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Updated Aug. 14, 2023

January 1985

New music releases: Songs You Know By Heart - Jimmy Buffett; Centerfield - John Fogerty; 40-Hour Week - Alabama; "How Soon Is Now" - The Smiths

On the 5th, Record Mirror interviews John as his cassette course teaching bass has come out. On the breakup of The Who: "We finally split over policy differences. We couldn't agree on anything. I can't see us getting back together. Maybe there'll be a reunion in three years, but certainly not in the near future." And on the death of Keith Moon: "I think everybody knew, including himself, that sooner or later he was going to die."

February 1985

New music releases: No Jacket Required - Phil Collins; Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston; Songs from the Big Chair - Tears for Fears; "I'm on Fire" - Bruce Springsteen
85-02-01 Relay

On the 1st, The Who fanzine The Relay reports that Another Scoop was compiled the previous year but Atco Records refused to release it (they would relent two years later). Also in the issue, in a continuation of an interview conducted a year before, Roger says he is going to produce and direct a movie about The Kray Twins and that he recorded an entire solo album called Pop Songs immediately prior to Parting Should Be Painless but scrapped it.

85-02-11 Pete Sade
Photo: Clive Dixon

On the 11th, Pete presents Sade with the award for Album Of The Year at the British Phonographic Awards at London's Grosvenor House.

Also this month, Pete records the track "Lonely Words" with Rabbit, Clem Burke and Phil Chen. It is later released on Scoop 3.

Shes The Boss

On the 19th, Mick Jagger releases his first solo album She's The Boss featuring a performance by Pete on electric guitar ("Lonely At The Top") and acoustic guitar ("Hard Woman"). Some of the production was done at Pete's boathouse studio. The album peaks at #6 in the U.K. and #13 in the U.S.

March 1985

New music releases: "We Are The World" - USA For Africa; Greatest Hits - George Strait; "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" - Tears for Fears; The Secret of Association - Paul Young

On the 4th, Pete meets Princess Diana for the second time at the Royal premiere of 2010.

On the 5th, Roger presents the makers of the movie Ghostbusters with Best Original Song at the 38th British Academy Awards.

Willie And The Poor Boys

On the 11th and 12th, Kenney Jones plays with Willie & The Poor Boys, Bill Wyman's 1950's-style band, while John Entwistle is an audience member. The concerts at Fulham Town Hall benefit Ronnie Lane and are filmed, recorded and released on DVD in 2004.

The video for Barbra Streisand's "Emotion" released this month features a guest appearance by Roger.

Jamming 28

After the bitter breakup of The Who at the end of 1983, things seem to be thawing. Pete is interviewed in Jamming! magazine by Tony Fletcher and is very complimentary towards Roger.

John travels to New York to videotape a bass-playing instruction course.

April 1985

New music releases: Be Yourself Tonight - Eurythmics; We Are The World - USA for Africa; Around the World in a Day - Prince & The Revolution; The Hits Album 2 - Various Artists
85-04-07 Mail On Sunday

On the 7th, You magazine in The Mail on Sunday reports that Pete is currently writing "a book about working in sheds."

85-04-14 Pete Siouxie
Photo: Dave Hogan

In addition, Pete continues with his anti-heroin campaign. On the 10th he holds the first concert organized by the Anti-Heroin campaign at St. James Church in London. Siouxsie and the Banshees perform and at the end Siouxsie presents Pete with a check for £5000. Afterwards they celebrate at the Embassy Club. A video report on the concert airs the next day on BBC1's Friday People. On the 14th, he urges Margaret Thatcher's government to invest in anti-heroin drug treatment centres in a letter to The Mail on Sunday

Meanwhile, Roger gets in trouble with the local constabulary when he opens his trout farm four days early to protest restrictions placed on the fishing season. Local officials decide not to prosecute but forbid anyone from fishing at Roger's farm.

85-04-25 Secret Talk Of A Reunion

On the 29th, The Mirror reports that The Who are considering reuniting for a one-off show for Ethiopian relief due to the urgings of Bob Geldof. Pete: "Yes, I have talked to the others about it...At the moment we are all vacillating wildly."

May 1985

New music releases: Brothers In Arms - Dire Straits; The Best of the Eagles - The Eagles; Nervous Night - The Hooters; "Money for Nothing" - Dire Straits

On the 13th, Pete is interviewed on Channel 4's The Late Late Show.

John is a waiter for a day at London's Peppermint Park restaurant as part of a charity benefit.

During the month, shooting begins at Pete's residence for ITV's The South Bank Show. Pete is shown recording the music for his new solo album White City.

Also this month, Roger attends a concert by The Alarm at the Hammersmith Palais in London.

Bradford Aid 45

On the 24th, Gerry Marsden releases a charity single as a benefit for the victims of the Bradford City Disaster Fund after their horrible football stadium fire. The single is "You'll Never Walk Alone" backed with messages of support and credited to "The Crowd." One of "The Crowd" is John.

Also on the 24th, Pete appears on the BBC talk show Wogan.

Horses Neck

On the 27th, Pete's short story collection Horse's Neck is published in the U.K. It receives positive reviews from Brian Case in Melody Maker ("a brilliant, troubling work"), Martin Booth in British Book News ("stunningly good") and The Observer ("the real thing") and a negative review by Geoff Dyer in New Statesman ("work of an apprentice").

85-05-26 Mirror Pete Interview

The day before the book's release, Pete is interviewed in The Mirror. He discusses how little he misses the drugs and rock 'n' roll life: "I'm glad I got out. There's no way I'd go back."

Rolling Stone reports at the end of the month that Eddie van Halen plans to collaborate with Pete on some songs. If the collaboration ever occurs, none of the songs are released.

June 1985

New music releases: Dream of the Blue Turtles - Sting; "Summer of '69" - Bryan Adams; Theatre of Pain - Mötley Crüe; Little Creatures - Talking Heads
Springsteen Slane

On the 1st, Pete takes his family to see Bruce Springteen at Slane Castle in Ireland. He declares Bruce "the greatest rock 'n' roller in the world." Afterwards he appears live via satellite on the U.S. ABC-TV program Nightline where he also praises Springsteen.

On the 5th, John is a guest on Thames Television's Jim Davidson's Special.

85-06-10 Evening Standard

On the 10th, the press reports that Pete has donated £1000 to the Greenwich Theatre Group so that they can mount a production of King Arthur.

85-06-28 Hard Lines 2

On the 28th Pete introduces a new book of poetry called Hard Lines 2 at a presentation run by Faber & Faber. Ian Dury is among those giving readings of the poetry.

July 1985

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

On the 3rd, Pete is interviewed on ITV about Ian Dury's book of poetry he is publishing through Faber & Faber called Hard Lines 2.

Townshend, Charles, Dire Straits

On the 4th, Pete joins Dire Straits at London's Wembley Arena for the Prince's Trust rock concert and performs "Solid Rock" with them during the encore. Afterwards he again meets Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

On the 12th, John is interviewed on BBC1's London Plus about the next day's Who reunion.

The Who Live Aid Backstage
Photo: Dave Hogan

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

The Who Live Aid
Photo: John Hoffmann

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

Townshend, Geldof, McCartney Live Aid

Later, at the end of Paul McCartney's set, Paul and Pete lift Bob Geldof onto their shoulders. At the end of the concert, The Who join all the other acts in singing the British Live Aid anthem, "Do They Know It's Christmas."

The Greater Manchester Council tries to persuade The Who to perform again for their anti-heroin campaign but they cannot be talked into it.

August 1985

New music releases: Scarecrow - John Mellencamp; "Running Up That Hill" - Kate Bush; Primitive Love - The Miami Sound Machine; Now That's What I Call Music! 5 (U.K.) - Various Artists

On the 9th, the U.K. press reports that Pete is working with Prince Charles editing a volume of his collected speeches to be published by the firm for which Pete works, Faber and Faber. To date, the book has not been published.

Betty Townshend in Relay

In an issue of The Who fanzine The Relay, published on the 13th, Pete's mother Betty is interviewed. She says she likes The Who's records but doesn't like them live. "Too loud for me."

Pete's short story collection Horse's Neck is published in the U.S. In the New York Times, reviewer Michiko Kakutani calls the writing "muddled" and too bitter. In another review there, Janet Maslin calls it sincere but also thinks it is written in an obfuscatory style. More favorable reviews come from Newsweek, Creem magazine, Greil Marcus in the Washington Post Book World.

Double O ticket 1985

On the 24th, John is a judge at a carnival near his home at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire. On the same day a benefit concert for Pete's Double O charity is held at the Crystal Palace. Pete does not perform but those who do are Dame Vera Lynn, Hawkwind, Spear of Destiny, Dr. and the Medics, Comsat Angels, The Enid, March Violets, The Armoury Show and Balaam and the Angel.

September 1985

New music releases: In Square Circle - Stevie Wonder; Hounds of Love - Kate Bush; World Machine - Level 42; Alabama Christmas - Alabama
Roger Daltrey portrait New York early Sept 1985
Photo: Ebet Roberts

Roger travels to the U.S. to promote his new solo album Under a Raging Moon being interviewed on New York City's 92 K-Rock on the 3rd and making a appearance on MTV on the 9th. He also shows up on David Brenner's radio show.

On the 11th, Roger picks up a lifetime achievement award for The Who at a reception held before Record Bar's annual convention in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Under a Raging Moon LP U.K.

On the 12th, Under a Raging Moon, the LP is released in the U.S. The U.K. release follows on the 21st. In the U.S., the album peaks at #42 while in the U.K. it goes up to #52.

After The Fire picture sleeve

On the 13th, the first single from Under a Raging Moon is released in the U.K. The A-side, "After the Fire" is written by Pete who offers it to Roger after The Who fail to perform it at Live Aid. The B-side is "It Don't Satisfy Me" while the 12" version adds "Love Me Like You Do." In the U.K. charts the single peaks at #50. In the U.S. it peaks at #48 in Billboard and #59 in Cash Box.

Meanwhile the Cinemax cable channel airs a special on Pete's new solo album and accompanying film White City. Pete is interviewed and videos and clips from the short movie are shown.

On the 18th, Roger is back in the U.K. promoting his album on Good Morning Britain followed by a short interview on BBC Radio One's News Beat. On the 21st, he appears on the children's programme Saturday Picture Show.

On the 19th, The Hastings Observer reports that a BBC film crew will be visiting the town for the next seven weeks to shoot an adaptation of Nigel Hinton's book Buddy. Buddy's father will be played by Roger.

Rolling Stone reports that Pete will be one of the artists participating in the new anti-apartheid anthem "Sun City."

The Who Collection cover

On the 30th, another Who "best-of" collection, aptly named The Who Collection, is released in the U.K. The double LP and CD set is digitally remastered and is marketed on television. It peaks at #44.

Also on the 30th, Pete appears on NBC's Today show promoting his new album, film and book Horse's Neck.

October 1985

New music releases: Greatest Hits - The Cars; Afterburner - ZZ Top; Picture Book - Simply Red; Miami Vice - Various Artists

On the 1st, The Wall Street Journal writes an article on Pete's position at Faber and Faber. Pete says he feels bitter that The Who continued to perform after the Cincinnati tragedy and that he no longer respects the "young snotty Herbert" who wrote "My Generation."

On the 3rd, Roger holds an album release party for his solo LP Under a Raging Moon at Abbey Road Studios, London. Pete shows up to join in the festivities.

After The Fire UK ad

On the 5th, Roger's solo single, the Pete-penned "After the Fire" backed with "It Don't Satisfy Me" hits the U.K. charts. It will peak at #50.

On the 7th, Pete's first single from his new album, "Face the Face" backed with "Hiding Out" is released in the U.K. For promotion, Pete is on Channel 4's The Tube interviewed by Jools Holland then performing with his new solo band Deep End. Despite the promotion, the single fails to chart in the U.K.

On the 12th, Roger appears on BBC1's Saturday Superstore performing "After the Fire"

In The Music Paper and in Music Express, Pete says he might work again in the future with Roger on some project and that he is again working on Life House.

Pete visits ABC-TV's (U.S.) morning show Good Morning America during this month.

In an interview in Spin magazine, Keith Richard compares Pete to Alfred Hitchcock: "Townshend made better Who records than the Who did together. He used to go there with the album already finished, and the rest would come up with some dubs, but his was ten times better than the finished record. It was just a matter of them imitating what Peter had already laid out. Kinda Hitchcockish. After doin' the storyboards, makin' the actual movie was a drag for Hitchcock. His whole thing was puttin' it all together."

TV listing for John Entwistle on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

On the 18th, John and his mansion Quarwood are featured on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. The show contains footage of John playing with the first lineup of his solo band "The Rock".

On the 22nd, Roger is interviewed by Mark Ellen on BBC 2's Whistle Test.

November 1985

New music releases: Promise - Sade; The Broadway Album - Barbra Streisand; "Merry Christmas Everybody" - Shakin' Stevens; Now That's What I Call Music! 6 (U.K.) - Various Artists
Pete Townshend Brixton 1985 ad

On the 1st, Pete performs at Brixton Academy with an additional show the next evening, the proceeds of both shows going to Pete's Double O charity. David Gilmour of Pink Floyd plays electric guitar while Pete sticks to acoustic. Pete's backing band Deep End will eventually form the nucleus of the 1989 touring Who. The performances are recorded and filmed and later released on vinyl, CD and videotape.

Face The Face US PS

On the 2nd, Pete's new single "Face The Face" backed with "Hiding Out" from the White City album is released in the U.S. It fails to chart in the U.K. but becomes Pete's last Top Forty single hit in the U.S. The accompanying video goes into heavy rotation on MTV. On the same day the all-star "Sun City," credited to Artists Against Apartheid, enters the U.S. charts. Pete is one of the artists. The single peaks at #38 in the U.S. but goes to #21 in the U.K.

Also on the 2nd, Roger's Pete-penned solo single "After the Fire" reaches its peak on the U.S. Billboard charts at #48.

Roger is interviewed by Chris Welch for Creem. He expresses a dislike for recent politically oriented rock, especially when music becomes the least important element to a musician.

On the 3rd, Pete is the subject of ITV's The South Bank Show. Pete tours the storage room in his studio, performs quick studio versions of "That's All Right, Mama" and "After The Fire," rehearses with Mark Knopfler for the Prince's Trust Concert, and gives a book report at his job at Faber & Faber. On the night of the broadcast Pete and the Deep End band hold a party at the Hard Rock Café in London.

On the 9th, an episode of the Saturday morning children's program Alvin & The Chipmunks features the Chipmunks performing "Magic Bus".

On the 10th the BBC programme Music Box has a special called "Is There Life After The Who". Kenney Jones tours John's home Quarwood and talks with John about his guitar collection.

On the 11th, Pete travels to New York to do promotion for the forthcoming White City video/album and his short-story collection Horse's Neck. On the 12th he is a guest on Late Night With David Letterman (NBC-TV) and later holds an album release party at NBC Studios. A live radio broadcast is held during the party with Pete taking calls from listeners. In addition, Pete appears on the syndicated show Entertainment This Week and attends another album launch party, this one for Bob Dylan's Biograph.

Pete Townshend and Lady Diana Nov 1985

Back in London on the 19th, Pete continues the U.S. promotion, being interviewed by WMMR-FM Philadelphia who have taken their morning show to London. That evening he attends a party held by Prince Charles and Lady Diana to salute artists who have supported the Prince's Trust charity.

White City Movie Ad

On the 27th, Pete's mini-movie White City is released on videodisc and videotape. The film shows Pete playing a fictional version of himself, visiting an old working-class friend who is recently divorced from a swimming instructor and lives in the titular housing project. Following the movie is an explanatory interview with Pete and an in-studio performance of a song not included on the accompanying LP, "Night School."

The film is reviewed by Stephen Holden in The New York Times who, although he enjoys the musical performances, finds the rest odd and moody with overblown symbolism. Deidre Rockmaker in Goldmine also gives the film a bad review, but positive reviews come from Ned Geesin in People ("tremendously touching"), Tony Seideman in Rolling Stone ("art with a capital A") and Louis Meredith in Stereo Review who compares it favorably with the work of John Cassavetes.

White City album

On the 29th, Pete releases his first post-Who breakup solo album, White City - A Novel. It receives positive reviews from Variety, Michael Tearson in Audio, Bill Milkowski in Down Beat and Rob Tannenbaum in Rolling Stone, both of the latter calling it Pete's best work since Empty Glass. Unfavorable reviews, however, tend to be very negative with slams by Billy Altman in Spin ("pretentiously boring"), Will Smith in Melody Maker ("a pitiful specimen") and Craig Zeller in Creem who says Pete should give up as far as rock 'n roll is concerned. The album peaks at #70 in the U.K. but reaches #26 in the U.S.

Who's Missing

On the 30th, Who's Missing is released. Among the collection of B-sides and European-only tracks are the first releases of "Leaving Here," "Lubie (Come Back Home)," and a 1971 live version of "Bargain." Pete pens the liner notes ending "listening to Who's Missing I realize that many of us will always be - missing The Who". The album peaks at #116 in the U.S. charts and does not chart in the U.K.

December 1985

New music releases: 10 From 6 - Bad Company; Les Misérables - Original London Cast; "Superbowl Shuffle" - The Chicago Bears' Shufflin' Crew; Quiet Music for Quiet Listening - Various Artists

On the 1st Pete is on MTV's show London Calling and on the 2nd does a two-hour radio interview with Rockline as he continues to promote his White City album and video.

On the 2nd, Roger Daltrey begins his first solo tour at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey. His backup band is Russ Ballard on lead guitar, Mark Williamson on keyboards and backing vocals, John Seigler on bass, Stuart Elliott on drums, Clem Clempson on guitar and Alan Shacklock additional keyboards. The 4th sees them at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., then Tower Theater in Philadelphia (5th), Boston (8th), Madison Square Garden (9th) and the Palace Theater in Albany, New York (12th). The Boston show is played on the King Biscuit Flower Hour and is later bootlegged as Summertime Blues. Roger later admits that touring without the other members of The Who is an unpleasant experience.

On the 5th, Pete's short film for White City has its theatrical premiere at a theatre in Southend.

On the 6th, producer Cy Langston performs the final mix on a recently recorded six-track selection from John Entwistle's new solo band "The Rock." The tape contains three John-authored songs, "Last Song," "Bridges Under the Water," and "Life After Love" plus two songs from keyboardist Andy Nye, "Light in the Dark" and "Break Your Heart" and one from guitarist Andy Barnett, "Casualty." Vocalist for the band is Henry Small and the drummer is Zak Starkey. The tape, unfortunately, does not lead to a record deal and Nye and Barnett soon leave the band.

Roger 1985 MSG ad

Roger's Madison Square Garden show on the 9th is a charity event battling Cerebral Palsy hosted by WNEW-FM. At the end of his set John Entwistle makes a surprise guest appearance, singing and performing "Twist and Shout." Also performing that night are Big Country, John Paar, Julian Lennon with a guest appearance by Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon.

On the 11th, the radio show Rockline does an interview with Roger and during the same month he appears on the cable channel Cinemax's trendy program Max Headroom.

The same day Pete and Bill Wyman appear on Good Morning Britain.

On the 13th, Roger was scheduled to be on Channel 4's The Tube. His appearance is marked as cancelled but, apparently, his performance of "Under a Raging Moon" was shot and later used.

On the 15th, Melody Maker reports that Pete is promoting a printed directory that lists organizations concerned with helping drug abusers. Also at this time the charity organization OXFAM sells a Christmas card designed by Pete.

Also on the 15th, Pete appears as a guest on Central London Calling - The Christmas Show.

Who's a Drag?

On the 22nd, Pete and his wife Karen preside over the Snowball Review in aid of the Chiswick Family rescue and Pete plays a short set of "That's All Right, Mama," "Stop Hurting People" and "Pinball Wizard" with a band including Simon Phillips, John "Rabbit" Bundrick, Steve Barnacle, Les Davidson, Billy Nicholls, Coral Brown, Gina Foster and the Kick Horns. Following that Pete dons drag to play the traditional role in British Christmas pantomimes, the Widow Twankey, with Joanna Lumley as his "son" Aladdin. After this the entire cast, led by Pete, sings "Night Train." Other performers that night include Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Rik Mayall, Bill Wyman, Andy Summers, Ian Dury and Virginia Astley.

Let Me Down Easy picture sleeve

On the 28th, another single from Roger's album Under A Raging Moon is released. "Let Me Down Easy", written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, backed with "Fallen Angel" peaks at #86 in the Billboard charts. It is the last Who-related single to make it to the U.S. Top One Hundred.

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