12th. Keith, however, fails to bring his wife home from the hospital because he is on a three-day LSD trip.

The Kids Are Alright US 45

TRO, Pete's U.S. song publisher, gets word that some U.S. radio stations have begun playing "The Kids Are Alright" from the recent Decca LP The Who Sings My Generation. They pressure Decca to release the album track as a single and Billboard reports the release of "The Kids Are Alright"/"A Legal Matter" on the 16th. The single will peak at #85 in Cash Box and #106 in Billboard.

And now that U.S. Decca has re-established its contract with The Who, they send out a request for promotional material to publicize the new single. Manager Chris Stamp sets up The Who next to the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park and shoots silent, black-and-white footage of them miming to the song. The edited footage with studio sound added is then sent to the U.S. intended for use on music TV programs but it is not known whether it actually airs at the time.

The Who Windsor 1966
Photo: David Redfern

Later that evening The Who play the 6th annual National Jazz and Blues Festival in Windsor. The crowd is both drenched by a howling rainstorm and disappointed by the non-appearance of the scheduled Yardbirds. Despite this, The Who manage to rev up the crowd with a tremendously destructive show probably inspired by having their act partially stolen by The Move earlier in the day (they smashed television sets). Pete performs all this destruction while dressed in a tuxedo. Melody Maker later reports that The Who's act inspired a small number in the audience to perform some offstage destruction.

Kit Lambert with Who Windsor 1966

On the 31st, it's back into the IBC's Studio A for two days of recording and mixing of the A and B side of the new single, "I'm A Boy"/"In The City" plus a new recording of "Disguises." Manager Kit Lambert produces while Paul Clay engineers.

July 1967

New music releases: The Best of the Beach Boys, Vol. 2 - The Beach Boys; "All You Need Is Love" - The Beatles; "The Letter" - The Box Tops; "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" - Tom Jones
Pictures of Lily drumkit

On the 13th, The Who begin their first North American tour opening for Herman's Hermits and The Blues Magoos at the Calgary Stampede Corral in Calgary, Alberta. It is also The Who's first show in Canada. Another first is that Keith uses his new Premier drum kit emblazoned with the photos of nudes used to promote "Pictures Of Lily" and bearing the words "Keith Moon - Patent British Exploding Drummer."

The Who July 23, 1967 ad

On the 23rd, the tour reaches Dallas Memorial Auditorium. An audience recording of this show is later released as a bootleg.

On the 22nd, the Happy Jack LP reaches its U.S. peak at #67 in the Billboard charts.

Keith Moon in the Deep South

On the 29th The Who go to the Auditorium in Birmingham, Alabama. On the afternoon of this show, Keith leaves the hotel, attracting the attention of some local toughs who shove the British "longhair" through a plate glass window.

Keith gives destruction as well as takes it, of course. During this part of the tour, Keith purchases boxfuls of powerful "cherry bomb" firecrackers. He warms up by tossing lit ones onto the highway in front of oncoming cars, then, learning they will explode even under water, starts flushing them down hotel toilets.

Meanwhile in England, pop radio is under threat. Before 1964 radio in the U.K. was completely controlled by the BBC except for some faint signals from the Continent. Starting Easter 1964 some entrepreneurs set up broadcasting stations on ships in the English Channel, beaming commercial radio and the latest pop singles to teenagers all over the British Isles. Many of the British Invasion groups, including The Who, get much of their airplay on illicit stations such as Radio London and Radio Caroline. A new law debated this month in the House of Lords will outlaw the so-called "pirate" stations. On the 27th, the BBC launches a new legal radio station, Radio One, seeking to take the place of the pirates.

The Who face their first competitor in the race to record the first rock opera. On the 28th, Keith West's single "Excerpt from a Teenage Opera" is released in the U.K. and becomes a surprise hit, peaking at #2.

July 1968

New music releases: "I Say a Little Prayer" - Aretha Franklin; Waiting for the Sun - The Doors; "People Got to Be Free" - The Rascals; "1, 2, 3, Red Light" - 1910 Fruitgum Company

Earlier this month, Pete asks John Entwistle to write two songs for the upcoming opera, one in which Tommy is tortured by a cousin and another where he is sexually molested by his uncle. Pete feels he cannot make the songs as nasty as they will need to be. On the evening of the 13th, after The Who's Grande Ballroom show in Dearborn, Michigan, John gets lost, unable to find his room in the Pontchartrain Hotel. While searching, he writes the song "Fiddle About" in his head.

Rolling Stone Aug. 10, 1968

Rolling Stone has two articles, the first called "Electronic roll" that contains a comment by Pete on electronic music two years before the purchase of his synthesizer and the second "Who does full-length opera" in which Roger discusses The Who's plans to record a rock opera. Bob O'Lear writes a long rave review of The Who Sell Out in Jazz & Pop. He also takes Decca to task for their handling of the group's releases.

Magic Bus U.S. 45

On the 27th, The Who release their second U.S. single of the year, "Magic Bus" backed with the year-old recording "Someone's Coming." No. 25 is as high as it gets in the Billboard charts but it goes up to #10 in Cash Box.

July 1969

New music releases: Smash Hits - The Jimi Hendrix Experience; "I Can't Get Next To You" - The Temptations; "Space Oddity" - David Bowie; The Soft Parade - The Doors
Pete Townshend Royal Albert Hall 1969
Photo: Robert Ellis

On the 5th, The Who close out a week of Pop Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Chuck Berry headlines the first show while The Who headlines the second. The first show is very rough after a group of rockers invade the stage during Berry's set and pelt The Who with sharpened pennies. The second show is quieter as the audience fills up with people who have wandered over from The Rolling Stones' free concert in Hyde Park. Despite the controlled second show, the Royal Albert Hall bans rock performances at the venue for the next few years.

Im Free German picture sleeve

Also on the 5th, "I'm Free" backed with "We're Not Gonna Take It" from the Tommy album is released in the U.S. It peaks at #37 in Billboard, #30 in Cash Box. The single is also released in many other countries, usually with "Tommy Can You Hear Me" on the flip.

Townshend producing Thunderclap Newman

On the 6th, Pete begins producing the Thunderclap Newman album Hollywood Dream. Additional recording sessions will be held on the 7th, 8th, 15th, 16th, and 17th. At the beginning of the month, the group's single, "Something In The Air", will knock The Beatles out of the #1 spot in the U.K. charts.

July 1970

New music releases: Cosmo's Factory - Creedence Clearwater Revival; "Lookin' Out My Back Door" - Creedence Clearwater Revival; The Sesame Street Book & Record - Original TV Cast; "Patches" - Clarence Carter
1970 Tanglewood Program

On the 7th, The Who headline at the Tanglewood Music Amphitheater in Lenox, Massachusetts (7th) with Jethro Tull and It's a Beautiful Day opening. It is one of The Who's very best performances and is projected on a 15' X 21' television screen on the lawn outside the venue. The show is videotaped and intended for use on a "Fillmore at Tanglewood" television special that never airs.

Summertime Blues picture sleeve
German picture sleeve

On the 10th, the single "Summertime Blues" backed with "Heaven and Hell" is released. The A-side comes from the album Live at Leeds while the B-side is a quickly recorded mono studio version of the Entwistle song done for the BBC with a new vocal slapped on. It reaches #38 in Britain and in the U.S. it makes #27 in the Billboard charts and #14 in the Cash Box charts.

July 1971

New music releases: "Ain't No Sunshine" - Bill Withers; Who's Next - The Who; "Maggie May" - Rod Stewart; Master of Reality - Black Sabbath
The Who Monolith shot
Photo: Ethan Russell

On the way to the Leicester show on the 4th, The Who are discussing Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey when they spy concrete "monoliths" in a slag heap. These monoliths had been placed there to keep the slagheap from shifting. The Who run out to a monolith and pretend to be apes "discovering" it while photographer Ethan Russell, who had accompanied them to the show, shoots pictures. One of the pictures shows The Who walking away from the monolith after apparently urinating on it (with the exception of Pete, the urine is actually water poured down the monolith from film cans). It later becomes the cover of the Who's Next album.

On the 7th, The Who mime a performance of "Won't Get Fooled Again" for Top of the Pops. It airs on the 15th.

The Who Gary Herman book

Shortly before the below event of the 14th, Gary Herman's book The Who is published in the U.K. With long interviews with Roger Daltrey and John and a history and analysis of The Who up through Tommy, it is the first serious book about The Who as artists.

Who's Next launch party

On the 14th, Keith Moon holds a Who's Next listening party for the press and friends at his home Tara, a bizarre multi-pyramid-shaped structure that he had recently purchased for £65,000. The album is blasted out while The Who lounge on the lawn and the press snap away. During the party Pete is confronted by writers for the underground paper International Times about the meaning of the song "Won't Get Fooled Again" which they think is a betrayal of the youth Revolution. The party ends with a fireworks display.

Early Heather and Roger Daltrey
Photo: Barrie Wentzell

On the 19th, Roger marries his second wife, 24-year old American model Heather Taylor, at the Battle Registry Office in East Sussex.

Who's Next LP

On the 27th, Who's Next is released in the U.S. ahead of its release in the rest of the world. John Mendelsohn in Rolling Stone calls it "intelligently-conceived, superbly-performed, brilliantly-produced, and sometimes even exciting rock and roll." Dave Marsh in Creem also likes the album despite what he calls weak points in some songs. Lydia Argyle and Ed Kelleher in Circus feel it should be put in a time capsule for future generations to marvel at. Despite its now classic status in the rock pantheon, Who's Next stalls at #4 in the U.S. charts.

Roger Daltrey Forest Hills 1971
Photo: Barbara Mathe

On the 29th, the first U.S. tour of 1971 begins at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in New York. It rains so hard that The Who have to perform with rubber mats on their shoes to stave off electrocution. The show kicks off with "Love Ain't For Keeping" and includes other new songs, "Pure and Easy," "My Wife," "Bargain," "Behind Blue Eyes," and "Won't Get Fooled Again." Not only does Pete smash two guitars, but John also smashes his Gibson Thunderbird bass. The opening act is Labelle. Tragedy partly overshadows the show as 22-year old usher George Byington is stabbed to death by a gatecrasher. Fan Ira Zadikow shoots part of this show in 8mm.

On the 31st, The Who make a second stand at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. The rains have stopped, but due to them, the stage is overrun with cockroaches. Fortunately Pete is there with his Doc Martens and makes quick work of them.

July 1972

New music releases: Chicago V - Chicago; Toulouse Street - The Doobie Brothers; Moods - Neil Diamond; "My Ding-a-Ling" - Chuck Berry
Join Together ad

On the 8th, an ad for the new Who single "Join Together" appears in Billboard. It reaches #17 in their charts and #28 in Cash Box.

On the 26th, Pete, having decided that Nik Cohn's Who script "Rock Is Dead (Rock Lives)" is not what he is seeking, begins work on a new story based around a fictional Who fan named "Jimmy" who has a four-personality split based on the four members of The Who. He puts together a preliminary song list: "Cut My Hair", "Joker James" (a leftover track from 1968), "Quazophrenic", "You Came Back" and "We Close Tonight."

July 1973

New music releases: Elvis - Elvis Presley; "We're an American Band" - Grand Funk Railroad; Foreigner - Cat Stevens; We're an American Band - Grand Funk
Quadrophenia thunder tape

On the 17th, Quadrophenia overdubbing takes place at Ramport Studios in South London. Roger completes his vocal for "Love Reign O'er Me." A roaring thunderstorm comes up providing realistic sound effects that are recorded by a roadie standing outside the studio under an umbrella.

On the 18th, Ken Russell's script for the movie version of Tommy is completed.

Roger Daltrey I'm Free German PS

On the 20th, Roger's solo single "I'm Free" backed with "Overture (From Tommy)," both sides from The London Symphony Orchestra's Tommy, is released. It peaks at #13 in the U.K. charts.

July 1974

New music releases: Santana's Greatest Hits - Santana; 461 Ocean Boulevard - Eric Clapton; "Pick Up the Pieces" - Average White Band; "I'm Leaving It (All) Up to You" - Donnie and Marie Osmond
Roger Daltrey Tommy ending

On the 1st, the Tommy movie shoot begins four days filming in Keswick in the Lake District, Cumbria.

July 1975

New music releases: Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac; The Dream Weaver - Gary Wright; "Landslide" - Fleetwood Mac; "I Can't Give You Anything (But My Love)" - The Stylistics
Ride A Rock Horse

On the 4th, Roger's second solo album Ride A Rock Horse is released in the U.K. on Polydor. The U.S. do not get their copy on MCA until the 26th. Rolling Stone and Listening Post give practically the only positive reviews in a raft of extremely negative notices. Nevertheless the album peaks at #14 in the U.K. The U.S. release peaks at #28.

On the 7th, Keith Moon has "Happy Birthday Ringo" written in the sky above Los Angeles in honor of his fellow drummer's 35th birthday. He then sends the bill to Ringo.

On the 19th, Kit Lambert is interviewed in New Musical Express and reveals publicly that he and Chris Stamp are no longer managers of The Who. He also adds that he is suing Robert Stigwood for credit on Tommy: The Movie and for alienating the affections of Chris Stamp.

July 1977

New music releases: The Grand Illusion - Styx; Moody Blue - Elvis Presley; "I Feel Love" - Donna Summer; In Full Bloom - Rose Royce

On the 5th, Keith Moon overdoses on Valium and is rushed to Cedars-Sinai to have his stomach pumped. The hospital puts Keith into the Thespians Ward for a drying out spell. While he is there he has seizures from alcohol and cocaine withdrawal. He is released on the 9th as the next day he has to fly to London to prepare for planned filming on The Kids Are Alright.

On the 11th, The Who regroup at Shepperton Film Studios. Moon, who hasn't worked with the other band members since the previous October, has ballooned in weight. During this week the band rehearses and shoots a video for Roger's solo song "Say It Ain't So, Joe" with John and a topless Keith. The single from Roger's solo album One of the Boys is released in the U.S. on the 30th but does not reach the charts.

On the 20th, director Jeff Stein holds the first day's shooting of new film for The Kids Are Alright. The Who are shot arriving separately and rehearsing together "The Real Me," "Bell Boy," "The Kids Are Alright," "Run, Baby, Run," "Smokestack Lightning/Spoonful," "God Knows (an instrumental)" and "Won't Get Fooled Again." The next day Keith is shot arriving at the studio on a fire engine surrounded by smoke bombs. The Who then rehearse "Who Are You," "Baba O'Riley," "Shakin' All Over," "Travellin' Light," "I Saw Her Standing There," "Water" and "Barbara Ann." Only Keith's arrival, the last song and a short clip of Pete telling Keith about his hearing test results shot that day make it into the final film.

July 1978

New music releases: Classic Rock - London Symphony Orchestra; More Songs About Buildings and Food - Talking Heads; A Taste of Honey - A Taste of Honey; Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Original Soundtrack

On the 3rd, Keith Moon and his girlfriend Anette are flying back to London from their vacation in Mauritius. On the way home, Keith gets drunk and attacks a stewardess. Taken off the plane, he is hospitalized in the Seychelles islands, returning to London the next day on Air Kenya.

Keith Moon on Thames at 6 1978

After his return to London, The Who Group, Ltd. announces that Keith has a new job as their Director of Promotion and Publicity. On the 12th, Keith is interviewed at Shepperton Studios by Nicky Horne for Thames at 6 about his new role. It is Keith's last British television interview. After Keith's death, his new position becomes part of a controversy concerning whether it was created to give Keith a desk job while The Who looked for a new drummer. Roger has vehemently denied it but rumors continue to circulate.

Who Are You UK PS

On the 14th, The Who release their first U.K. single in two-and-a-half years, the double A-side "Who Are You" and "Had Enough." It reaches #18 in both Britain and the Netherlands.

On the 30th, a version of "Who Are You" even more edited than the U.K. version and with the "F" word replaced with "hell" is released as a single in the U.S. It peaks at #14 in Billboard and #9 in Cash Box.

Peter Meaden

On the same day, Peter Meaden, the Mod impresario who changed The Who's name for a time to "The High Numbers" and wrote the lyrics for "I'm The Face" and "Zoot Suit," is found dead at his parents' home of an overdose of alcohol and barbiturates. He was 37 years old.

July 1979

New music releases: Highway To Hell - AC/DC; "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" - Michael Jackson; Disney's Children's Favorites Vol. II - Various Artists; "Highway To Hell" - AC/DC
Long Live Rock US single

On the 7th, "Long Live Rock" from The Kids Are Alright soundtrack backed with "My Wife (live)" hits the U.S. charts, reaching #54 in Billboard and #66 in Cash Box.

Pete Townshend Rock Against Racism
Photo: Virginia Turbett

On the 13th, Pete performs an electric set at The Rainbow Theatre in London as part of the Rock Against Racism benefit. The event is in part a protest against racist remarks made by Eric Clapton at a concert in 1976. Pete, a friend of Clapton, says he might bring Clapton along to play but he is told Clapton will have to apologize for his remarks first. Clapton does not show up. The band, Pete's first of his own devising, consists of Kenney Jones, Tony Butler, John "Rabbit" Bundrick, Peter Hope-Evans and Neil Abbot. He premieres a new song, "Cats in the Cupboard".

July 1980

New music releases: Back In Black - AC/DC; Honeysuckle Rose - Willie Nelson and Family; "Shoot to Thrill" - AC/DC; Deepest Purple The Very Best of Deep Purple - Deep Purple
Free Me picture sleeve

On the 5th, a single from the soundtrack to Roger's film McVicar is released. "Free Me" backed with "McVicar" peaks at #53 in the Billboard charts, #44 in Cash Box. The U.K. release follows on the 18th. There it peaks at #39.

July 1981

New music releases: Escape - Journey; 4 - Foreigner; Bella Donna - Stevie Nicks; "Tainted Love" - Soft Cell
Pete Townshend 1981 letter

Many stories begin to circulate about Pete's drinking, drug use and deteriorating health. In response, Pete writes a letter on the 30th for publication in the Who's News fanzine denying that he is ill, has marital problems, has given up on Meher Baba or is an alcoholic. The final lines are: "I still get upset when I hear people talking about me 'killing' myself. That won't happen unless by accident." In truth, everyone around him is horrified by his lifestyle and afraid he will soon join Keith Moon in the afterlife.

July 1982

New music releases: Emotions in Motion - Billy Squier; Screaming for Vengeance - Judas Priest; "Up Where We Belong" - Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes; The Kids from "Fame" - The Kids from "Fame"

On the 4th, Keith's former chauffeur Dougal Butler testifies in a suit brought by MCA trying to collect on a life insurance policy taken with Lloyd's on the life of Keith Moon. MCA is also listed as having life insurance policies on all the members of The Who.

On the 21st, Pete performs as a solo act at the first Prince's Trust Gala Benefit at the Dominion Theatre in London. Pete puts the show together at the request of Prince Charles. In addition to playing three of his own songs, Pete plays guitar in the house band with Phil Collins, Mick Karn, Gary Brooker, Robert Plant and Midge Ure. Madness, Jethro Tull and Kate Bush also perform. Highlights from the show are later released for home video.

Uniforms picture sleeve

On the 30th, Pete's "Uniforms (Corps d'Esprit)" is released in Britain where it peaks at #48. The B-side is the non-LP track "Dance It Away" that was originally written for The Who's Face Dances album.

July 1983

New music releases: Madonna - Madonna; "I'm Still Standing" - Elton John; Fantastic - Wham!; Kill 'Em All - Metallica
The Who Rocks America videotape

HBO (U.S.) runs The Who's Dec. 17, 1982 Toronto concert as The Who Tour 1982: The Final Show. Later this month, a video of the same show, with the U.S.-centric title The Who Rocks America, goes on sale.

Pete Townshend at Faber and Faber

On the 7th, Pete holds a press conference to announce that he has joined the publishing firm of Faber and Faber as an editor.

July 1985

New music releases: Greatest Hits Volume I & Volume II - Billy Joel; Heart - Heart; The Kenny Rogers Story - Kenny Rogers; Who's Zoomin' Who? - Aretha Franklin
The Who Live Aid Backstage
Photo: Dave Hogan

On the 13th, The Who re-group on stage for the first time since their "Farewell Tour" three years before to perform at the Live Aid benefit. The benefit's organizer, Bob Geldof, blackmails The Who into reuniting, threatening to tell the press The Who would do nothing to help the starving children of Ethiopia if they refuse to perform. Roger tries to make a demand that Kenney Jones not be used as drummer but is overruled. The Who's participation is on and off up until the day of the concert. Geldof later says "it was rather like getting one man's four ex-wives together."

The Who Live Aid
Photo: John Hoffmann

Seventy-five thousand attend the concert and over 100 million worldwide watch on television the greatest rock acts Britain can muster. Well all except The Who as the satellite feed to both the U.K. and the U.S. goes down during their short act. The Who probably preferred the blackout as, after only 20 minutes of rehearsal, they give what they consider a lackluster performance of "My Generation", "Pinball Wizard", "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Love Reign O'er Me". John is particularly unhappy as his bass malfunctions and he has to re-tune halfway through "My Generation." Pete attempts an air kick and ends up falling on his posterior. Pete had written a new song, "After The Fire," for premiere at Live Aid but it is dropped as there wasn't time to rehearse it. It later appears on solo albums by both Roger and Pete but The Who do not get around to performing it until 1999.

July 1989

New music releases: Cuts Both Ways - Gloria Estefan; Tender Lover - Babyface; Paul's Boutique - The Beastie Boys; When Harry Met Sally... - Harry Connick, Jr.
Roger and Pete Giants Stadium 1989
Photo: Neal Preston

The Who's four nights at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey concludes on the 2nd and 3rd. All four shows are sellouts earning $5,243,672.

The Iron Man LP

On the 15th, Pete's The Iron Man, a musical version of Ted Hughes' children's book and featuring two new recordings by The Who, hits the U.S. charts. The album opens to generally favorable but not enthusiastic reviews. It peaks at #58 in Billboard. A single "A Friend Is A Friend" backed with "Man Machines" is also released but does not chart. In The U.K. neither the album nor single charts.

The Who Miami 1989
Photo: Joe Raedle

After the show on the 31st at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, the tour has to take a break as Roger is suffering horribly with abdominal pains aggravated by his singing.

Rolling Stone reports that The Who's summer tour is expected to gross from 25 to 30 million dollars.

July 1991

New music releases: C.M.B. - Color Me Badd; "Enter Sandman" - Metallica; Into The Great Wide Open - Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers; Woodface - Crowded House

On the 15th, PACE Theatrical Group approaches Des McAnuff about creating a stage musical out of Tommy. McAnuff insists that Pete be involved.

This month Pete, Roger and John meet to decide on a song to record for an upcoming Elton John tribute CD. Roger presses for "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)" and ultimately gets his way. Pete however, in a nod to Elton's inclusion of "I Can't Explain" in the middle of his version of "Pinball Wizard," includes a bit of "Take Me to the Pilot" in the middle of The Who's cover. The Who do not record it together. Pete and drummer Simon Phillips record their part at Eel Pie Studios. Producer Jon Astley is displeased with Simon's work and replaces it with a programmed drum machine. The track is then sent off to Revolution Studios for Roger and John to lay in their parts. While there they are filmed for a music video and interview segments to be included in a later video release. Although John has more than a decade of life left, this track will end up being the last studio recording of The Who with John.

July 1992

New music releases: What's the 411? - Mary J. Blige; Countdown to Extinction - Megadeath; House of Pain - House of Pain; "Sweat (A La La La La Long)" - Inner Circle
The Who's Tommy La Jolla ad 1992

On the 9th, The Who's Tommy, the musical written by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff, premieres at the La Jolla Playhouse in California. At Pete's suggestion, the opening night is a benefit for the Playhouse and the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Foundation. Roger and John are in attendance as are Liza Minelli, John Cusack and Robert Downey, Jr. Roger does not care for the play but local reviews are ecstatic and the end date has to be extended due to high ticket demand.

Rocks in the Head

On the 28th, Roger's solo album Rocks In The Head is released in the U.S. It does not make the album charts and its low sales silence Roger's solo recording career for 26 years.

July 1993

New music releases: Toni Braxton - Toni Braxton; Black Sunday - Cypress Hill; Siamese Dream - Smashing Pumpkins; Candlebox - Candlebox

On the 10th, Pete launches his North American solo tour in Toronto at Massey Hall. In addition to a selection of his old hits and rarities, Pete presents Psychoderelict as a multi-media presentation with actors and background projections, a staging similar to the musical The Who's Tommy. The actors are John Labanowski as Ray High, Linal Haft as Rastus Knight and Jan Ravens as Ruth Streeting. Pete's art school friend (and the man who named The Who), Richard Barnes, directs the production.

Pete Townshend at Tower Theater Philadelphia
Photo: Terence McBride

Among the usual suspects providing musical backing for the show is bassist Pino Palladino. The tour continues to the Beacon Theater in New York (12th and 13th), the Tower Theater in Philadelphia (15th), the Aire Crown Theater in Chicago (17th) and the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles (29th and 30th).

Pete Townshend at Tower Records 1993
Photo: Andrea Renault

Starting at midnight on the 13th, Pete holds an autograph party at Tower Records in New York City for that day's release of the Original Cast Album of The Who's Tommy. George Martin produces the CD, the only time the famed Beatles producer has ever worked on Who-penned songs. The CD peaks at #114 in the U.S. chart.

July 1994

New music releases: Cracked Rear View - Hootie and The Blowfish; "Kiss from a Rose" - Seal; "I'll Make Love to You" - Boyz II Men; Voodoo Lounge - The Rolling Stones
Thirty Years boxset

On the 4th, the first release from The Who reissue program, the 4CD, 5-hour long box set Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B is released. It goes to #48 in the U.K. charts and #170 in the U.S. Billboard charts. Released at the same time is an over 2-hour video collection with the same name and packaging featuring new interviews with Pete, Roger and John and performances from 1965 to 1989.

Daltrey Sings Townshend CD

On the same day a CD from Roger's Carnegie Hall concerts from February, with performances by Pete and John and other special guests is released in the U.K., the following day in the U.S. A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who sells poorly.

On the 22nd, Pete is interviewed for Rolling Stone in San Francisco. He tells them he would give his permission for Roger and John to tour without him as The Who.

Roger Daltrey Red Rocks ad

Roger begins his orchestral celebration tour of the music of Pete Townshend at Red Rocks in Denver on the 30th. His band consists of John on bass, Pete's brother Simon on guitar and Zak Starkey on drums. The highlight of the show is an abridged version of Quadrophenia. Before the show Roger and John are interviewed about the new Who boxset. Roger shows his attitude towards it by turning the boxset upside down and dumping the contents on the ground.

July 1996

New music releases: Blue - LeAnn Rimes; Sublime - Sublime; "No Diggity" - Blackstreet featuring Dr. Dre and Queen Pen; Trainspotting: Music from the Motion Picture - Various Artists
Roger Daltrey Madison Square Garden 1996

On the 16th, Pete, Roger, John and guests bring their live version of Quadrophenia to Madison Square Garden in New York for what is announced at the time as the only U.S. performances. Billy Idol joins the cast as The Bell Boy. Additional shows are held on the 17th, 18th, 20th, 21st and 22nd and all are sell-outs. Joan Osbourne is the opening act at the first three shows and Me'Shell Ndegeocello opens the last three. The performance of the 18th is broadcast live on Westwood One Radio and afterwards is widely bootlegged.

July 1999

New music releases: The Writing's on the Wall - Destiny's Child; On How Life Is - Macy Gray; A Little Bit of Mambo - Lou Bega; Now That's What I Call Music! 43 (U.K.) - Various Artists
British Rock Symphony 3 July 1999 ad

Roger Daltrey continues his U.K. tour with the British Rock Symphony performing at Powderham Castle, Kenton, Exeter on the 2nd followed by Ragley Hall, Alcester, Warwickshire on the 3rd, and Liverpool Docks on the 5th. The performance at Ragley Hall makes up the bulk of the British Rock Symphony video released the next year.

John Entwistle Band Woodstock 99

On the 25th, the John Entwistle Band plays the Emerging Artist's Stage at the Woodstock '99 Festival in Rome, New York (25th). The band will fortunately miss a notorious riot that concludes the controversial festival.

On the 29th, Pete and Eddie Vedder travel to Chicago for a concert at the Chicago House Of Blues. Earlier in the day Pete holds a press conference where he makes the official announcement of The Who's upcoming charity show there.

From Chicago Pete travels on to Los Angeles where, on the 31st, he attends the premiere of the movie The Iron Giant. The movie is based on Ted Hughes' children's book The Iron Man. Pete had been trying for years to get a movie made of his musical based on the book but allowed director Brad Bird to take over who jettisoned all the songs. Pete receives an executive producer credit on the film. The Iron Giant fails to find an audience at the time but its reputation grows over the years and it is now considered a classic.

July 2000

New music releases: Parachutes - Coldplay; Ronan - Ronan Keating; In Blue - The Corrs; Who Let the Dogs Out? - The Baha Men
The Who Jones Beach
Photo: William Snyder

On the 3rd, The Who tour continues at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts followed by the Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, Virginia on the 5th, at the E Center in Camden , New Jersey on the 7th, and finishing the first leg at the Jones Beach Amphitheatre in Wantagh, New York on the 9th.

Shel Talmy Auction

On the 19th, Shel Talmy surprises everyone by putting the original three-track tapes he produced with The Who in 1965 on auction at The opening bid is $500,000 with a reserve price of $1 million. It fails to get any bids but begins the process that ultimately leads to the release of My Generation: Deluxe Edition, mixed from the tapes, in 2002.

July 2002

New music releases: By the Way - Red Hot Chili Peppers; "Cleanin' Out My Closet" - Eminem; Unleashed - Toby Keith; Heathen Chemistry - Oasis
The Who Hollywood Bowl 2002

On the 1st, The Who, or "The Two" as the press dubs them, begin their 2002 North American tour at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. A special photo montage is added to the end of the show in remembrance of John Entwistle. Top-rated session bassist Pino Palladino joins The Who as bassist-for-hire. Pete and Roger manage to get through the show but both later talk about how upset they were. Pete: "When I looked over there and he wasn't there, I wanted to die."

Pete and Roger at John's funeral

Having flown back to England, Roger and Pete attend John's funeral on the 10th, It is held at St. Edward's Church near his home in Stow-on-The-Wold, Cheltenham. As with Keith Moon, John is cremated.

On the 25th, the coroner of Las Vegas announces his preliminary report that John's death was a massive heart attack brought on by cocaine use.

On the 28th, Maxene, the second Mrs. Entwistle, sells her inside story on John and The Who to The Mail On Sunday. She tells them that John hated the others, he hated touring but had to because he was perpetually broke, he had to use the £1 million advance from the current tour to pay off gambling debts, Townshend hates Mick Jagger because he is so rich, none of the band like each other and never meet except to work and John had a huge drink and cocaine problem.

July 2004

New music releases: Autobiography - Ashlee Simpson; Now That's What I Call Music! 16 (U.S.) - Various Artists; Now That's What I Call Music! 58 (U.K.) - Various Artists; "1985" - Bowling for Soup
Who Yokohama 2004 ady

On the 24th, The Who make their first trip to Japan, opening for Aerosmith at the Yokohama Festival in Tokyo. The band plays a 90-minute set in near 100 degree Fahrenheit (upper 30's Celsius) heat. Pete smashes his guitar at the end.

The Who Melbourne 2004
Photo: Ros O'Gorman

On the 25th, The Who finish their appearances in Japan at the Osaka Festival. From there The Who return to Australia, thirty-six years after the band's previous disastrous tour. They play two nights at the Sydney Entertainment Centre (28th & 29th), then go to the Vodafone Arena in Melbourne on the 31st.

July 2006

New music releases: "SexyBack" - Justin Timberlake featuring Timbaland; "Face Down" - The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus; Undiscovered - James Morrison; These Streets - Paolo Nutini
The Who Berlin presser 2006
Photo: Anita Bugge

On the 13th, Pete and Roger hold a press conference in Berlin. Pete explains the long absence from recording with The Who: "When the Who stopped making records in 1982, I felt that I just couldn't do it anymore. I felt that what the Who had done was triumphant, huge, innovative, groundbreaking, massive, unsurpassable and that there was no reason at all, no way that I could ever come close again. It almost destroyed me. It destroyed one of the members of our band."

Wire and Glass single

On the 24th, Wire and Glass has a limited released on CD and 12-inch vinyl in Europe on Polydor. E! reviews the EP giving it a B. "Surprisingly, despite the deaths of drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle, this release sounds more like the classic Who than the group's last album, 1982's It's Hard. Sure, Daltrey's voice has lost a bit of its luster and the storyline is totally confusing, but Townshend, who's had some troubles of his own lately, sounds like he's having the time of his life."

July 2008

New music releases: Mamma Mia! The Movie Soundtrack - Various Artists; "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" - The Script; "Let It Rock" - Kevin Rudolf featuring Lil Wayne; "Wobble" - V.I.C.

In an article on the 30th in Variety, Roger says he wants to extend Teenage Cancer Trust to America: "I'm here trying to sign people up, get a committee together, bring in the right medical partners."

July 2011

New music releases: "Somebody That I Used to Know" - Gotye featuring Kimbra; "Set Fire to the Rain" - Adele; "Glad You Came" - Wanted; "God Gave Me You" - Blake Shelton
Roger Daltrey Simon Townshend Indigo 2011
Photo: Matt Kent

On the 3rd, Roger Daltrey sets off with his own solo band performing the entirety of Tommy (minus "Underture") at the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton. His musical director and keyboardist is Loren Gold who will subsequently become The Who's new primary keyboardist in their subsequent tours.

July 2012

New music releases: "Let Her Go" - Passenger; "Gangnam Style" - Psy; "As Long As You Love Me" - Justin Bieber featuring Big Sean; "Same Love" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert
The Who Presser 2012

On the 18th Pete Townshend and Roger hold a press conference in London to announce they will be touring that autumn with a presentation of Quadrophenia. "We've been anxious to work together before we drop dead" says Pete.

On the 26th, the London Olympics begin with an opening countdown backed by High Contrast's "The Road Goes On Forever", in particular the part where they sample "Baba O'Riley". During the opening ceremonies "My Generation" is played accompanied by footage of The Who in the 1960s.

July 2016

New music releases: "Closer" - The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey; "Too Good" - Drake featuring Rihanna; "Human" - Rag'n'Bone Man; "Cold Water" - Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber and MØ
Roger Daltrey Champagne

On the 7th Roger hosts an evening of charity fundraising in Mayfair London along with a tasting of Charles Orban's new Cuvée Roger Daltrey, a champagne wrapped in a Tommy cover label. Proceeds go to Roger's charities Teenage Cancer Trust UK and Teen Cancer America. Bottles of Cuvée Roger Daltrey go on sale to the public Jiune 18th at £95 a bottle.

July 2018

New music releases: "In My Feelings" - Drake; "Eastside" - Benny Blanco, Halsey and Khalid; "Fefe" - 6ix9ine, Nicki Minaj and Murda Beatz; "Nonstop" - Drake

While Roger is touring the U.S. presenting Tommy with local orchestras, he visits a high school in the Cincinnati suburb of Finneytown, Ohio to visit their memorial to three Who fans, Stephan Preson, Jackie Eckerle and Karen Morrison who lost their lives at the Cincinnati concert disaster of 1979. Roger is told the visit is healing and cathartic and, in response, Roger says The Who will return to Cincinatti to perform.

July 2019

New music releases: "I Hope" - Gabby Barrett; "Swervin" - A Boogie wit da Hoodie featuring 6ix9ine; "July" - Noah Cyrus; "Chasin' You" - Morgan Wallen

On the 1st, The Who's Tommy Orchestral enters and peaks on Billboard's Classical Music chart at #1.

On the 2nd, The Who's complete set from Woodstock (minus "Heaven and Hell") finally gets an official release along with many of the other Woodstock acts. However, it is only available as streaming music on Spotify and YouTube.

Stranger Things 3 Soundtrack

On the 5th, the album Stranger Things: Music from the Netflix Original Series, Season 3 starting with "Baba O'Riley" remixed by Confidential Music, a Los Angeles-based duo that makes music for movie trailers.

The Who Wembley 2019
Photo: Naomi Dryden-Smith

On the 6th, The Who play at Wembley Stadium with Eddie Vedder and the Kaiser Chiefs opening. In addition to hits, The Who premiere the live versions of "Hero Ground Zero" and "Ball and Chain" from their forthcoming album WHO. The latter is a renamed version of the song "Guantanamo" Pete released as a solo track in May. The concert is released commercially in 2023.

Earlier on the 6th, Roger is interviewed on radio and picks Robert Plant as his "Rock God."

The Who Uncut July 2019

On the 15th, The Who are on the cover of Uncut magazine with interviews inside with Pete and Roger.

Pete and Rachel Townshend at Elton John event

On the 24th, Elton John holds a celebrity-packed gala in Cap D'Antibes, France that raises $6million to fight HIV/AIDS in Kenya. Pete is one of the celebrities hanging out with Chris Martin, Joan Collins, and Taron Egerton.

On the 27th, The Биты (The Baseball Bats) release the song "Другой" that is actually "The Kids Are Alright" with Ukrainian lyrics.

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Pete Townshend Live In Concert 1985-2001

Massive Pete Townshend Live boxset
In Concert 1985-2001 in a 14-CD boxset. Also available as a streaming purchase. Coming July 26.

The Ox Box

The Ox Box!
John Entwistle's first six solo albums plus bonus tracks and a 28-page booklet.

Teenage Wasteland: The Who at Winterland, 1968 and 1976

Teenage Wasteland: The Who at Winterland, 1968 and 1976
Edoardo Genzolini's new deep-dive book into The Who's ties with San Francisco.

The Who Live at Shea Stadium

The Who's Tommy on Broadway
At the Nederlander Theatre closing July 21. Updated by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff.

The Who's Tommy

The Who Live at Shea Stadium 1982
Now available as 2CD or 3LP sets.

Lifehouse Who's Next

Who's Next / Life House Super Deluxe
10 CD's, Blu-ray with 5.1 mix, 89 unreleased tracks, 2 live concerts, a 100-page book and a graphic novel. Expensive but the final word on The Who's Life House work.

A People's History of The Who

Richard Houghton's The Guitar Has Seconds to Live: A People's History of The Who
Hardback, published by Spenwood Books Limited.
THE home for all things Townshend!

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the others who did
the original research
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A note about photographs:
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