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April 2011 (5 years ago)

New album releases: Wasting Light - Foo Fighters; Paper Airplane - Alison Krauss & Union Station; So Beautiful or So What - Paul Simon; American Tragedy - Hollywood Undead

On the 1st Pete Townshend appears with many other celebrities in a video appealing for aid for victims of the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Who Icon The Who Icon

On the 5th, UGC releases The Who ICON (Greatest Hits) as one and two CD sets.

On the 12th, the press reports that Roger Daltrey is fronting an online petition to maintain herbal remedies against an EU ban.

On the 21st, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson announces his run for the U.S. Presidency. "I look at the rest of the field running for President, and that song by The Who comes to mind. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss."

On the 26th, Roger announces that he will be touring Tommy with a solo band. Pete says he won't be coming along but "will be there in spirit."

April 2006 (10 years ago)

New album releases: Me and My Gang - Rascal Flatts; White Trash with Money - Toby Keith; St. Elsewhere - Gnarls Barkley; A Girl Like Me - Rihanna
2006 London Who Convention 2006 London Who Convention

On the 1st, a Who Convention is held at Bush Hall in London. Roger shows up to join Simon Townshend for versions of "Substitute" and "Behind Blue Eyes."

On the 11th, Pete premieres a new song "Uncertain Girl" on In The Attic. He says Zak just finished recording the drum track. The song does not make it onto Endless Wire.

Under The Covers, Vol. 1 Under The Covers, Vol. 1

On the 18th, Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoff release their CD Under the Covers, Vol. 1 featuring a cover of "The Kids Are Alright."

On the 25th, Pete's Eelpie company asks for submissions of "video-movie files, DVDs, videotapes or podcasts" for round-the-clock streaming on his website. It is tentatively called "OO-TV". The channel never launches.

On the 28th, The News & Star of Cumbria reports that a request by The Who to perform at Carlisle's Sands Centre on 18 June has been denied as the Centre is booked on that date for a karate championship.

April 2001 (15 years ago)

New album releases: Set This Circus Down - Tim McGraw; All For You - Janet Jackson; Miss E...So Addictive - Missy Elliott; The Life - Ginuwine

The Best Buy retail chain begins showing three videos from The John Entwistle Band's performance at Itchycoo Park in 1999 as part of their in-store high-definition television demonstrations.

Pete Townshend guitar auction Pete Townshend guitar auction
Photo: Matt Kent

On the 17th, Pete sells eight of his personally crafted Gibson SG's for £10,000 each on his website to benefit his Double O Charity. Each guitar is signed and comes with a CD of Pete performing a riff on that guitar.

On the 20th, Roger was to have performed at the Steve Marriott Memorial Event at The Astoria in London. However, he cancels at the last minute due to a conflict with the filming of the TV series Witchblade. Kenney Jones does attend.

On the 23rd, Pete announces in his diary that he no longer needs his huge London recording studio as he can do everything at home. He also says he is going in for several days of Quadrophenia: The Musical workshops with music supplied by a band including John Bundrick on keyboards, Pete's brother Simon on guitar and British playwright Joe Penhall supplying the script.

On the 28th, The Guardian reports that Pete has convinced fellow rockers Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Phil Collins, Paul Simon, and Roger Waters to send cheques to the keep the Chaucer Clinic, a rehab centre for homeless addicts, open.

April 1996 (20 years ago)

New album releases: Crash - The Dave Matthews Band; Fairweather Johnson - Hootie & The Blowfish; Evil Empire - Rage Against The Machine; Blue Clear Sky - George Strait
John Entwistle Bass Player 1996 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.

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 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 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 the 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

April 1986 (30 years ago)

New record releases: The Way It Is - Bruce Hornsby & The Range; New Kids On The Block - New Kids On The Block; Love Zone - Billy Ocean; Like A Rock - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Roger Daltrey on Little and Large Roger Daltrey on Little and Large

On the 5th, Roger appears on the British TV show The Little And Large Show lip-syncing to "The Pride You Hide" and appearing in some comedy sketches.

Pete's solo album White City is released in the new compact disc format. Pete later reports that Rob Dickins, head of Warner Bros. Records in the U.K., stops pressing copies of the CD after 25,000 are sold, limiting the album's commercial impact in Britain.

Roger Daltrey gym Roger Daltrey gym

Around this time, Roger plans to open a gym in Brighton, Sussex called Daltrey's Fitness Factory. He buys £60,000 worth of top gym equipment from America, only to have it impounded in a warehouse in Felixstowe as a trade war breaks out between the U.S. and the E.E.C. The gym never opens.

On the 20th, while on vacation in Venice, Pete comes up with a track list for his next solo album, a light-hearted and colourful dance music album inspired by The Kinks' song "Come Dancing". The working title is Beguines, Tangos and Love. The album is to start with "All Shall Be Well" to be followed by Pete-penned songs "Foreign Language", "Join My Gang", "Ragtime in C", "Still Life", "Larry The Lonely Cowboy", "Can You Really Dance", "Love In Limbo Land", "Love Is An Emergency", "Your Kiss Is An Echo" and "The Roxy". Possible covers to be included are "Save It For Later", "I Put A Spell On You", "Boogie-Stop Shuffle", "That's All Right, Mama", "Barefootin'", "Night Train", "Cool Jerk", "Walkin'" and "Don't Let Them Drop That Bomb On Me". Each song was to inspire a video dance sequence and the whole project a televised stage musical. Pete works on the album until mid-June at least, then drops it to begin writing The Iron Man musical.

April 1981 (35 years ago)

New album releases: Don't Say No - Billy Squier; Fair Warning - Van Halen; Chariots Of Fire/Original Soundtrack - Vangelis; Mistaken Identity - Kim Carnes
Pete Townshend Mick Jagger 1981 Pete Townshend Mick Jagger 1981
Photo: David McGough

With the 1981 U.K. tour over and an announced European tour cancelled, The Who go their separate ways. Roger and his family travel to Miami for vacation, John returns to work on his solo album and Pete travels to New York to make demos for his next solo album. While there he joins The Rolling Stones who are finishing their album Tattoo You, laying some guitar on the track "Slave."

Warner Brothers (U.S.) and Polydor (U.K.) release a 2-disc promo album of Who interviews and music called Filling In The Gaps.

John Entwistle NME Apr 1981 John Entwistle NME Apr 1981

On the 11th, John has a long interview in the New Musical Express. A famous quote from the interview: "I like playing heavy metal, I just can't stand listening to it...the same way some people like the smell of their own farts but don't like smelling anyone else's."z

Kit Lambert Obit Kit Lambert Obit

Kit Lambert, The Who's former manager and producer, is by this time living on charity that he spends mostly on heroin and alcohol. On the evening of the 25th, he shows up at his mother's house bloody and broke saying he had been beaten by four men in the lavatory of a gay bar. His mother gets him to go to bed but later that night he falls downstairs suffering a brain hemorrhage. He dies on the morning of the 27th at the age of 45, nine days short of reaching exactly the same age his father, composer Constant Lambert, reached before he died. Kit is cremated on the 29th and his ashes taken to Golders Green where Keith Moon's ashes had been interred two and a half years before. Pete flies back from New York shortly after hearing the news and begins to prepare a memorial service for Kit to be held on May 11th. He will write of his reaction to Kit's death in the short story "Pancho and The Baron".

April 1976 (40 years ago)

New album releases: Live Bullet - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band; 2112 - Rush; Black and Blue - The Rolling Stones; Rastaman Vibration - Bob Marley & The Wailers
The Who Boston makeup concert 1976 The Who Boston makeup concert 1976

On the 1st, The Who return to Boston Garden to make up for the show of March 9th they didn't finish because of Keith's collapse. Keith runs around the stage to show he's in fine shape and Roger adds "thanks for waiting for the encore!" John, however, has a rougher time. After numerous requests by Roger to "turn down," John throws his bass onto the stage and tells Roger he can play it. This show is later bootlegged as Behind Blind Eyes. It ends the second leg of The Who's 1975-76 North American tours.

Patti Smith 45 picture sleeve Patti Smith 45 picture sleeve

The New York punk band The Patti Smith Group releases the single "Gloria" with a live cover of "My Generation" on the b-side. It is later included on the CD issue of their album Horses.

Roger Daltrey Bill Curbishley Roger Daltrey Bill Curbishley

Pete Rudge amicably steps aside as The Who's manager and Bill Curbishley officially takes over. The former Track Records employee has remained The Who's manager for the last 40 years.

Keith Moon Trouser Press Keith Moon Trouser Press

Keith gives a lengthy and rather sober interview on his history and The Who's to Larry Creeden in Trouser Press.

On the 17th, The Patti Smith Group perform their punk version of "My Generation" on Saturday Night Live At the end the drummer tries to kick his kit over but it is nailed down and he falls off his drum stool.

April 1971 (45 years ago)

New album releases: 4 Way Street - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Sticky Fingers - The Rolling Stones; L.A. Woman - The Doors; Survival - Grand Funk Railroad
John Entwistle booked John Entwistle booked

On the 1st, John releases his and The Who's first commercial solo record "I Believe In Everything" backed with "My Size." To promote it he hires a stagecoach with livery to deliver the single to Harlequin Records in London. The stagecoach ends up getting a parking ticket. Record Mirror opines: "...maybe a trifle minor key at first, but it goes along well, with a distinctive sound and some compelling chugging from behind. It's certainly commercial in a quiet, persuasive way." Released only in Europe at this time, it fails to chart.

Tommy Ballet Playbill Tommy Ballet Playbill

On the 2nd, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens premiere a ballet version of Tommy at New York's City Center. The performances take place while the 2 LP disc is played over loudspeakers. Clive Barnes in The New York Times finds it better than he expected but unremarkable.

On the 5th, Keith performs again as part of an All-Star Jam Session at the Bumpers Club in London.

Stargroves Hall Stargroves Hall

During the first week of April, The Who reunite with Glyn Johns now in the producer's chair instead of Kit Lambert. Their first session takes place at Stargroves, Mick Jagger's Victorian mansion in Newbury, Berkshire, using The Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. Setting the band up in a hallway, Johns records a blistering version of "Won't Get Fooled Again" that may have made up some of the finished release version. Contemporary reports list a version of "Going Mobile" being recorded in the same session.

Having had such a success with his first try, Johns easily talks The Who into continuing recording at his home studio, Olympic Sound Studios in Barnes, South West London. Sessions run from the 9th through the 12th. "Too Much Of Anything," with Nicky Hopkins on piano, "Time Is Passing" and the first version of "Bargain" are recorded. None of the takes will make the final album release.

Dave Marsh writes about "I Can't Explain," his all-time favorite rock song, in Creem.

Melody Maker 17 Apr 1971 Melody Maker 17 Apr 1971

On the 17th, Melody Maker runs the ninth and last Pete Townshend Page called "Things are different across the sea." In it he compares U.S. audiences to British audiences and discusses the need of English bands to make it in America to be financially successful.

On the 23rd, Glyn Johns makes safety copies of The Record Plant sessions at Olympic. On the same day the Rolling Stones' album Sticky Fingers, featuring uncredited background vocals by Pete on "Sway," is released in the U.K.

Pete Townshend holding daughter Aminta Pete Townshend holding daughter Aminta

On the 24th, Pete and Karen's 2nd daughter, Aminta Alice, is born. The same day's NME carries an interview with John entitled "I had to do a solo album or I'd go out of my mind."

On the 25th, The Who return to the Young Vic Theatre in London to rehearse for the next day's recording.

On the 26th, the Who perform some of their new material, mixed with oldies and covers, at the Young Vic, professionally recorded by Glyn Johns' younger brother Andy and engineered by Ian Stewart outside in The Rolling Stones' mobile recording van. It does not come out at the time but does leak out as a popular bootleg, before being released in small batches beginning in the late 1980's with the primary bulk of the show released as disc 2 of 2003's Who's Next: Deluxe Edition.

Bette Midler as The Acid Queen 1971 Bette Midler as The Acid Queen 1971

On the 28th, the Seattle Opera premiers its version of Tommy at The Moore Theatre. Bette Midler stars as Tommy's mother and the Acid Queen. It runs through May 16th. Bette Midler: "As we envisioned [The Acid Queen], it had nothing to do with drugs but was about the pervasiveness of female sexuality...larger than life, suffocating.".

April 1966 (50 years ago)

New records: "Monday Monday" - The Mamas & The Papas; "When a Man Loves a Woman" - Percy Sledge; "Wild Thing" - The Troggs; "Strangers In The Night" - Frank Sinatra
April 1966 Paris shoot April 1966 Paris shoot

On the 1st, The Who and The Yardbirds appear together in a live French edition of Ready, Steady GO! called, appropriately, Ready, Steady, Allez! According to producer Vicki Wickham, both groups run out of the studio and into the alley at the end of the show. The cameras chase them only to catch the bands urinating against a wall.

The Who at La Locomotiv 1966 The Who at La Locomotiv 1966
Photo: Jean Louis Rancurei

The same night The Who perform at La Locomotive Club in Paris, compèred by Ronnie Bird who will soon release "Ne t'en fais pas pour Ronnie," a French-language re-write of "A Legal Matter." The show is broadcast on Radio Luxembourg. Another performance there follows the next night.

Substitute Billboard Ad Substitute Billboard Ad

On the 2nd, an ad appears in the U.S. publication Billboard announcing the release of "Substitute" backed with "Waltz For A Pig" on the Atco label. This is the short version of "Substitute" with a re-recorded vocal in which the phrase "I look all white but my dad was black" is replaced with "I try walking forward but my feet walk back." Billboard says "Debut disk on Atco for the swinging group has the Liverpool-blues sound and big beat support for an exciting chart entry aimed at the teen market." Nevertheless, it fails to make the U.S. charts.

Also on the 2nd, the Brunswick release of "A Legal Matter" hits its U.K. chart peak at #28.

On the 3rd, The Who fly back to the U.K., playing the Town Hall in Chatham in Kent on the 4th.

Who Court Date

Meanwhile, also on the 4th, a judge grants another injunction brought by The Who's former producer Shel Talmy preventing The Who from releasing any further recordings. The Who's management New Action Ltd. agrees to try to reach a settlement upon the first adjournment. It will take seven months to work out that settlement.

Shortly after the above event, Pete writes a new song on the back of a copy of his affidavit in the Talmy case. Its name: "I Can See For Miles".

On the 7th, The Who tele-record an appearance miming "Substitute" for Top of the Pops. It airs a week later.

Pete Townshend with tyre Pete Townshend with tyre
Photo: Hugh Vanes

The next day The Who travel by van to Leeds for a meet 'n' greet at Vallances Records followed by a show at Queens Hall in Leeds. Photographer Hugh Vanes accompanies the band and photographs Pete carrying a tyre for the van.

Pete Townshend breakfast 1966 Pete Townshend breakfast 1966
Photo: Hugh Vanes

The next morning (9th) Vanes photographs Pete having an elegant breakfast while perusing the latest NME...

John Entwistle Keith Moon breakfast John Entwistle Keith Moon breakfast
Photo: Hugh Vanes

...then shoots John and Keith sharing fags and brekkies at the diner The Boiling Kettle. That night The Who play the Pavilion Gardens Ballroom in Buxton.

Also on the 9th, "Substitute" enters the Dutch charts while "My Generation" reaches its peak at #13 in the Detroit, Michigan area. The following day "Substitute" peaks at #2 on Radio London's Fab 40.

The Who April 1966 programme The Who April 1966 programme

On the 14th, The Who begin their first proper British theatre tour with two shows at the Gaumont Cinema in Southampton. They are the last act after Paul Dean & The Soul Savages, The Sound System, Hamilton, Jimmy Cliff, The Fruit Eating Bears, The Merseys and The Spencer Davis Group (who have the nation's #1 single at the time). Compèring the shows is future Myra Breckinridge director Mike Sarne. The Who's set at this time is "Barbara Ann," "My Generation," "I Can't Explain," "Substitute" and "Dancing In The Street."

Entwistle's silence is broken Entwistle's silence is broken

John is interviewed in the New Musical Express. The article is called "At last! Entwistle's silence is broken".

During this month, Pete receives his first record royalty cheque. He uses the money to buy a 1963 Lincoln Continental convertible and a 28-foot motorboat.

The tour continues (two shows per day) at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon (15th), the Odeon Cinema in Watford (16th - fans rush the stage and pull Roger to the floor), the Regal Cinema in Edmonton (17th), the Odeon Cinema in Derby (22nd), the Odeon Cinema in Rochester (23rd), and the Hippodrome in Birmingham (24th).

Between these dates The Who also manage to squeeze in regular shows at the Town Hall in Walsall (19th) and the Locarno Ballroom in Stevenage (21st).

On the 23rd, "A Legal Matter" enters the Dutch charts where it will peak at #22.

The same day, the first issue of the magazine Disc and Music Echo hits the stands. It includes the Sounds of The Stars disc containing a short interview with Pete. Also Record Mirror comes out with an interview with Kit Lambert who says The Who's legal matter is keeping them from recording another album.

Crash escape for The Who

On the 24th, John and driver Richard Cole pick up Keith at his house to head to the Birmingham gig. As they pull away, the vehicle is struck causing serious damage but leaving John and Keith uninjured.

The Who Sings My Generation The Who Sings My Generation

On the 26th, The Who's first album is released in the U.S. on Decca. Retitled The Who Sings My Generation it features a different cover, drops "I'm a Man" for the Shel Talmy-produced "Instant Party," edits the instrumental break out of "The Kids Are Alright" and reverses the order of "A Legal Matter" and "The Ox." It is released in both mono and stereo although both are simply mono electronically processed as stereo. Billboard says: "the four boys from London have an ear-splitting, gut-busting and best-selling package in this program of blues-oriented rock numbers." It fails to reach the U.S. charts, but does get airplay on Detroit radio stations.

Who Pack Tiles

The Who continue the club circuit playing the Pavilion in Bath (25th), the Links International Club in Boreham Wood (26th), The Witchdoctor at the Savoy Room in Catford (28th), The Tiles Club in Oxford Street, London (29th - set cut in half after fans twice rush the stage) and the Corn Exchange in Chelmsford. Bluesology opens for The Who on the 26th and afterwards John has a bend 'n' bitch at the bar with the group's pianist, Reg Dwight, who can't convince Bluesology to let him sing. After changing his name to Elton John later in the decade he gets a lot more microphone time.

On the 30th, "Substitute" hits its peak at #5 on Sweden's Tio i Topp charts.

April 1961 (55 years ago)

New records: "Travelin' Man"/"Hello Marylou Goodbye Heart" - Ricky Nelson; "Tossin' and Turnin'" - Bobby Lewis; "Runnin' Scared" - Roy Orbison; "Moody River" - Pat Boone
Kit Lambert in Brazil 1961 Kit Lambert in Brazil 1961

Future Who manager Kit Lambert joins his friend Richard Mason to film Mason's expedition searching for the source of the Iriri River in Brazil. Mason will be killed by members of the Pánara tribe and Kit will barely escape with his life.

April 1946 (70 years ago)

New records: "The Gypsy" - The Ink Spots; "The Gypsy" - Dinah Shore; "Full Moon and Empty Arms" - Frank Sinatra
Baby John Entwistle and Mom Baby John Entwistle and Mom
Courtesy: Chris Entwistle

The parents of year-and-a-half old John Entwistle, Herbert and Queenie, separate, ending their four-year marriage. Queenie and John move to Chiswick, London.

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