Updated May 15, 2023

The Who This Month! logo

January 1996

New music releases: Time Marches On - Tracy Lawrence; Boys for Pele - Tori Amos; "Spaceman" - Babylon Zoo; "Not Gon' Cry" - Mary J. Blige

On the 4th, Pure releases their EP Extra Purestrial with a cover of "Baba O'Riley", on the 16th, Stranglehold puts out their CD Crash & Burn with a cover of "Substitute" and later in the month Dread Zeppelin release their The Fun Sessions CD featuring their own parodic cover of "Baba O'Riley."

Cry Blue Murder CD

Early in the month, a new Japanese bootleg, Cry Blue Murder, appears in select record stores. It features audience recordings of The Who in Dallas, Texas during the 1967 Herman's Hermits tour and in Oklahoma City during the 1968 Summer U.S. tour.

On the 21st, The John Entwistle Band begins the "Left For Dead" tour of small venues in North America with a private party at Tramps in New York. On the 24th, John performs some Who songs with the house band on NBC-TV's Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

1996 John Entwistle Left For Dead tourbook

The tour proper begins at Tuxedo Junction in Danbury, Connecticut (25th), The Chance in Poughkeepsie, New York (26th), The Sting in New Britain, Connecticut (27th), The Chameleon in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (29th), back to Tramps (30th) and the Mama Kin Music Hall in Boston (31st). At many of the shows, John and the band set up a table after the show for autographs. Sold as a limited release at these shows is a CD of The Rock, the previously unreleased album John recorded in 1986.

On the 30th, Chris Tassone releases a CD called Look's Like Ringo, Sound's Like John that features Entwistle on bass on almost all the tracks.

February 1996

New music releases: The Score - The Fugees; All Eyez on Me - 2Pac; "Always be My Baby" - Mariah Carey; "Don't Look Back in Anger" - Oasis

The John Entwistle Band continue their "Left For Dead" tour of the U.S. performing at Club Bene in South Amboy, New Jersey (1st), The Bayou in Washington D.C. (2nd), A.J. Gator's in Baltimore (3rd) and Synergy in Chicago (9th). Joni's Butterfly opens the shows and performs John's "Made In Japan."

Pete Townshend Paris catwalk

On the 3rd, Pete does his little turn on the catwalk in Paris after having been invited to represent "the mature model" during a show by Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçon fashion house. "The fashion crowd was just about the worst audience I had ever performed for in my life. I had never experienced the cold, sneering imperiousness of people with such absurdly high self regard."

On the 11th, BBC Radio One airs an hour long special called Lifehouse: The One That Got Away. Excerpts from Pete's original 1970 script are performed by actors and Pete, Chris Stamp and Andy Johns discuss the failure of the Life House idea to get rolling. Pete expresses great bitterness about it and his frustration at trying to get across to the other members of The Who what seemed to him a very simple idea.

The first issue of the Who fanzine Naked Eye is published.

John Entwistle Tulsa 1996 ad

More John Entwistle band dates for the second half of the month: The Metropole in Pittsburgh (16th), Toy Tiger in Louisville, Kentucky (17th), The Cotton Club in Atlanta (18th), Rockefeller's in Houston (21st), Sneakers in San Antonio, Texas (22nd), Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma (24th), The Congress Club in Phoenix, Arizona (28th) and the Belly Up Tavern in San Diego, California (29th).

On the 20th, Pete presents the Gong for Best Group to Oasis at the Brit Awards.

Tommy Keene Ten Years After

On the 27th, Tommy Keene releases his album Ten Years After featuring a cover of "It's Not True".

On the 29th, Pete's 1980 solo album Empty Glass is certified platinum by the RIAA.

March 1996

New music releases: Falling Into You - Celine Dion; "Return of the Mack" - Mark Morrison; Anthology 2 - The Beatles; Greatest Hits - Take That
John Entwistle Band Fillmore flyer 1996

The John Entwistle Band continues the third month of its bus tour of North America playing San Diego (1st), The Fillmore in San Francisco (2nd), Palookaville in Santa Cruz (3rd), The House of Blues in Los Angeles (5th), The Mason Jar in Phoenix, Arizona (6th), Buffalo Rose in Golden, Colorado (8th), Denver (9th), Shank Hall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (12th), Park West in Chicago (14th), Annie's Entertainment Center in Cincinnati, Ohio (15th), The Palladium in Detroit (16th), The Warehouse in Toronto (17th), Buffalo (22nd), Kitchener (23rd), Barrymore's in Ottawa (24th), Bourbon Street in Montreal (25th), Iron Horse Music Hall in North Hampton, Massachusetts (26th) and Lupos Heartbreak in Providence, Rhode Island (29th).

On the 3rd, Pete plays "Pinball Wizard" with Paul Keating at a private party for the cast and crew of the West End stage version of Tommy at The Orange in London.

1996 Tommy CD

On the 4th, the Who re-issue program releases a remixed and remastered version of Tommy in the U.K. The cover removes the pictures of The Who from within the diamonds, restoring Mike McInnerney's artwork to its intended look. The CD is released in the U.S. on the 12th.

On the 5th, the musical production of Tommy opens at the Shaftsbury Theatre in the West End of London. The cast includes Kim Wilde, Paul Keating, Alistair Robins, Hal Fowler, Nicola Hughes and Ian Bartholomew. Pete is in attendance.

On the 8th, Pete appears on the U.K. TV programme TFI Friday. The host says that before filming the episode, Pete remarked that he "hated every second of being in The Who." Pete confirms the statement.

On the 9th, Roger switches rock operas, playing Judas in a BBC Radio 2 production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar.

CEMA Special Markets releases the CD Rockin' The Graveyard featuring a cover of "Boris The Spider" by a group of session musicians known as The Pumpkin Uglies.

Tommy CD-Rom

On the 17th, The CD-Rom Pete Townshend presents Tommy: The Interactive Adventure is released in the U.S. It features a musical Flash presentation of Tommy, interviews with Pete and others, clips from the various productions as well as Pete's handwritten notes made during the writing of the rock opera.

April 1996

New music releases: Crash - Dave Matthews Band; "Don't Speak" - No Doubt; "You've Got a Friend in Me" - Randy Newman; Fairweather Johnson - Hootie & The Blowfish
John Entwistle Bass Player 1996

On the 6th, The John Entwistle Band wraps up the first Left For Dead Tour at the Birch Hill Concert Hall in Old Bridge, New Jersey.

Parasitic People cover

On the 12th, the Japanese all-woman band Super Junky Monkey releases their CD Parasitic People with a strange cover version of "See Me Feel Me".

Pete Townshend UK ad

On the 23rd, Pete releases his best-of solo compilation CD coolwalkingsmoothtalkingstraightsmokingfirestoking - thebestofpetetownshend. In addition, there is a CD single released in Britain and Germany of the new "e. cola" remix of "Let My Love Open The Door". Neither CD charts. Their release marks the end of Pete's 16-year turn as a solo artist on Atlantic.

The Who press conference London 1996

Also on the 23rd, Roger and Pete hold a press conference in London to announce that, after a hiatus of over six years, Pete, Roger and John will perform together in a band at Hyde Park for a performance of Quadrophenia at the Prince's Trust Concert. They will not be listed as The Who but rather under their individual names.

On the 28th, Pete travels to Los Angeles to kick off a limited promotional tour of the U.S. by performing the new mix of "Let My Love Open The Door" and an acoustic version of "Won't Get Fooled Again" at the VH1 Honors show at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

On the 29th Pete performs two shows accompanied by pianist Jon Carin at The House Of Blues in Los Angeles. The next day he does a show at The Fillmore in San Francisco. The set is taped, is later broadcast on the Westwood One radio network and is officially released in 2000 as Live: The Fillmore at eelpie.com.

May 1996

New music releases: Backstreet Boys - Backstreet Boys; Older - George Michael; "Killing Me Softly" - The Fugees; Bringing Down the Horse - The Wallflowers
1996 Pete Townshend Supper Club ticket

On the 2nd, Pete Townshend appears on CBS-TV's The Late Show With David Letterman in New York City performing "Rough Boys" and "The Kids Are Alright." The next afternoon he tapes his appearance on that night's NBC-TV's Late Night with Conan O'Brien performing "Barefootin'" before his show that evening at The Supper Club. He does another show at The Supper Club on the 4th. Ex- Hüsker Dü leader Bob Mould opens.

During his stay in New York, Pete also attends a performance of the Broadway musical Rent.

Chubby Carrier CD

On the 7th, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band release their CD Who Stole The Hot Sauce? featuring a cover of "Squeeze Box."

Roger Daltrey on Lois and Clark

On the 12th, Roger Daltrey plays a "hideous assassin" on the third season finale of ABC-TV's Superman series Lois & Clark.

The Wick

When he returns to England, Pete purchases and moves into The Wick. Built in 1775, the Georgian style home overlooks the Thames. Previous tenants were actor Sir John Mills and rocker Ronnie Wood. The lines from Pete's song "Blue Red and Grey", "the people on the hill, they say I'm lazy / but while they sleep I sing and dance", refers to The Wick when Ronnie Wood lived there.

And around the same time, Pete signs a contract to begin writing his autobiography. It will take him sixteen years to complete it.

Q Magazine has an extensive interview with Pete. On the 1989 tour: "And some of the celebration of our 25th anniversary got lost, because I very quickly realised that other people had another agenda. Their motives were not to celebrate the past 25 years but to look forward to the next 25...It was 'Oh, great, we've got one of the few supergroups back that can fill up fucking Pontiac Stadium!'."

Roger Daltrey in Vampirella

During the month Roger is in Las Vegas playing a vampire for the "Roger Corman Presents" movie Vampirella.

On the 18th, Pete is a guest on Later With Jules Holland. He performs "Let My Love Open The Door," "English Boy," "Magic Bus" and even an electric guitar lead on "Chopsticks!"

John Entwistle Anthology

John's first CD collection of his solo material Anthology is released in Germany toward the end of the month. Bob Pridden remixes the tracks under John's supervision and the CD features the otherwise-unreleased "Red Red Robin."

June 1996

New music releases: Secrets - Toni Braxton; Load - Metallica; "Wannabe" - Spice Girls; Recurring Dream - The Very Best of Crowded House - Crowded House
Geoffrey Giuliano's Behind Blue Eyes

Geoffrey Giuliano's unauthorized biography of Pete, Behind Blue Eyes: A Life Of Pete Townshend is published in the U.K.

1996 Isle of Wight videotape

Listening To You: The Who At The Isle Of Wight, Murray Lerner's movie of The Who's concert at the 3rd Isle of Wight Festival in 1970, is released in Europe and Japan on videotape and laserdisc.

On the 18th, Those Darn Accordions! release their album No Strings Attached with a cover of "Baba O'Riley" and Fastbacks releases its album New Mansions In Sound with a cover of Keith Moon's "Girl's Eyes." Eddie Vedder sings backup on the latter and can be heard offering the engineer 100 dollars if he'll please erase his vocal and let him try again.

Griffin The Rock

On the 25th, John's 1986 solo album The Rock gets its first release on an actual record company label, Griffin, in the U.S.

Roger knocked out 1996
Photo: Terry O'Neill

Pete, Roger and John begin rehearsals for the upcoming live version of Quadrophenia. Those rehearsals come to an abrupt end on the 28th after Gary Glitter spins a microphone stand and accidentally slams one of the prongs on the base right into Roger's eye, smashing the bones of his eye socket. Incredibly, Roger agrees to go on the next day despite the severe injury. Pete, interviewed by the press before the show, is brimming with admiration for Roger for not cancelling.

Pete Townshend Hyde Park 1996

Billed under their separate names, Pete, Roger and John perform the entirety of Quadrophenia live at the Masters of Music festival at Hyde Park on the 29th. It is the first time the work has been played live in its entirety since the first night of The Who's 1973 U.K. tour. Phil Daniels of the movie version narrates, Gary Glitter plays the Godfather, Ade Edmundson is the Bell Boy, Trevor McDonald reads the news and Stephen Fry is the hotel manager.

Ralph Steadman on 1996 Hyde Park
Drawing: Ralph Steadman

Pete plays only acoustic guitar and piano leaving the electric guitar parts to Dave Gilmour. Zak Starkey takes the drummer's seat for the first time for the group that will soon revert to the name The Who. Roger wears a Mod eyepatch to cover his injury. Quadrophenia is preceded by performances by Alanis Morrisette and Bob Dylan and followed by Eric Clapton. Highlights from the show are later broadcast on HBO in the U.S. The entire event raises money for the Prince's Trust charity. Before the show all the performers meet backstage with Prince Charles.

On the 30th, Pete performs a 30-minute set at a private party at Thunder Drive in London. Paul Keating comes up to sing "Pinball Wizard" and Joe Walsh joins in for "My Generation."

July 1996

New music releases: Blue - LeAnn Rimes; Sublime - Sublime; "No Diggity" - Blackstreet featuring Dr. Dre and Queen Pen; Trainspotting: Music from the Motion Picture - Various Artists
1996 Quadrophenia CD

On the 2nd a remixed, remastered version of The Who's Quadrophenia is released in the U.K. The next day it comes out in the U.S. Pete and Roger had both made corrections to the mix and Pete expresses great satisfaction in the result. The re-release peaks at #47 in the British charts.

1996 My Generation single

On the 15th "My Generation" is re-released as a vinyl and CD single in Britain and Germany to capitalize on its use in a commercial for Calippo ice cream. The 45 is pressed on yellow vinyl and the b-side is a live version of "Pinball Wizard" from the same performance as Live At Leeds. The CD single includes both tracks as well as a mono "Boris The Spider" and the "My Generation Deep Love Remix," a House music version with only the most tenuous connection to The Who's version. It peaks as #31 in the U.K. charts.

Roger Daltrey Madison Square Garden 1996

On the 16th, Pete, Roger, John and guests bring their live version of Quadrophenia to Madison Square Garden in New York for what is announced at the time as the only U.S. performances. Billy Idol joins the cast as The Bell Boy. Additional shows are held on the 17th, 18th, 20th, 21st and 22nd and all are sell-outs. Joan Osbourne is the opening act at the first three shows and Me'Shell Ndegeocello opens the last three. The performance of the 18th is broadcast live on Westwood One Radio and afterwards is widely bootlegged.

John Entwistle Le Bar Bat 1996

That same night John puts in an extra shift, playing with his solo band at Le Bar Bat in New York.

Andrea McArdle CD

Also on the 16th, Andrea McArdle releases a CD of show tunes called On Broadway. She does a medley of songs from Tommy under the title "Pinball Wizard".

August 1996

New music releases: Travelling Without Moving - Jamiroquai; Now That's What I Call Music! 34 (U.K.) - Various Artists; "Pony" - Ginuwine; "Strawberry Wine" - Deana Carter
Quadrophenia Japanese Tribute

On the 1st, the CD Quadrophenia 1996 is released in Japan featuring fourteen groups covering Who songs related to Quadrophenia.

On the 7th, Robert Gass releases his CD Songs of Healing with a New Age chant version of "See Me Feel Me."

My Generation Best Of 1996

On the 12th, the first "best of" CD of the reissue series is released in the U.K. My Generation: The Very Best Of The Who eventually reaches #11 in the charts. The U.S. issue comes out on the 27th, does not make the Billboard chart, but does eventually go Gold.

On the 20th, Snuff releases their CD Flibbiddydibiddydob with a cover of "I Can't Explain."

On the 27th, Frog Records releases Frog Records Story Vol. 2: Long Island Artists featuring a circa 1968 cover of "Pictures of Lily" by Kyds at Play.

September 1996

New music releases: Spice - Spice Girls; Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow; Another Level - Blackstreet; Ænima - Tool
Iron Maiden Virus CD

On the 9th, Iron Maiden releases a CD single in the U.K. of their song "Virus." Also on the CD is a cover of "My Generation."

On the 17th, The John Entwistle Band begins recording three new songs, "Left for Dead," "I Wouldn't Sleep With You," and "Endless Vacation." The first (in a later re-recording) and last will end up on the Music for Van-Pires CD. While staying at John's house for the on-site recording, drummer Steve Luongo supplies an internet diary of the sessions. In two instances John sends e-mails to the Who's internet fans. He dubs the upcoming U.S. tour of Quadrophenia the "Quadraderilict" tour. You can read John's e-mails here and here. Recording sessions end on the 23rd.

1996 The Who Isle of Wight CD ad

On the 27th, the 2-CD set The Who: Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 is issued by Essential/Castle in the U.K. and Columbia Legacy in the U.S. Despite an ecstatic blurb from Dave Marsh and the first official release of Tommy performed live by The Who with Keith Moon, the CD fails to chart in the U.K. and reaches only #194 in the U.S. The low sales lead The Who to cancel a previously-announced live boxset.

Roger Daltrey in Vampirella

On the 28th, Showtime premieres the "Roger Corman Presents" movie Vampirella featuring Roger as a vampire. The conclusion has Roger sporting fangs and a cape being chased around the top of a dam.

October 1996

New music releases: Yourself or Someone Like You - Matchbox 20; Greatest Hits - Simply Red; Blue is the Colour - The Beautiful South; William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet: Music from the Motion Picture - Various Artists

On the 4th, Pete and his future wife Rachel Fuller meet for the first time during an initial meeting in London of the Quadrophenia touring band. "I looked up to see Zak Starkey with a girl who at first I took to be his wife... One thought crossed my mind: I don't care whose wife she is, I really want to get to know her."

In early October Pete Townshend, his brother Simon, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle and the rest of their large band and projection equipment set up in Portland, Oregon for rehearsals of Quadrophenia before beginning the first leg of their U.S. tour. The live narrator is replaced by a filmed one projected on a large screen behind the band (the film is directed by Roger). Gary Glitter continues as "The Godfather" and Billy Idol as "The Bellboy." From this point on, the band is called "The Who."

The Who 1996 San Jose poster

Roger is the sole member to show up for a press conference in Portland before their first show at the Rose Garden Arena on the 13th. From there The Who take Quadrophenia to the Tacomadome in Tacoma, Washington (14th), two nights at the Vancouver GM Palace (16th and 17th), the San Jose Arena (19th and 20th), the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles (22nd), the America West Arena in Phoenix (23rd), the Pond of Anaheim (25th), the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (26th), McNichols Arena in Denver (29th) and The United Center in Chicago (31st). Opening acts are Hovercraft (13th and 14th), Matthew Good (16th and 17th) and Ryan Downe (22nd).

The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus DVD

On the 15th, after a 28 year delay, The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus is finally released on home video and CD. Both feature The Who's live performance of "A Quick One While He's Away" in a different mix of the same take used in The Kids Are Alright movie and soundtrack. The show was filmed December 1968 and was originally intended for British television. The CD peaks at #12 in the U.K. charts.

On the 19th, Pete makes a surprise appearance as a solo performer at the Bridge School Benefit concert at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. He performs acoustic versions of "The Kids Are Alright," "I'm A Boy," "A Legal Matter," "Let My Love Open The Door," "Drowned" and "Behind Blue Eyes."

Message To Love CD

On the 29th, Message To Love: The Isle Of Wight Festival, 1970 featuring one Who track "Naked Eye" and The Who Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival, 1970 are released in the U.S. by Columbia/Legacy. The latter CD peaks at #194.

November 1996

New music releases: Evita - Madonna/Various Artists; Space Jam: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture - Various Artists; Now That's What I Call Music! 35 (U.K.) - Various Artists; Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory - Makaveli

On the 1st, My Generation: The Very Best of The Who is awarded Silver status by the BPI.

The Who Chicago ticket 1996

The Who meanwhile continue the first leg of their North American Quadrophenia tour with performances at the United Center in Chicago (1st), The Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan (3rd) and the E.J. Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio (4th). The video feed to the main projection screen at the Dayton, Ohio show of the 4th is recorded on videotape and is used for most of the Quadrophenia disc of 2005's Tommy and Quadrophenia Live With Special Guests DVD. The tour continues on to The Gund Arena, Cleveland (6th), The Civic Arena, Pittsburgh (8th), the Marine Midland Arena, Buffalo (9th), the USAir Arena, Washington, D.C. (11th), The Centrum in Worchester (12th and 14th), the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale (15th), the Core States Center in Philadelphia (17th), the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany (18th), and finishing this leg at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

On the 3rd, John grouses to the Detroit Free Press about the current version of "The Who": "This Broadway kind of thing wasn't the Who...If I want to play loud, growling music, I have to use my own band."

John Entwistle Boston signing 1996

On the 16th, John Entwistle holds a signing of his art work at a gallery in Boston.

Thunderfingers CD

On the 18th, Thunderfingers: The Best Of John Entwistle is released by Rhino Records in the U.S.

1996 By Numbers Who Are You

Also on the 18th come new issues of The Who By Numbers and Who Are You. Both feature bonus tracks; The Who By Numbers' coming from The Who's June 12, 1976 show at Swansea Football Ground.

On the 19th, Guided by Voices releases their EP Plantations of Pale Pink with a track called "The Who vs. Porky Pig".

When Pete returns to the U.K. after the Quadrophenia tour he moves into The Wick in Twickenham.

December 1996

New music releases: "2 Become 1" - Spice Girls; "In My Bed" - Dru Hill; "I Believe in You and Me" - Whitney Houston; "All By Myself" - Celine Dion
Earl's Court 1996 ad

The Who and friends return Quadrophenia to London with live shows at Earl's Court in London on the 6th and 7th. They then take it to Manchester's NYMEX Arena on the 11th. These shows introduce P.J. Proby taking Gary Glitter's place as The Godfather.

On the 10th, the soundtrack to Who fan Cameron Crowe's new movie Jerry McGuire is released. It features The Who's Live at Leeds version of "Magic Bus" and the studio version of "Getting In Tune".

Everybody's Somebody's Monster CD

On the 12th, Floating Opera releases their CD Everybody's Somebody's Monster featuring a cover of "I Can't Reach You" and on the 17th, Plainsong releases their CD Sister Flute featuring a cover of "I Can't Explain".

Got anything wrong?

E-mail me by clicking HERE