Updated Sep. 1, 2023

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January 1983

New records: "Billie Jean" - Michael Jackson; Pyromania - Def Leppard; "Amarillo by Morning" - George Strait; "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" - Eurythmics

Rolling Stone reports that The Who's 1982 tour was the year's most financially successful, garnering $23 million in 39 shows.

Pete is, in his own words, "desperately attempting to come up with a concept for the projected Who album that year." The idea he eventually devises is called "Siege" and revolves around the idea "that each of us is a soul under siege... I had been inspired by the idea of a soul besieged in a magnificent castle, surrounded by the litter of the ages, the detritus of faded wealth." Having recently picked up painting for the first time since art college, Pete also intends to illustrate the album himself. He demos "Prelude, The Right To Write" and completes the track "Cat Snatch" at Eel Pie Studios, London. Both later appear on Another Scoop. Also recorded is "All Lovers Are Deranged," later released on Scoop 3.

February 1983

New records: "Beat It" - Michael Jackson; Frontiers - Journey; War - U2; "Total Eclipse of the Heart" - Bonnie Tyler
Pete receiving BRIT Award 1983

On the 8th, Pete wins a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BRIT Awards at the Grosvenor House, London. He is only 37 years old.

On the 9th, the judge presiding over the Cincinnati concert case allows an appeal over the earlier decision to rule out punitive damages. He also asks the lawyers if an out-of-court settlement can be reached.

Its Hard The Who 45

"It's Hard" backed with "Dangerous" is the last 45rpm single of new Who material released in the U.S. It fails to chart.

March 1983

New records: Eliminator - ZZ Top; Metal Health - Quiet Riot; The Closer You Get - Alabama; The Final Cut - Pink Floyd
Pete Townshend article in New Musical Express Mar. 1983

On the 12th, Pete is interviewed by Paul Morley in New Musical Express. Pete hints at what is to come: "I was double dealing with the band for a long time. I was in the band, I was making money with the band, I was still using the band as a vehicle for my songs, living off the band, and all the time I was telling the world how shitty they were, how frustrated I felt... I expressed all this frustration and I did nothing to back it up."

Also on the 12th, John appears on the Channel Four TV programme GasTank interviewed by Rick Wakeman and performing "Twist and Shout" and "Get America" with Tony Ashton.

Sometime during the month, The Who have a meeting where Pete tells the group that his "Siege" album idea is not working out and he cannot provide songs for a new Who album. Several ideas are floated including doing an album of cover songs.

CD cover for Pete Townshend Scoop

On the 19th, Pete's first collection of only demos, Scoop is released. A single from the album, "Bargain" backed with "Dirty Water," is released in the U.S. Rolling Stone, Guitar Player, Audio and People magazine praise the album with the latter calling Scoop the equivalent of a writer's notebooks. In the U.S. it peaks at #35 but in Britain it fails to chart.

April 1983

New records: Flashdance: Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture - Various Artists; Cargo - Men at Work; Let's Dance - David Bowie; Who's Greatest Hits - The Who
Branigan2 CD

On the 9th, Laura Branigan's LP Branigan2 enters the U.S. charts. It features a cover of "Squeeze Box" and peaks at #29.

Pete Townshend, Golfer

Rolling Stone prints a picture of Pete playing golf and says he has recently taken a Mediterranean cruise. They also report The Who has booked studio time for June.

Who's Greatest Hits LP

Late in the month, a new compilation LP, Who's Greatest Hits, is released in the U.S. and Canada. It peaks at #94.

May 1983

New music releases: Too Low for Zero - Elton John; Piece of Mind - Iron Maiden; Holy Diver - Dio; "Every Breath You Take" - The Police

Rolling Stone reports that the Who have canceled plans for a final British tour.

On the 12th, John Entwistle attends U2's concert in Passaic, New Jersey.

A few days before his 38th birthday on the 19th, Pete meets with Roger to discuss future plans. In his diary, Pete notes "I said I would consider working on special projects with him - charity shows, musicals, anything but rock tours. He seemed receptive." Roger, speaking of it later remembers it quite differently. He says Pete called him up out of the blue claiming "No one's phoned me up and asked me how it's going," referring to his progress on writing songs for a new Who album. Roger offers to help, but Pete tells him "I'm going to finish the band."

June 1983

New music releases: Synchronicity - The Police; A Decade of Hits - The Charlie Daniels Band; The Wild Heart - Stevie Nicks; Keep It Up - Loverboy

On the 2nd Pete attends the opening night of David Bowie's "Serious Moonlight" tour at Wembley Arena. It is Bowie's first U.K. show in five years.

On the 15th, The Who hold a business meeting at manager Bill Curbishley's office. Pete writes later in his diary, "I stood by my decision to leave. Bill seemed to be the only one who could see I wasn't going to change my mind." It will be the last time The Who join together until Live Aid over two years later.

Ringo Starr Old Wave

On the 16th, Ringo Starr's album Old Wave is released in Canada, Japan, South America and Germany. John Entwistle plays bass and is co-credited as author of "Everybody's In A Hurry But Me."

July 1983

New music releases: Madonna - Madonna; Fantastic - Wham!; Kill 'Em All - Metallica; No Parlez - Paul Young
The Who Rocks America videotape

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

Pete Townshend at Faber and Faber

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

On the 23rd, Music & Video Week report that The Who's former financial advisor, Tony Branch, has been sentenced to three years in prison for stealing at least £30,000 from the band.

Pete Townshend Mick Jagger's 40th

On the 26th, Pete writes a piece for The Times of London about Mick Jagger for Jagger's 40th birthday. It is later reprinted in Rolling Stone.

August 1983

New music releases: An Innocent Man - Billy Joel; "Islands in the Stream" - Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton; Greatest Hits - Air Supply; "Red Red Wine" - UB-40
The Who Rarities Vol. 1 LP

On the 19th, the Who collection Rarities Vol. 1 (1966-68) is released in Britain.

September 1983

New music releases: "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" - Cyndi Lauper; Sports - Huey Lewis & The News; The Big Chill - Various Artists; "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" - Michael Jackson

On the 1st, mixdowns of the songs "One Day," "Walking In My Sleep," and "Don't Wait On The Stairs" are done at Mediasound Studios, New York. They had been recently recorded for Roger's first Atlantic Records solo album Parting Should Be Painless.

On the 2nd, Pete records "Maxims For Lunch" on cassette. It is later released on Scoop 3.

The Relay issue 1

On the 8th, the first issue of "The Definitive WHO Newsletter", The Relay is mailed out from its home base in Pennsylvania. Nancy Langfeld, Caryn Rose and their crew will keep Who fans up-to-date through the pre-Internet years.

On the 11th, Pete cites Joseph Conrad's novel Nostromo as one of his favorites in a review for The Mail On Sunday.

Rolling Stone reports that, except for one lawsuit, the Cincinnati concert disaster case of 1979 has been settled out of court. Details of the settlement are never publicly announced.

Mo Ostin

Pete has a meeting with Mo Ostin, chairman of Warner Brothers Records. Pete tells him he is incapable of writing another Who album and begs him to find a way to release The Who from their contract.

Rarities Vol. 2

On the 16th, the compilation LP Rarities Vol. 2 (1970-73) is released in Britain.

On the 20th, Kenney Jones is one of many British rock stars that participate in the ARMS Benefit Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

On the 28th, The Alarm perform a live version of "A Legal Matter" at My Father's Place in Long Island, NY. It is broadcast on WLIR-FM and is later commercially released by the band.

October 1983

New music releases: Can't Slow Down - Lionel Richie; She's So Unusual - Cyndi Lauper; Colour By Numbers - Culture Club; Genesis - Genesis
Before I Get Old hardcover

On the 1st, Dave Marsh's mammoth history of The Who Before I Get Old is published. The book concentrates on The Who's early career.

T-Bone Burnett - Proof Through the Night

Also on the 1st, T-Bone Burnett's LP Proof Through The Night hits the U.S. charts. Pete plays guitar on the songs "Fatally Beautiful," "The Sixties," "Hefner," and "Disney."

On the 5th, Pete announces he wants to open a drug-treatment centre in London.

Also on the 5th, Roger attends the read-through for the BBC-TV version of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors. Rehearsals continue through the 21st followed by filming.

On the 11th, Pete is a guest on Channel 4's Loose Talk.

It's Hard 1983 CD

During this month, Polygram releases It's Hard on CD and a double-CD of Tommy. They are pressed in Germany and are possibly the first releases of Who music in that format. Who's Next follows in November.

On the 22nd, Roger gives an interview to The Times (London) to promote his appearance in The Beggar's Opera on BBC TV. His remarks indicate that he still believes The Who will record a follow-up album to It's Hard. The following night, BBC1's Omnibus includes a profile of Roger.

Roger Daltrey in The Beggar's Opera

On the 29th, Jonathan Miller's television production of John Gay's 18th-Century The Beggars' Opera is broadcast on BBC Two. Roger plays the starring role of the rascally Macheath. Coincidentally, Roger will later play the role of the Streetsinger in Mack The Knife, a film of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's modern adaptation, The Three-Penny Opera.

November 1983

New music releases: "Thriller" - Michael Jackson; Under a Blood Red Sky - U2; 20 Greatest Hits - Kenny Rogers; 90125 - Yes

On the 1st, John appears with John Taylor of Duran Duran on BBC2's Rock School discussing the bass guitar.

On the 9th, shooting for the BBC production of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors, featuring Roger in a dual role, is completed.

1983 Ready Steady GO ad

On the 11th, The Who's re-release their 1966 EP Ready Steady Who! in Britain. It peaks at #58.

John Entwistle BBC Master Class session
Photo: Dave McNarie

On the 13th, John has another BBC Master Class. The hour-long event features John taking questions and demonstrating his technique. Asked about The Who, John says there was little hope for a reunion.

On the 14th, The New York Times reports that in addition to Roger's performances in The Beggars' Opera and The Comedy Of Errors, he will soon be directing a movie about London gangsters the Kray Twins.

Michael P. Deegan's The Who (Rock'N Popstars) is published.

Simon Townshend's LP Sweet Sound is released. It is produced by older brother Pete.

Project 30

During this month, PolyGram in the U.K. issues a new double album and promotes it on television. The title Project 30 refers to their deliberate attempt to assemble a collection of rock meant to appeal to the nostalgia of people in their 30's, the so-called "baby boomers". The collection includes "Substitute" and "Pinball Wizard".

On the 26th, Billboard reports that Roger has signed an exclusive worldwide solo record deal with WEA International.

On the 28th, Roger appears on Måndagsbörsen, a Swedish talk show.

On the 28th, Kenney Jones joins the Ronnie Lane ARMS tour of the U.S. running through December 9.

December 1983

New music releases: "Walking on Sunshine" - Katrina & The Waves; "Jump" - Van Halen; Greatest Hits Vol. II - Barry Manilow; Balls to the Wall - Accept

On the 3rd, Music Week reports that The Who have sold Ramport Studios to the Virgin Group for an undisclosed sum.

During the first week of the month, Roger appears on a British talk show and declares The Who are still a going concern.

On the 7th, at Pete's request, Warner Brothers terminates The Who's contract despite their failure to deliver another two albums as specified. A sizable amount of the advance money has to be returned.

Pete Townshend at Andy Summers party
Photo: Richard Young

Pete attends a private showing of Andy Summers' photography in London.

Roger plays an imprisoned socialist militant in a 10-minute comedy short called Bitter Cherry released this month. It is directed by Gregory Dark and co-stars Denis Lawson.

Pete Townshend press release breaking up The Who

On the 16th, Pete releases a statement declaring he is breaking up The Who. "I will not be making any more records with The Who. It's already been stated that our tour of America in 1982 was our last, and I can now add that I will not perform live again anywhere in the world with The Who." Roger, John and Kenney have nothing to do with the statement and afterwards express shock and anger at Pete's decision and the idea that he could break up the group on his own. "It was a wonderful Christmas present," Roger tells the press, sarcastically.

Kevin Dubrow of Quiet Riot tells Rolling Stone The Who are his favorite band and Roger his favorite singer. He says The Who on Live At Leeds were the heaviest heavy metal band of all time.

Roger Daltrey in The Comedy of Errors

On the 24th, the BBC premieres their new production of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors, starring Roger in the dual roles of two servants named Dromio.

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