New music releases: Chronicle - Creedence Clearwater Revival; Frampton Comes Alive! - Peter Frampton; Desire - Bob Dylan; A Legendary Performer Volume 2 - Elvis Presley
At the beginning of 1976, Keith Moon attempts to go cold turkey on all the booze. The result is that on the 6th, he is admitted unconscious to St. Stephen's Hospital in Earl's Court having gone into seizures. He will suffer from alcoholism-induced seizures for the rest of his life.
Another single from Roger's Ride A Rock Horse LP, "Oceans Away" backed with "Feeling" is released in U.S. It does not chart.
Bo Diddley's 20th Anniversary of Rock 'N' Roll is released in the U.S. It features a guest appearance by Keith on "Diddley Jam."
On the 16th, "Squeeze Box" backed with "Success Story" is finally released as a single in Europe. It will peak at #10 in the British charts.
On the 17th, Roy Carr has a recent interview with Keith called "The Chancellor and the Drummer Boy" in New Musical Express. In it Keith defends his current tax exile status: "They're driving out all those people who make the money - whether it's on a long or short-term basis. How on earth can a professional man afford to work and live in Britain? He can't. He's penalised because of his talent and because of his business acumen and individual enterprise." Keith also details how he is shopping around a re-write of the movie Soldiers Three to star him, Ringo Starr and Harry Nilsson. He also denounces his roles as a horny nun in 200 Motels and a child-sex pervert in Tommy as "typecasting."
On the 31st, Pete visits Meher Baba's tomb again and performs "Pinball Wizard" and "Drowned" for Baba lovers. The intimate concert is filmed and later appears in the Australian Baba documentary The God Man.
New music releases: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 - The Eagles; The Sound In Your Mind - Willie Nelson; "More, More, More" - The Andrea True Connection; A Trick of the Tail - Genesis
Hearing that Keith cannot control his ingestion of drugs and alcohol, The Who call him back to London ahead of the upcoming tour and demand that he see Meg Patterson, the acupuncturist who aided Eric Clapton in his addiction. Keith tells her and her husband that he is possessed by demons named Mr. and Mrs. Singh.
On the 21st, New Musical Express reports that The Who are to film a special for London Weekend Television. Nothing comes of it.
The Who start their 1976 European tour at the Hallenstadion in Zurich (27th) followed by the Olympiahalle in Munich (28th). At these shows "Slip Kid" is introduced into the live act. The Steve Gibbons Band again plays support.
On the 28th, "Squeeze Box" hits its U.K. chart peak at #10.
New music releases: Silk Degrees - Boz Scaggs; Presence - Led Zeppelin; Destroyer - Kiss; "Save Your Kisses For Me" - The Brotherhood of Man
On the 1st, The Who end their European tour with two nights at the Pavillion de Paris. As with the other dates on the tour, The Steve Gibbons Band supports.
Also on the 1st, The Who By Numbers is award Gold status by the BPI in London.
During the month, With Love, the third and last of the Pete-compiled Meher Baba devotional albums is released by the Universal Spiritual League. Pete supplies three of the songs, "His Hands," "Sleeping Dog" and "Lantern Cabin," sings lead on "Meher," and Billy Nicholls premiers his song "Without Your Love" that will become Roger's biggest U.S. solo hit four years later.
On the 9th, The Who begin the second leg of their U.S. tour at the Boston Garden Arena and, for the first time since the beginning of their 1973 U.S. tour, Keith passes out on stage. No one is called from the audience and the show is abandoned with another show for ticket holders to be scheduled later. The official word is that Keith has the "flu."
The next night Keith's "flu" nearly kills him as he slices his foot open while kicking the glass out of a hotel painting. By the time he is discovered he is in serious danger of bleeding to death. These two nights' events are the starting point of a supposed discussion somewhere within The Who and its management about possibly replacing Keith with a more reliable drummer.
Keith, as always for the next two-and-a-half years, magically springs back to life, playing with the band for a one-nighter at Madison Square Garden on the 11th, the date having been put off one day for Keith's recovery.
On the 13th, The Who play a different Madison, the one in Wisconsin, where Mayor Paul R. Soglin officially declares it "Who-Mania Day." They play that night at the Dane County Coliseum. The 14th sees them at the Civic Center Arena in St. Paul, Minnesota, the 15th at the Myriad Convention Center is Oklahoma City, the 16th at the Tarrant County Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas, and the 18th at the Salt Palace Convention Center, in Salt Lake City, Utah. After the show of the 15th, The Who tire of playing "Slip Kid" and drop it from the live act.
The short film Sonic Boom, in which Keith plays a mad scientist for about 20 seconds, is shown in the U.S. before the feature film Man Friday.
The Who's concert on the 19th at McNichols Arena in Denver is cancelled after the tractor-trailer trucks carrying The Who's massive equipment are stopped by snowstorms.
On the 20th, a year after the release of Tommy: The Movie, Elton John's cover of "Pinball Wizard" from the soundtrack enters the British charts. It ultimately peaks at #7.
On the 21st, The Who make it to Anaheim, California to play Anaheim Stadium in a day-long festival also featuring The Steve Gibbons Band, Rufus and Little Feat. The vibes are none too good as a fistfight breaks out in the audience right in front of Pete. The performance is bootlegged as Who's On First.
Pete's troubles only begin as he goes to a doctor the next day to discover the cause of painful ringing keeping him up at night. He is told that there is no cure, only treatment, for his tinnitus and, if he continues to subject himself to the volumes associated with The Who, he will lose his hearing completely within a few years.
During this visit to Los Angeles, Pete also plays guitar on "The Path," a track intended for Eric Clapton's No Reason To Cry LP but unreleased.
On the 24th, The Who head up the coast to play the Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon followed by the Seattle Center Coliseum on the 25th. The Seattle Times reports that now the entire band is "suffering from the flu."
On the 27th, The Who snap back at the Winterland Auditorium in San Francisco, giving a spectacular set and allowing photographers to take some of the more famous photographs of the band. Another show at the venue is held the next night, then The Who make it to the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver for a make-up show on the 30th.
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On the 1st, The Who return to Boston Garden to make up for the show of March 9th they didn't finish because of Keith's collapse. Keith runs around the stage to show he's in fine shape and Roger adds "thanks for waiting for the encore!" John, however, has a rougher time. After numerous requests by Roger to "turn down," John throws his bass onto the stage and tells Roger he can play it. This show is later bootlegged as Behind Blind Eyes. It ends the second leg of The Who's 1975-76 North American tours.
The New York punk band The Patti Smith Group releases the single "Gloria" with a live cover of "My Generation" on the b-side. It is later included on the CD issue of their album Horses.
Pete Rudge amicably steps aside as The Who's manager and Bill Curbishley officially takes over. The former Track Records employee has remained The Who's manager for the last 40 years.
Keith gives a lengthy and rather sober interview on his history and The Who's to Larry Creeden in Trouser Press.
On the 17th, The Patti Smith Group perform their punk version of "My Generation" on Saturday Night Live At the end the drummer tries to kick his kit over but it is nailed down and he falls off his drum stool.
New music releases: Fly Like an Eagle - The Steve Miller Band; Rocks - Aerosmith; "You're My Best Friend" - Queen; Changesonebowie - David Bowie
On the 7th, The Steve Gibbons Band album Any Road Up, produced by John and Cy Langston, is released. It fails to chart.
On the 15th, Keith flies into London to rehearse with The Who before the next leg of the tour.
Sometime after his arrival, Keith records his vocal for "When I'm Sixty-Four" with the London Symphony Orchestra for the bizarre Beatle-tribute movie All This And World War II.
Roger announces that his next movie will be based on career criminal John McVicar's autobiography McVicar By Himself.
The Who do a couple of dates in France performing at Parc Des Expositions in Colmar, France on the 22nd and the Palais Des Sports in Lyons, France on the 25th.
Back in London on the 27th, Keith arrives at Brecknock School in North London school to inspect the boys of the 51st Company of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. For the occasion, Keith dons full evening attire. Keith had spent £500 on brand new bugles and drums. "Blimey," he tells the press, "I know just how they felt playing with rotten instruments. I was in the sea cadets as a boy." That night he and John attend the Rolling Stones' concert at Earls Court.
On the 31st, The Who start a three-date tour of the U.K. at the Charlton Football Ground. Since all three dates are at football stadiums, the tour is known as the "Who Put the Boot In" tour. Fans who attend wonder "who'll stop the rain" as it pours buckets throughout the day. This show also puts The Who in the Guinness Book of World Records as "The World's Loudest Pop Group" as their output registers 120 decibels at 50 meters. Supporting acts are The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Little Feat, The Outlaws and Streetwalkers. Sold at the show is an elaborate program called "Bellboy" that features a centerfold of a nude Keith Moon.
Outside Keith is approached by Australia's Garry McDonald portraying his satirical local TV reporter character Norman Gunston. Keith pours a bottle of vodka on his head and tells him, "you Australian slag, piss off!"
New music releases: A Night On The Town - Rod Stewart; Chicago X - Chicago; Rock 'n Roll Music - The Beatles; Spitfire - Jefferson Starship
On the 5th, The Who continue their "Who Put The Boot In Tour" performing at the Celtic Football Ground in Glasgow, Scotland. 35,000 attend and over £100,000 are donated to charity.
That afternoon in the backstage area of the parking lot, Keith fulfills the request of the 11-year old who won the organ from the Tommy film by smashing it with a sledgehammer.
A week later on the 12th, The Who hold their final concert of this U.K. mini-tour at the Swansea Football Ground in Swansea, Wales. The concert is officially recorded by producer Glyn Johns but left unreleased until 1994 with "Dreaming From The Waist" on the 30 Years of Maximum R&B boxset. Additional tracks, but not the entire concert, have since been released on various Who compilations. This is Keith's last concert before a paying audience in the United Kingdom. After the show, he flies back to his Los Angeles home.
The Who are named as the first recipients of the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Centre Silver Clef Award for their charity donations.
New music releases: "If You Leave Me Now" - Chicago; Year of the Cat - Al Stewart; Best of BTO (So Far) - Bachman-Turner Overdrive; "Let 'Em In" - Wings
On the 3rd, Pete opens his Meher Baba Oceanic Centre with a week-long convention for his followers. Also at the Oceanic Centre at this time is an amateur production of Siddhartha with music by Pete. "The Ferryman" from this show is later released on Pete's Another Scoop. On the 10th, Pete, Ronnie Lane and John Fazio hold a half-hour concert at the Oceanic Centre. The performance is videotaped. The convention ends on the 11th with a showing of the movie Delia about Baba follower Delia de Leon and produced by Pete.
On the 10th, Melody Maker prints a recent photo of Roger receiving an award from a charity organization for handicapped children.
On the 17th, John discusses most of The Who's singles and albums with Roy Carr in New Musical Express. The article shows John browsing through record stores and buying a copy of the Brunswick My Generation LP.
New music releases: Boston - Boston; This One's For You - Barry Manilow; Hasten Down the Wind - Linda Ronstadt; Spirit - John Denver
On the 1st, The Who fly to Washington, D.C. and check into the Watergate Hotel for the beginning of their four-date "Whirlwind Tour." Their first two dates are at the Capital Center in Largo, Maryland outside Washington, D.C. on the 3rd and 4th. The group Law opens.
On the 7th, a 3:30 edited version of "Slip Kid" backed with "Dreaming from the Waist" is released in the U.S. Despite coinciding with the U.S. tour, it fails to chart.
Also on the 7th, The Who play The Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida. The promoter screws up the promoting and only 30,000 attend the 80,000 capacity stadium. Naturally, The Who are very angry and it makes for one of their best shows climaxing in a tremendous instrument smashup.
On the 9th, Who fan Ed Hanel puts out the first issue of his Who fanzine Who's News.
Also on the 9th, The whirlwind tour winds down at Miami Baseball Stadium, this venue only 200 shy of a sellout. Another show is penciled in at the venue for the 11th, but it has to be cancelled after Keith Moon goes on a drinking and drugging spree ending with his arrest for destroying his hotel room at the Fontainebleau and being found in an incoherent state. Who manager Bill Curbishley bails him out but has Keith immediately put into Hollywood Memorial Hospital in Hollywood, Florida for "psychiatric evaluation." With the extra time, the other members of The Who remain in Miami enjoying the sun and some deep-sea fishing before heading back to London. Keith is released from hospital on the 19th and flies home to Los Angeles.
On the 23rd, Keith turns 30.
On the 27th, John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett's "Louisa on a Horse" backed with "Misty Mountain" is released in the U.K. by Track Records. Originally recorded in 1973, it features bass and production by Pete.
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On the 7th, Roger attends Paul McCartney's first celebration of the birthday of Buddy Holly at the Lyceum.
Rolling Stone features the article "American grandstand: I can't explain, noted critic claims." In it Dave Marsh tells how The Who and "I Can't Explain" changed his life.
Warner Bros. Records releases the single "Ginny's Song" by "Jimmy Thudpucker," a character from G.B. Trudeau's satirical comic strip Doonesbury. His backing band, "The Walden West Rhythm Section," includes Keith Moon on drums.
On the 17th, Ron Wood & Ronnie Lane's soundtrack to the movie Mahoney's Last Stand is released featuring Pete playing percussion on "Car Radio" and guitar on "Tonight's Number." Meanwhile Pete and Ronnie Lane begin recording demos this month for an upcoming Lane solo album to be produced by Pete. The album will eventually turn into the Townshend/Lane album Rough Mix.
On the 18th, New Musical Express writes about an open letter Pete sent to his new neighbors saying that he won't ruin their neighborhood when he moves in.
Also on the 18th, Keith Moon and Ron Wood are guest presenters at the 2nd Annual Rock Music Awards at the Hollywood Palladium. The show is broadcast live on CBS-TV.
On the 24th, Polydor Records releases The Story of The Who worldwide except in the U.S. and Canada. The "story" is a bit limited as none of the 1965 tracks produced by Shel Talmy are included and neither are any tracks from Quadrophenia. Nevertheless the album reaches #2 in the U.K. charts. To promote the album, The Sun runs a contest to "Win The Who's Pinball Machine" to be presented personally by John.
On the 30th, Pete attends country & western singer Don Williams' concert at the Hammersmith Odeon then is photographed backstage with him, Ronnie Lane and Eric Clapton. Pete and Ronnie will cover Williams' "Til the Rivers All Run Dry" on Rough Mix.
New music releases: Night Moves - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band; The Song Remains the Same - Led Zeppelin; Leftoverture - Kansas; Free-For-All - Ted Nugent
On the 1st, the new Who compilation album The Story of The Who is awarded Gold status by the BPI.
The Who begin to prepare for the fourth and final leg of their massive 1975/1976 North American tour. Keith Moon's preparation involves checking himself into a rehab clinic in Los Angeles to dry out. Keith also rehires Dougal Butler to be his minder.
After a "dress rehearsal" on the 5th, The Who tour proper begins at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on the 6th. From there it's on to the San Diego Sports Arena on the 7th. Mother's Finest is the supporting group.
The 9th and 10th find The Who sharing the bill with The Grateful Dead at the Alameda County Stadium in Oakland. On the 10th, Keith sings "Spoonful" and "Johnny B. Goode" during The Who's encore.
After the double date, The Who proceed to the Memorial Coliseum in Portland (13th), the Seattle Center Coliseum (14th), the Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton (16th), the Winnipeg Arena (18th), and the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto (21st). At the end of the Toronto show Pete goes into a jam during "My Generation" and sings a bit of the lyrics to "Who Are You." The Toronto show will be Keith's last before a paying audience.
On the 22nd, The Who return to England except for Keith who travels back to his home in Santa Monica.
Also on the 22nd, a single from the recently released album The Story of the Who comes out in Europe. "Substitute" is backed with the Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy version of "I'm a Boy" plus "Pictures of Lily." In addition to the 7" 45, the single is also released in a 12" format, the first ever in the U.K. "Substitute" re-charts in Britain, peaking at #7.
On the 23rd, the press announces the engagement of Keith and his long-time girlfriend Annette Walter-Lax. The wedding is set for 15 December with Pete as best man and Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr accepting invitations. The only problem is Keith forgets to tell Annette about it. Nothing more is heard of the planned nuptials.
On the 25th, the soundtrack to All This And World War II, including Keith's cover of "When I'm Sixty Four," is released in the U.S. where it peaks at #48.
Pete later says of this period "(we) had no new album, nothing happening, no feeling of existing, and every time we picked up a paper, there were sniveling little brats [the punk rockers] knocking us."
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On the 1st, recording begins on the Pete Townshend/Ronnie Lane joint album, then titled "April Fools," at Olympic Studios. The first block of sessions runs through the 15th. Also during this month, sessions for Roger's third solo album One Of The Boys begin at Ramport Studios. The sessions last intermittently until March.
On the 4th, Top Of The Pops airs The Who's performance of "Substitute" from Charlton since the song is back in the charts.
On the 5th, the soundtrack for All This And World War II, containing Keith Moon's recording of "When I'm Sixty-Four," is released in the U.K. It peaks at #23.
On the 11th, All This And World War II has its world premiere in Los Angeles. Keith Moon attends, dressed appropriately as Field Marshal Rommel. The movie leaves critics incredulous that a movie made up of nothing more than Beatle covers with World War II footage over it was ever approved by 20th Century-Fox. It quickly vanishes rarely to be seen again.
On the 20th, the "Substitute" re-issue hits its U.K. chart peak at #7.
New music releases: Hotel California - The Eagles; Wings Over America - Wings; A Day At The Races - Queen; Oxygène - Jean-Michel Jarre
On the 6th, shooting resumes on Mae West's last movie Sextette at Paramount Studios in Hollywood running through March 25, 1977. Sometime during the shoot, Keith Moon comes on board, playing a small role as a gay dress designer.
On the 10th, Keith's marriage to Annette is officially postponed five days before the scheduled wedding.
On the 11th, Roger defends punk rock in Melody Maker, saying it feels good that young musicians are making their mark.
The British punk rock band Eddie & The Hot Rods release the LP Teenage Depression with a live cover of "The Kids Are Alright".
On the 17th, Pete receives a telex from Keith's lawyer expressing concerns that, since the other member of the band have elected to remain in high-tax Britain, the group's tax affairs are arranged to suit them.
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