Last updated Sep. 7, 2023

The Who This Month! logo

January 1982

New music releases: "Mickey" - Toni Basil; Friends - Shalamar; "Town Called Malice" - The Jam; "Golden Brown" - The Stranglers

Sometime around the beginning of the month Pete calls in Steve Strange of Visage to produce a duet with a cross-dressing French chanteuse named Ronny of "The Lady Is A Tramp".

Shortly after this he flies to Dr. Meg Patterson's neuroelectric therapy clinic at Corona del Mar, California to end his addictive use of alcohol, heroin, Ativan and crack cocaine. While there he writes more songs for his upcoming solo album and short stories that will ultimately end up in the Horse's Neck book. As for The Who, Pete contacts Roger back in London and says that as soon as he's clean and sober, he'd like to record another Who album and follow it with one final major tour.

February 1982

New album releases: Mountain Music - Alabama; Always on My Mind - Willie Nelson; The Concert In Central Park - Simon & Garfunkel; "Edge of Seventeen" - Stevie Nicks
The Who The Illustrated Discography

Early in the month, the first edition of Ed Hanel's The Who: The Illustrated Discography is published by Omnibus Press.

On Valentine's Day, having beaten back his addiction to alcohol and drugs, Pete checks himself out of Meg Patterson's clinic and returns to London.Shortly afterwards Pete meets with Roger, John and Kenney who are already preparing to record a new album, rehearsing twice a week at producer Glyn Johns' home and using Andy Fairweather-Low as a stand-in for their absent guitarist. Pete is impressed with how good they sound but admits he only has two songs ready (probably "Theresa" now called "Athena" and "Popular" re-written as "It's Hard"). Hesitant to write more after The Who's lukewarm reaction to his Face Dances demos, Pete tries to find a common topic in which his bandmates are interested to make the basis of a new batch of songs. Not surprisingly, they find they have little in common except for a vague concern about the Reagan administration's escalation of the nuclear arms race and Margaret Thatcher's promotion of it. Pete sets off to write a politically-themed album addressing nuclear conflict, decreased spending on social services and other topical concerns.

On the 24th, MTV begins the "I Want My MTV" ad campaign featuring Pete, among others, declaring the phrase.

March 1982

New music releases: Asia - Asia; The Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden; "Ebony & Ivory" - Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder; "Rosanna" - Toto
Time Out 12 Mar 1982

On the 12th, Pete writes an article about The Jam and Paul Weller in Time Out.

On the 14th or within the next few days, John joins Ringo Starr during sessions for his Old Wave album at Startling Studios, Tittenhurst Park in London. Also along for the jam session are Eric Clapton, Ray Cooper and Joe Walsh. They produce the mostly instrumental "Everybody's in a Hurry But Me."

Guitar Player May 1982

Guitar Player features a color supplement of highlights of John's collection of 177 guitars, 70% of them basses.

The Kids Are Alright Selectavision

RCA issues The Kids Are Alright movie in their short-lived SelectaVision videodisc format. For two decades it will be the only home video issue of the complete version of the film.

Best Bits

On the 27th, Roger's solo collection Best Bits enters the U.S. charts. Two new songs appear on the album, "Martyrs and Madmen" and "Treachery." It peaks at #185 in the U.S. charts.

Also on the 27th, John is a panelist on BBC1's Battle of the Bands.

April 1982

New music releases: Time Pieces: The Best of Eric Clapton - Eric Clapton; American Fool - John Cougar; Toto IV - Toto; Diver Down - Van Halen

On the 3rd, John and Kenney are both contestants on BBC1's Pop Quiz but on opposite teams. Kenney's is captained by David Essex with co-contestant Charlene Carter. John's is captained by Jake Burns with co-contestant Terry Hall.

Martyrs And Madmen US 45

Roger releases "Martyrs and Madmen" backed with "Avenging Annie" in the U.S. and Canada from his recent best-of Best Bits. It fails to chart.

Elton John Jump Up LP

Elton John's album Jump Up is released featuring Pete Townshend on acoustic guitar for the song "Ball And Chain."

According to a friend of Pete and Rabbit, Pete records and assembles the demos for It's Hard at his Boathouse recording studiolate in the month. Pete says he is unable to bring in Rabbit for the upcoming recording because of Rabbit's recent drug and drink problems and because the next album "is so critical for the band".

The Who Ivor Novello 1982

On the 29th, The Who is honored for its Outstanding Contribution To British Music at the 27th annual Ivor Novello Awards held at London's Grosvenor House Hotel.

May 1982

New music releases: "Eye of the Tiger" - Survivor; Rio - Duran Duran; 12 Greatest Hits, Volume II - Neil Diamond; Combat Rock - The Clash

Starting the week of the 10th, the Westwood One sydicated radio network plays a series called Rock and Roll Never Forgets about Keith Moon.

The Who The Illustrated Biography

Around the middle of the month, Chris Charlesworth's book The Who: The Illustrated Biography is published by Omnibus Press.

Face Dances Part Two

On the 21st a single from Pete's forthcoming album All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes is released. "Face Dances (Part Two)" backed with the non-album track "Man Watching" peaks at only 115 in the U.K. and fails utterly in the U.S. despite extensive play of the video on MTV.

Rolling Stone Sober Pete Townshend

Pete appears on the cover of Rolling Stone. Inside is a long interview with Kurt Loder in which Pete tells all about his recent descent into drug addiction, his electroacupuncture cure, the failure of Face Dances and how the next Who album may be their last.

June 1982

New music releases: "Africa" - Toto; Mirage - Fleetwood Mac; "Come on Eileen" - Dexys Midnight Runners and the Emerald Express; Lexicon of Love - ABC
Pete Townshend New Musical Express June 1982

On the 4th, Pete fills in Time Out magazine on his two-year drug and alcohol binge and his recent recovery. He provides the same to New Musical Express on the 12th.

During the month Pete puts more of his past behind him, closing his Eel Pie book publishing company.

Also during the month, Pete has a secret meeting with Prince Charles where they discuss plans for the next month's Prince's Trust concert.

The Who, meanwhile are at the Turn-Up-Down Studios located in Glyn Johns' home in Surrey recording It's Hard that will end up being their last studio album for twenty-four years. The sessions are contentious with Roger denouncing the songs as crap and begging Pete to scrap the album. According to Roger, Pete refuses saying, "Too late. It's good enough. That's how we are now."

All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes

On the 18th, Pete's LP All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes is released in the UK. The reviews range from lukewarm to strongly negative. Adam Sweeting in Melody Maker calls it belabored, Dave Marsh in Record says it is at least more interesting than The Who's latest work, Robert Palmer in The New York Times calls it an embarrassment, Jon Pareles in Rolling Stone says it is a "listenable mess" and Steve Simels in Stereo Review groups it with Robert Plant's recent solo album as "duds of major proportions." Pete chooses to disagree and to this day calls it his best solo work. The album peaks at #32 in Britain, #26 in the U.S.

July 1982

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

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

Pete Townshend The Wall movie
Photo: Dave Hogan

On the 14th, Pete attends the U.K. premiere of Alan Parker's film adaptation of Pink Floyd The Wall at the Empire in Leicester Square.

Music and Rhythm LP

On the 16th, the double album Music and Rhythm, a compilation assembled by Peter Gabriel to raise money for the first WOMAD (A World of Music, Arts and Dance) festival, is released in the U.K. by WEA. Pete supplies the track "Ascension Two" that features all of the current Who members except Roger.

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

Uniforms picture sleeve

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

August 1982

New music releases: Upstairs at Eric's - Yaz; "Give It Up" - KC & The Sunshine Band; Heartlight - Neil Diamond; Greatest Hits - The Bellamy Brothers

In the break between recording It's Hard and beginning the North American tour, Pete vacations in Cornwall. While there he demos "Baroque Ippanese" on his TEAC Portastudio. It ultimately appears on Another Scoop.

Pete Townshend Musician 1982

More Townshend confessionals appear as cover stories in Musician and Record.

Roger Daltrey presser Aug 1982
Photo: Ron Galella

On the 20th, Roger, without the other members, holds a press conference in New York to announce The Who's upcoming North American tour. He says it will "probably" be the group's last tour because touring is "getting too big" and takes too much time "to make them profitable". However, The Who are not breaking up and will continue to record together.

September 1982

New music releases: Hank Williams Jr.'s Greatest Hits - Hank Williams, Jr.; "Rock the Casbah" - The Clash; Love Over Gold - Dire Straits; The Nylon Curtain - Billy Joel

Roger Daltrey tells Rolling Stone that the upcoming Who tour will be the last one as The Who need to step aside for newer acts.

It's Hard LP

On the 3rd, The Who's last studio album for the next 24 years, It's Hard, is released. The reviews are wildly uneven. Parke Puterbaugh in Rolling Stone calls it The Who's best work since Who's Next. Joining him in that assessment is Lloyd Sachs in Chicago magazine and John Milward in High Fidelity. On the other end of the scale is Lynden Barber in Melody Maker ("rock 'n roll menopause"), Kurt Loder in Musician ("pure blather") and Jon Pareles in The New York Times ("Adolescence mars The Who's new disk"). The album peaks at #11 in the U.K. and #8 in the U.S.

Athena Canadian picture sleeve

On the 4th, the first single from the new album, "Athena" backed with "It's Your Turn", hits the U.S. charts. It reaches #28 in Billboard and #31 in Cash Box. It is the last Who single to hit the American Top Forty.

On the 11th, Billboard reports that several arrests were made after a scuffle in line for Who tickets at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena. 1500 waited overnight through a rainstorm for the box office to open at 10am.

The Who 1982 Birmingham ad

The Who start their tour with their only two dates in the U.K. at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham on the 10th and 11th. The supporting act is Midnight Oil. These will be the last Who shows in the U.K. until Live Aid in 1985.

Uniforms US 45

On the 15th, Pete's second single from his solo album All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes is released in the U.S. "Uniforms (Corps d'Esprit)" backed with "Slit Skirts" does not make the charts.

Rolling Stone headline: "Who rake in millions on tour".

On the 19th, MTV airs a film made to promote Pete's All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes. It contains several videos shot at Pete's home and in his neighborhood.

The Who 1982 promo shoot
Photo: Philip Kamen

On the 21st, The Who hold a press conference in Landover, Maryland as they begin their North American tour. The next day The Who record performance videos to promote "Eminence Front" and "It's Hard," the latter used in a television ad for Schlitz Beer.

John Entwistle Landover 1982
Photo: Philip Kamen

On the 22nd and 23rd, they play the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland with supporting act David Johansen. J.F.K. Stadium in Philadelphia is the next stop on the 25th (a previously announced show on the 24th is canceled due to lack of ticket sales). The supporting acts are Santana and The Clash.

The Who Rich Stadium 1982
Photo: Philip Kamen

Next is Rich Stadium in Orchard Park, New York on the 26th with David Johansen and The Clash, then the Pittsburgh Civic Arena on the 26th with David Johansen, Market Square Arena in Indianapolis on the 29th with David Johansen and the Pontiac Silverdome on the 30th with The Clash and Eddie Money.

Athena UK picture sleeve

On the 25th, The Who's last single of new studio material released in Britain for the next 22 years hits store shelves. "Athena" backed with "A Man Is A Man," peaks at #40.

October 1982

New music releases: Lionel Richie - Lionel Richie; 1999 - Prince; 20 Greatest Hits - The Beatles; Greatest Hits - Dan Fogelberg

On the 1st, a Milwaukee DJ for WQFM, Tim "The Rock 'n Roll Animal" U'ren ends his two-week stay on his radio station's outdoor ledge as Roger calls and says The Who will schedule a date in Milwaukee.

Roger Daltrey Rosemont Horizon 1982
Photo: Philip Kamin

The Who continue their North American tour with performances at the Civic Center in St. Paul, Minnesota (2nd and 3rd) and the Rosemont Horizon (5th and 6th). The show of the 6th sees The Who's only live performance of "Cooks County," a song inspired by cutbacks in federal funding of a hospital that catered to the poor in nearby Chicago. T-Bone Burnett is the opening act.

Pete Townshend Louisville 1982
Photo: Philip Kamin

From there, the tour continues to Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky (7th), CNE Stadium in Toronto (9th), The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey (10th), and Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York (12th and 13th). Joe Jackson opens on the 9th.

On the 11th, Pete is contacted in New York by Henry Mount-Charles of the prestigious publishing firm Faber & Faber. Henry says he is moving back to Ireland and would Pete like to take over his old job?

On the 12th, Pete is interviewed by the BBC while riding through New York. Pete expresses his disdain for playing Shea. "I don't like the look of it. I'll be glad to say goodbye to it. I'm saying bye-bye to it now. 'Bye-bye Shea Stadium, I'll never fucking see you again.' Who needs it? I never wanted to be a baseball player." The New York Post reports "Riot At Who Concert" and says 100 people are hurt and 13 are arrested at this show. The next night's show is professionally recorded and filmed and released on DVD in 2015. The opening acts are David Johansen and The Clash.

John Entwistle Maxene party 1982
Photo:Ron Galella

Afterwards Pete and John attend a Who Concert Party at the Parker Meridian Hotel in New York along with John's girlfriend Maxene.

On the 15th, the Associated Press reports that three soccer players at Bethel Park High School will not be reinstated after they were kicked off the team for missing a game to see The Who. "The $16 we spent on the tickets played a role in my decision, but so did the fact it was the Who. If it was some group that comes in regularly, it would have been one thing, but this is The Who's last tour. If I had the decision to make over again, I'd do the same thing."

Rolling Stone The Who The End

THE WHO - THE END is the cover of Rolling Stone. Kurt Loder interviews the members. Pete and Roger say The Who will cease touring but will continue producing records. John tells Loder he sees no point in making more records if The Who won't tour. Pete and Roger later say they were surprised by John's remarks, claiming he never expressed these sentiments directly to them.

Athena picture disc

"Athena" is released in Britain as a 12" picture disc backed with "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "A Man Is A Man."

The Who: Maximum RnB 1st edition

Richard Barnes' first version of The Who: Maximum R&B is published. It includes a flexidisc with Pete's demos of "My Generation" and "Pinball Wizard."

Pete Townshend What's It All About

The U.S. Presbyterian Church puts out a "What's It All About" promo 45 featuring a Pete Townshend interview.

The Who ticket Seattle 1982

And on the tour rumbles with The Who playing the University of Northern Iowa Uni-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa (15th), Colorado University's Folsom Field in Boulder (17th), and the Kingdome in Seattle (20th). Novo Combo opens on the 15th and Jethro Tull and John Cougar open on the 17th.

New York magazine 10-18-82

The New York magazine issue of the 18th has a long article by Pete Hamill with an interview with Pete and a history of The Who.

On the 21st, MTV airs their Farewell To The Who special. On the same night at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon, Roger has to leave the concert in the middle of the show due to a sore throat. He returns to the stage after a short break.

John Entwistle Oakland 1982
Photo: Philip Kamin

The Who then head down to Alameda County Stadium in Oakland, California on the 23rd then the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena on the 25th. T-Bone Burnett and The Clash open at the Stadium show. On the day between, Roger rents a yacht for a Who press party on San Francisco Bay. During the five-hour tour, Pete and Roger remain at opposite ends of the boat, grousing to the press about what the other said to Rolling Stone.

After the concert of the 25th, The Who drop "Athena" and "A Man Is A Man" from the song lineup. Bobby Pridden receives an "Employee Of The Month" award during the show. The San Diego concert on the 27th is professionally recorded and videotaped. John Cougar and Loverboy open.

On the 29th, The Who hold a press conference at the 20th Century Fox lot in Hollywood. Fox CEO Alan Herschfield announces that The Who's final concert in Toronto will be available live on pay-per-view in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan and South America. At the conference Pete declares that there will be no more Who tours "of this scale" although there may be a tour of Europe. Roger says there will be no more tours although there may be individual shows. John says he is completely opposed to stopping touring.

The Who then finish out the month performing at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (29th) and Arizona State University in Tempe (31st). T-Bone Burnett and The Clash open on the 29th, John Cougar and Loverboy on the 31st.

November 1982

New music releases: Thriller - Michael Jackson; Greatest Hits Volume 2 - The Eagles; Records - Foreigner; The John Lennon Collection - John Lennon
It's Hard Gold reward

On the 3rd, It's Hard is certified gold by the RIAA.

On the 5th, the first episode of The Tube with host Jools Holland airs on Channel 4 UK. Pete is interviewed, talks about how he saw through Woodstock, was glad to have played Shea Stadium and jokes that he now wants to get out of rock and become a bank manager.

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

The Who women's field hockey

On the afternoon of the 27th, Roger, John Kenney Jones, Bobby Pridden and manager Bill Curbishley play field hockey with a women's team, while wearing wigs and women's uniforms!

The Who ticket Nov 27 1982

Pete, meanwhile, is in his hotel room recording "Prelude #556" on his TEAC Portastudio; it ends up on Another Scoop. That evening the final leg of the North American tour begins at the Orlando Tangerine Bowl. The opening acts are Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and The B-52's who are booed offstage 25 minutes into their set.

The Who pass Nov 29 1982

The tour continues to the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky (29th) and the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center in Birmingham, Alabama (30th).

December 1982

New music releases: December - George Winston; "Electric Avenue" - Eddy Grant; The Distance - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band; Raiders of the Pop Charts - Various Artists

The final month of The Who's 1982 concert tour begins on the 1st at the Biloxi Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi. "Love Ain't For Keeping" is added to the set list for the first time since 1971.

The Who ticket 12-03-82

Following that is the Houston Astrodome on the 3rd and the Dallas Cotton Bowl on the 4th. Billy Squier and Steel Breeze are the opening acts for these shows. Pete smashes his guitar for the only time on this tour at the Dallas show. Afterwards, he returns to his hotel room and records the demo "Holly Like Ivy" on his TEAC Portastudio. It will later appear on Another Scoop. John goes to a local bar and jams with a group onstage.

The St. Louis Checkerdome is the next arena to be visited by the Who on the 6th. "Cry If You Want" is dropped for this night and replaced with "Dr. Jimmy."

The Who Syracuse 1982 backstage pass

On the 7th, they are at the Milwaukee Arena, a show brought about by a local DJ who spent over fourteen days on a tenth floor window ledge until The Who agree to appear. On the 8th, The Who fly on to The Horizon outside Chicago where Pete adds a rockabilly ending to "Long Live Rock." Following that, The Who preceed to the Carrier Dome in Syracuse (10th) followed by the Worcester (Massachusettes) Centrum (11th).

WMMR Richfield The Who badge 1982

The next two shows at Richfield Coliseum near Cleveland, Ohio on the 13th and 14th are professionally recorded and, with the exception of "Substitute", "Magic Bus" and "Summertime Blues", are used to assemble the later LP Who's Last. Future The Sopranos star Little Steven and his band The Disciples Of Soul are the opening act. Before leaving for Toronto, Roger and Kenney visit sick children at the Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland.

Finally, The Who reach what was then believed to be the end of the line; their last two concerts of the tour at the Maple Leaf Garden in Toronto. The Who hold a press conference on the afternoon of the 15th followed by the first concert the next evening.

The Who Toronto 12-17-82
Photo: Philip Kamin

The show on the 17th is shown live in theaters around the world and pay-per-view on cable television. Professionally recorded and videotaped, the concert, missing three songs, is later released on home video as Who Rocks America and on CD and DVD in 2006 as Live From Toronto.

On the 18th, Variety reports that a Cincinnati judge has ruled that punitive damages could not be awarded to the plaintiffs in the 1979 Riverfront Stadium tragedy. On the 18th, Variety also reports that a court decision has cleared the city of Cincinnati of all responsibility in the eleven deaths at the concert.

Eminence Front sheetmusic

On Christmas Day, "Eminence Front" backed with "One At A Time" hits the U.S. charts. The single peaks at #68 in Billboard and #77 in Cash Box. A planned release in ine U.K. is cancelled. It is the last Who single to appear on Billboard's Hot One Hundred Singles chart.

Got anything wrong?

E-mail me by clicking HERE