Updated Oct. 10, 2023

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January 1966

New music releases: Sounds of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel; "The Ballad of the Green Berets" - SSgt. Barry Sadler; "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)" - The Isley Brothers; Doctor Zhivago - Maurice Jarre
Record Mirror 1 Jan 1966

A busy New Year's Day for the boys. The morning's issue of Melody Maker features Roger participating in their "Blind Date" feature. Record Mirror contains a letter calling a recent Who performance "the most appalling, sound-soaked, electronic drivel we have ever heard." That afternoon manager Chris Stamp shoots film of them performing onstage at an empty Marquee Club and that evening they play the Trade Union Hall in Watford. The next evening finds them at the Ultra Club in The Downs, Hassocks.

In the U.S., Billboard reports that "My Generation" has become a breakout hit in Washington, D.C.

Pete Townshend A Whole Scene Going
Photo: Dezo Hoffman

On the 5th, Pete Townshend is featured on an episode of the BBC1 television programme A Whole Scene Going. A short documentary narrated by Pete shows his flat and a Who performance at The Witch Doctor Club in St. Leonard's-on-sea from August 4th of the previous year. Pete speaks in a dismissive way about the other members of The Who.

That same tone is extended to the segment after the film where Pete is interviewed by young people in the audience. He talks about how ugly The Who members are, how they are "blocked up" all the time on pills and how he and John recently listened to the backing tracks of a Beatles album and consider them "flippin' lousy" at playing their instruments. Asked if he meant the line in "My Generation," "hope I die before I get old," he answers emphatically "yes!".

The Who on A Whole Scene Going
Photo: Dezo Hoffman

The Who are also there to mime to "Out In The Street" and "It's Not True." The entire programme still exists and is used extensively in the 1979 film The Kids Are Alright.

Back to work as the boys play Mister McCoys Club in Middlesbrough on the 7th, the Jigsaw Club in Manchester on the 8th and the Cosmopolitan Club in Carlisle on the 9th.

Pete Townshend at John Stephens

On the 8th, Disc magazine reports that Pete says The Who are dropping the Pop Art look in an article called "Who Are Growing Up Fast." And, as usual, growing boys need new clothes. The Who are photographed for Fabulous Magazine clothes-shopping at a John Stephens in the King's Road, Chelsea.

Also on the 8th, The Who are shown playing "I Can't Explain" and "Daddy Rolling Stone" (recorded the previous August) on the last episode of the U.S. show Shindig.

On the 12th, Chris Stamp flies to New York to try to interest NBC-TV's Hullabaloo in the film he shot of The Who on the 1st. They turn it down. He also meets with Sir Edward Lewis to obtain his help in breaking The Who's exclusive contract with Shel Talmy and Brunswick/U.S. Decca. Lewis refuses. Nevertheless, Stamp goes to Atlantic Records and makes a deal to release a Who single on their Atco subsidiary, then telephones co-manager Kit Lambert to tell him to break the Talmy contract and sign The Who to a new label.

The Who Shel Talmy studio
Photo: Colin Jones

Meanwhile, on the very same day, The Who go to IBC studios to record their next single, "Circles" and "Instant Party Mixture." It will be their last time working under the production of Shel Talmy. A last time is also a first time as John records his first horn part for The Who.

Who handbill Jan 1966

Stage work continues, first in Wales at the Ritz Ballroom in Skewen followed by the Regal Ballroom in Ammangord, Glamorgan (13th), the Municipal Hall in Pontypridd (14th), then back to England at the "Big Beat Club" in the Two Puddings Pub in Stratford and Hackney (15th) followed by an all-nighter at the In Crowd Club (15-16th) then the Agincourt Ballroom in Camberley (16th), The Adelphi inWest Bromwich followed by the Smethwick Baths Ballroom (22nd), Co-Operative Hall in Warrington (23rd) and the Locarno Ballroom in Stevenage (26th).

On the 14th, the New Musical Express has the article "What a way to talk about your own fans!" Pete describes The Who's fans as "stupid, screaming little girls, morons and idiots."

On the 15th, Billboard reports "My Generation" has reached its peak in the Netherlands at #5.

Roger Daltrey Fabulous Jan 15 '66

Also on the 15th, Fabulous magazine puts out a piece called "It Makes Me Mad! Says Roger Daltrey". As one might expect from the bantam singer, there are plenty of irritants for him to list from traffic wardens, TV quiz shows, old people driving cars, and his own hair! "I have to spend an hour on it every morning. I keep wetting it, pulling it straight, then drying it quickly. Some mornings it just won’t go right. I’ve smashed three mirrors throwing the hairdryer at them."

On the 20th, the Merseybeats single "I Stand Accused," with an appearance on gong by Keith, hits the U.K. charts and reaches #38.

On the 22nd is the Disc article, "Faces of Keith Moon - by the woman who knows him best...His MUM!" In a rare interview Kathleen Moon says, "Keith doesn't smoke, drinks only in moderation and doesn't bother much about girls." She doesn't mention Kim, the teenage girl Keith got pregnant who is now living in their house.

My Generation Swedish picture sleeve

Also on the 22nd, Billboard reports that "My Generation" has reached #4 in the Swedish charts. In the same issue, Billboard reports on major moves by the Polydor label. Formerly a continental Europe pop label owned by Deutsch Grammophon, Polydor moves into the U.K. market in 1965 and in January 1966 launches a new label, Reaction, headed by impresario Robert Stigwood. Polydor intends to quickly become one of Britain Big Five labels and Stigwood is agressively looking for name groups to add to his roster. Within the month, he will nab a major up-and-coming group.

The Who flyer 31 Jan 1966
Courtesy: John Reardon

On the morning of the 28th, The Who rehearse for their appearance on Ready, Steady, Go! at Studio One in Wembley. The performance is live during the show from 6:08p-6:35p as they perform "Runaround Sue" and "Instant Party Mixture." They then go to play at the Debating Hall at the University in Birmingham. In the following days they appear at the Imperial Ballroom in Nelson (29th), the Beachcomber Club in Leigh (30th), then back to Wales to play the Coed Eva Community College in Cwmbran (31st) supported by The Pieces of Mind.

At the show of the 30th, Roger is interviewed backstage by David Dutton for "The Pop Scene." He says The Who have stopped smashing their instruments because, "we're so skint we stand to go to jail."

Rave Feb 1966

Rave magazine puts out its February issue with Roger on the cover. Inside is a lengthy interview conducted by BBC disc jockey Alan Freeman with Pete, Roger and John together. It is one of the best in-depth interviews with the group from this early period. Pete and John report that their hearing is already beginning to go, leading to a humorous bit: "It's beginning to affect our eardrums." "Eh?" said John Entwistle. "I said it's beginning to affect our eardrums," roared Pete. "I don't like rum," shouted John. "I'll have a Scotch and coke." "What Scotch bloke?" Pete also admits that the story of him accidently smashing his guitar on the low ceiling of the Railway Hotel was concocted. Inspired by a lecture from self-destructive artist Gustav Metzger, Pete suggested to the band that they try it onstage. "We tried it out with me slamming the guitar into the amps. Keith pounded his drums into smithereens and hurled them into the audience and the audience threw them back." "I couldn't think of anything to contribute," Roger said modestly. "So, I scratched the speaker column with my fingernail. It made the best row of all." "But it worked out," said Pete. "The last chords were struck, and we put down the guitars and we walked off. They were astounded, and a few laughed at first. Then they began to clap, and that was it."

February 1966

New music releases: If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears - The Mama's & The Papa's; "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration" - The Righteous Brothers; "Nowhere Man" - The Beatles; Ballads of the Green Berets - SSgt. Barry Sadler
My Generation German picture sleeve

On the 1st, "My Generation" reaches its peak on the West German charts at #6. That night The Who play the Britannia Rowing Club in Nottingham.

On the 3rd, Pete sees 15-year old Stevie Wonder perform at the Scotch of St. James' Club in London. In 2002 Pete tells Q magazine that this was the best concert he ever attended. Afterwards he takes people home in his Lincoln Continental MkII and slides on Hyde Park Corner knocking a wheel off.

The Who Feb package tour article

On the 4th, The Who begin their first headlining "theatre" tour in a three day test run starting at the Astoria Cinema in Finsbury Park with support Screamin' Lord Sutch & the Savages, the Merseys, the Fortunes and the Graham Bond Organization. The other two nights are the Odeon Cinema in Southend-on-Sea (5th) and the Empire Theatre in Liverpool (6th).

On the 11th, Norrie Drummond reviews the Finsbury Park show in New Musical Express. She says Roger moved well but the guitarists (Pete and John) need to improve their stage performance.

On the 11th, The Who go back to a regular performance at the Wimbledon Palais.

Melody Maker 12 Feb 1966

On the 12th, Melody Maker reports that "Circles" is not working out as the next Who single. Little does anyone outside The Who and their immediate circle know exactly how much it isn't working out. In fact, on this day, The Who sneak into Olympic Sound Studios on Carton Street and record their new single "Substitute" and a new version of "Circles." Pete takes the job of producer from Shel Talmy with Terry Brown as engineer. John turns the single into one of his most prominent performances by turning up his amps when no one is looking. Keith later calls Pete when he hears the single demanding to know who they got to drum on it. He has no memory of being at the session despite his noisy yell on the record.

Also on the 12th, "My Generation" reaches it peak on the U.S. Billboard charts at #74. New York station WMCA is reported to have finally started playing the single after overcoming objections raised by the Mothers League of Stammering Boys.

Then it's back to the crowds playing the Community Centre in Southall (13th), the Valentine's Day Panto Ball at the University of Liverpool (14th), the Esquire Club in Sheffield (15th) and Club A Go-Go in Newcastle (17th).

Pete and Roger are interviewed by a local reporter at the Southall gig. Asked about The Who's student audiences, Pete replies, "They're just a lot of 'dead faces.' Students don't know much about life anyway."

Pete Townshend home recording

Pete is much more helpful in the first of two articles in Beat Instrumental magazine detailing his equipment and methods for setting up and recording in his home studio. At the time, Pete was one of the few pop musicians making demos for later band recording.

On the 18th, the news breaks in New Musical Express that The Who are leaving Brunswick and U.S. Decca for the new Reaction label in Europe and Atco in the U.S. Former producer Shel Talmy threatens the group with payback that he soon delivers, launching a lawsuit against the band and its managers.

Substitute advancer ad

"Substitute" was to have been released on the 18th but is stopped because of the lawsuit. That night The Who are safely across the border in Scotland, performing at the Volunteer Hall in Galashiels.

The Who Colin Jones portrait
Photo: Colin Jones

The 19th finds The Who at the Memorial Hall in Norwich followed by the Oasis Club in Manchester (20th). Immediately after this show, Colin Jones photographs the band for their appearance on the cover of next month's Sunday Observer magazine. The next day they play the Beachcomber Club in Preston.

On the 22nd, the band goes into rehearsals at the White Hart in Acton and are reported to have tried to record some instrumentals for a never-to-be-released French EP. Recording instrumentals may have been forced on them because Roger had come down with laryngitis. The Who perform without him on the 24th at the Victoria Ballroom in Chesterfield. Pete and John share the vocals. Beforehand, John and Keith sit in with the opening act The Fruit Eating Bears.

The Who ad 26 Feb 1966

Roger remains out for the rest of the month as the trio plays the Majestic Ballroom in Wellington (25th), the Starlight Ballroom in Boston, Lincolnshire (26th) and the Eltham Baths in Eltham Hill (28th).

On the 26th, Billboard gives some more details about The Who's migration to Reaction records. It is apparently a notable part of a new deal to have the U.S. label Atlantic move their output in the U.K. from British Decca to Polydor. The article also lists Robert Stigwood, who runs Polydor's new Reaction label that has gotten The Who, as "the group's agent". The article mentions that Shel Talmy has threatened legal action, that Atlantic will now issue The Who's records in the States, and that they will soon rush-release "Substitute".

The Who interview Rave Mar 66

In the March issue of Rave, is another interview with The Who but it is as disastrous as the one in the previous month's issue was great. Interviewer Dawn James catches Pete in one of his dark moods and decides to press him on his admission of drug taking on A Whole Scene Going in January. Pete tells her, "Drugs don’t harm you. I know. I take them. I’m not saying I use opium or heroin, but hashish is harmless, and everyone takes it." He also goes off about religion. "I shall not have my children baptised and I don't care if they are banned from certain schools and that, I don't agree with doing things because everyone else does." Dawn says in the interview "Before my meeting with the Who, I thought I knew them. They are misunderstood, I decided, people aren't fair to them. After my meeting I realised they are understood well, and people really are quite patient."

March 1966

New music releases: Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass) - The Rolling Stones; Frankie and Johnny - Elvis Presley; "Monday, Monday" - The Mama's & The Papa's; "When a Man Loves a Woman" - Percy Sledge
Who ad at Wolsey Hall

The Who kick off the month playing the Wolsey Hall in Cheshunt (2nd) and the Victoria Ballroom in Chesterfield (3rd).

Substitute ad in Record Mirror

On the 4th, the Reaction label finally gets its first Who single into stores, "Substitute" backed with "Circles." To provide some confusion over a planned injunction brought by their former producer Shel Talmy, Reaction also releases the single with a new label affixed to the b-side, retitling the song "Instant Party."

Also on the 4th, Talmy releases a new single by The Rockin' Vickers, "It's Alright," that is a re-write of "The Kids Are Alright." The band's lead guitarist is Ian Willis who will later be rechristened "Lemmy" when he becomes famous in Motörhead.

Around the same time The Fleur De Lys, with Jimmy Page on lead, release their own cover of "Circles" as a single in the U.K.

That night The Who play the I.C.I. Fibres "A" Shift Dance for the British Nylon Spinners Club in Pontypool, Wales.

On the 5th, Rod Harrod in Disc repeats a rumor that Keith is soon to be married to a woman named "Patsie." Keith deflects the story by claiming it is about "Patsie Klyne" from Bishopgate who has recently left for South Africa. On the same day Steve Marriott of The Small Faces reviews "Substitute" for "Blind Date" in Melody Maker. He instantly recognizes it as The Who: "Oh, great. It's just too much. They sound like Billy Fury! It's not as good as 'My Generation', but it's definitely a Number One. That'll please Pete, and Keith's mum! Pete's writing more and more commercial stuff. This actually conjures up a visual picture of them. Hayley Mills will like it."

Also on the 5th, "My Generation" reaches its chart peak in Malaysia at #8.

Financial trouble and internal tension make The Who prepare their CV's. Keith makes overtures to The Animals to join their group after drummer John Steel leaves. When The Animals instead pick Barry Jenkins of The Nashville Teens, Keith runs to The Teens and applies for that vacancy.

Groups Group

A way out for John appears in Melody Maker's issue of the 6th as he is selected for a "Group's Group" along with Eric Clapton (lead guitar), Bruce Welch of the Shadows (rhythm guitar), Brian Auger (organ), Ginger Baker (drums), and Stevie Winwood (singer). John will later point to this article as a possible genesis for the group Cream with Jack Bruce being selected as bass player over himself.

On the 7th, The Who mime to "Substitute" on The Scene at 6:30. The same day Talmy and the Brunswick label releases the first of their "spoiler" singles, choosing with no little spite "A Legal Matter" as the A-side. It is backed with the Talmy-produced version of "Circles," here re-titled "Instant Party." The next day Talmy gets an interim injunction against the further release by Reaction of either "Circles" or "Instant Party" claiming that they are violations of his copyright.

When The Who Are The What

On the 9th, Polydor, owners of the Reaction label, go to the high court to have the injunction dismissed. Talmy's QC tells Mr. Justice Cross, "The group of young men who made the record is The Who." "The what?" replies the judge. "The Who m'lord, like the initials of the World Health Organization." Polydor makes the case that there is no copyright violation as Pete is the sole author of the song. Talmy's QC makes the case that, since Pete cannot read music and Talmy can, Talmy should be considered co-author. The judge extends the injunction against the Reaction release to the 18th but forces Talmy's company, Orbit Music, to put up $10,000 to pay to Polydor if Talmy's case is shown to have no merit.

The Who carry on, playing the Town Hall in Farnborough (9th), the Ram Jam Club in Brixton (10th), the Cavern in Leicester Square (11th), the Birdcage Club in Portsmouth (12th) and the Starlite Ballroom in Greenford (13th).

On the 10th, "Substitute" enters the British charts. The NME's Derek Johnson reviews the single calling it "a great hunk of commercial beat" but agreeing with Steve Marriott that he doesn't like it as much as 'My Generation.' Another article in the same NME mentions that Pete is producing a new London group called The Cat that includes future Thunderclap Newman drummer John "Speedy" Keene and future Empty Glass producer Chris Thomas. A cover of a new Townshend composition, "Run Run Run", is scheduled for single release on the 18th but it is cancelled before it appears.

Who In Record Rumpus

On the 12th, Pete and the battle of the Who singles is the cover story in Melody Maker.

Sitting on 40,000 copies of "Substitute" it cannot release with "Circles" or "Instant Party" on the b-side due to the injunction of the 10th, Reaction re-issues "Substitute" on the 15th with a b-side instrumental credited to "The Who Orchestra," actually fellow labelmates The Graham Bond Organization, and called "Waltz for A Pig" in a pointed reference to Talmy.

Also on the 15th, The Who record "Barbara Ann," "Substitute," "You Rang," "Man With Money" and "Dancing In The Street" at Aeolian Hall, Studio 1, BBC, London for Saturday Club.

On the 17th, Keith becomes the second member of The Who to wed and, as with Roger, it is kept a secret from the press and the fans. He and his pregnant, 17 year-old bride Kim Kerrigan slink into the Willesden Register Office with Keith's mom, Kim's dad, The Who's tour manager Phil Robinson and John Entwistle. By Kit Lambert's order, no pictures are taken.

On the 18th, the injunction against Reaction releasing "Circles" or "Instant Party" is lifted and the label puts their 40,000 leftover copies in the shops.

On the morning of the 18th, The Who are filmed miming to "I Can't Explain," "Bald Headed Woman" and "Substitute" at Tower Pier, London for Dick Clark's ABC-TV U.S. program Where The Action Is. That evening they head out to Wembley's Studio One to perform "Substitute" and "Barbara Ann" on Ready, Steady, GO!, then zip off to Basildon to play the Locarno Ballroom.

Who Going Round In Circles

Also on the 18th, publicist Keith Altman has an article in the NME called "Who are going 'round in Circles" that says that, after the now printed copies of "Substitute" have been sold, it will again be replaced, this time by a shorter version recorded for the American market. This does not happen in the U.K. and the shortened version, with "I try walking forward but my feet walk back" in place of "I look all white but my dad was black", is subsequently released only in the U.S., Canada, South Africa and Rhodesia.

And again on the 18th, The Birds with guitarist Ron Wood record two takes of Pete's "Run Run Run" but neither are released until 1999.

On the 19th, Dave Davies of The Kinks expresses his doubts about The Who's new single in Record Mirror: "Have you heard the Who’s thing? I don’t like it, do you? Pete Townshend said they did it because it’s commercial, but I don’t like it at all. I suppose their fans will buy it, but I don’t know what people see in it."

That evening The Who play Kings Hall in Stoke-On-Trent.

The Who Observer 1966

On the 20th, The Who are the cover feature in The Observer's Sunday Colour Supplement. Pete: "From valueless objects - a guitar, a microphone, a hackneyed pop tune, we abstract a new value. We take objects with one function and give them another. And the auto-destructive element - the way we destroy our instruments - adds immediacy to it all."

On the 21st, Chris Stamp directs a video of The Who miming to the U.S. version of "Substitute" at a film studio in Neal's Yard, Covent Garden. Re-edited to the British version, it appears in The Kids Are Alright and Who's Better Who's Best. That night's show at the Beachcomber Club in Preston is cancelled due to contractual difficulties.

There is a new show on the 23rd at the Tower Ballroom in Great Yarmouth. The Who's road manager, Neville Chesters, joins The Who onstage to sing "You Were On My Mind."

Also on the 23rd comes a "Pop Think-In" with Pete in Melody Maker. Pete declares he "always stands by Young Communist principles," but blasts the British Communist Party as "so badly run -- sort of making tea in dustbins like the Civil Defence." He has praise for Ray Davies and The Kinks' new single "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" and says about Keith Moon, "if I felt ageing, I could look at Keith and steal some of his youth."

On the 24th, The Who tape an appearance for Top Of The Pops miming to "Substitute" than head to the Starlite Ballroom in Crawley. On the 25th, they play the Corn Exchange in Hertford followed by St. George's Ballroom in Hinkley (26th), the Marine Ballroom on the Central Pier in Morecambe (27th).

On the same day, Paul Samwell-Smith tells the NME that Pete stole his guitar feedback technique from Jeff Beck when he saw his group Trident playing at the Richmond Athletic Grounds. Pete denies it.

Sound of the Stars sleeve

On the 26th, Pete is interviewed at Caroline House by Penny Valentine for a special "Sound Of The Stars" flexidisc to be included in the premiere issue of Disc and Music Echo.

On the 31st, The Who record an appearance on Music Hall de France at d'Ailleurs, Issy-les-Moulineaux. They perform live versions of "Substitute," "Dancing In The Street," "Man With Money," "Barbara Ann," and "My Generation."

April 1966

New music releases: Aftermath - The Rolling Stones; Live! - Lou Rawls; The Shadow of Your Smile - Andy Williams; Soul & Inspiration - The Righteous Brothers
April 1966 Paris shoot

On the 1st, The Who and The Yardbirds appear together in a live French edition of Ready, Steady GO! called, appropriately, Ready, Steady, Allez! According to producer Vicki Wickham, both groups run out of the studio and into the alley at the end of the show. The cameras chase them only to catch the bands urinating against a wall.

The same night The Who perform at La Locomotive Club in Paris, compèred by Ronnie Bird who will soon release "Ne t'en fais pas pour Ronnie," a French-language re-write of "A Legal Matter." The show is broadcast on Radio Luxembourg. Another performance there follows the next night.

Substitute Billboard Ad

On the 2nd, an ad appears in the U.S. publication Billboard announcing the release of "Substitute" backed with "Waltz For A Pig" on the Atco label. This is the short version of "Substitute" with a re-recorded vocal in which the phrase "I look all white but my dad was black" is replaced with "I try walking forward but my feet walk back." Billboard says "Debut disk on Atco for the swinging group has the Liverpool-blues sound and big beat support for an exciting chart entry aimed at the teen market." Nevertheless, it fails to make the U.S. charts.

Also on the 2nd, the Brunswick release of "A Legal Matter" hits its U.K. chart peak at #28.

On the 3rd, The Who fly back to the U.K., playing the Town Hall in Chatham in Kent on the 4th.

Who Court Date

Meanwhile, also on the 4th, a judge grants another interim injunction brought by The Who's former producer Shel Talmy preventing The Who from releasing any further recordings anywhere unless they are produced by Talmy and released by U.S. Decca/Brunswick. The Who's management New Action Ltd. agrees to try to reach a settlement upon the first adjournment.

Shortly after the above event, Pete writes a new song on the back of a copy of his affidavit in the Talmy case. Its name: "I Can See For Miles".

On the 7th, The Who tele-record an appearance miming "Substitute" for Top of the Pops. It airs a week later.

Pete Townshend with tyre
Photo: Hugh Vanes

The next day The Who travel by van to Leeds for a meet 'n' greet at Vallances Records followed by a show at Queens Hall in Leeds. Photographer Hugh Vanes accompanies the band and photographs Pete carrying a tyre for the van.

Pete Townshend breakfast 1966
Photo: Hugh Vanes

The next morning (9th) Vanes photographs Pete having an elegant breakfast while perusing the latest NME...

John Entwistle Keith Moon breakfast
Photo: Hugh Vanes

...then shoots John and Keith sharing fags and brekkies at the diner The Boiling Kettle. That night The Who play the Pavilion Gardens Ballroom in Buxton.

Also on the 9th, "Substitute" enters the Dutch charts while "My Generation" reaches its peak at #13 in the Detroit, Michigan area. The following day "Substitute" peaks at #2 on Radio London's Fab 40.

The Who April 1966 programme

On the 14th, The Who begin their first proper British theatre tour with two shows at the Gaumont Cinema in Southampton. They are the last act after Paul Dean & The Soul Savages, The Sound System, Hamilton, Jimmy Cliff, The Fruit Eating Bears, The Merseys and The Spencer Davis Group (who have the nation's #1 single at the time). Compèring the shows is future Myra Breckinridge director Mike Sarne. The Who's set at this time is "Barbara Ann," "My Generation," "I Can't Explain," "Substitute" and "Dancing In The Street."

Entwistle's silence is broken

John is interviewed in Melody Maker. The article is called "At last! Entwistle's silence is broken".

During this month, Pete receives his first record royalty cheque. He uses the money to buy a 1963 Lincoln Continental convertible and a 28-foot motorboat.

The tour continues (two shows per day) at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon (15th), the Odeon Cinema in Watford (16th - fans rush the stage and pull Roger to the floor), the Regal Cinema in Edmonton (17th), the Odeon Cinema in Derby (22nd), the Odeon Cinema in Rochester (23rd), and the Hippodrome in Birmingham (24th).

Between these dates The Who also manage to squeeze in regular shows at the Town Hall in Walsall (19th) and the Locarno Ballroom in Stevenage (21st).

On the 23rd, "A Legal Matter" enters the Dutch charts where it will peak at #22.

The same day, the first issue of the magazine Disc and Music Echo hits the stands. It includes the Sounds of The Stars disc containing a short interview with Pete. Also Record Mirror comes out with an interview with Kit Lambert who says The Who's legal matter is keeping them from recording another album.

Crash escape for The Who

On the 24th, John and driver Richard Cole pick up Keith at his house to head to the Birmingham gig. As they pull away, the vehicle is struck causing serious damage but leaving John and Keith uninjured.

The Who Sings My Generation

On the 26th, The Who's first album is released in the U.S. on Decca. Retitled The Who Sings My Generation it features a different cover, drops "I'm a Man" for the Shel Talmy-produced "Instant Party," edits the instrumental break out of "The Kids Are Alright" and reverses the order of "A Legal Matter" and "The Ox." It is released in both mono and stereo although both are simply mono electronically processed as stereo. Billboard says: "the four boys from London have an ear-splitting, gut-busting and best-selling package in this program of blues-oriented rock numbers." It fails to reach the U.S. charts, but does get airplay on Detroit radio stations.


On the 28th, a curious article appears in the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet. The Swedish group The Namelosers, through their manager Jörgen Wikin, are offering Keith Moon 6,000 kronor a month to leave The Who and join their group. Keith is reportedly interested but wants 10,000 kroner. The tabloid reports that the manager will be travelling to London on May 15th to finalize the contract.

Who Pack Tiles

The Who continue the club circuit playing the Pavilion in Bath (25th), the Links International Club in Boreham Wood (26th), The Witchdoctor at the Savoy Room in Catford (28th), The Tiles Club in Oxford Street, London (29th - set cut in half after fans twice rush the stage) and the Corn Exchange in Chelmsford. Bluesology opens for The Who on the 26th and afterwards John has a bend 'n' bitch at the bar with the group's pianist, Reg Dwight, who can't convince Bluesology to let him sing. After changing his name to Elton John later in the decade he gets a lot more microphone time.

On the 30th, "Substitute" hits its peak at #5 on Sweden's Tio i Topp charts.

May 1966

New music releases: Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys; "Paint It, Black" - The Rolling Stones; Strangers In The Night - Frank Sinatra; "Paperback Writer" - The Beatles
The Who at 1966 NME Poll Winners

On the 1st, The Who make their only appearance at one of the New Musical Express Poll Winners concerts at the Empire Pool in Wembley. The incredible line up for this concert also includes The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, The Small Faces, The Spencer Davis Group, Dusty Springfield, Herman's Hermits, Cliff Richard, Sounds Incorporated, The Alan Price Set, Crispian St. Peters, The Overlanders, The Seekers, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, The Shadows, The Walker Brothers, Roy Orbison and, in their last concert appearance in the U.K., The Beatles. According to Alan Smith in New Musical Express' review, there was one band that stood out among these great talents: "I don't know that it was music; it was more like watching violence put to rhythm. But unquestionably, [The Who] stood out as the most remarkable appearance of the second half and I say this even though the Rolling Stones and The Beatles were to follow." The show is videotaped and The Who's performance is broadcast on ITV on the 8th. Rumors still circulate that a copy of this show exists but it has never gone public since its initial broadcast.

Smashed windows in a huff

The violence continues offstage at The Who's next scheduled show. They were to have appeared on the 3rd at the Winter Gardens in Malvern but the show is cancelled and the disappointed audience is told that The Who could not make it due to a van break down. Some of the audience members aren't having it and go on a window-smashing rampage. They are correct to be disbelieving. The van breakdown is merely a cover story for the fact that Pete, John and Keith have collectively refused to share a stage with Roger. Again he is out of the band.

The 4th finds The Who on stage at the Town Hall in Stourbridge performing as a trio with Pete and John sharing lead vocals. Roger is kept out again on the 5th at the Town Hall in Kidderminster. After the show the 17-year old singer for the local band Listen approaches Pete and volunteers to take Roger's place as lead singer. Pete turns Robert Plant down.

Also on the 5th, Billboard reports that "My Generation" has reached #8 in the Malaysian charts.

On the 6th, Roger makes a temporary peace with Pete, John and Keith, rejoining the group for their first trek to North Ireland to play three dates beginning with the Top Hat Ballroom in Lisburn. He must have been happy to have re-joined the band for this trip as he runs into Bob Dylan who is performing on the same day at the ABC Cinema. Bob and Roger have tea and a chat between the acoustic and electric sets of his show.

Pete's patchwork plans

On the 7th, The Who perform at the National Stadium in Dublin. Later newspaper reports say that the IRA leveled threats against The Who if they went on stage in their Union Jack jackets. The Who were reported to have already responded by having special jackets made from the Eire tricolour. However, Max Ker-Seymer, who was in the supporting band Peter Adler and The Next in Line, says there were never any threats made. The Who finish up Ireland with a show at the Arcadia Ballroom in Cork on the 8th.

Taking some time off, Pete presents Who manager Kit Lambert with a musical gift on the 10th, the day before Kit's 31st birthday. It is a 10-minute piece called "Gratis Amatis" that Pete put together with his friend Ray Tolliday and which he jokingly refers to as an opera. It sparks Kit's imagination. Why not a rock 'n roll opera? Kit sends Pete off to try to devise a story and songs for a full-length work.

John Entwistle and Pete Townshend backstage in Wimbledon
Photo: Chris Morphet

On the 11th, The Who play the Corn Exchange in Bristol followed by the Pavilion in Worthing (12th). For the following two shows at the Wimbledon Palais (13th) and the Palais de Danse in Bury (14th) Roger is absent for reasons unknown and The Who are again a temporary trio.

Also on the 11th, "Substitute" enters the Swedish Kvällstoppen sales chart, peaking at #16.

On the 13th, The Who appear on the BBC Light Programme The Joe Loss Pop Show. Again a trio, Pete, John and Keith apologize for Roger's absence saying he has a sore throat. Pete sings "A Legal Matter," John sings the next two, "CC Rider" and "Dancing in the Street."

On the 13th, the Swedish newspaper Arbetet reports that negotiations with Keith to join the Swedish group The Namelosers have fallen through as Keith is already the third highest-paid drummer in Britain. On July 10th, the newspaper Götebirgstudbubgen confirms that Keith has no plans to leave The Who for Sweden. (thanks to Jan Forsgren for uncovering this story!)

On the 16th Dick Clark's U.S. TV show Where The Action Is shows film from March of The Who performing "I Can't Explain," and "Substitute." A kinescope of the latter broadcast later becomes a popular video bootleg item.

The Who were to have toured The Netherlands around this time but cannot because they are unable to obtain work permits. Keith keeps busy behind the scenes as he sneaks over to play drums for a "super-group" being assembled by The Yardbirds' guitarist Jeff Beck. On the 16th and 17th the group that consists of Beck, Moon, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Nicky Hopkins records "Beck's Bolero." The other members of The Who know nothing about it at the time and it is Beck's understanding that Keith will quit The Who and join his group. When Keith fails to do so, this early version of The Jeff Beck Group falls apart.

Shel Talmy produces a recording by the group The Untamed of a song called "Kids Take Over." It is credited as a Pete composition although Pete has since denied it is his.

On the 19th, Pete turns 21. On the same day Keith meets up with Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys who has arrived in London with an advance copy of the Pet Sounds album. Keith, being a huge Beach Boys fan, promises Bruce an appearance on the TV programme Ready Steady GO! Later that night Keith and Bruce meet up with John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The four play cards while listening to the album over and over. Keith doesn't care for it because it doesn't sound like typical surf music, but Lennon and especially McCartney are awed and intimidated by Brian Wilson's production and leave determined to top him.

Keith Moon Bruce Johnston RSG
Photo: Bruce Johnston

The next day, as promised, Keith gets Bruce an interview on Ready Steady GO! but it causes him and John to miss the first half of The Who's set at The Corn Exchange in Newbury, Berkshire. Pete and Roger have been playing with the bassist and drummer from their opening act The Jimmy Brown Sound and are naturally furious at Keith. At the end of the show Keith, knocking over his drum set as usual, hits Pete in the leg with a falling cymbal. Pete turns and sends his guitar flying right into Keith's head.

Keith and John storm off determined that they are finally finished with The Who. They head over to Kit Lambert's house to tell him they're out. Pete goes over to Keith's the next day and tries to apologize. Keith is having none of it and for the time The Who have to continue with another drummer.

John comes back but The Who must carry on Keithless using their opening band's drummer to fill in at the Floral Hall in Southport (21st), the Locarno Ballroom in Blackburn (23rd), the Locarno Ballroom in Ashton-under-Lyne (26th) and Granby Halls in Leicester (27th).

On the 21st, Billboard reports about a hot new single in the Toronto area, a cover of "I Can't Explain" by the Edmonton group King-Beezz.

On the 25th, Reaction Records head Robert Stigwood tells the press that Keith is backing down on his threat to leave The Who. Keith returns on the 28th for The Who's performance at the South Pier in Blackpool. The opening acts are The Rockin' Vickers, The Birds and Oscar. Oscar is actually Paul Nicholas who will play Cousin Kevin nine years later in Tommy: The Movie.

Who Incident Keith Moon Hurt

On the 28th, Pete and Keith talk to Melody Maker about the incident of the 20th. According to Pete: "We were due on stage. Keith had gone out with somebody else and in the end we had to start playing without him. Finally Keith turned up...I swung out with my guitar, not really meaning to hit Keith. I lost my grip of the instrument and it just caught him on the side of the head." Keith is obviously dissatisfied with the explanation: "My eye is all black and blue, and I've had three stitches in my leg. Well, y'know, who needs it? If it happens again I'm leaving!"

Also on the 28th, Billboard reports from Milan that Radio Records has released the first record by The Geordies, "Shavada" backed with a cover of "My Generation."

The Who Winter Gardens playbill

On the 29th The Who play the Winter Gardens in Morecambe for two shows with supporting acts The Merseys, The Fruit-Eating Bears, Mike Berry and The Innocents, Philip Tait & The Stormsville Shakers, She Trinity and Oscar. Around this time Keith expands his drum kit from its single bass drum to a double bass drum, nine piece kit: the price of his return?

Pop star in M1 pileup

On the 30th Pete is in an auto accident on the M1 on his way back to London after the Morecambe gig. It is incorrectly reported in the Netherlands, Germany and France that Roger has been killed in the crash and Polydor is inundated with calls. That night The Who play at the Sincil Bank Football Ground in Lincoln for the Whit Monday Pop Gala Festival. The Kinks, the Small Faces, and the Yardbirds are also on the bill.

June 1966

New music releases: Yesterday and Today - The Beatles; "Sunny Afternoon" - The Kinks; "Sunny" - Bobby Hebb; "Lil' Red Riding Hood" - Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs
Summer City illustration

The Who fly into Arlanda Airport, Stockholm on the 1st. Pete is interviewed for a Swedish magazine at the airport. He tells them he is currently working on a musical called "Summer City".

The Who Grona Lund 1966

On the evening of the 2nd, The Who appear at the Grona Lund Stadium in Stockholm before 11,000 fans. Along with their usual fare, they essay a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Uptight."

On the afternoon of the 3rd, The Who arrive at a TV studio in Stockholm to appear on the Popside program for Sverige Television. Coming onstage busting through a Union Jack paper hoop, they mime performances of "Daddy Rolling Stone," "It's Not True," "Bald Headed Woman," "The Kids Are Alright," "Substitute" and "My Generation" while standing on a ramp. The show is directed by Peter Goldmann, later to direct the promotional films for The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane." It airs on Swedish television on the 5th.

The Who Kungsor 1966

Somehow The Who squeeze in shows at two different venues after the television taping: The Liljekonvaljeholmen in Uppsala and the Kungsparken in Kungsor.

Also on the 3rd, The Eyes release their EP These Are The Eyes featuring several songs that copy The Who's sound and top it all with a parody of "My Generation" called "My Degeneration."

Steve Marriott of The Small Faces is interviewed in the Melody Maker of the 4th. On the subject of The Who he says, "A gas. I can't really understand their personal basis - the friendship basis - but I don't want to understand. Their music is great and always will be."

The Who Soderhamm 1966

On the 4th, another two venues, The Berget in Soderhamn and the Hogbo Bruk in Sandviken and on the 5th another two, The Traffen in Nykoping and Idrottshuset in Orebro. Between shows, The Who stop at the home of Gunnel Larsson in Vrena to watch themselves on TV.

John Entwistle Orebro 1966

At the show in Orebro the police panic and pull the plug on The Who when the audience rushes the stage. Pete threatens the police and stagehands to get the power back on but after a part of the set the police cut The Who's power off permanently. John has a rare display of temper and rams his bass guitar through his amp so hard it takes two roadies to get it out.

On the 6th, these troublemakers head on to Denmark flying into Copenhagen. That night Keith and John go drinking at the Carousel Club and sit in for a set with The Tremeloes.

On the 7th, The Who play the Tivoli Hit House followed by a later show at Fyens Forum in Odense. At a press conference before the show at the Tivoli, John shows he is still in a bad mood. He says he hates Danish beer, Danish cigarettes and every Who song but one — "Substitute." On the 8th, The Who return to London.

On the 11th, Billboard lists "Substitute" as #2 in the Netherlands and #6 in South Africa. They stay in those positions on the next week's charts.

Clint Warwick, bassist for The Moody Blues, leaves the group retiring from show business. John applies for but fails to get the open spot that goes to Rod Clarke from Les Garcons.

Pete Townshend flat interview 1966

Chris Stamp interviews Pete at his Wardour Street flat, filming it for Dick Clark's Where The Action Is. Part of this film appears in The Kids Are Alright where Pete speaks of the need for "power and volume."

The Who in disguises

On the 14th, The Who record preliminary versions of two new Pete compositions "Disguises" and a song from Pete's first rock opera Quads, "I'm A Boy." "Disguises" is rush mixed to be used the next day on the last episode of BBC-TV's A Whole Scene Going. Pete wears a handlebar mustache and John plays a tuba named "Gladys."

On the 15th, "Substitute" peaks at #13 on the German charts.

In separate issues this month, Record Mirror reports that The Fruit Eating Bears with Joey Molland, later in the group Badfinger, on guitar, will soon be issuing their first single with a song, "Call Me Lightning", given to them by Pete Townshend. Unfortunately for them, the Sixties edition of the Bears will fail to get any records released.

The Who Carlisle ad 1966

Bills have to be paid and guitars smashed so The Who start playing the English venues again. The 16th sees them at Hull University followed by the City Hall in Perth (17th), and the Market Hall in Carlisle (18th).

On the 18th, Record Mirror reports on a double bill of The Who and The Merseys at Shea Stadium for July 9th. The Who won't actually make it to Shea for another 16 years.

On the 20th, The Who return to the stage at the Gaytower Ballroom in Birmingham followed by the Winter Gardens in Malvern (21st). The latter show is filmed in color by CBS-TV for an hour-long special on British teenagers. The footage has yet to re-surface.

Following that is The Who's first performance at the Refectory at the University at Leeds (23rd) as part of a University Rag Ball along with The Alan Price Set, The Swingin' Blue Jeans and a John Mayall's Bluesbreakers that had just lost guitarist Eric Clapton to the new group Cream.

More college dates afterwards: the University of Salisbury (24th), the College Of Further Education in Chichester (25th) where The Who's van is stolen -- recovered the next day.

On the 25th, Billboard reports that "Substitute" is at #4 in Australia.

Also on the 25th, Record Mirror interviews the group The Settlers who had some trouble opening for The Who: "The Who behave like delinquent children. One of them shoved his guitar through some new acoustic tiles in the dressing room.” “And let off stink bombs in the room,” said Cindy [Kent]. “And squeezed aerosol shaving cream all over the piano keyboard.” “Unbelievably idiotic destructiveness,” said the aghast John [Fyffe]. “Their noise onstage was so loud it hurt. That’s all it was. Sheer nonsense."

On the 26th The Who play the Britannia Pier Theatre in Great Yarmouth. The Who were to have been a regular act on Sundays in Great Yarmouth throughtout the summer but they were fired after this show when Keith throws his drumsticks into the audience and hits someone in the eye. Groups with more "family appeal" are substituted by their agent, Robert Stigwood.

Pete Townshend Datebook 1996

On the 27th, Pete and co-manager Chris Stamp fly to New York City, the first trip by any member of The Who to America. Shortly after his arrival, Pete attends a luncheon for Herman's Hermits who are beginning their 1966 U.S. tour. A reporter from Datebook magazine gets an interview from an irritable Pete while he is photographed by Linda Eastman."I don't know why I'm here, at somebody else's luncheon...Two of your lousy record companies haven't been able to get us a hit in America. Without a hit record, we can't get a visa to perform." When a girl recognizes him and asks if Keith is there because her brother wanted Keith's drumsticks, Pete snarls "He's not here. And if he were, I'm quite sure he wouldn't give you his drumsticks."

Afterwards he and Stamp attend a meeting with attorney Allen Klein on a yacht in the Hudson River. Klein is then partnered with Andrew Loog Oldham, manager of The Rolling Stones, who is also on the yacht during the meeting, but remains on the other side of the craft, feigning disinterest. Klein wants to propose a scheme to get The Who out of the interim injunction brought by their ex-producer Shel Talmy that has blocked The Who from releasing new records. Klein leads Pete to understand that the Talmy troubles will end only if he fires Lambert and Stamp and lets Klein and Loog-Oldham run The Who. Pete instead gives Stamp authority to represent him in the negotiations and leaves to make a gig on the 29th at the University of Sheffield. Klein pays for Pete's first class ticket back home.

While in New York, Stamp, with the help of Klein, makes a deal that gets them around the Talmy injunction by having Decca Records cancel its contract with Talmy in exchange for signing The Who to U.S. Decca via their managers Lambert and Stamp. By so doing, Talmy now has no hold over The Who except for his contract to be their producer and The Who are free to release new music. The Who get a £17,000 advance, 10% royalties from their U.S. releases and the ability to act as free agents in the rest of the world. Klein's price: a piece of Pete's song publishing rights, a fact Pete doesn't discover until eleven years later.

Sheffield cancellation

Despite the first class accommodations, Pete arrives in London with jet lag that forces him to pull over to the side of the M1 and take a nap. That night's Who concert is cancelled. Support group Tony Rivers and The Castaways fill in.

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 Eastbourne 1966 ad

Having missed the last show of June for a motorway sleepover, Pete misses the first show of July, as does the rest of the band. They are scheduled to play a "Beat Dance" at the Winter Garden in Eastbourne on the 1st but instead send a Robert Stigwood employee to read a telegram saying engine failure on their plane is to blame for their absence. Everyone gets a refund although there is no way to give one to three girls who won an evening with Keith in a competition.

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. This program still exists but has not yet been commercially released.

More legal news. On the 4th, the Daily News reports that Orbit Music Co. has brought an injunction against The Who performing for anyone but them based on a contract Pete and The Who's managers signed in November 1964. On the 8th, New Musical Express reports incorrectly that the Allen Klein deal to buy the Who's contract has gone through. Their report details what would have happened if it had: The Who's records were to be issued in America and Canada on MGM. Klein purchases Talmy's contract. Recording sessions were to be "supervised" by Kit Lambert and Oldham would be in charge of manufacturing and distributing their records in the U.K.

Substitute Holland picture sleeve

Also on the 8th, "Substitute" peaks at #2 in The Netherlands' Muziek Parade and #6 in Muziek Expres while "A Legal Matter" peaks at #21 and #22 respectively in the same charts.

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 Who Bridlington 1966 poster

Parental leave is over on the 14th as The Who play Liberal Hall in Yeovil, the Starlite Ballroom in Greenford (15th), the Civic Hall in Barnsley (16th), the Locarno Ballroom in Bristol (21st), the Central Pier in Morecambe (22nd), Spa Royal Hall in Bridlington (23rd), Queen's Ballroom in Wolverhampton (25th), Flamingo Ballroom in Redruth, Cornwall (27th), Queen's Hall in Barnstaple (28th) and the Tiles Club in London (29th). Some known supporting acts are Pythagoras Square and Fourth and a Fifth (15th), The Mandrakes (with Robert Palmer) and the 21st Century (23rd) and The Blue Aces (29th). For the show of the 21st, Keith brings house bricks onstage to use in the demolishing of his drum kit.

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.

Chris Stamp shooting The Who

Around the same time, Chris Stamp also shoots film of The Who running in London's trendy Carnaby Street.

Also on the 16th, Billboard reports that "Substitute" has peaked at #3 in New Zealand.

The Merseys So Sad About Us picture sleeve

On the 29th, The Merseys release a single in Britain of "So Sad About Us," written for them by Pete who also produces (although Kit Lambert is listed as producer on the label). The B-side, "Love Will Continue," features John on French horn. It fails to chart.

On the 30th, Beach Boys fan Keith gives his public assessment of their new album Pet Sounds to New Musical Express: "I think Pet Sounds illustrates the way one man's mind works, that of Brian Wilson. There's nothing revolutionary in the album, I don't think. Perhaps the only revolution is in the group itself, the way they've changed with the album. They are not so much a vocal group these days. Vocals, as such, have almost disappeared with this album."

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.

August 1966

New music releases: Revolver - The Beatles; Blonde on Blonde - Bob Dylan; "Eleanor Rigby" - The Beatles; "Reach Out I'll Be There" - Four Tops

On the 2nd, The Who go on vacation for two weeks. Keith, his wife Kim, John and his girlfriend Allison travel to Torremolinos in Spain. Newborn Mandy Moon is left behind with Keith's parents. Pete travels to Israel. Roger stays in London spending three days redecorating his apartment and the rest of the time fishing.

Who refuse to plug new single

On the 12th, Brunswick issues the second of their spoiler Who singles. "The Kids Are Alright" backed with "The Ox" comes out in Europe, reaching only #41 in the U.K. charts but #8 in Sweden. Derek Johnson in New Musical Express declares it "isn't The Who at their distinctive best. Set at a hectic up-tempo pace, with a shuffle beat and a suggestion of the surf influence, it also has a shattering twang sound."

In the same issue New Musical Express reports that the proposed deal for The Who's contract with Andrew Loog Oldham and Allan Klein has collapsed.

The Who 18 Aug 1966 ticket

On the 18th, The Who go back to work playing The Palace Ballroom on the Isle Of Man, the same ballroom Pete's father Cliff used to play ten years before. The opening act is Bob Miller and the Millermen.

On the 19th, The Who record performances of "I'm a Boy" and "It's Not True" for Ready Steady GO! at their television studio in Wembley. It airs that evening.

On the 20th, Billboard lists "The Kids Are Alright" as a "breakout hit" in Detroit.

20 Aug 1966 ad

On the 20th The Who play the Town Hall in Torquay followed by the Pier Ballroom in Hastings (21st), the Sherwood Rooms in Nottingham (23rd), the Orchid Ballroom in Purley (24th), the Dreamland Ballroom in Margate (25th) and the Royal Hall in Harrogate (26th).

On the 25th, the Radio Luxembourg Record Stars Book No. 5 is released with a feature on The Who.

New Musical Express 26 Aug 1966

On the 26th "I'm a Boy" backed with "In The City" is released in Europe. Reaction Records' ad for the single takes up the entire front cover of New Musical Express. Melody Maker's review says "Composer Townshend with producer Kit Lambert have gone to Spector-ish extremes, stirred with Brian Wilson, and topped the lot with pure Who. An exciting, deep, loud record with thundering bass and drums – and shattering guitar...an enormous hit." It goes to #2 in the official U.K. charts but reaches #1 for two weeks in the Melody Maker charts making it the de facto biggest U.K. single hit for The Who. U.S. Decca holds up its release in the States hoping for a U.S. tour to support the single.

Meanwhile on the 27th, Billboard reports The Who plan to come to the U.S. in early September to promote their U.S. single of "The Kids Are Alright" and that a tape of the group performing the tune was rushed to New York for promotion on various TV shows. In the same issue, "The Kids Are Alright" reaches its U.S. peak on the Billboard charts, "Bubbling Under" at #106.

The 30th begins two days of recording at IBC Studios and Pye No. 2 Studio in London. During the sessions The Who record The Regent's "Barbara Ann," The Everly Brothers' "Man with Money," Martha and the Vandellas' "Heatwave" and the theme to the then smash hit TV show "Batman." The tracks are intended for a new album tentatively titled Jigsaw Puzzle. Kit Lambert produces and Paul Clay engineers. Also around this time, Kit Lambert directs a promotional video, similar to the earlier "Substitute" video, of The Who performing "I'm A Boy."

September 1966

New music releases: "Knock on Wood" - Eddie Floyd; The Mamas & The Papas - The Mamas & The Papas; Bert Kampfert's Greatest Hits - Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra; The Best of The Lettermen - The Lettermen
The Who ad 1 Sep 1966

The Who hit the road to promote their new single "I'm A Boy." Thursday they are at the Locarno Ballroom in Coventry (1st), Friday at the Locarno Ballroom in Basildon (2nd) and Saturday at the Drill Hall in Grantham (3rd).

On the 3rd, Ronnie Lane of Mod band The Small Faces reviews "I'm A Boy" in Blind Date in Melody Maker: "I missed the beginning, can you put it on again? It's The Who, isn't it? I recognized the backing but it didn't sound like them vocally, although it does if you've heard the LP. Yeah! I like this. It's great. Must be Pete's. Can I hear it again? I don't think it's as commercial as some of their others. I can't hear what it's all about, but I don't want to say that, because I can't stand people who moan, 'I can't hear the words!' This needs something catchy, but there's some great sounds there."

The Who begin the next week on Tuesday at The Palais in Ilford, Essex (6th). Earlier in the day they record performances of "I'm A Boy" and "Heatwave" for Ready, Steady, GO!

Pete Townshend John Entwistle backstage Felixstowe
Photo: Chris Morphet

Wednesday is spent at the Locarno Ballroom in Stevenage (7th) and Friday at the Pier Pavilion in Felixstowe (9th). The latter show and the car ride to it are filmed for the French television programme Seize Millions de Jeunes.

On the 10th, Melody Maker prints an article describing the August recording session. Disc magazine of the same day reports that The Who's next recording will be the new Pete composition "King Rabbit." Later that evening The Who play the Corn Exchange in Bedford and the next night at the Ultra Club in the Downs Hotel in Hassocks.

Also on the 10th, Brunswick's "spoiler" Who single "The Kids Are Alright" reaches its U.K. chart peak at #41.

On the 13th, The Who record a radio appearance for the BBC Light Programme Saturday Club at The Playhouse performing "I'm A Boy," "Disguises," "Heatwave" "So Sad About Us," and a cover of the Lovin' Spoonful's "On The Road Again." Speaking of being on the road, Pete announces on the show that the soon-commencing U.K. theatre tour will be cut short so that the group can make its first trip to America.

On the morning of the 15th, The Who pre-record a performance of "I'm A Boy" for that evening's Top of the Pops. If you're in Hanley that evening, you can see them live at the opening of The Who's British theatre tour at the Gaumont Theatre. Supporting them are fellow Polydor artists The Merseys, a new group called The Cream with Eric Clapton on guitar, Oscar (actually future "Cousin Kevin" Paul Nicholas) and comedian Max Wall. The following night's show, however, is the last one, taking place at the Odeon Cinema in Derby (with M.I.5 replacing The Cream).

Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp Sept 1966

The Who's managers, Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, meanwhile, are busy setting up their own label, to be called Track Records and distributed by Polydor. The Who will ultimately be moved to the label and The Who are encouraged to look for new talent for signage.

John Entwistle NME 16 Sept 1966

"The mute Who speaks up about the others" is New Musical Express' title for an interview with John in their issue of the 16th. He says he considers Pete and Roger to be "just workmates" but says the band has settled its differences since he and Keith considered leaving The Who back in May.

Pete Townshend Disc and Music Echo 17 Sept1966

Disc and Music Echo says The Who are halfway through recording their new album that will include the songs "Disguises," "Happy Jack" and "King Rabbit." In the same issue Pete says that he was the first guitarist to deliberately use guitar feedback and he is upset when he hears credit given to The Beatles or The Yardbirds. He also takes time to slam The Beach Boys' landmark album Pet Sounds. Despite his recent remarks (2011), at the time he didn't care for it calling it "too remote and way-out. It's written for a feminine audience."

Roger is interviewed in the Record Mirror of the 17th and says The Who have already recorded the tracks "So Sad About Us," "Heat Wave" and his favorite track "Disguises," all intended for The Who's forthcoming LP.

On the 20th, "I'm a Boy" enters the Kvällstoppen Swedish sales chart, peaking at #4.

The Who Top of the Pops 1966

On the 21st, Pete goes to the Newport Pagnell Court in Buckinghamshire over his automobile crash of May 30th. He is fined £25 with £26 costs for dangerous driving. That evening they again tape a performance of "I'm a Boy" for Top of the Pops. Photos are taken of them on stage for later promotion.

On the 23rd, The Who were to have left for a U.S. promotional tour. The trip, for which The Who had cancelled their British theatrical tour, is itself cancelled due to visa problems.

More articles on the 24th. Roger has a "Pop Think-In" in Melody Maker. He declares his respect for fast cars, The Beach Boys, John, Pete and The Beatles, his attraction to Mick Jagger and his lack of respect for Playboy bunnies, the Windsor Festival, Carnaby Street, pills, parents and "all films with birds."

Pete reviews that week's singles chart in Disc & Music Echo. He calls The Mindbenders' "Ashes To Ashes," "so nothing I can't remember it," Otis Reddings' "I Can't Turn You Loose," "the worst record in the chart," and the New Vaudeville Band's "Winchester Cathedral," "rubbish." Meanwhile, in the same issue, Keith answers readers' questions.

Jimi Hendrix in 1966

On the 24th, former Animal Chas Chandler lands in the U.K. with his new American discovery, guitarist Jimi Hendrix. Sometime during the next few days, according to John, Jimi gives a performance at a local club accompanied by John on bass. Perhaps he tells The Who's managers because, on the 27th, they attend a Hendrix performance at the Scotch of St. James Club. Chandler has heard about the Track Records' startup (Hendrix originally wanted to sign with Decca because The Who were on Decca in the U.S.). After hearing Hendrix play, Lambert and Stamp try to talk him into letting them be his managers but Chandler, naturally, refuses so they sign Hendrix as their first act for Track.

Also on the 24th, "I'm A Boy" enters the Dutch charts where it will peak at #5. "I'm a Boy" and "The Kids Are Alright" enter the Tio i Topp Swedish charts, the former peaking at #3, the latter at #2.

With the U.S. tour cancelled and no British shows lined up, The Who return to the studio for more LP work. During this period they record "Showbiz Sonata," an instrumental track credited to Keith Moon but with melody filched by John from a track off The Man From Interpol soundtrack album. It is later retitled "Cobwebs and Strange."

On the 30th, "I'm a Boy" hits its official U.K. chart peak at #2. Jim Reeves' "Distant Drums" keeps it from the #1 spot.

October 1966

New music releases: The Monkees - The Monkees; Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme - Simon & Garfunkel; "Good Vibrations" - The Beach Boys; The Best of Dean Martin - Dean Martin

On the 1st, The Who fill in for a kancelled Kinks gig at the Imperial Ballroom in Nelson.

Pete Townshend DandME Oct 66

The same day the band is on the cover of Disc and Music Echo with the headline "Why pop art is now just OLD HAT." Pete says The Who are pretty much finished with the pop-art clothing of a year before. His new thing is "writing musicals and operettas." He says the band's biggest ambition is to break in the U.S. and that Who fans there already consider them the third-biggest British band behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones although Pete concedes The Who haven't made it to that position yet.

Meanwhile on the 1st, "I'm a Boy" reaches its official chart peak in the U.K. at #2.

John Entwistle in studio 1966
Photo: Chris Morphet

On the 3rd, The Who go into CBS Recording Studios in London to record and mix Pete's "Don't Look Away" and John's first composition, "Whiskey Man," for the new album. At the end of the session Pete asks John what his other song will be for the album and John, having not given it any previous thought, remembers a discussion of funny animal names he had with Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones in a nightclub the evening before. He says it will be a song about a spider named Boris. John rushes home and quickly composes the song. The next day "Boris the Spider" is recorded at Pye Studios, London along with Keith's composition, "I Need You (Like I Need a Hole in My Head)," a somewhat obscure attack on The Beatles who Keith believed were using code words to talk behind his back.

Later in the week The Who record "Run Run Run" and the version of "I'm A Boy" that will ultimately appear on Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy in 1971. During the time of these sessions, Jimi Hendrix comes in to ask about equipment. Pete remembers him as "strangely dressed." Keith greets him with an immediate "Who let that savage in here?" Jimi asks Pete what amps he is using and tells his manager Chas Chandler to get him one of each recommendation.

On the 4th, "The Kids Are Alright" enters the Swedish Kvällstoppen sales charts where it will peak at #8.

On the 6th, the film of The Who's performance and backstage interviews shot at their 9 July show airs on the CBC-TV program Take 30.

Keith is interviewed about the new album in New Musical Express on the 7th. The article is called "Drummer Moon on zither, double track tuba, on Who lp."

Oscar Join My Gang ad

On the same day, Oscar (a/k/a Paul Nichols) releases a 45 of a new Pete-composed song "Join My Gang." The song fails to chart.

Schhh You Know Who

On the 8th, Melody Maker declares "I'm a Boy" to be #1 on their charts. Inside is an interview with Who manager Kit Lambert.

Who are they looking at?

Also on the 8th The Who play The Palais in Petersborough followed by the Pavilion in Bath (10th) a show that is filmed by CBS-TV for the show CBS Reports. It is not known whether this film ever aired.

On the 11th, "Bucket T" is recorded and mixed at IBC and Pye Studios. The recording is filmed by Peter Goldman and sold to Swedish television. Also filmed is an interview with Pete conducted by Inga-Lill Palm.

On the 12th, The Who head over the Channel to Amsterdam to pre-tape a mime job to "I'm A Boy" for the Nederland 2 TV show Waauw at the Bellevue Studios at the Leidseplein. That night they play the Club 192 in The Hague-Scheveningen.

On the 14th, The Who head back into IBC Studios to record a medley of "My Generation" and "Land of Hope And Glory" for their upcoming Ready Steady GO! TV special. They ultimately record a second pass combining "My Generation" with "Rule Britannia" that is used during the actual program. This day's recording remains unreleased until 1995.

That night The Who drive up to Leeds to perform at an all-night dance and barbeque at Queens Hall. Their performance, starting at midnight, sparks a riot.

The week a WHO boy...

On the 15th they play the Corn Exchange in Chelmsford. The same day John is interviewed in both Record Mirror and Disc & Music Echo. He's already complaining about being tagged as "the quiet one."

Roger Daltrey Pete Townshend Ready Steady GO special
Photo: David Redfern

On the 18th, The Who record their first and only band-created television special at Wembley Studios for Ready Steady GO! as half the show (about 16 minutes) is turned over to the foursome. Only memories and publicity photographs remain of this show which involved The Who clowning around on set between numbers, performing "Batman" while wearing capes, sending up Cliff Richards' "Summer Holiday" in a mime sequence and smashing their instruments at the end. It was this final act which deeply upset British viewers on the show's airing on the 21st.

Roger Daltrey John Entwistle Ready Steady GO special
Photo: David Redfern

Ready Steady GO! fans write to Melody Maker to blast the show: "More a disaster than a happening." "I have rarely seen a group perform so much concentrated rubbish in such a short time." "It produced in me a feeling of complete nausea." "It took me years to save for my guitar, and seeing The Who holding theirs by the neck and smashing them on the floor and pushing them through amplifiers made me sick."

With that behind them, Roger, John and Keith run off to Copenhagen on the 19th. Pete misses the flight as well as the press conference held at the Star Club. While there Helle Hellman interviews John for the Danish Beat magazine. John says his hearing is going and he has already developed the habit of seeming to listen and respond to people he cannot hear.

With Pete finally in town, The Who record another mime job of "I'm A Boy," "Substitute" and "My Generation" for the Danish TV show Klar i Studiet on the morning of the 20th having to borrow instruments from the group The Tages.

John Entwistle Roger Daltrey Hlev Hallen

That evening is a concert at Helev Hallen in Copenhagen. There is a riot during the show and afterwards, Keith swings from a pipe in his dressing room and pulls it down, flooding the backstage.

Back in Britain, Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones has only praise for The Who in New Musical Express. He calls them "unbelievably good" and adds that The Who, The Stones and The Beatles are the only British groups "to evolve something completely original in visual and musical production."

The Who Stockholm 1966

That night The Who continue their European tour with two shows at the Konserthallen in Liseberg, Gothenburg, Sweden followed by two shows on the 22nd, first at Gislöv Stjärna in Simrishamn, Sweden then at Jägersbo-Höör in Höör, Sweden. On the 23rd, two more shows, the first and afternoon show at MFF-Stadion in Malmö, Sweden followed by an evening show at the Fyens Forum in Odense, Denmark. The next day has them at the Folkparken in Halmstad, Sweden followed by the Club Nalen in Stockholm on the 25th, The latter show is recorded and still exists. The Who return to London the next day.

Who disc row ends

On the 28th, the lawsuit between The Who and their ex-producer Shel Talmy is settled out of court. Since the courts showed that they were going to side with Talmy, The Who's management ends the lawsuit by giving Talmy five percent of the royalties on all Who releases for the next five years (approximately three times what each member of The Who would get). Few would have believed then it would amount to much but, as it eventually includes the albums Tommy, Live At Leeds and Who's Next, the deal nets Talmy millions.

The same day, The Who fly over to Lyon, France to represent Great Britain at the British Trade Fair gala at the Palais d'Hiver de Lyon. Also representing with a performance are Screaming Lord Sutch and the Stormsville Shakers.

Billboard reports that "I'm a Boy" has reached #3 in the Netherlands.

Two days later (30th), The Who play The Sportspalast in Berlin. This disastrous show has The Who only performing for twelve minutes and afterwards they are thrown out of the Berlin Hilton for "bad behavior". According to Pete much later, this "bad behavior" is the first time that Keith demolishes a hotel room. Afterwards, Keith starts chatting up the local girls at the Sportspalast. Their dates show up, so Keith tells Who manager Chris Stamp and road manager Neville Chester to "talk to them" and runs off. Chris and Neville get beaten up in Keith's stead.

The Who then cancel an appearance on German TV's Beat Club to run back to London for more album recording. During this period they record the acoustic version of "Happy Jack" that remains unreleased until 1995 and the first bits of the mini-opera "A Quick One While He's Away."

November 1966

New music releases: Greatest Hits - The Temptations; "I'm A Believer" - The Monkees; "Snoopy vs. The Red Baron" - The Royal Guardsmen; "That's Life" - Frank Sinatra

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!

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."

The Who Cologne poster 1966

The Who fly back to Germany to play three more dates of their German tour. The 5th sees them at the Messehalle in Saarbrüken, the 6th at the Kongresshalle in Cologne and the 7th at the Rheinhalle in Düsseldorf. The band flies immediately back to London after the last show.

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

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

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. Coincidentally, another group, the Wild Uncertainty, were to have released a cover of "La La La Lies" at this time, that Pete praised as being better than The Who's, but had to cancel it because of the Brunswick release.

The Who Duke of York's Barracks 1966
Photo: Tony Gale

On the 12th, The Who are filmed holding an impromptu outdoor 5-song concert at the Duke of York's Barracks in the Kings Road for the NBC-TV (U.S.) show Today. The session stars at 7am and continues to 10:30am. The Today show airs the film on the 15th.

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. On the same day Billboard reports that "I'm a Boy" has hit #4 in Norway.

The Kids Are Alright French EP I'm a Boy French EP

Also that day, Billboard reports that two new Who EP's were released this week in France, The Kids Are Alright on Decca and I'm a Boy on Polydor.

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.

The Who in Switzerland 1966

With the recording of the new album and single finished, The Who fly to Switzerland to play in the snow, spending four days in Neuschnee, Grindelwald having publicity photos snapped. While there Keith buys a steam engine.

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".

The Coachmen

The Coachmen, a band from Lincoln, Nebraska, release a 45 with an A-side cover of "My Generation."

On the 17th, Record Mirror reviews The Who's new album: "The Who's new LP is better than their last, although to be fair, their style has changed. The trend-setting 'pop art' sound of the 'My Generation' era has given way to a more subtle, almost Beach Boys approach, well vocally anyway. Some of the tracks are very unusual - like the drum showcase 'Cobwebs and Strange' written of course by Keith, while John's two songs 'Boris the Spider' and 'Whiskey Man' indicate that he has a bigger hand in the Who's individuality than one might think. Best track is the 'Quick One' saga, which sounds like 'Pet Sounds' LP squeezed into a long song. You get the idea that musically, the four members of the Who just don't agree, but are competent enough to knuckle under efficiently on one of the others' songs."

The Who return to the U.K. only to head up the road to Scotland with a tour starting at the City Hall of Perth (18th), followed by the Market Hall in Carlisle (19th). Pete's Rickenbacker is stolen after the latter show but is later recovered.

Meanwhile Melody Maker runs an interview with Keith and John on the 19th entitled "Who - finally reaching the sounds they all search for."

On the 24th, Disc & Music Echo has the headline "Who refuse new disc TV plugs". The Who say they will not be doing television appearances supporting their new single for fear of "TV over-exposure". In the same issue is a short Pete interview where he says his chief ambitions are to run a "good recording studio" and "write operettas and musicals."

Also on the 26th, Billboard puts The Napoleonic Wars mis-titled cover "I Can't Explain It" in their "Predicted to reach the HOT 100 Chart". It doesn't. They also report that "I'm a Boy" is at #8 in Denmark.

The Who in Worthing ad 1966

The month finishes with performances at The Pavilion in Worthing (24th), Spa Royal Hall in Bridlington (26th) and the Winter Gardens in Malvern (29th).

December 1966

New music releases: "For What It's Worth" - Buffalo Springfield; "Sugar Town" - Nancy Sinatra; "Hey Joe" - The Jimi Hendrix Experience; Here Where There Is Love - Dionne Warwick

On the 1st, "I'm a Boy" reaches its peak on the German single charts at #10.

Happy Jack German picture sleeve

On the 2nd the single "Happy Jack" backed with "I've Been Away" is released in the U.K. A problem at the Polydor printing plant causes a quick sell-out for the disc and a wait until the 9th for most fans. For promotional ads, The Who hire illustrator Ralph Steadman who draws The Who as intertwined snakes. In Disc & Music Echo, Penny Valentine says "Happy Jack" proves Pete is "definitely one of Britain's finest writers, with so much charm in his work he's a sort of modern day Hans Christian Andersen."

On the 3rd, The Who play their first gig of the month, an all-nighter at the Midnight City in Birmingham.

On the 8th, John attends the premiere of the Cliff Richard movie Finders, Keepers.

A Quick One

On the 9th, The Who's second album A Quick One has its British release. Chris Welch reviews it for Melody Maker and declares that, although he found the first album a "disappointment," the second disc "captures The Who's essence, humour, cynicism, nervous drive, violence and delicacy." Most reviews comment on the novelty of the multi-song mini-opera. "It's all very well bandying about words like freak-out and psychedelic, but when it comes to actually doing something different – well!" says Music Maker magazine. The album ultimately peaks at #4.

That night, The Who perform at the Assembly Rooms in Dumfries, Scotland and the next night two shows at the Empire Theatre in Durham.

I'm a Boy US ad

On the 10th, Billboard runs a full-page ad for The Who's new single in the U.S., "I'm A Boy" backed with "In the City". Despite being their biggest U.K. hit and Who co-manager Chris Stamp flying to New York to coordinate promotion, "I'm A Boy" fails to appear on any of the U.S. singles charts.

young Bobby Pridden

On the 15th, The Who perform at the Locarno Ballroom in Streatham, South London. Making his first appearance behind the sound board is new hire Bobby Pridden. Bobby will give his name to the hero of Pete's Lifehouse, appear on the back cover of Odds and Sods and remain The Who's live soundman until his retirement in 2016.

Marshall ad Beat Illustrated Jan 67

The U.K. magazineBeat Instrumental releases its 1966 Reader's Survey. The Who are voted the number one live group and Keith Moon gets best drummer. In other rankings, Pete is 4th best songwriter and 9th best guitarist, "I'm a Boy" is 3rd best song arrangement, and John is 5th best bassist but places at number 2 for best brass or woodwind player. In the same issue's letter column a writer notes that all the drummers he sees live in Britain are currently doing some imitation of Moon.

Also this month, the Yugoslavian rock group Zlotni Akordi release their EP Moja Generacija. The title track is a phonetical English performance of "My Generation."

And back in the U.K., The Liverpool Five release their album Out of Sight, also featuring a cover of "My Generation".

The Who on last Ready Steady GO
Photo: Chris Morphet

On the 16th, The Who go into Ryemuse Sound Studios to record backing tracks for "Please Don't Touch" and "I'm a Boy" for use on the last episode of Ready, Steady GO! called appropriately Ready Steady GOES!. The vocal and mimed performance is videotaped at Studio One in Wembley on the 20th. The show, broadcast in London on the 23rd, is the last for the revolutionary pop music showcase.

Top EP chart 1966

On the 17th, the EP Ready Steady Who hits its peak at #1 in the British Top EP chart, one of The Who's only two official #1's in the U.K.

Robbers Pete Townshend and Keith Moon
Photo: Chris Morphet

On the 19th, The Who assemble in costume as burglars at their managers' office in Caroline House in London for the shooting of the "Happy Jack" promotional video. The Monkees-style short is directed by Ready Steady GO! director Michael Lindsay-Hogg and premieres three nights later on BBC-1 TV.

The Who 21-12-66 ad

On the 21st, The Who open boxer Billy Walker's new club The Upper Cut at Forest Gate Centre in London in front of a mostly celebrity audience. Their set is "Barbara Ann," "See My Way," "Substitute," "I'm A Boy," "Whiskey Man," "Happy Jack" and "My Generation."

Afterwards, Pete and Eric Clapton go out on the town together for the first time and check out the Blaises Club to hear Jimi Hendrix perform. They meet Jeff Beck coming out after Hendrix's first set shaking his head. "Is he that bad?" Pete and Eric ask. "No," says Beck, "he's that good." Pete and Eric go in and are completely blown away by Hendrix's guitar prowess. Both Eric and Pete later say they thought that night, "the game is over for us."

Pete Townshend home studio article

On the 24th, New Musical Express runs the article "Who's for a merry Xmas?" with silly Christmas comments from Pete, John and Keith. Music Maker magazine out this month has a photo and description of Pete's home recording equipment.

Also on the 24th, Billboard reports that "I'm A Boy" has hit #6 in the New Zealand charts.

Who boss attacks Beach Boys

In Disc and Music Echo, Pete blasts Brian Wilson and current pop in a stinging interview. "Brian Wilson lives in a world of flowers, butterflies and strawberry flavoured chewing gum... ‘Good Vibrations' was probably a good record but who’s to know? You had to play it about ninety bloody times to even hear what they were singing about... Next year is going to be worse. We’re going to have a batch of over-produced Beach Boys records and over-produced records in general."

On Christmas Day, "Happy Jack" reaches #1 on Radio London's Fab 40.

On the afternoon of the 29th, The Who stop by Studio 2 at the BBC's Television Centre to mime to "Happy Jack" for that night's Top of the Pops.

On the 30th, The Who stop by the Cheam Baths Hall for a performance.

Psychodelphia ad

On New Year's Eve, The Who headline a "Giant Freak-Out All-Night Rave" at The Roundhouse in London. It's a showcase of the new "psychedelic" sound and is promoted under the name "Psychodelphia." Pete drops acid before walking with his wife Karen to the Roundhouse. By the time The Who get on stage around 3am, Pete's trip is nearly over. Behind the acts are psychedelic patterns from a liquid crystal light projector created by Gustav Metzger whose auto-destructive art inspired The Who's instrument smashing. The Move also play but the truest proponents of the new style are an act then making a name at the UFO club, The Pink Floyd. The Who's set doesn't go well. The power goes out several times and when it is on, the strobe lights from the projector put The Who off-beat. Pete takes his frustrations out on the equipment terrifying the audience. Jon Piner described the scene in a letter to Melody Maker: "At the Roundhouse, Chalkfarm, on New Year's Eve, after a depressing Who performance, Pete went really wild. He smashed an old amp box and demolished what looked like a new one. Then waving his guitar over the audience's heads, making me and my bird flinch, he stomped off. I think the Who are too good to need all this."

Also on the 31st, Keith is interviewed in New Musical Express providing them with his best financial advice: "Good. I think you need a certain amount, to buy your basic needs. And the rest, spend it like dust!"

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