The Who This Month! logo

Page updated October 1, 2023. This is a highly abridged version of all the things that happened to and around The Who in October. Click for access to the full history.

October 1944

New music releases: "I Wonder" - Cecil Grant; "I'm Making Believe"/"Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall" - The Ink Spots with Ella Fitzgerald; "I'm Lost" - The King Cole Trio; "Dance With a Dolly (With a Hole in Her Stocking)" - Russ Morgan & His Orchestra
Baby John Entwistle

On the 9th, John Alec Entwistle is born at Hammersmith Hospital in Acton.

October 1956

New music releases: Elvis - Elvis Presley; s marvelous - Ray Conniff and His Orchestra; "Singing the Blues" - Guy Mitchell; "The Green Door" - Frankie Vaughan
Acton County Grammar 1998
Photo: Brian Cady

Pete and John enter Form 1 at Acton County Grammar. Within a few months they meet, become friends and start up the first of several after-school bands.

October 1964

New music releases: Fiddler on the Roof - Zero Mostel and Various Artists; Wednesday Morning, 3 AM - Simon & Garfunkel; "All Day and All of the Night" - The Kinks; My Fair Lady (The Original Sound Track Recording) - Various Artists

Early in the month, The High Numbers audition for EMI at Studio 3 of The Beatles' hangout, Abbey Road. They record several cover tunes including "Smokestack Lightning." The tape is released as instrumentals only on a bootleg in the 2000's.

10 Oct. 1964 Fabulous magazine as

On the 10th, Fabulous magazine runs an article on the High Numbers written by June Southworth. John's last name is given as Allison who "plays rhythm guitar." That night journalist Virginia Reading accompanies Who manager Kit Lambert to the gig to witness Pete's guitar smashing and misses it while she is shmoozing with Kit in the adjoining bar! Pete later recalls this incident in the film The Kids Are Alright, saying Kit came up to him saying, "Pete, we missed it! Do another! I'll pay for it."

On the 14th, Pete's song "It Was You", written as a class assignment in art college, is sold to Dick James Publishing with Eula Parker and Barry Gray receiving 25 percent each and a credit for co-authorship on future releases. Pete's father Cliff signs for him. The songwriter's address is given as 30 Disraeli Road, Ealing WS.

1964 EMI High Numbers rejection

On the 22nd, Lambert receives a letter of rejection of The High Numbers from EMI. The rejection letter is later included with the Live At Leeds album. Since the reason the group is rejected is their lack of original material, Kit and Chris set up Pete with a Vortexion reel-to-reel recorder and tell him to get writing.

From this time on almost all Pete songs will be written and presented as completed demos, a style of presentation then unknown in England. His first pieces with the new system are a dance song called "You Don't Have To Jerk" and a male chauvinist/hot-rod song (meant to appeal to both Roger and Keith) named "Call Me Lightning."

On Halloween night the band performs at the Waterfront Club at the Cliff Hotel in Woolston, Southampton, Hampshire. It is the last show they play where they will be promoted as "The High Numbers."

October 1965

New music releases: My Name Is Barbra, Two... - Barbra Streisand; Merry Christmas - Andy Williams; "My Generation" - The Who; "Puppet on a String" - Elvis Presley

Despite having been kicked out of The Who after his dust-up with Keith on 26 September, Roger is reinstated at the managers' insistence, at least until they can find a replacement. Roger keeps his fists in his pockets as The Who make a sullen reunion at the Dungeon Club in Nottingham on the 1st.

On the 2nd, The Who make their U.S. television debut on Shindig (ABC-TV) performing "I Can't Explain," "Daddy Rolling Stone" and "My Generation." The segments had been filmed in London two months before.

On the 12th a belated birthday party is held for John. On the 13th The Who go into IBC Studio A in London for a midnight session to record their next single. The final release version of "My Generation" is laid down as is another future classic, "The Kids Are Alright."

My Generation UK 45

On the 29th, The Who's new single, "My Generation" backed with "Shout and Shimmy," is released in the U.K. by Brunswick. Derek Johnson says in New Musical Express, "Analyse the ingredients for a hit and you'll find them all in this disc. A storming, raving shake-beat, with crashing cymbals, raucous guitar, reverberating bass and hand-claps throughout - and that's just the backing. The lyric is topical and loaded with teenage appeal, about the snooty approach of some adults to youngsters. Sung with verve, a strong blues feel and an occasional stuttering gimmick, with chanting supporting the soloist."

October 1966

New music releases: The Monkees - The Monkees; Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme - Simon & Garfunkel; "Good Vibrations" - The Beach Boys; The Best of Dean Martin - Dean Martin
Pete Townshend DandME Oct 66

On the 1st the band is on the cover of Disc and Music Echo with the headline "Why pop art is now just OLD HAT." Pete says The Who are pretty much finished with the pop-art clothing of a year before. His new thing is "writing musicals and operettas." He says the band's biggest ambition is to break in the U.S. and that Who fans there already consider them the third-biggest British band behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones although Pete concedes The Who haven't made it to that position yet.

Also on the 1st, "I'm a Boy" reaches its official chart peak in the U.K. at #2.

John Entwistle in studio 1966
Photo: Chris Morphet

On the 3rd, The Who go into CBS Recording Studios in London to record and mix Pete's "Don't Look Away" and John's first composition, "Whiskey Man," for the new album. At the end of the session Pete asks John what his other song will be for the album and John, having not given it any previous thought, remembers a discussion of funny animal names he had with Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones in a nightclub the evening before. He says it will be a song about a spider named Boris. John rushes home and quickly composes the song. The next day "Boris the Spider" is recorded at Pye Studios, London along with Keith's composition, "I Need You (Like I Need a Hole in My Head)," a somewhat obscure attack on The Beatles who Keith believed were using code words to talk behind his back.

Later in the week The Who record "Run Run Run" and the version of "I'm A Boy" that will ultimately appear on Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy in 1971. During the time of these sessions, Jimi Hendrix comes in to ask about equipment. Pete remembers him as "strangely dressed." Keith greets him with an immediate "Who let that savage in here?" Jimi asks Pete what amps he is using and tells his manager Chas Chandler to get him one of each recommendation.

Schhh You Know Who

On the 8th, Melody Maker declares "I'm a Boy" to be #1 on their charts. Inside is an interview with Who manager Kit Lambert.

On the 11th, "Bucket T" is recorded and mixed at IBC and Pye Studios. The recording is filmed by Peter Goldman and sold to Swedish television. Also filmed is an interview with Pete conducted by Inga-Lill Palm.

Roger Daltrey Pete Townshend Ready Steady GO special
Photo: David Redfern

On the 18th, The Who record their first and only band-created television special at Wembley Studios for Ready Steady GO! as half the show (about 16 minutes) is turned over to the foursome. Only memories and publicity photographs remain of this show which involved The Who clowning around on set between numbers, performing "Batman" while wearing capes, sending up Cliff Richards' "Summer Holiday" in a mime sequence and smashing their instruments at the end. It was this final act which deeply upset British viewers on the show's airing on the 21st.

Roger Daltrey John Entwistle Ready Steady GO special
Photo: David Redfern

Ready Steady GO! fans write to Melody Maker to blast the show: "More a disaster than a happening." "I have rarely seen a group perform so much concentrated rubbish in such a short time." "It produced in me a feeling of complete nausea." "It took me years to save for my guitar, and seeing The Who holding theirs by the neck and smashing them on the floor and pushing them through amplifiers made me sick."

Back in Britain, Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones has only praise for The Who in New Musical Express. He calls them "unbelievably good" and adds that The Who, The Stones and The Beatles are the only British groups "to evolve something completely original in visual and musical production."

Who disc row ends

On the 28th, the lawsuit between The Who and their ex-producer Shel Talmy is settled out of court. Since the courts showed that they were going to side with Talmy, The Who's management ends the lawsuit by giving Talmy five percent of the royalties on all Who releases for the next five years (approximately three times what each member of The Who would get). Few would have believed then it would amount to much but, as it eventually includes the albums Tommy, Live At Leeds and Who's Next, the deal nets Talmy millions.

At the end of the month, The Who record the acoustic version of "Happy Jack" that remains unreleased until 1995 and the first bits of the mini-opera "A Quick One While He's Away."

October 1967

New music releases: A Christmas Album - Barbra Streisand; "Daydream Believer" - The Monkees; "The Bare Necessities" - Phil Harris; Camelot - Original Soundtrack
The Who tape 10 Oct 1967

On the 10th, The Who go into De Lane Lea Studios, London to record for BBC Radio One's show Top Gear (no connection to the later popular auto TV programme). It is the first time the BBC allow any musical act to record for them outside the BBC's own studios. Alternate versions of "Pictures Of Lily" (Pete on organ), "I Can See For Miles," (with heavy bass overdub), "Relax," "Our Love Was," "I Can't Reach You," "A Quick One While He's Away," and "Someone's Coming" are recorded along with new tracks "Summertime Blues" and "My Way." Also recorded are five jingles, two for Top Gear and three for Radio One using altered lyrics to "Happy Jack," "Boris The Spider" and "My Generation."

On the 11th, "Heinz Baked Beans," "Odorono," probably "Medac", a more complete version of the "Top Gear" promo song and several linking commercials are recorded at De Lane Lea. "Tattoo" is recorded on the 12th.

Ear-shattering Who worth waiting for

On the 13th, "I Can See For Miles" backed with "Someone's Coming" is released in Britain. Derek Johnson in New Musical Express calls it "less tuneful" than The Who's previous hits. Chris Welch in Melody Maker says: "In a town without end, with a moon that never sets, there is a fire burning. It is the fire of The Who, once thought diminished or dying, but obviously glowing with that renewed heat. Forget Happy Jack sitting in sand on the Isle of Man, this marathon epic of swearing cymbals and cursing guitars marks the return of The Who as a major freakout force. Recorded in America, it's a Pete Townshend composition filled with Townshend mystery and menace, and delivered by the emphatic Mr. Roger Daltrey. Nobody could deceive him because there is magic in his eyes and he can see for miles. And The Who are going to see their way back into the charts." Record Mirror says: "A first-rate Pete Townsend number...the idea is that the bloke can see for miles and know exactly when his girl is short on faithfulness. Tremendously tough guitar figures and powering percussion, but topped by a fairly soft vocal line. Great harmonies on the repetitive title theme. Flip: Rather more routine, I thought, but interesting." And Tony Palmer raves in The Observer: "The Who have a sensational new record out this week, 'I Can See For Miles'. It has all the rowdy exuberance that one always hopes their music will contain. Somehow their last few records, such as 'Pictures of Lily' and 'Happy Jack', have been just too clever, too self-consciously articulate. But now the Who's instinctive violence has broken loose with brilliant effect. Peter Townshend and his men have made as yet no great contribution to the development of pop music. They ignore the mystic east, seem not to have heard of the flower-gazing junkies of San Francisco, don't write meaningful words, have private lives that are totally devoid of public tittle-tattle. Yet to me they are the Sir William Walton of pop music - masters of the royal fireworks, giants of the occasional and the ceremonial...their music has a natural pageantry, a rich and gaudy display of shouting and stamping. They do what everyone else has been doing for years, but much better. A pounding ostinato bass is used to batter quite a simple lyrical motif into an endless stream of chordal frenzies; the lead guitar, meanwhile, screams away with a falling counterpoint of relentless fury, whilst Keith Moon, astride his 14 drums, gives a breathtaking demonstration of free rhythmic drumming. Each bar is subdivided into what sound like totally arbitrary divisions, which are thus continually unpredictable and always disturbing. It is positively Bartokian in its elemental excitement and, like the song itself, has the appearance, at least, of spontaneous outburst. All these elements are fused in a devastating ending. The singer, Roger Daltrey, has made his last appeal; the lead guitar is wailing like the entire Highland Pipe Band; the drummer is quiet; the music is screwed up a quarter-tone, and, all of a sudden, the bass guitar followed quickly by the drummer and singer comes roaring in at full tilt with the same ostinato bass that began the piece. It is a master stroke. Of its kind, the record is matchless."

The Who Twice a Fortnight 1967

On the 15th, The Who tape an appearance on the BBC1 TV show Twice A Fortnight miming to "I Can See For Miles" and "Mary Anne With The Shaky Hands." Director Tony Palmer chooses to shoot the band using constant, rapid zooming shots. This motion sickness-inducing performance airs on the 21st and is shown in the U.S. on American Bandstand on December 30th.

alternate Roger Daltrey Baked Beans
Photo: David Montgomery

Sometime during the month, David Montgomery takes the photos for The Who Sell Out at 11b Edith Grove, Chelsea. John misses the session in which he is to sit in a bathtub filled with baked beans, so Roger has to take his place. The beans are freezing cold but Roger is game.

On the 20th, vocals for John "Speedy" Keen's "Armenia City In The Sky" and Pete's "Jaguar" are recorded at IBC Studio A, London. Keen and Daltrey handle the vocals on the former (with much studio effect work) and Pete and Keith sing "Jaguar." Also recorded is a full remake of "Rael". This version is deemed inadequate and it sits in the vaults until the 2009 The Who Sell Out - Deluxe Edition.

On the 21st, The Who head to Manchester to play the New Century Hall. The mini-opera "Rael," introduced to the set at the beginning of the month, is dropped after this show, never to be revived. Pete: "We played it on stage in Manchester and Scotland and everyone just looked at us with their mouths open - the complication was too much."

On the 24th, the final album version of "Mary Anne With The Shaky Hands" as well as all the interstitial "ads" for the album are recorded at De Lane Lea Studios in London. Also recorded this month is John's song "Silas Stingy" with Pete on organ at Kingsway Studio, London. With the exception of one track, this completes the recording of The Who Sell Out that had taken over five months.

On the 26th, mono mixes of "Jaguar" and "Rael" are prepared for the upcoming album. It is at this point that the "Part 2" section of "Rael" is chopped off, not to return until the 1994 30 Years of Maximum R&B boxset.

Who all ready to hit you with new ideas

On the 27th, Keith Altham reports in New Musical Express on a chaotic meeting at a recording studio attended by The Who and manager Kit Lambert. Pete describes The Who's singles prior to "I Can See For Miles" as "too flimsy, too poignant, too prissy. We wanted to do something that would be unexpected. Something that would demand something of the public."

The Who Traffic 1967 program

The Who start the 28th making their last appearance on BBC radio's Saturday Club. They follow it by beginning a package tour of the U.K. with supporting acts Traffic, The Herd, The Marmalade and The Tremeloes. The Who play twelve songs during their first set at City Hall in Sheffield but, after the first show runs long, The Who's second set is cut short when the stage manager orders them offstage after three songs. Pete goes ballistic, smashing two speakers and The Herd's lighting gear. Roger tries to stop him and they begin to scuffle. When the stage manager tries to break it up, Pete grabs him by the throat and drags him offstage where he continues smashing things backstage.

The Who 30 Oct 1967 ticket

Obviously word does not get around as the next night the stage manager at the Coventry Theatre drops the curtain on The Who's second set in the middle of their performance and pipes in the National Anthem. Pete again loses it, smashing his guitar, knocking over the amps, kicking out the footlights then hurling an amp at the head of the stage manager. A third night on the 30th at the City Hall in Newcastle is completed without interruption.

October 1968

New music releases: Electric Ladyland - The Jimi Hendrix Experience; "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" - Marvin Gaye; "For Once in My Life" - Stevie Wonder; Switched-on Bach - Wendy Carlos

On the 7th, The Who fly to Bremen, Germany where they mime to "Magic Bus" for Beat Club. Before the taping, Pete and Keith do their part for Anglo-German relations by imitating Nazis.

The Who on Magic Bus tour
Photo: Chris Walter

On the 9th, The Who hire a bus from Paris and are photographed on board with female models and a small menagerie of animals, all to promote their new single "Magic Bus". Divested of the animals, the bus travels through London as The Who and the models toss streamers at passers-by. The trip runs into one snag when they are banned from riding in front of Buckingham Palace.

Magic Bus UK ad

On the 11th, two-and-a-half months after its U.S. release, "Magic Bus" is released by Track Records in the U.K., backed with a complete version of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." John Wells in New Musical Express says, "...a real driving powerhouse number written by Pete Townshend, on which the boys really go to town...a great one for dancers, particularly in the clubs, and certain to restore the boys to the British charts."

Magic Bus The Who on Tour LP

On the 12th, Decca releases the LP Magic Bus - The Who on Tour. A collection of Who A-sides, album tracks and leftovers, the album gets bad marks in the Underground press for its title that could mislead buyers into thinking it was a live album. Unaware of the album prior to its release, Pete is furious with Decca. Despite, or perhaps because of the confusion, the album reaches #39 on the Billboard charts making it The Who's first Top Forty album in the U.S. charts. The LP also features a new stereo mix of "Magic Bus".

Direct Hits LP
Direct Hits original cover
Direct Hits original cover art

The Who's label Track Records also releases a compilation for the coming Christmas market. The cover is supposed to be a painting of an atomic bomb explosion made by David King, one of the designers of The Who Sell Out cover. Manager Chris Stamp had hired him, but the cover is rejected at the last minute for reasons unknown and a new cover is hastily assembled. A collection of previously released Who A and B-sides, Direct Hits goes retail in Britain on the 18th. Unlike its American cousin, the album fails to reach the album charts.

That day, The Who again board the 100-year old bus for another promotional drive around London. Afterwards, Pete is reported to say "I've had enough of this -- circus." Keith adds, "I bet the record doesn't even make the charts after this."

A "Pop Ask-in: Keith Moon" is included in that day's New Musical Express: "We get approximately £4,000 for a job in America and £500 for the same job in England. Then of course in the States you pay very low tax - none of this 19/6 in the pound fiasco." He also says of The Who's last single "Dogs": "it was rotten, and it was rubbish!"

Ad for 19 Oct 1968

On the 19th, Disc magazine reports The New Yardbirds will change their name to Lead Zeppelin (shortly to become Led Zeppelin) "courtesy of Keith Moon." That night Keith and his band The Who perform at the California Ballroom in Dunstable.

Reports have The Who continuing the Tommy LP sessions at IBC Studios, London from the 21st through the 24th from 2 to 10pm. Songs Pete is known to have written by this time are "Amazing Journey", "Sensation", "Welcome", and "We're Not Gonna Take It".

October 1969

New music releases: Led Zeppelin II - Led Zeppelin; "Fortunate Son"/"Down on the Corner" - Creedence Clearwater Revival; "I Want You Back" - The Jackson 5; "Something" - The Beatles

In the Melody Maker of the 11th, Richard Williams recounts a recent trip to Roger Daltrey's new farm in Berkshire, Sussex. Roger drives him there, at high speed, in his new silver-grey Chevrolet Corvette. Meanwhile, in the same issue, Richard Artus in the Mailbag begins the argument over whether Tommy is the first pop opera. He mentions S.F. Sorrow, "Happiness Stan" from Ogden's Nut Gone Flake and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat as precursors.

Oct 11, 1969 ad

On the 11th The Who returns to The Grande Ballroom in Dearborn, Michigan with local band Alice Cooper and The Sky opening. The Who and Cooper bond as Keith comes out during the latter's set to join drummer Neal Smith during his solo on "The Ballad of Dwight Frye." The next night is another show at The Grande Ballroom with support by All The Lonely People and The Amboy Dukes. Dukes' guitarist Ted Nugent later claims Keith made fun of him backstage for his refusal to take drugs.

Fillmore East Oct. 1969

On the 20th, The Who begin a six-night stand at the Fillmore East in New York accompanied by the Joshua Light Show. After the first night, Bill Graham throws a party for The Who at Max's Kansas City. Led Zeppelin, who were in the audience for the show, also attend. These shows, running through the 25th, are The Who's last at either of the Fillmores.

On the 26th, the classical music reviewer for The New York Times, Clive Barnes, discusses The Who and rock operas in an article. Barnes, who attended one of the recent Fillmore East shows, says the band played their music too loud but, nevertheless, dubs Tommy "an enormous success" and predicts that a new kind of opera could arise from it.

After the 26th, The Who split up for separate vacations in the U.S. Pete flies down to Florida with roadie "Wiggy" Wolff to spend time at his old friend Tom Wright's father's farm. One night "at three in the morning drunk out of my brain," Pete writes The Who's next single "The Seeker."

October 1970

New music releases: Led Zeppelin III - Led Zeppelin; "Your Song" - Elton John; Tumbleweed Connection - Elton John; Taproot Manuscript - Neil Diamond

During the first week of the month, The Who are in rehearsals, breaking in a new lighting rig and stage design for their upcoming UK tour. During these rehearsals, Pete attempts to explain his plans for the Lifehouse film to the other members. His explanation results primarily in confusion with John wondering if they would be allowed to go home or would have to live and perform round-the-clock during the filming. Roger, meanwhile, is confused by the intersection of the fictional script and the real-life concerts Pete is proposing. He inquires how they will get enough wire to put everyone in Britain into "experience suits", a remark that will inspire the name of their 2006 album, Endless Wire.

Who ad on cover of NME 17 Oct 1970

On the 9th, Track records releases "See Me Feel Me" backed with "Overture From Tommy" in Britain. Derek Johnson in New Musical Express says, "I've tipped it for a hit because it deserves to be one, but so many fans now own the LP, that this extract must be expected to miss out on a lot of sales." He is correct as the single fails to chart in the U.K.

It's a different story in the U.S. where Billboard reports that Decca Records' "Who Month" promotion has been a huge success with retail sales of Who records "far above" $4 million dollars. Decca's vice president of marketing and creative services Tony Martell calls it "unparalleled in Decca's history."

Rock Collectibles auction ad

Who clothing and pieces of equipment are included in one of the first Rock collectibles auctions at The Fillmore East on the 12th. The items include a pair of broken drumsticks, a shard of one of Pete's guitars, Roger's suede fringe jacket from the Isle Of Wight concert and a disposable lighter Keith had thrown away. The auction is run by Bill Graham to raise money for peace candidates in the American mid-term elections.

Roger and Heather Daltrey 1970
Photo: Barrie Wentzell

Sometime during this month Roger also finds time to marry for the second time. His new wife is the American model Heather Taylor. He later says they agreed to the marriage even after he explained that when he was on the road he "wouldn't be the Pope." To date, they are still married.

Disc and Music Echo 24 Oct 1970

On the 24th, Pete is interviewed in Disc & Music Echo, an interview that holds much the same place for Lifehouse that Pete's mid-1968 Rolling Stone article held for Tommy, a early statement of intent. This is his plot for the proposed "film-album": "It’s about a set of musicians, a group, who look like the Who, and behave remarkably like the Who, and they have a roadie who is desperately interested in ideals for humanity. It’s basically a science fiction fantasy idea. This roadie is wrapped up in electronics and synthesizers. He’s fanatically serious about finding ‘The Note’ and spends all his time converting Egyptian charts and musical mysticisms into electronic circuitry – and discovers all these wonderful and weird oscillations. He’s fantastically serious, but the group isn’t. Anyway, this group find a note which, basically, creates complete devastation. And when everything is destroyed, only the real note, the true note that they have been looking for, is left. Of course, there is no one left to hear it; except the audience, of course, who are in a rather privileged position." Pete plans to create this work in a studio/concert hall he wants to construct based on Creedence Clearwater Revival's Factory. In other news, Pete says Universal has lost the rights for a Tommy movie to Warner Bros.

October 1971

New music releases: Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas - Elvis Presley; "American Pie" - Don McLean; "Imagine" - John Lennon; Teaser and The Firecat - Cat Stevens

On the 2nd The Who continue their unpublicized college tour of Britain at Reading University. This show may be where The Who first attempted a live performance of "Baba O'Riley" which would go on to become a staple of their live shows.

Let's See Action Netherlands picture sleeve

On the 15th, two tracks left over from the Who's Next album sessions, "Let's See Action" backed with "When I Was A Boy," are released. Derek Johnson in New Musical Express calls it "a much less berserk item than the majority of the group's discs...This could fare better than many of The Who's singles, because its appeal should be wider than that of the group's heavier work." It reaches #16 in the U.K. charts. The single is released everywhere in the world except the U.S. where Decca decides to pull the two album tracks "Behind Blue Eyes" and "My Wife" for a single release. That peaks at #34 in Billboard and #24 in Cash Box.

Pete Townshend Melody Maker 16 Oct 1971

On the 16th, Melody Maker contains an essay/response from Pete about a letter claiming The Who were capitalists in disguise called "Creators or capitalists?" Pete says higher ticket prices have enabled The Who to put on a higher quality show and to improve rock as a whole.

On the 23rd Melody Maker prints an interview with Roger by Chris Welch called "Squire Daltrey" conducted at Roger's country home. Of Who's Next, Roger says "It's good for what it is, treading water." He also reports that the Lifehouse project is now being written as a film called "Guitar Farm" with shooting scheduled to begin January 1972. "Guitar Farm" is actually a script written by friends of Pete prior to the composition of Lifehouse that inspired some of the action in the latter work.

Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy US cover

On the 30th, Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy is released in the U.S. First pressings include an insert with notes. This collection of Who singles is the first time many U.S. Who fans hear the group's pre-Tommy catalog and several tracks such as "I Can't Explain" and "Substitute" become rock radio staples after years of cultish obscurity. To help matters along, Decca/MCA also re-releases "I Can't Explain"/"Bald Headed Woman" and "My Generation"/"Out in the Street" on 45. The album peaks at #11 in the U.S. charts and remains the most-loved of all the many, many, many Who best-of compilations.

October 1972

New music releases: "Superstition" - Stevie Wonder; "Crocodile Rock" - Elton John; Creedence Gold - Creedence Clearwater Revival; I'm Still in Love with You - Al Green
The Who race car presser

On the 5th, Keith and Pete attend a press party at the Europa Hotel in London to announce that The Who have sponsored a race car in the RAC Daily Mirror Rally of Great Britain. They are photographed on the hood of the car pouring champagne for two bikini-clad models. John misses out on the festivities as he is in the U.S. on a three-week promotional jaunt for his new solo album Whistle Rymes.

On the 18th, Melody Maker reports that John, who has recently returned from the U.S., has formed a new solo band called Ro Ro and is playing unannounced university dates in the U.K. before going into the studio to record his third solo album. The actual name of the group is Rigor Mortis. With John on bass, the group consists of Alan Ross (guitar), Grahame Deakin (drums), Andy Sneddon (second bass) and Michael Ship (keyboards).

Keith Moon in That'll Be The Day

On the 25th, Keith reports to the set of That'll Be The Day at Warners Holiday Camp where he is playing drummer J. D. Clover in the rock 'n' roll movie set in the late 1950s. He is on set through the 27th there and at the Lakeside Inn in Wootton Bridge on the Isle of Wight.

On the 28th, The United States Council For World Affairs adopts "Join Together" as its anthem.

October 1973

New music releases: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John; "The Joker" - The Steve Miller Band; "Jolene" - Dolly Parton; Jonathan Livingston Seagull - Neil Diamond

On the 2nd, The Daily Mail breaks the story of Keith and Kim's separation. On the same day The Who record a new backing track for "5:15" for their Top of The Pops appearance. The Musician's Union insists on a new recording and goes so far as to send a representative to the session to make sure The Who do not cheat.

The Who on Top of the Pops 1973
Photo: Chris Walter

On the 3rd, The Who record the visual part of their appearance for the following evening's broadcast of Top of The Pops 500th Edition. The audience is made up of celebrities and industry people. Angered at the bureaucracy imposed on their performance, Pete smashes his guitar and gives the BBC industry people in the audience the finger while Keith throws wigs from the prop department. A lifetime BBC ban on The Who is imposed until a letter of apology is sent and accepted. An edited version of the taping airs the following night.

515 PS
German picture sleeve

On the 5th, "5.15," from the new album Quadrophenia, is released in the U.K. The flip side is a 1970 studio recording of "Water" that John had recently mixed for the Odds and Sods project. Roy Carr in New Musical Express calls it the "most dynamic single of the year" while Chris Welch in Melody Maker say it "sounds a lot like The Stones, vocals aside." The single will ultimately reach #20 on the charts.

On the 20th, Chris Welch gives an advance review of Quadrophenia in Melody Maker: "...more than an LP, it's a battle cry, and a hammer of heartbeats. For this is a masterpiece - The Who at their greatest yet, sap flowing from the roots of their creation... so real, you can almost taste the HP sauce and smell the fag ash... the kind of project that progressive British rock is all about... like Wagner's 'Ring' cycle, it is exhausting, but richly rewarding."

On the 24th, filmmakers Richard Stanley and Chris Morphet arrive to film that day's Quadrophenia rehearsals at Shepperton. When Roger discovers that, after a run-through of half the show, the cameras have not been rolling, he explodes at the movie crew. A drunken Pete goes after Roger, poking him in the chest with his finger. Knowing his reaction to physical threats, the roadies grab Roger before he can respond, but Pete tells them to let Roger go. When they do, Pete hits Roger in the arm with his guitar. Roger responds with an uppercut, knocking Pete out cold on the floor. Roger accompanies Pete to the hospital, terrified that he has killed him. The attempt to film The Who performing Quadrophenia is canceled permanently.

Quadrophenia LP

The massive Quadrophenia double album is released in the U.K. on the 26th. However the initial run sells out quickly and, due to a shortage of vinyl caused by the OPEC oil embargo, additional copies are not pressed for another week and a half.

Love Reign Oer Me US ad

On the 27th, Quadrophenia is released in U.S. at the same time as a single version of "Love, Reign O'er Me" with a different mix from the album. The B-side is "Water." The album peaks at #2 in the U.S. charts but the single reaches only #76 in the Billboard charts and #54 in Cash Box.

On the same day Charles Shaar Murray reviews Quadrophenia in New Musical Express: "...musically, some of it jars. A few of the more extravagant production touches, even after a half-dozen listens, sound about as comfortable as marzipan icing on a cheeseburger. Also, the band have dubbed on so much synthesizer, keyboard and brass that, at times, one aches just to hear some unalloyed guitar, bass, drums and vocals... isn't intensive listening to two-years-in-the-making double albums antithetical to the spirit of true rock 'n' roll? Personally, I couldn't care less... If you're going to sling it on at a party or walk in and out of the room while it's playing, then you're not going to get a damn thing out of it and you might as well save your £4.30 for other purposes. But if you're prepared to work at getting into Quadrophenia, and let it work at getting into you, then you might just find it the most rewarding musical experience of the year... it's by no means unflawed, but it's a triumph, certainly."

NME 27 Oct 1973

The review is followed by part one of a long interview with Pete about the recording and meaning of Quadrophenia: "...I think the first seed was that I thought that if we couldn't get someone to make a film for us, then, like Frank Zappa, I'd like to do it myself. I'd like to either buy a camera and direct it myself or alternatively, do a kind of movie without pictures..."

On the 28th, The Who open their U.K. tour at the Trentham Gardens in Stoke-on-Trent. For the first and only time with Keith Moon, The Who perform the entirety of Quadrophenia live. Pete has to change guitars twenty times for all the different capo settings the work requires. While The Who are performing, John's white leather jacket is stolen from backstage as well as the flying lady emblem off his Cadillac.

The Who at Wolverhampton 1973

On the 29th, the press are invited to review the new work along with the audience at the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton. Pete tells the crowd that the previous night's performance of Quadrophenia was "bloody horrible" and starting with this show "The Dirty Jobs," "Is It In My Head," and "I've Had Enough" are dropped. Roy Carr in New Musical Express says The Who are just as energetic as when he first saw them eight years before. Chris Charlesworth in Melody Maker finds the Quadrophenia performance a little rough but otherwise successful.

October 1974

New music releases: "Killer Queen" - Queen; Souvenirs - Dan Fogelberg; It's Only Rock 'n Roll - The Rolling Stones; "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" - Barry White
Odds and Sods LP

On the 4th, Odds and Sods is released in Britain and on the 12th in the U.S. The reviewer in Records and Recordings states that only The Beatles could put out an album of outtakes as good as Odds and Sods while Roy Carr in New Musical Express calls Odds and Sods better than most bands' final products and Steve Simels in Stereo Review says Odds and Sods is more satisfying than Quadrophenia. The album reaches #10 in the U.K. and #15 in the U.S. The British version features the song titles on the back in Braille and is the last Who release on former Who managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp's Track Records label.

Pete Townshend on the cover of Radio Times 1974

The 5th is declared to be "Who Day" on the BBC as Radio 1 broadcasts the first of four 20 minute long weekly interviews with each band member called Who's Who and BBC2-TV's shows selections from The Who's 18 May concert at Charlton on 2nd House. In addition, Pete is on this week's cover to the Radio Times. This show also features an interview with Pete conducted by Melvin Bragg that is later used in the movie The Kids Are Alright.

Oliver Reed and Keith Moon as clowns

On the 10th, Keith goes to friend Oliver Reed's estate where they are photographed dressed in clown costumes. It is Reed's intention to go to the polling station at Coldharbour Village dressed as a clown and Keith joins in.

October 1975

New music releases: "Bohemian Rhapsody" - Queen; Tryin' To Get The Feeling - Barry Manilow; Rocky Mountain Christmas - John Denver; Rock of the Westies - Elton John

On the 1st, Keith Moon appears on John Peel's BBC Radio One show to preview side one of The Who's new album The Who By Numbers. John Entwistle appears the next day to preview side two. He says Pete's songs are so personal that he is unable to discuss them.

The Who By Numbers UK LP

On the 3rd, The Who's first full-length studio album in two years, The Who By Numbers, is released. It gets strong marks from Roy Carr in New Musical Express who headlines his review "Once upon a time, Pete Townshend was young and full of hope. That was then." Chris Charlesworth in Melody Maker calls the album subdued. It reaches #7 in the British charts.

In the U.S. Dave Marsh in Rolling Stone says Pete has "pulled the fastest one of all, disguising his best concept album as a mere ten-track throwaway." Ira Robbins in Trouser Press calls it a "tremendous (albeit not their best) album." John Rowntree in Records and Recordings feels it will one day be considered a classic like Who's Next as does Steve Simels in Stereo Review, although he thinks "Blue Red and Grey" is the "worst thing they have ever committed to vinyl."

The Who at New Bingley Hall 1975
Photo: Chris Walter

Also on the 3rd, The Who begin their first U.K. tour in two years at New Bingley Hall in Stafford. Supporting them on this tour is The Steve Gibbons Band. For the first time in concert, Keith's drums are placed on a riser but it causes him problems hearing the playback. The set consists of greatest hits plus a medley of Tommy songs revived due to the popularity of the movie. In addition, "Join Together" and the new song "Squeeze Box" have their stage debuts. Quadrophenia is represented by four songs played out of order.

Also premiering that night is The Who's new laser light show. During "See Me Feel Me" and again during "Won't Get Fooled Again" laser beams of various colors are shot out over the band into the audience. Cost of the lasers; £70,000. There is some concern about them causing damage to the audience. John "Wiggy" Wolff, The Who's production manager, runs his hands right in front of the low-watt lasers for the benefit of the press to prove they are safe. Despite this the Greater London Council bans the lasers during The Who's forthcoming Wembley Arena shows.

Keith Moon, Roger Daltrey food fight
Photo: Robert Ellis

The Who return to New Bingley Hall the next night for a much better performance. Keith's riser is gone and the set is rearranged. Two Quadrophenia songs are dropped for the old standbys "Magic Bus" and "Summertime Blues." From there, they travel to Manchester to play the Belle Vue on the 6th and 7th. Backstage Keith and Roger engage in some rare mutual destruction by starting a food fight. The on stage work features the unusual event of a drum solo by Keith, the second and last time he would take one with the band.

Playmate of the Month, Roger Daltrey

After this The Who take a short break from the tour so that Roger can promote his new film Lisztomania. On the 8th, he appears on French television. He also appears in a pictorial in Playboy promoting the film. Unfortunately he comes down with a chest fever and cannot attend the movie's world premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York. Due to the resumed Who tour he also doesn't make the movie's Los Angeles premiere on the 17th at the Fox-Wilshire. It is probably just as well. Reviews of this bizarre treatment of the life of composer Franz Liszt focus on the style of director Ken Russell and almost all are scathing. Despite its rock star cast, the movie fails to follow the box office success of Russell's Tommy.

Keith Moon in custody 1975

On the 17th, The Who fly out of Glasgow Airport for their next stop. All except Keith that is, who is arrested after bashing a ticket terminal. He spends the night in jail and is fined the next day in court. As a result, British Airways refuses to fly any of the members of The Who to their shows and they are forced to hire a private jet.

October 1976

New music releases: The Best of The Doobies - The Doobie Brothers; Leftoverture - Kansas; Night Moves - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band; A New World Record - Electric Light Orchestra

The Who begin to prepare for the fourth and final leg of their massive 1975/1976 North American tour. Keith Moon's preparation involves checking himself into a rehab clinic in Los Angeles to dry out. Keith also rehires Dougal Butler to be his minder.

Keith Moon Oakland 1976
Photo: Michael Zagaris

The 9th and 10th find The Who sharing the bill with The Grateful Dead at the Alameda County Stadium in Oakland. On the 10th, Keith sings "Spoonful" and "Johnny B. Goode" during The Who's encore.

Pete Townshend Toronto 1976

After the double date, The Who proceed to the Memorial Coliseum in Portland (13th), the Seattle Center Coliseum (14th), the Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton (16th), the Winnipeg Arena (18th), and the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto (21st). At the end of the Toronto show Pete goes into a jam during "My Generation" and sings a bit of the lyrics to "Who Are You." The Toronto show will be Keith's last before a paying audience.

Pete later says of this period "(we) had no new album, nothing happening, no feeling of existing, and every time we picked up a paper, there were sniveling little brats [the punk rockers] knocking us."

October 1977

New music releases: Bat Out of Hell - Meat Loaf; "We Will Rock You"/"We Are The Champions" - Queen; News of the World - Queen; Point of Know Return - Kansas
Pete Townshend Rolling Stone cover 1977

On or after the 20th,Rolling Stone publishes a long article written by Pete about what had been happening to him over the past four years, covering the production of Quadrophenia his growing alcoholism, writing the soundtrack to Tommy, his press fight with Roger, the recording of The Who by Numbers, his establishment of the London Meher Baba Oceanic Centre, the band's lawsuit against their former managers, and the rise of punk rock, all of it told in a very subjective and apologetic manner. Some memorable lines: "If it screams for truth rather than help, if it commits itself with a courage it can't be sure it really has, if it stands up and admits something is wrong but doesn't insist on blood, then it's rock & roll.". "I prayed for it [punk rock], and yet it's too late for me to truly participate. I feel like an engineer. Just let me... watch." "Drinking around the Who is the greatest thing gutter-level life can offer. The bawdiness of the humor, the sheer decadence of the amount put away, the incredible emotional release of violent outbursts against innocent hotel-room sofas; all these count to get a body through a lot of trouble." "The answer came out of the sky, in a voice that, to me, was audible in a fantastic sense: 'Keep playing the guitar with the Who until further notice!'"

Recording continues throughout the month on the new Who album. "Who Are You" and "Sister Disco" are recorded at Ramport and Goring Studios, London, "Love Is Coming Down" is begun on the 18th at Ramport and "New Song" begins on the 24th and continues on the 27th.

Also on the 27th, tension between Roger and producer Glyn Johns comes to a head. According to fellow producer Jon Astley, "Roger leaned over the desk while Glyn was sitting there and he said 'Can I hear a bit more bass?'' Glyn stopped the machine and said 'What?' and Roger said 'I just want to hear a bit more bass in the mix.' Glyn said 'We're listening to all this f***ing work that they've done, and you want to hear a bit more bass?' At that point, things exploded. It was unbelievable. They both stormed out, and then I heard this kerfuffle in the corridor and Glyn came back in the control room with tears in his eyes, holding his nose and saying 'That's it. I'm going home.' Roger had nutted him and driven off in his Ferrari." Jon Astley is promoted to full producer. Johns returns to work with The Who five years later.

October 1978

New music releases: 52nd Street - Billy Joel; "Fat Bottomed Girls" - Queen; Cheap Trick at Budokan - Cheap Trick; "Hold the Line" - Toto
Pete Townshend Melody Maker 14 Oct. 1978

On the 14th, Pete is interviewed for the first time since Keith's death in Melody Maker. Having stated several times over the last year that he had no desire to tour again with The Who, Pete now announces plans for the band to hit the road again. He mentions Kenney Jones among several other drummers as potential replacements for Keith, how he wants to add keyboards and brass to The Who, and how it will be necessary to lower their on-stage sound to protect his hearing. Pete is photographed in Brighton on the set of the movie Quadrophenia.

Kenney Jones in 1970s

Kenney Jones later says it was this month that The Who told him he had the job of drummer. In addition to his long-time association with the mod movement as the drummer for the Small Faces, Kenney had become Britain's most sought-after session drummer after the break-up of The Faces, impressed Pete while filling in for Keith during the recording of the Tommy soundtrack, and was a favorite of John as well.

October 1981

New music releases: Greatest Hits - Queen; "Don't Stop Believin'" - Journey; "Under Pressure" - Queen and David Bowie; Ghost in the Machine - The Police
Too Late the Hero

On the 10th, John's Too Late The Hero LP enters the U.S. charts. It peaks at #71 becoming the only John solo record to hit the Top One Hundred in the U.S. Along with the LP, John also releases the single "Too Late The Hero" backed with "I'm Coming Back" in the U.K. In the U.S. "Dancing Master" is the flip side. A video for the song "Too Late The Hero" is also shot and appears on MTV at this time.

Pete later reveals that at this time he put the recording of his second solo album for Atlantic, All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes, on hiatus. He said he was unable to concentrate on recording due to his worsening problems with drugs and alcohol.

Pete, his current girlfriend and his parents travel to Paris where Pete works on the recording of Elton John's LP Jump Up. While there he becomes publicly sick while dining at the Hotel Georges V. On his return to London Pete goes into delirium tremens while drinking in a pub.

October 1982

New music releases: Lionel Richie - Lionel Richie; 1999 - Prince; 20 Greatest Hits - The Beatles; Greatest Hits - Dan Fogelberg

On the 11th, Pete is contacted in New York by Henry Mount-Charles of the prestigious publishing firm Faber & Faber. Henry says he is moving back to Ireland and would Pete like to take over his old job?

On the 12th, Pete is interviewed by the BBC while riding through New York. Pete expresses his disdain for playing Shea. "I don't like the look of it. I'll be glad to say goodbye to it. I'm saying bye-bye to it now. 'Bye-bye Shea Stadium, I'll never fucking see you again.' Who needs it? I never wanted to be a baseball player." The New York Post reports "Riot At Who Concert" and says 100 people are hurt and 13 are arrested at this show. The next night's show is professionally recorded and filmed and released on DVD in 2015. The opening acts are David Johansen and The Clash.

Rolling Stone The Who The End

THE WHO - THE END is the cover of Rolling Stone. Kurt Loder interviews the members. Pete and Roger say The Who will cease touring but will continue producing records. John tells Loder he sees no point in making more records if The Who won't tour. Pete and Roger later say they were surprised by John's remarks, claiming he never expressed these sentiments directly to them.

John Entwistle Oakland 1982
Photo: Philip Kamin

The Who head down to Alameda County Stadium in Oakland, California on the 23rd then the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena on the 25th. T-Bone Burnett and The Clash open at the Stadium show. On the day between, Roger rents a yacht for a Who press party on San Francisco Bay. During the five-hour tour, Pete and Roger remain at opposite ends of the boat, grousing to the press about what the other said to Rolling Stone.

On the 29th, The Who hold a press conference at the 20th Century Fox lot in Hollywood. Fox CEO Alan Herschfield announces that The Who's final concert in Toronto will be available live on pay-per-view in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan and South America. At the conference Pete declares that there will be no more Who tours "of this scale" although there may be a tour of Europe. Roger says there will be no more tours although there may be individual shows. John says he is completely opposed to stopping touring.

October 1983

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

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

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.

October 1984

New music releases: The Unforgettable Fire - U2; "Born in the U.S.A." - Bruce Springsteen; Welcome to the Pleasuredome - Frankie Goes To Hollywood; Yesterday Once More: Greatest Hits 1969–1983 - The Carpenters

On the 2nd, John is a contestant on the BBC-TV show Pop Quiz.

Pete Townshend addresses Conservative Party

On the 8th, Pete begins a drive to battle his nemesis of the early 1980's, heroin. He gives an interview to The Times called "My crusade to beat the drug menace." On the next day Pete addresses a meeting of Young Conservatives at the Tory Party conference, pushing the Thatcher government to consider funding treatment centers for those addicted to heroin.

Pete Townshend and Stone Roses

On the 23rd, Pete stages and performs at an anti-heroin benefit concert at The Moonlight in Hampstead. Making their live debut at this show is a new band called The Stone Roses. Their drummer, Alan 'Reni' Wren, also sits in for Pete's set.

While all this is going on, Pete also begins bringing the business of The Who to a close. "Roger Searle, Mick Double and Alan Smith of ML Executives, formed by our road crew after the Tommy movie windfall, wanted to take over the company, and we needed to establish a fair value. It was extremely difficult. It turned out that not only did we have to find a way to give this company and all its assets to our road crew, we also had to sack them and pay them a severance. The final closure was a sober moment."

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 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.

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 Lifehouse.

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".

October 1986

New album releases: Every Breath You Take: The Singles - The Police; "Livin' on a Prayer" - Bon Jovi; Whiplash Smile - Billy Idol; "Don't Dream It's Over" - Crowded House

Roger takes part in the "Sunday Mirror's Just Say No Show" at the Adelphi Theatre in London. Proceeds go to the Standing Conference on Drug Abuse to set up and staff drug rehab centers. Other performers are John Junkin, Robin Cousins, Gary Wilmot, Wayne Sleep, Alvin Stardust and Faith Brown. Roger and his band perform "The Pride You Hide" and Roger joins in the finale.

Chapel House

Rolling Stone reports that Pete has bought Chapel House, a mansion in Twickenham that once belonged to the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson. It is thought to have cost £750,000.

Chuck Berry John Entwistle ad

On the 18th, John performs with Chuck Berry at the Felt Forum in Madison Square Garden as part of Berry's 60th birthday celebrations. John is in New York trying to put together a release deal for his new album The Rock after his deal with Atlantic fell through. John succeeds in finding a label with plans to release it in time for Christmas but the day the contract was to have been signed, the record company is raided by the F.B.I. and shut down.

October 1987

New music releases: Faith - George Michael; Kick - INXS; The Best of UB40 - Volume One - UB40; Tunnel of Love - Bruce Springsteen
Rolling Stone 20th Anniversary issue

In Rolling Stone's 20th anniversary issue, Pete calls "Won't Get Fooled Again" "...the dumbest song I've ever written". In the next issue, Rolling Stone reports on rumors that The Who are planning to tour again.

Double O MayFair invitation

On the 20th, Pete's Double O Charity throws an upscale benefit ball at the Mayfair Hotel in London. Proceeds raised with the £100 tickets benefit treatment clinics and rehabilitation centers for drug addicts and alcoholics. The guests include Bill Wyman, Steve Winwood, Midge Ure, Simon Phillips, Mark Knopfler and most of the Townshend family. Pete and Dire Straits put on a one hour show for the 150 guests. Among the songs performed are "That's All Right, Mama," "Save It For Later," "No Face, No Name, No Number," "Mary Anne With The Shaky Hands" and "Barefootin'."

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

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.

October 1989

New music releases: The Road to Hell - Chris Rea; The Little Mermaid: Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack - Various Artists; Storm Front - Billy Joel; Enjoy Yourself - Kylie Minogue
The Who London Hard Rock 1989
Photo: Brendan Monks

On the 3rd, The Who gather for a photo-op outside the Hard Rock Cafeacute; in London. Pete smashes a guitar for the cameras.

Birmingham Review 1989

The Who bring their 25th Anniversary extravaganza to England for four performances at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham on the 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th. The latter two dates are added after the first two dates sell out.

1989 Wembley poster

On the 23rd, The Who begin four more nights at Wembley Arena in London. Additional dates are on the 24th, 26th and 27th. On the night of the 26th, Roger's voice gives out toward the end and he is forced to leave the stage. Pete wraps it up singing "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" all on his lonesome.

Royal Albert Hall ad 1989

On the 31st, The Who perform the first of two nights at the Royal Albert Hall in London featuring an all-star performance of Tommy.

October 1993

New music releases: Vs. - Pearl Jam; Very Necessary - Salt 'n' Pepa; Everything Changes - Take That; One Woman: The Ultimate Collection - Diana Ross

On the 2nd, Roger makes a guest appearance on the HBO TV series Tales From The Crypt in an episode entitled "Forever Ambergris."

Also on the 2nd, Pete performs at a private party for the Broadway and touring casts of Tommy at the West Bank Café in New York.

Stephen Moyer at Iron Man rehearsal

On the 15th, Pete oversees auditions at the Young Vic Theatre for the production of his musical The Iron Man. One beginning actor chosen by Pete for the role of "Picnic Dad" is 24-year old Stephen Moyer (True Blood). Around the same time Pete records "Iron Man Recitative" that later appears on Scoop 3.

October 1994

New music releases: "All I Want for Christmas is You" - Mariah Carey; Greatest Hits - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band; No Need To Argue - The Cranberries; Cross Road: The Best of Bon Jovi - Bon Jovi

On the 7th Roger and John return to play the last dates for the "Daltrey Sings Townshend" tour. They are the Concord Pavilion in Concord, California (7th), the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas (9th), the Fresno Fairgrounds (12th), Palm Springs (13th) and the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles (15th). For John's 50th birthday on the 9th, Roger sings "Happy Birthday" to him.

While in Los Angeles, John convinces long-time side girlfriend Lisa Pritchett-Johnson to accompany him back to Quarwood. She will remain there until after John's death.

Hypertext Who

On the 24th, the first Internet resource for Who knowledge, The Hypertext Who, is established by Wes Biggs at the University of Southern California.

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."

October 1997

New music releases: Talk On Corners - The Coors; Harlem World - Mase; Postcards From Heaven - Lighthouse Family; The Velvet Rope - Janet Jackson

On the 13th, the Ford Motor Company in the U.S. begins using The Who's original recording of "I Can't Explain" in a commercial for the Ford Taurus.

October 1999

New music releases: "Say My Name" - Destiny's Child; Steptacular - Steps; Rise - Gabrielle; "Sandstorm" - Darude

On the 18th, Roger tells Reuters that The Who are presently working on their first studio album since It's Hard. He says Pete is writing some tracks while he, Roger, is writing with Gerald McMahon. On the next day John Entwistle confirms the new album report on the Wall Of Sound website.

Pixelon backstage pass

On the 29th, The Who returns as a five-piece unit, the first time since Live Aid fourteen years before, when they play iBash for the Pixelon Corporation in Las Vegas. Pete is on loud electric guitar as songs long unplayed, such as "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere," are revived. The show is later released for home video as The Vegas Job. None of this helps Pixelon. Within a year the Pixelon Corporation goes out of business after its founder is discovered to be a fugitive wanted for bilking elderly investors of $1 million during the 1980s.

On the same day, Pete opens his website and announces an upcoming Lifehouse 6-CD boxset and planned Lifehouse concert.

The Who Bridge School Flyer

On the 30th and 31st, The Who go acoustic for two concerts at the Bridge School benefit at Shoreline Auditorium in Mountain View, California. The 31st show is performed in the afternoon so Pete can take his son Joseph trick-or-treating for Halloween.

October 2000

New music releases: Hybrid Theory - Linkin Park; Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water - Limp Bizkit; All That You Can't Leave Behind - U2; The Greatest Hits - Texas
John Entwistle Madison Square Gardens 2000
Photo: Ross Halfin

After the cancellation of a concert at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on the 2nd, The Who begin a four night stand at Madison Square Garden on the 3rd. The Wallflowers open after Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes cancel, rumor has it because Page did not want to appear to be opening for The Who. The other dates are the 4th, 6th and 7th. 58,433 tickets are sold for the four shows with the Garden at 93% capacity for a gross of $4,080,814. The shows will be John Entwistle's last full-length concert appearances with The Who in the U.S.

On the 6th, CBS-TV premiers a new crime show, C.S.I., that has licensed "Who Are You" as the theme song. The show will become for some time the most popular on the planet spawning three Who theme song laden spinoffs, exposing people to The Who who had never heard them before and providing Pete with a shelf full of awards.

October 2001

New music releases: Escape - Enrique Iglesias; "In the End" - Linkin Park; Now That's What I Call Christmas! - Various Artists; Fever - Kylie Minogue
The Who Concert for New York 2001

On the evening of the 20th, The Who perform at The Concert For New York at Madison Square Garden for police and firefighters, many of whom hold up photos of loved ones and colleagues lost in the collapse of the Twin Towers. The show, assembled by Paul McCartney, is carried live on VH1 in the U.S. Up until this point, all the musical tributes have been heartfelt but downbeat performances fitting a nation still in shock and grief. Earlier, Roger had suggested The Who also perform a more reflective set but Pete overruled him, saying The Who should simply be who they are and do what they do best.

Roger Daltrey Concert for New York 2001

After John Cusack's introduction, The Who roar out delivering a blistering, triumphant four-song set, climaxing with "Won't Get Fooled Again" against a backdrop of the now-lost towers. The policemen and firefighters begin pumping their fists into the air and the mood changes from one of grief to one of anger and pride. All those watching including the newspaper reviewers and even the attending President Clinton acknowledge that The Who steal the show from their famous co-stars. They seem to catch the spark of a world rising in wrath and defiance.

Afterwards, Pete and Roger return to the U.K. but John remains to play with The John Entwistle Band at a benefit concert of their own the same night as the Concert For New York at B.B. King's Blues Club. Phoebe Snow and the tribute band Who's Next also perform. There is another show on the 21st. It is followed by another show at Vanderbilt's in Plainview, Long Island on the 22nd and Toad's Place in New Haven, Connecticut on the 23rd. The latter date will be John's last with his band and his last performance in the U.S.

October 2002

New music releases: "Lose Yourself" - Eminem; Stripped - Christina Aguilera; The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac; 8 Mile: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture - Various Artists

On the 12th, Pete writes a long diary entry on the future of The Who: "What is The Who? It is a brand name, and two old guys called Roger and Pete. I think I'm going to stick with the two old guys and let the brand name look after itself."

On the 13th, Pete reposts his diary entry "A Different Bomb" about his personal investigation into Internet child pornography. He had intended to take down the entry but, "I just heard that another young woman who Double-O [Pete's charity] had put into treatment for depression and anxiety related to sexual abuse at the age of 8, had started drinking again. Sometimes this all feels so bloody futile. But I am determined to do my bit."

On the 24th, a memorial service for John is held at St. Martin In The Fields in London. Steve Luongo, John Hurt, Bill Curbishley and Matt Kent speak. Roger leads the church in "Boris The Spider."

October 2003

New music releases: The Very Best of The Eagles - The Eagles; In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 - R.E.M.; "Remember When" - Alan Jackson; The Very Best of Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow

On the 29th, That 70's Show begins its sixth season. Originally to be called "The Kids Are Alright," the show finally gets to name this episode by that title. All episodes in the sixth season are named after Who songs.

October 2006

New music releases: Back to Black - Amy Winehouse; "Irreplaceable" - Beyoncé; Taylor Swift - Taylor Swift; The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance

On the 25th, Pete, Rachel and Roger were to have been interviewed on The Howard Stern Show. Pete walks out of the London studio before the interview when he hears one of Howard's regulars joking about Pete's 2003 child porn investigation. Rachel stays for a minute then leaves. Roger remains and talks to Howard for an hour. A few days later, Pete explains: "I decided not to join what was developing into a light-hearted inquisition of sexual subjects that cause widely felt discomfort when not seriously addressed."

The reviews for Endless Wire appear on the 27th. Rolling Stone gives it 4 out of 5 stars. "Daltrey and Townshend have made a record as brazen in its way and right for its day as The Who Sell Out and Tommy were in theirs." The Times also gives it 4 out of 5: "Unlike their later albums, though, it never tries too hard, never attempts to touch the Zeitgeist: it gets by on its self-deprecating, daffy charisma quite nicely." The Guardian gives it 3 out of 5: " never feel like you're being cravenly invited to wallow in nostalgia: all these elements are pressed into the service of something undeniably modern." The Independent provides only 2 stars: "...the energy seems dissipated through weak arrangements." while the Los Angeles Times ponies up 2½: "The album is inconsistent — sometimes impenetrable, sometimes enlightening — but always engaged."

Endless Wire CD

Endless Wire, the first Who album of new music in twenty-four years, is released on the 31st. It peaks at #9 in the U.K.. and #7 in the U.S.

October 2011

New music releases: Christmas - Michael Bublé; "A Thousand Years" - Christina Perri; "Young, Wild & Free" - Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa featuring Bruno Mars; Mylo Xyloto - Coldplay
Pete Townshend at John Peel lecture

On the 31st, Pete delivers the first John Peel Memorial Lecture at the Lowry Theatre in Salford. Asked to speak on the subject of music in the age of the digital download, Pete makes press by slamming iTunes and Apple for failing to use its streaming music profits to find and promote new artists. At one point he refers to Apple as a "digital vampire".

October 2012

New music releases: "Radioactive" - Imagine Dragons; "Locked Out of Heaven" - Bruno Mars; Red - Taylor Swift; "Fuckin' Problems" - ASAP Rocky featuring Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar
Who I Am book

On the 8th, Pete Townshend's long-awaited autobiography Who I Am is published in the U.S. Australian publication follows on the 9th and the U.K. on the 11th. Reviewers remark on how little fun Pete seems to have had being a famous rock star. Simon Garfield in The Guardian calls it "strangely joyless", Rob Sheffield in Rolling Stone describes it as "a quest to explore his defects and contradictions" and Robert Christgau in The New York Times notes "he takes pains to examine his faults and tell stories that make him look bad."

October 2013

New music releases: "Timber" - Pitbull featuring Kesha; "Rude" - Magic!; "The Monster" - Eminem featuring Rihanna; "Rap God" - Eminem
Roger Daltrey Winston Churchill Bust
Photo: Win McNamee

On the 30th, Roger appears at the United States Capitol to sing after the unveiling of a bust of Winston Churchill. Roger was invited to the event by House Speaker John Boehner.

October 2018

New music releases: "Sunflower" - Post Malone and Swae Lee; "Without Me" - Halsey; "Zeze" - Kodak Black featuring Travis Scott and Offset; "when the party's over" - Billie Eilish
Roger Daltrey and Frank Lampard

On the 8th, Roger performs at the Legends of Football Awards in honour of Frank Lampard for his career achievements on the pitch. The ceremony, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, London, also raises money for the Nordoff Robbins charity.

On the 9th, the Daily Mail reports that Roger has run into a problem demolishing a bungalow on his Sussex estate. Roger plans to replace the bungalow with a three-bedroom house, but a survey of the bungalow finds evidence of a bat roost in the roof, meaning Roger will have to install bat access points in the new building.

On th 14th, Roger is interviewed in The Sunday Times and live at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, in both cases by Matt Rudd, about Roger's new memoir.

Thanks a Lot Mr Kibblewhite

On the 18th, that memoir, Thanks a Lot Mr Kibblewhite is published in the U.K. The title is a response to a childhood teacher that told Roger he would never amount to anything.

On the 20th, Michael Stabb of NASA wakes up the Mars Rover with today's musical selection, "I Can See for Miles".

Roger Daltrey Judd Apatow
Photo: Henry Holt

On the 23rd, Roger's memoir is released in the U.S. To promote it Roger flies all the way over to America's West Coast, being interviewed by writer-director and massive Who fan Judd Apatow at the Aratani Theatre at the Japanese American Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

Roger Daltrey John Fugelsang

From there, Roger's book tour takes him to an interview with Tom Power on CBC Radio q (24th), an interview by John Fugelsang on the Sirius XM show Insight (25th), a book signing at BookEnds in Ridgewood, New Jersey (25th), a book signing at Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue in New York (26th), an interview on Steve Wright in the Afternoon on BBC Radio 2 (30th), and an interview on KTLA-FM (31st).

Got anything wrong?

E-mail me by clicking HERE

Click on the Index button to go to the full history from the beginning through 2017.

I'm available on both Twitter and Mastodon.

Lifehouse Who's Next

Who's Next / Life House Super Deluxe
10 CD's, Blu-ray with 5.1 mix, 89 unreleased tracks, 2 live concerts, a 100-page book and a graphic novel. Expensive but the final word on The Who's Lifehouse work.

The Who & Quadrophenia

Martin Popoff's The Who & Quadrophenia
Hardback, in folio jacket, published by Motorbooks

A People's History of The Who

Richard Houghton's The Guitar Has Seconds to Live: A People's History of The Who
Paperback, published by Spenwood Books Limited.

The Who Live at Wembley

The Who: with Orchestra Live from Wembley
#1 on the Classical Music Charts! Available now!

The Who Concert Memories Book

The Who: Concert Memories from the Classic Years, 1964 to 1976
Fans ecall the glory days of the greatest live act in rock music. By Edoardo Genzolini. Check out my entry on Page 260!
THE home for all things Townshend!

Who Cares logo

Teenage Cancer Trust have
launched a new fund-raising
For more information,
click the logo.

The Who's Official Website
Go here for exclusive tour
Pre-show sales and VIP

As always, thanks to
John Atkins,
Richard Barnes,
Kevin Berger,
Chris Charlesworth,
Alan Clayson,
Tony Fletcher,
Ed Hanel,
Gary Herman,
Joe Giorgianni,
Bruce Kawakami,
Matt Kent,
Max Ker-Seymer,
Karen Kimber,
Olle Lundin,
"Irish Jack" Lyons,
Dave Marsh,
Alan McKendree,
Joe McMichael,
Andrew Motion,
Andy Neill,
Paul Rees
Scott Smith,
Christian Suchatzki,
John Swenson,
George Tremlett,
Richie Unterberger,
Dave van Staveren,
Mark Ian Wilkerson,
Stephen Wolter and all
the others who did
the original research
and provided the aid
that led to this page.

A note about photographs:
None of the photographs used
on this site are by
purchase agreement with
the original photographer.
I try to credit when I can
discover the name of the
original photographer but, in
most cases, sources in
newspapers, old copies of
Creem Magazine, and even some
Who books, do not credit
photographers. If you are the
photographer or represent the
photographer and you do not
want your photograph posted,
please get in touch
and I will remove it immediately.
This is a wholly non-profit site
(if you could see my bank account,
you'd know it's quite the opposite!)
established to provide an historical
overview of The Who.