Updated Feb. 10, 2022

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January 1988

New music releases: Turn Back the Clock - Johnny Hates Jazz; Tell It to My Heart - Taylor Dayne; Life Is...Too Short - Too Short; Good Morning, Vietnam - Various Artists
Beggar's Opera VHS

The Roger-starring 1983 production of The Beggar's Opera finally receives a home video release in the U.S.

February 1988

New music releases: "Man in the Mirror" - Michael Jackson; Now and Zen - Robert Plant; The Best of OMD - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark; Tear Down These Walls - Billy Ocean

Rolling Stone again reports on rumors of a Who reunion tour, this time for summer 1988.

The Who 1988 PBI

On the 8th, The Who receive a Lifetime Achievement award from the British Phonographic Industry and perform during a live TV broadcast from Royal Albert Hall in London. No one probably knows it at the time, but it is Kenney Jones' last performance with The Who until 2014. The Who are faded out right after they start "Substitute" when the program overruns. Just before the show, Pete is told his daughter Aminta has been taken to the hospital with pneumonia. Pete comes within a hair of leaving and later says he regrets he didn't.

My Generation CD single

On the 12th, "My Generation" backed with "Substitute" is released as a single in Britain, peaking at #68. The 12" and CD version has, in addition, "Baba O' Riley" and "Behind Blue Eyes."

Roger appears on Entertainment Tonight and says he doesn't believe he will sing anymore because after poor sales for his last solo album he feels he no longer has an audience for his solo work.

A London newspaper reports that Pete's wife Karen wants him to close down the Double O Charity. Double O releases a statement that says the organization is not closing down but is undergoing an evaluation study because "the high point of public sympathy and sincere media support for anti-drug causes is past."

On the 22nd, Pete attends actor Sir John Mills' 80th birthday party.

The Kinks The Road 12inch single

On the 26th, The Kinks release the single "The Road." The Who are mentioned in the lyrics.

March 1988

New music releases: More Dirty Dancing - Original Soundtrack; Push - Bros; He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince; Now That's What I Call Music! 11 (U.K.) - Various Artists
The Who at The Marquee Club 1988

On the 2nd, The Who assemble at the Marquee Club in London for a photo session to promote the U.K. release of Who's Better, Who's Best. Footage of the event is shot and aired on Television South's programme Off the Wall on the 9th.

CD cover for UK release of Who's Better Who's Best

On the 8th, the compilation Who's Better Who's Best is released in Britain as a CD and a single vinyl LP. It peaks at #10. On the 11th, the album is awarded Silver status by the BPI.

Pete plays acoustic guitar on "Town of Plenty" for Elton John's album Reg Strikes Back recorded at AIR Studios, London.

Prefab Sprouts From Langley Park to Memphis

On the 22nd, Prefab Sprout's album From Langley Park To Memphis is released in the U.K. and peaks at #5. It features Pete playing acoustic guitar on the song "Hey Manhattan!"

On the 24th, the 1980 Virgin LP re-issue of My Generation is awarded Gold status by the BPI.

April 1988

New music releases: Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman; Stronger Than Pride - Sade; "Fast Car" - Tracy Chapman; Crossroads - Eric Clapton

On the 4th, Television South airs an episode of The Sporting Summer focusing on "Roger Daltrey, Trout Fisherman".

On the 6th, John is interviewed on Television South's Off the Wall. He is interviewed again on the programme of the 27th.

Program for Sotheby's auction

On the 7th, John auctions off a number of items at Sotheby's to raise much needed money to pay his tax bills. Included in the auction are concert contracts, John's lyric manuscripts and many instruments, drawings and items of clothing.

On the 15th, Pete, Roger, John and Kenney Jones jointly receive an Ivor Novello Award.

Tommy and Quadrophenia, both as 2-disc sets, and The Who's Greatest Hits are released on CD in the U.S.

The Alarm The Stand

The Alarm releases a CD-3 of their single "The Stand." It also includes a live cover of "A Legal Matter."

The Who Observer 1988
Photo: Colin Jones

On the 24th, Pete writes a long piece on his, John's and Roger's boyhoods and hints that a Who reunion is not entirely out of the question. It is printed in The Observer and is called "The Who, Why and Wherefore."

May 1988

New music releases: Open Up and Say... Ahh! - Poison; OU812 - Van Halen; The Hits - REO Speedwagon; Out of Order - Rod Stewart

On the 10th, Polydor in the U.K. issues Live at Leeds on CD. A week later, they release Face Dances.

Roger Daltrey at John Carter's Steam Fair and Penny Arcade

Roger is the star attraction at the opening of John Carter's Steam Fair and Penny Arcade near Maidenhead.

Rolling Stone reports that Pete had agreed to perform at the recent Atlantic Records Birthday Bash, but backed out at the last moment. They also report he is currently working on The Iron Man musical.

June 1988

New music releases: Don't Be Cruel - Bobby Brown; Forever Your Girl - Paula Abdul; "Sweet Child o' Mine" - Guns N' Roses; The Barry White Collection - Barry White
1988 Won't Get Fooled Again single

"Won't Get Fooled Again" backed with a live recording of "Boney Moronie" from the April 26, 1971 Young Vic concert is released as a single in Britain, Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. The 12" and CD versions add a studio version of "Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand" and a live recording of a medley of "Dancing In The Street" and "Dance It Away" from the December 1979 Philadelphia Spectrum shows.

John Entwistle June 1988

On the 24th, John begins a North American solo tour at The Sundance Club in Bay Shore, New York. At these concerts, John plays songs from his as yet unreleased album The Rock. The tour continues on to the Channel in Boston (25th), Hammerjacks in Baltimore (27th), Toads Place in New Haven, Connecticut (28th), the Living Room in Providence, Rhode Island (29th) and Polos in Brewster, New York (30th).

July 1988

New music releases: Kylie - Kylie Minogue; Long Cold Winter - Cinderella; "Straight Outta Compton" - N.W.A.; Old 8X10 - Randy Travis
Marquee at 1988 Chicago Entwistle show

John continues his third North American solo tour at the Chestnut Cabaret in Philadelphia on the 1st. Other dates are The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey (2nd), Peabody's in Cleveland (5th), Harpo's in Detroit (6th), The Riviera in Chicago (7th), Summerfest in Milwaukee (8th), Fritzies in Oklahoma City (10th), Anderson's Fifth Estate in Phoenix, Arizona (13th), The Strand in Redondo Beach, California (14th), The Country Club in Reseda, California (15th and 16th), Bacchanal in San Diego, California (17th), The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, California (19th), New Georges in San Rafael, California (21st), The Stone in San Francisco (22nd), The Cabaret in San Jose, California (23rd), the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa, California (25th), Top Of The Harbor in Ventura, California (28th), Santa Cruz, California (29th), and Sacramento, California (30th). The set list is pulled from the unreleased The Rock album plus Entwistle-penned Who favorites.

Reg Strikes Back LP

On the 9th, Elton John's Reg Strikes Back LP appears on the U.S. charts. It features Pete playing guitar on the track "Town Of Plenty." The album peaks at #16 on the U.S. charts and #18 on the U.K. charts.

Around this time Festival Tours International arranges a Who evening held at the Railway Tavern, hosted by Irish Jack with Keith Moon's former bandmates The Beachcombers and the drummer Keith replaced in The Who, Doug Sandom.

On the 18th, John is interviewed on the syndicated U.S. radio program Rockline.

Rolling Stone reports that Roger is working on another solo album.

On the 28th, Pete records "Can You Really Dance?" from his never-completed dance music album at his Oceanic Studios with Clem Burke on drums, Pino Palladino on bass and John "Rabbit" Bundrick on piano plus Billy Nicholls and his backing singers and the Kick Horns. It is released under the title "Real World" on EP versions of "A Friend Is A Friend" and a more-instrumental later mix is released on Scoop 3.

Roger Daltrey displays his trout

On the 30th, Roger is featured on the front cover of TV Times magazine in the U.K. He is holding a trout and the title is "Gone Fishing! Why Roger Daltrey's hooked on the good life." The article reports that The Who are getting together in October to record "a celebratory anniversary album."

On the 31st, ITV (U.K.) airs the drama Gentry in which a well-to-do couple buys a house and get involved with a gang of thieves. Roger plays the leader of the thieves. It is written by Nigel Kneale of the Quatermass series.

August 1988

New music releases: Hangin' Tough - New Kids on the Block; Cocktail (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - Various Artists; Straight Outta Compton - N.W.A.; "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" - The Proclaimers
Ticket to John Entwistle Aug 11 1988

John plays the last dates of his 1988 solo tour in Seattle at Club 99 on the 4th, in Toronto at The Diamond on the 11th and in Providence at JR's Fast Land on the 13th.

Rolling Stone 100 Singles issue

Rolling Stone magazine picks "My Generation" as #16 in "The 100 Best Singles of the Last 25 Years."

A Quick One CD 1988

On the 14th, A Quick One in true mono and The Who Sell Out in stereo are released on CD in Europe on Polydor. The former is well-reviewed for its excellent sound.

September 1988

New music releases: New Jersey - Bon Jovi; ...and Justice For All - Metallica; Watermark - Enya; A Fresh Aire Christmas - Mannheim Steamroller
Roger Daltrey in Mack the Knife

Rolling Stone reports that Roger will star in a new film version of "The Threepenny Opera". The movie is released in 1990 as Mack The Knife.

On the 7th, The Who fanzine The Relay reports that Pete has sold his Eel Pie Studio in Soho to Marquee Music.

1988 Sotheby's auction catalog

On the 12th, John auctions off his Rolls Royce Silver Estate and some of his bass guitars at a Rock & Roll Auction at Sotheby's. John nets £30,000. As he leaves the auction with his girlfriend, he says he is disappointed that the Rolls went for only £13,500. He also sells 12 of his bass guitars but says he still has 160 more at home. Although not announced at the time, John is auctioning items to pay a massive tax bill that threatens to bankrupt him.

In his recent autobiography, Pete revealed that during this month, he and Who manager Bill Curbishley explored the possibility of recording a new Who album. "My first suggestion to Bill was to make a record with Chris Thomas producing, and maybe record songs not written by me but selected among the favourites John, Roger and I might bring to the table. Bill approached MCA Records, who still owned the majority of The Who's back catalogue. They offered $1 million for a new record, which didn't seem enough to me...Chris Thomas's manager asked for a high percentage and a very large advance. Bill Price's engineering would cost at least as much over a twenty-four week schedule, possibly more. Studio charges, even if we used Eel Pie at cut rates, would take care of what was left."

On the 22nd, Bill Curbishley reports back to Pete about what he has learned by asking his promoter friends in the States: "Bill told me that most American promoters he'd spoken to thought there was no need for a new Who album... They predicted The Who would be the number one ticket in 1989, overtaking Led Zeppelin... The offers of sponsorship were very good, which meant we could afford to have a larger band like the one I'd used with Deep End, which had created an immensely forceful sound, but at decibel levels less than half those produced by The Who."

1988 MCA Who CDs

On the 26th, Who fans who have been replacing their old vinyl with CD's get a cornucopia from MCA Records in the U.S. The Who Sings My Generation, A Quick One (Happy Jack), The Who Sell Out, Magic Bus, Odds and Sods, a single disc version of The Kids Are Alright, reissues of Meaty Beaty Big & Bouncy and Who Are You and an MCA release of Who's Last all come out on CD in the U.S. In addition, MCA releases "My Generation"/"I Can't Explain"/"Happy Jack"/"I Can See For Miles" as a 3" CD single. Unfortunately, the sound quality on some of the discs is poor and MCA subsequently upgrades sound quality on some of the series.

October 1988

New music releases: Rattle and Hum - U2; Money for Nothing - Dire Straits; Silhouette - Kenny G; Highlights from 'The Phantom of the Opera' - Original London Cast
Bet You Can't Pick Just One CD

On the 13th, MCA sends radio stations a six-track promotional CD from the forthcoming Who's Better Who's Best called Bet You Can't Pick Just One.

Pete's investigation the previous month about the possibility of recording a new Who album filters down to the music press this month. Q magazine claims that Pete, Roger and John held a meeting to discuss the album and Kenney Jones showed up to announce that he wanted nothing to do with it. "A collective sigh of relief is believed to have arisen from the remaining members." Rolling Stone also reports on the rumors.

Generations issue 1

The Who become an object of historical study as John Atkins sends out the first issue of his Who journal Generations. Each issue primarily delves into the band's past with Atkins' first major work a catalog of all the Who's television appearances.

Comedian/actor Bob Saget tells KITS radio that he wanted to perform "My Generation" on an episode of ABC-TV's family comedy Full House but censors nixed it for fear the stuttering would offend viewers.

On the 21st, Goldmine reports that MCA and PolyGram had wanted to release The Who's first three albums on CD a year earlier but The Who asked for more money than either record label thought they were worth. They also report that a Who box set is in the works. The project gets as far as a preliminary compilation tape before the project is cancelled.

November 1988

New music releases: Greatest Hits - Journey; Greatest Hits - Fleetwood Mac; G 'N R Lies - Guns 'n Roses; Private Collection: 1979–1988 - Cliff Richard

On the 2nd, the U.K. double CD The Who Collection is awarded Gold status by the BPI.

On the 3rd, Ted Clark, who purchased John's Rolls Royce Silver Shadow Estate for £13,500 at the September 12th, auction, places a classified in Rolling Stone trying to sell it for $75,000.

Celebrity Choice Cookbook

Roger's recipe for trout in sweet pepper puree is among nearly 150 recipes compiled for a children's charity cookbook. About one-sixth of the proceeds from the Celebrity Choice Cookbook are earmarked for the BBC's Children in Need Appeal.

On the 9th, Westwood One holds a live album party to celebrate the coming U.S. release of Who's Better Who's Best. Pete and John in London and Roger in Budapest field questions from listeners. Pete denies that The Who are recording a new album. Kenney Jones' absence is thought to confirm rumors that he is no longer a member of The Who.

On the 16th, MCA holds Who Club nights in Dallas, St. Louis, Atlanta and Waikiki with giveaways of The Who's CD catalog.

Who Collection Stylus

On the 19th, The Who Collection, a re-release on Stylus of the 1985 compilation, hits the British charts. It peaks at #71.

Who's Better Who's Best US CD

On the 26th, Who's Better, Who's Best is released in U.S. as a CD and a double disc LP. It features a different cover from the rest of the world and some different mixes. Despite the promotion, the album does not reach Billboard's Top 200 LP chart.

December 1988

New music releases: "Driving Home for Christmas" - Chris Rea; "Can You Stand the Rain?" - New Edition; "She Drives Me Crazy" - Fine Young Cannibals; "Baby Don't Forget My Number" - Milli Vanilli

On the 3rd, Billboard says they have been told that Pete, Roger, and John will reunite as The Who for a world tour in 1989 that will begin with a charity concert performance of Tommy at Radio City Music Hall.

Also on the 3rd, Roger guests (hosts?) Granada Television's new music show Hot to Be Cool. He returns on the 10th and 17th.

On the 5th, Pete, Roger and John appear from London on the U.S. television show Today promoting the new Who's Better Who's Best compilation. Afterwards they tape interviews and segments for a "Who Day" on MTV that airs on the 18th.

The tapings done, the three and Who manager Bill Curbishley meet to discuss the 25th Anniversary tour. John says he has found new bass equipment that will allow him to play quieter. Roger says he has written some new songs. Things are going well until Curbishley brings up possible dates for the tour. As the reality of the tour sinks in, Pete has a panic attack and abruptly leaves.

The next day, Pete is visited by his friend Robert Greenfield as he works on The Iron Man at his home studio in Twickenham. Pete tells Robert that, despite pressure, he will not tour with The Who. The day after that, Pete informs Curbishley, Roger, and John of his decision.

On the 20th, John is interviewed on Television South's Off the Wall.

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