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May 2011 (5 years ago)

New album releases: Born This Way - Lady Gaga; Torches - Foster The People; This Is Country Music - Brad Paisley; Hot Sauce Committee Part Two - The Beastie Boys

On the 1st, Pete Townshend makes #47 in The Sunday Times Fifty Richest British People in music. They estimate his personal wealth at £40m.

On the 8th, Pete's literary agent, Ed Victor, begins shopping Pete's autobiography to publishers. The proposed title is Pete Townshend: Who He? On the 17th, Harper Collins is declared the victor.

Roger aboard QEII 2011

On the 13th, Roger Daltrey gives in impromptu concert aboard the Queen Mary 2 during its passage from England to New York City. From a stool on the stage of the Royal Court Theatre, Roger performs songs by Hank Williams and Johnny Cash while telling the audience of his origins as a musician. The hour-long show is part of a seagoing songwriting seminar led by Chris Difford of Squeeze.

Billy Iuso releases the album Trippin' featuring a New Orleans-style cover of "Magic Bus".

Pete Townshend Intelligent Life interview Pete Townshend Intelligent Life interview

On the 27th, Pete is interviewed in Intelligent Life magazine. He says he is one-third of the way through writing his autobiography and it is already 80,000 words long.

May 2006 (10 years ago)

New album releases: Stadium Arcadium - Red Hot Chili Peppers; Taking the Long Way - Dixie Chicks; 10,000 Days - Tool; Eyes Open - Snow Patrol
An Ox's Tale DVD An Ox's Tale DVD

On the 1st, Justin Kreuzman's documentary John Entwistle: An Ox's Tale is released on DVD in Japan and the U.K. The U.S. DVD release follows on August 22.

The Who in Denmark Norway and Finland The Who in Denmark Norway and Finland

Also on the 1st, Olle Lundin and Kjell Malmberg publish their follow-up to The Who in Sweden, The Who in Denmark & Norway & Finland.

On the 3rd, Pete announces that the Who mini-opera has changed its title from "The Glass Household" to "Wire & Glass". On his girlfriend Rachel Fuller's webcast In The Attic, Pete announces the upcoming release of an 11-minute version is the "short" version. The full-length "mini-opera" will be on the album. He also performs "Barefootin'" with guest Chris Difford of Squeeze.

On the 8th, Roger performs at Arsenal Stadium in Highbury during ceremonies marking the last football game played at the stadium. In honor of his favourite team playing his favourite stadium, Roger sings a song he has written for the occasion called "Highbury Highs".

RD Crusaders 2006 press photo RD Crusaders 2006 press photo
Photo: Tim Clarke

On the 10th, Roger joins Lulu and Robert Plant performing with the band RD Crusaders headed by Daily Express owner Richard Desmond at London's Old Billingsgate Fish Market. Roger performs "My Generation" and "Shout". Kevin Spacey and Mohamed Al Fayed are in the audience. £1.9 million is raised for The Evelina Children's Hospital Appeal.

On the 14th through the 20th, Pete pulls some poetry, or what he calls "lyric guides", out of the attic to share with readers of his website. The titles are "Are You God?", "Two Thousand Years", "More Misery", "I Lose The Thread", "Homage to Picasso", "I Want to Get Through The Fall", "Time to Think", "I Lost Interest", and "There is Something In My Food". Their composition dates from 1999 to 2004.

On the 19th, the Tommy and Quadrophenia Live DVD is awarded 3-times multi Platinum status by the RIAA making it one of the biggest selling items in The Who's career.

The Who Live From Toronto DVD The Who Live From Toronto DVD

On the 23rd, The Who: Live From Toronto DVD from the December 17, 1982 concert is released in the U.S.

On the 24th, in a cover story, The National Review declares "Won't Get Fooled Again" the greatest conservative rock song of all time. In response, Pete says on the 27th that the song has no party-allied political message, "a song that pleaded 'leave me alone with my family to live my life, so I can work for change in my own way.'"

On the 26th, Pete announces that recording on The Who's new album Endless Wire has been completed.

Rachel's In The Attic does a tribute to the movie The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Pete is shown in session recording "Trilby's Piano" for Endless Wire and on the show playing "Here For More" and "Sheraton Gibson". The show ends with the cast recreating the underwater "tiger shark" sequence with Pete in the Bill Murray role.

May 2001 (15 years ago)

New album releases: Break the Cycle - Staind; Survivor - Destiny's Child; Lateralus - Tool; Wingspan: Hits and History - Paul McCartney

On the 3rd, The Hollywood Reporter says writing is complete on The Keith Moon Story. The writer is Sacha Gervasi, the planned director Brad Siberling. The movie does not make it to pre-production.

On the 4th, Fastball, who are performing "The Real Me" on the forthcoming official Who tribute CD, say they learned the song after finding the guitar tabs at Whotabs on

On the 11th, puts The Who's Aug. 24, 2000 Denver concert up for sale as an unedited mp3 download.

On the 12th, Pete Townshend puts up mp3's of "Ascendance (rough mix 2)" and "I've Had Enough (orchestral overdub)" on his website.

Thunder CD Thunder CD

On the 14th, Thunder release their CD They Think It's All Acoustic...It Is Now with an acoustic version of "Pinball Wizard."

On the 17th, Pete wins an award from BMI for "Who Are You" as one of the most performed television themes of the year. Earlier in the day he records individual guitar "riffs" on the Gibson SG's he auctioned for charity.

On the 19th, on his 56th birthday, Pete pens a contemplation comparing prayer to cranberry juice.

Pete Townshend Ivor Novello award Pete Townshend Ivor Novello award

Another award for Pete comes on the 24th as he receives a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Ivor Novello Awards at the Dorchester Hotel in London. Roger is in attendance. Pete thanks The Who but admits that "I do find these things incredibly boring. It's really sunny out there and I did all this music shit so that I could have a swimming pool and I want to be in it."

Substitute The Songs of The Who Substitute The Songs of The Who

Also on the 24th, Substitute: The Songs Of The Who, a collection of Who covers compiled by longtime Who soundman Bobby Pridden, is released in Europe.

John Entwistle Stone Pony 2001 John Entwistle Stone Pony 2001

On the 26th, The John Entwistle Band start their final tour, "2001: A Bass Odyssey," with two shows at the Highland Theatre in Akron, Ohio. The next night they are at the Rock, Rhythm and Blues Fest at City Walk in Toledo, Ohio, followed by a private show at the B. B. King Blues Club in New York on the 29th where they are joined by Page McConnell and Mike Gordon of Phish and Mike Abts of Gov't Mule and two shows on the 30th at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

John Entwistle with Govt Mule John Entwistle with Govt Mule

On the 27th, John records the bass for the song "Same Price" for the forthcoming Gov't Mule album. The group's regular bassist, Allen Woody, had died and the band hit on the idea of replacing him with a succession of the world's great bass players. Coincidentally, this will be John's last studio recording session.

May 1996 (20 years ago)

New album releases: Bringing Down the Horse - The Wallflowers; Butterfly Kisses (Shades of Grace) - Bob Carlisle; Down on the Upside - Soundgarden; Getting It (Album Number Ten) - Too $hort
1996 Pete Townshend Supper Club ticket 1996 Pete Townshend Supper Club ticket

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

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

Chubby Carrier CD Chubby Carrier CD

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

Roger Daltrey on Lois and Clark Roger Daltrey on Lois and Clark

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

The Wick The Wick

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

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

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

Roger Daltrey in Vampirella Roger Daltrey in Vampirella

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

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

John Entwistle Anthology John Entwistle Anthology

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

May 1991 (25 years ago)

New album releases: Don't Rock the Jukebox - Alan Jackson; Spellbound - Paula Abdul; Forever My Lady - Jodeci; It's All About to Change - Travis Tritt
Gold Quadrophenia CD Gold Quadrophenia CD

Quadrophenia is released by Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs as a gold CD.

May 1986 (30 years ago)

New record releases: Top Gun/Original Soundtrack - Various Artists; So - Peter Gabriel; Who Made Who - AC/DC; The Final Countdown - Europe
Roger Daltrey at IMM Conference Roger Daltrey at IMM Conference

On the 8th, Roger is part of a panel at the 1st International Music & Media Conference in Montreux, Switzerland. The Bronski Beat and Mike Rutherford are also on the panel. While there, Roger also performs "Under a Raging Moon" and "The Pride You Hide" for the Montreux Rock TV show. It is aired later in the month.

On the 9th, Roger's solo song "After The Fire" is featured in an episode of NBC-TV's series Miami Vice.

The Pride You Hide UK picture sleeve The Pride You Hide UK picture sleeve

Roger releases another single from his Under The Raging Moon album in the U.K. "The Pride You Hide" is backed with "Break Out" on the single, includes "Don't Talk To Strangers" on the 12" and is also issued as a double single pack including those three and a live solo version of "Pictures Of Lily." It does not reach the U.K. charts.

Pete Townshend opens The Picket Pete Townshend opens The Picket

Pete officially cuts the ribbon opening The Picket, a studio for fostering young talent in Liverpool. He also donates recording equipment.

May 1981 (35 years ago)

New album releases: Long Distance Voyager - The Moody Blues; Hard Promises - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers; It Must Be Magic - Teena Marie; Knights of the Sound Table - Cameo
Don't Let Go The Coat picture sleeve Don't Let Go The Coat picture sleeve

On the 1st, the second single from The Who's Face Dances album is released in Europe. "Don't Let Go The Coat" backed with "You" peaks at #47 on the British charts.

On the 5th, John completes the recording of his solo LP Too Late The Hero at Ramport Studios, London.

On the 11th, Pete and Chris Stamp attend a memorial service for The Who's late manager Kit Lambert at St. Paul's Church in Covent Garden. It would have been his 46th birthday and was almost exactly 20 years after the memorial service was held for his father Constant at the same church. Pete arranges for the London Symphony Orchestra to perform selections from Tommy and Kit's favorite piece, Purcell's "The Gordian Knot Untied." Pete also delivers one of the eulogies. None of the other members of The Who attend.

Kit Lambert in The Star Kit Lambert in The Star

During this month, Annette Walter-Lax tells the story of being Keith Moon's girlfriend in the last years of his life in a British tabloid. Another tabloid, The Star runs a series written and sold to them by Kit Lambert immediately prior to his death called "Kit Lambert: King of The Who".

Terry Rawlins sends Pete an advance script for Ridley Scott's Blade Runner to entice Pete to compose the soundtrack. Pete turns it down due to commitments recording his solo album.

Pete records a demo called "Driftin' Blues" at his home in Thames Valley. It is released in 1987 on his album Another Scoop.

Face Dances US Gold Award Face Dances US Gold Award

On the 20th, The RIAA certifies Face Dances as reaching gold record status.

Who manager Bill Curbishley holds a Face Dances post-mortem with The Who during this month. Roger confesses that he cannot bear to work with Kenney Jones anymore and blames him for the primary problem with the album, a lack of fire. Kenney defends himself by blaming Pete, saying Pete kept all the good songs for his solo album Empty Glass. John puts the blame on producer Bill Szymczyk and his piecemeal recording process. Pete disagrees with John's opinion of Szymczyk's work and, typically for Pete, puts the blame on himself saying the problem was that his songs were inappropriate for the band. Roger disagrees, saying he thought the songs were great. The main takeaway from the discussion is that no one in the band agrees on what went wrong with the album and there is now an unresolved animus between Roger and Kenney that will poison the rest of Kenney's time with The Who.

Phases box set Phases box set

On the 23rd, Germany's Polydor releases Phases, the first box set retrospective of The Who consisting of My Generation, A Quick One, The Who Sell Out, Tommy, Live At Leeds, Who's Next, Quadrophenia, The Who By Numbers and Who Are You. The records have the original album sleeves and insert materials (except for the psychedelic poster for The Who Sell Out) and generally feature high-quality sound.

Pete Townshend at Brockwell Park Pete Townshend at Brockwell Park
Photo: Nick Hider

On the 30th, Pete plays a solo show at Brockwell Park in Brixton in support of a march against unemployment in Britain. He performs "A Little Is Enough" (twice due to bad PA mix), "Cats In The Cupboard," "Big Boss Man," "Substitute," "Corrina Corrina," "Body Language," "Join Together" and "Let My Love Open The Door." He is accompanied by Neil Abbott (guitar), Peter Hope-Evans (harmonica), Mark Brzezicki (drums) and Tony Butler (bass). Jim Capaldi comes out to do vocals for "Substitute."

May 1976 (40 years ago)

New album releases: Fly Like an Eagle - The Steve Miller Band; Rocks - Aerosmith; Harvest for the World - The Isley Brothers; Changesonebowie - David Bowie
The Steve Gibbons Band Any Road Up The Steve Gibbons Band Any Road Up

On the 7th, The Steve Gibbons Band album Any Road Up, produced by John and Cy Langston, is released. It fails to chart.

On the 15th, Keith flies into London to rehearse with The Who before the next leg of the tour.

Sometime after his arrival, Keith records his vocal for "When I'm Sixty-Four" with the London Symphony Orchestra for the bizarre Beatle-tribute movie All This And World War II.

Roger announces that his next movie will be based on career criminal John McVicar's autobiography McVicar By Himself.

The Who in Colmar 1976 The Who in Colmar 1976
Photo: Marc Starcke

The Who do a couple of dates in France performing at Parc Des Expositions in Colmar, France on the 22nd and the Palais Des Sports in Lyons, France on the 25th.

Keith Moon Brecknock School Keith Moon Brecknock School

Back in London on the 27th, Keith arrives at Brecknock School in North London school to inspect the boys of the 51st Company of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. For the occasion, Keith dons full evening attire. Keith had spent £500 on brand new bugles and drums. "Blimey," he tells the press, "I know just how they felt playing with rotten instruments. I was in the sea cadets as a boy." That night he and John attend the Rolling Stones' concert at Earls Court.

Who Put The Boot In Poster Who Put The Boot In Poster

On the 31st, The Who start a three-date tour of the U.K. at the Charlton Football Ground. Since all three dates are at football stadiums, the tour is known as the "Who Put the Boot In" tour. Fans who attend wonder "who'll stop the rain" as it pours buckets throughout the day. This show also puts The Who in the Guinness Book of World Records as "The World's Loudest Pop Group" as their output registers 120 decibels at 50 meters. Supporting acts are The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Little Feat, The Outlaws and Streetwalkers. Sold at the show is an elaborate program called "Bellboy" that features a centerfold of a nude Keith Moon.

Keith Moon meets Norman Gunston Keith Moon meets Norman Gunston

Outside Keith is approached by Australia's Garry McDonald portraying his satirical local TV reporter character Norman Gunston. Keith pours a bottle of vodka on his head and tells him, "you Australian slag, piss off!"

May 1971 (45 years ago)

New album releases: Aqualung - Jethro Tull; You'll Never Walk Alone - Elvis Presley; The Cry of Love - Jimi Hendrix; Love It To Death - Alice Cooper

Another attempt at the Lifehouse Project was scheduled on the 2nd at the Young Vic but apparently The Who cancelled the date, ending Pete's first attempt to bring his multi-media, rock-revitalizing, science-fiction epic to fruition.

Mike Heron LP Mike Heron LP

On the 7th, Mike Heron releases his album Smiling Men with Bad Reputations. One track, "Warm Heart Pastry," has the guitar, bass and drums credited to "Tommy and the Bijoux." In reality they are Pete, Keith and Ronnie Lane.

The Who Sunderland flyer The Who Sunderland flyer

Also on the 7th, The Who begin a series of unpublicized shows in the U.K. that allow them to work on their stage presentation of the technically complex Lifehouse songs before beginning a major tour. The first show is at the Top Rank Suite in Sunderland. Admission is 50p.

On the 8th, Melody Maker interviews John about his new solo album and Record Mirror interviews Roger about the collapse of the Lifehouse project.

On the 11th, The Who complete recording "Song Is Over" at Olympic Studios in London. Also recorded this month and early the next are "Baba O'Riley," "Love Ain't For Keeping," "My Wife," "Behind Blue Eyes," "Let's See Action," "When I Was a Boy," and "Pure And Easy."

The Who backstage May 1971 The Who backstage May 1971

On the 13th, The Who continue their unpublicized U.K. tour at the Kinetic Circus in Birmingham followed by Liverpool University (14th) and Caird Hall in Dundee, Scotland (23rd).

Smash Your Head Against The Wall LP Smash Your Head Against The Wall LP

On the 14th, John releases The Who's first solo LP, Smash Your Head Against The Wall in the U.K. and Europe. Keith Moon provides part of the drumming on the track "No. 29 (External Youth)." The album fails to make the U.K. charts.

Rolling Stone June 10, 1971 Rolling Stone June 10, 1971

Rolling Stone prints an interview with John. They misspell his last name in the interview's title.

Promo picture for film Heads Promo picture for film Heads

On the 22nd, Chris Charlesworth pens an article in Melody Maker about the stereo system in Keith's Rolls Royce. On the same day, Pete's face appears in an experimental movie by Peter Gidal called Heads screened at the National Film Theatre in London. The 34-minute silent movie shot in 1969 consists of head shots of famous people.

On the 28th, Glyn Johns gives "Won't Get Fooled Again" its final mix before mastering.

May 1966 (50 years ago)

New records: "Hanky Panky" - Tommy James & The Shondells; "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" - The Temptations; "Paint It Black" - The Rolling Stones; "Red Rubber Ball" - The Cyrkle
The Who at 1966 NME Poll Winners The Who at 1966 NME Poll Winners

On the 1st, The Who make their only appearance at one of the New Musical Express Poll Winners concerts at the Empire Pool in Wembley. The incredible line up for this concert also includes The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, The Small Faces, The Spencer Davis Group, Dusty Springfield, Herman's Hermits, Cliff Richard, Sounds Incorporated, The Alan Price Set, Crispian St. Peters, The Overlanders, The Seekers, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, The Shadows, The Walker Brothers, Roy Orbison and, in their last concert appearance in the U.K., The Beatles. According to Alan Smith in New Musical Express' review, there was one band that stood out among these great talents: "I don't know that it was music; it was more like watching violence put to rhythm. But unquestionably, [The Who] stood out as the most remarkable appearance of the second half and I say this even though the Rolling Stones and The Beatles were to follow." The show is videotaped and broadcast on ITV on the 8th and 15th. Rumors still circulate that a copy of this show exists but it has never gone public since its initial broadcast.

Smashed windows in a huff Smashed windows in a huff

The violence continues offstage at The Who's next scheduled show. They were to have appeared on the 3rd at the Winter Gardens in Malvern but the show is cancelled and the disappointed audience is told that The Who could not make it due to a van break down. Some of the audience members aren't having it and go on a window-smashing rampage. They are correct to be disbelieving. The van breakdown is merely a cover story for the fact that Pete, John and Keith have collectively refused to share a stage with Roger. Again he is out of the band.

The 4th finds The Who on stage at the Town Hall in Stourbridge performing as a trio with Pete and John sharing lead vocals. Roger is kept out again on the 5th at the Town Hall in Kidderminster. After the show the 17-year old singer for the local band Listen approaches Pete and volunteers to take Roger's place as lead singer. Pete turns Robert Plant down.

Also on the 5th, Billboard reports that "My Generation" has reached #8 in the Malaysian charts.

On the 6th, Roger makes a temporary peace with Pete, John and Keith, rejoining the group for their first trek to North Ireland to play three dates beginning with the Top Hat Ballroom in Lisburn. He must have been happy to have re-joined the band for this trip as he runs into Bob Dylan who is performing on the same day at the ABC Cinema. Bob and Roger have tea and a chat between the acoustic and electric sets of his show.

Pete's patchwork plans Pete's patchwork plans

On the 7th, The Who perform at the National Stadium in Dublin. Later newspaper reports say that the IRA leveled threats against The Who if they went on stage in their Union Jack jackets. The Who were reported to have already responded by having special jackets made from the Eire tricolour. However, Max Ker-Seymer, who was in the supporting band Peter Adler and The Next in Line, says there were never any threats made. The Who finish up Ireland with a show at the Arcadia Ballroom in Cork on the 8th.

Taking some time off, Pete presents Who manager Kit Lambert with a musical gift on the 10th, the day before Kit's 31st birthday. It is a 10-minute piece called "Gratis Amatis" that Pete put together with his friend Ray Tolliday and which he jokingly refers to as an opera. It sparks Kit's imagination. Why not a rock 'n roll opera? Kit sends Pete off to try to devise a story and songs for a full-length work.

John Entwistle and Pete Townshend backstage in Wimbledon John Entwistle and Pete Townshend backstage in Wimbledon
Photo: Chris Morphet

On the 11th, The Who play the Corn Exchange in Bristol followed by the Pavilion in Worthing (12th). For the following two shows at the Wimbledon Palais (13th) and the Palais de Danse in Bury (14th) Roger is absent for reasons unknown and The Who are again a temporary trio.

Also on the 11th, "Substitute" enters the Swedish Kvällstoppen sales chart, peaking at #16.

On the 13th, The Who appear on the BBC Light Programme The Joe Loss Pop Show. Again a trio, Pete, John and Keith apologize for Roger's absence saying he has a sore throat. Pete sings "A Legal Matter," John sings the next two, "CC Rider" and "Dancing in the Street."

On the 16th Dick Clark's U.S. TV show Where The Action Is shows film from March of The Who performing "I Can't Explain," and "Substitute." A kinescope of the latter broadcast later becomes a popular video bootleg item.

The Who were to have toured The Netherlands around this time but cannot because they are unable to obtain work permits. Keith keeps busy behind the scenes as he sneaks over to play drums for a "super-group" being assembled by The Yardbirds' guitarist Jeff Beck. On the 16th and 17th the group that consists of Beck, Moon, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Nicky Hopkins records "Beck's Bolero." The other members of The Who know nothing about it at the time and it is Beck's understanding that Keith will quit The Who and join his group. When Keith fails to do so, this early version of The Jeff Beck Group falls apart.

Shel Talmy produces a recording by the group The Untamed of a song called "Kids Take Over." It is credited as a Pete composition although Pete has since denied it is his.

On the 19th, Pete turns 21. On the same day Keith meets up with Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys who has arrived in London with an advance copy of the Pet Sounds album. Keith, being a huge Beach Boys fan, promises Bruce an appearance on the TV programme Ready Steady GO! Later that night Keith and Bruce meet up with John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The four play cards while listening to the album over and over. Keith doesn't care for it because it doesn't sound like typical surf music, but Lennon and especially McCartney are awed and intimidated by Brian Wilson's production and leave determined to top him.

Keith Moon Bruce Johnston RSG Keith Moon Bruce Johnston RSG
Photo: Bruce Johnston

The next day, as promised, Keith gets Bruce an interview on Ready Steady GO! but it causes him and John to miss the first half of The Who's set at The Corn Exchange in Newbury, Berkshire. Pete and Roger have been playing with the bassist and drummer from their opening act The Jimmy Brown Sound and are naturally furious at Keith. At the end of the show Keith, knocking over his drum set as usual, hits Pete in the leg with a falling cymbal. Pete turns and sends his guitar flying right into Keith's head.

Keith and John storm off determined that they are finally finished with The Who. They head over to Kit Lambert's house to tell him they're out. Pete goes over to Keith's the next day and tries to apologize. Keith is having none of it and for the time The Who have to continue with another drummer.

John comes back but The Who must carry on Keithless using their opening band's drummer to fill in at the Floral Hall in Southport (21st), the Locarno Ballroom in Blackburn (23rd), the Locarno Ballroom in Ashton-under-Lyne (26th) and Granby Halls in Leicester (27th).

On the 21st, Billboard reports about a hot new single in the Toronto area, a cover of "I Can't Explain" by the Edmonton group King-Beezz.

On the 25th, Polydor Records head Robert Stigwood tells the press that Keith is backing down on his threat to leave The Who. Keith returns on the 28th for The Who's performance at the South Pier in Blackpool. The opening acts are The Rockin' Vickers, The Birds and Oscar. Oscar is actually Paul Nicholas who will play Cousin Kevin nine years later in Tommy: The Movie.

Who Incident Keith Moon Hurt Who Incident Keith Moon Hurt

On the 28th, Pete and Keith talk to Melody Maker about the incident of the 20th. According to Pete: "We were due on stage. Keith had gone out with somebody else and in the end we had to start playing without him. Finally Keith turned up...I swung out with my guitar, not really meaning to hit Keith. I lost my grip of the instrument and it just caught him on the side of the head." Keith is obviously dissatisfied with the explanation: "My eye is all black and blue, and I've had three stitches in my leg. Well, y'know, who needs it? If it happens again I'm leaving!"

The Who Winter Gardens playbill The Who Winter Gardens playbill

On the 29th The Who play the Winter Gardens in Morecambe for two shows with supporting acts The Merseys, The Fruit-Eating Bears, Mike Berry and The Innocents, Philip Tait & The Stormsville Shakers, She Trinity and Oscar. Around this time Keith expands his drum kit from its single bass drum to a double bass drum, nine piece kit: the price of his return?

Also on the 28th, Billboard reports from Milan that Radio Records has released the first record by The Geordies, "Shavada" backed with a cover of "My Generation."

Pop star in M1 pileup Pop star in M1 pileup

On the 30th Pete is in an auto accident on the M1 on his way back to London after the Morecambe gig. It is incorrectly reported in the Netherlands, Germany and France that Roger has been killed in the crash and Polydor is inundated with calls. That night The Who play at the Sincil Bank Football Ground in Lincoln for the Whit Monday Pop Gala Festival. The Kinks, the Small Faces, and the Yardbirds are also on the bill.

May 1961 (55 years ago)

New records: "I Feel So Bad"/"Wild in the Country" - Elvis Presley; "Quarter to Three" - Gary U.S. Bonds; "The Boll Weevil Song" - Brook Benton; "Stand By Me" - Ben E. King
James Brown I Don't Mind single James Brown I Don't Mind single

On the 15th, James Brown and The Famous Flames release the original version of "I Don't Mind." The Who later record it for the My Generation LP.

The Regents Barbara Ann picture sleeve The Regents Barbara Ann picture sleeve

On the same date The Regents' "Barbara Ann," originally recorded in 1958, hits the U.S. charts where it peaks at #13. The Who will record it for the Ready Steady Who EP and The Kids Are Alright movie.

Acton County Grammar in 1961 Acton County Grammar in 1961

Around this month, Pete and John finish their time at Acton County Grammar School. Pete heads on to art school while John's mom gets him a job working for Inland Revenue. He will keep this day job for more than three years.

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