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October 2011 (5 years ago)

New album releases: Mylo Xyloto - Coldplay; Clear as Day - Scotty McCreery; Stronger - Kelly Clarkson; Ceremonials - Florence and The Machine
Roger Daltrey Broomfield 2011 Roger Daltrey Broomfield 2011
Photo: Evan Semón

Roger Daltrey spends the month on the second month of his North American tour performing Tommy. This month's dates are at The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Ontario (1st), the U.S. Bank Theater at Target Center in Minneapolis (4th), the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana (7th), the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis (8th), The Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, Texas (11th), the Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie in Grand Prairie, Texas (12th), The Midland Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri (14th), the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colorado (16th), the NOKIA Theatre in Los Angeles (19th), the City National Civic in San Jose (21st), The Joint in Las Vegas (22nd), the Rose Quarter-Theatre of The Clouds in Portland, Oregon (24th), the Key Arena at Seattle Center in Seattle (25th), Rogers Arena in Vanvouver (27th), Rexall Place in Edmonton (29th), and SK Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon.

Who covers of the month: The Sweet release an online single, a cover of "Join Together" on the 7th. On the 14th, The Oppressed release their album Antifa Hooligans with a track called "Substitute AFA", a cover of "Substitute" with new anti-Fascist lyrics.

On the 27th, Liam Gallagher's Carnaby Street clothing store Pretty Green hosts an exhibition inspired by the album Quadrophenia. It features a specially made parka for the event along with Pete Townshend's notes, desk diaries, photos and original lyric sheets related to the album. The exhibit runs through 31 January.

Pete Townshend at John Peel lecture 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 2006 (10 years ago)

New album releases: Taylor Swift - Taylor Swift; Hannah Montana: Songs from and inspired by the Hit TV Series - Various Artists; The Open Door - Evanescence; Back to Black - Amy Winehouse

On the 3rd, The Who's Endless Wire tour performs at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. On the same day Paul Moody reviews Endless Wire in Uncut giving it 3 stars out of 4. "Pretentious and portentious, but packed with spirit and a lacerating intelligence."

Pete Townshend Vancouver 2006 Pete Townshend Vancouver 2006
Photo: Ozzie

Continuing across Canada, The Who play the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary on the 5th, the Rexall Place in Edmonton on the 6th and the GM Place in Vancouver on the 8th.

Spiraling single sleeve Spiraling single sleeve

On the 9th, Spiraling releases a CD of their Christmas medley "Do You Hear What I Hear?/Baba O'Riley".

The Who in Portland 2006 The Who in Portland 2006
Photo: Carrie Pratt

It's back to the States on the 10th at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. Pete Townshend is interviewed in Billboard: "A lot of the songs either I excluded from presenting to Roger or that Roger passed on once he'd heard them. They don't actually make a particularly powerful record, but wow, they would make an extremely interesting record. So I might actually look at the possibility of putting out a solo record. But again, the only reason I would do that is if I felt I could support it."

Roger Daltrey Gold Roger Daltrey Gold

Speaking of solo releases, the Roger Daltrey Gold CD is released in the U.S. on the 10th.

On the 11th, The Who are given the Freddie Mercury Lifetime Achievement Award in Live Music at the Vodafone Live Music Awards in London. Roger Taylor of Queen tells how heavily Queen was influenced by The Who's live performances and commiserated with Pete and Roger Daltrey on the pain of losing band members. Brian May calls The Who the greatest live band ever. The Who are not there of course, they are performing that night at the Key Arena in Seattle.

For the next couple of days after the end of the North American leg of the tour, Roger stays in the U.S. to shoot his appearance in the episode "Living Legend" for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Tea And Theatre CD Tea And Theatre CD

On the 14th, Billboard reviews The Who's new promo-only single "Tea & Theatre" / "It's Not Enough": "Rock radio longing for windmill power chords and old-school pyrotechnics will cringe, but triple-A should dig this intimate, wistful conversation between two legends just having tea."

On the 17th, Pete is interviewed by Jenny Eliscu in Rolling Stone. He causes a bit of a furor by saying: "I don't want to go out and see Bob Dylan. I don't want to go out and see the Stones. I wouldn't pay money to go see the Who, not even with new songs. I wouldn't pay money to go see Crosby, Stills and Nash. They fucking make me sick. When I say that, what I mean is I'm ageist about it." He later apologizes for his remarks.

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."

On the 27th, Pete and Roger are interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Front Row.

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."

On the 28th, Pete and Roger perform "Black Widow's Eyes" from Endless Wire on BBC-TV's Parkinson.

Ad for The Who at The Roundhouse 2006 Ad for The Who at The Roundhouse 2006

On the 29th, The Who perform at The Roundhouse Main Space for the BBC Electric Proms in London.

Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey at Q Awards 2006 Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey at Q Awards 2006
Photo: Dave Hogan

On the 30th, Pete and Roger attend the Q Awards at London's Grosvenor House Hotel where they receive the Legend Award.

Roger Daltrey and Harvey Goldsmith
Photo: Jon Furniss

Also that day, Roger attends a Music Industry Trust Award show in London fêting Harvey Goldsmith.

Endless Wire CD 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.

Pete announces on the 31st that long-time Who keyboardist John Bundrick will have to leave the tour to be by his wife of the past 26 years who is terminally ill.

October 2001 (15 years ago)

New album releases: Pain Is Love - Ja Rule; Escape - Enrique Iglesias; Christmas Extraordinaire - Mannheim Steamroller; Invincible - Michael Jackson

On the 4th, Pete Townshend releases his 1966 demo of "Lazy Fat People" on his website. On the 11th comes the 1984 track "Why D'you Stand So Close To That Man Last Night?" The release for the 17th returns to the 1966 batch with Pete's demo for "King Rabbit" and on the 25th, it's the demo for "I Am Secure."

Sheryl Crow and Roger Daltrey Sheryl Crow and Roger Daltrey

On the 11th, Roger Daltrey performs at the "City Of Hope" dinner in Los Angeles to benefit cancer patients. Part of his performance is with Sheryl Crow.

Diario di una Rock Girl Diario di una Rock Girl

Magic Bus - Diario di una Rock Girl (Diary of a Rock Girl) by Eleonora Bagarotti is published in Italy. It's about the author's adventures with rock stars, particularly Pete Townshend, in her work as a translator and press agent. Pete pens the forward.

Townshend Rudd Oceanic Concerts CD Townshend Rudd Oceanic Concerts CD

On the 16th, Rhino Records releases the 1979 recording Pete Townshend & Raphael Rudd — The Oceanic Concerts on CD in the U.S. It is released in the U.K. on the 22nd.

On the 17th, The Who arrive in New York to begin rehearsals for their performance for The Concert For New York.

Pete Townshend David Bowie 2001 Pete Townshend David Bowie 2001

On the 18th, Pete meets David Bowie in a downtown studio where he is recording his album Heathen. Pete records a lead guitar solo for the song "Slow Burn." Pete was to have met later with Mick Jagger to back him on guitar during his set at the Concert but Keith Richards shows up to back his fellow Stone.

John Entwistle Mohegan Sun Casino 2001 John Entwistle Mohegan Sun Casino 2001

On the 19th, John Entwistle ducks out to play a warm-up gig with his solo band at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The Who Concert for New York 2001 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 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.

In Who covers of the month, on the 23rd The Grip Weeds release their CD Summer Of A Thousand Years featuring a cover of "Melancholia." On the 24th, Pink Cream 69 releases their CD Endangered in Germany featuring a cover of "Pinball Wizard." On the 30th, Planeta De Crystal releases the CD Velocidad with the Spanish-language cover "Mi Generacion".

Gov't Mule Deep End CD Gov't Mule Deep End CD

Also on the 23rd, Gov't Mule releases their CD The Deep End, Vol. 1 featuring John Entwistle playing bass on "Same Price."

Scoop 3 CD Scoop 3 CD

On the 29th, Pete releases his third demo collection Scoop 3 sold through his Eelpie website.

On the same day Roger's movie .Com For Murder has its world premier at the MIFED Film Market in Italy.

October 1996 (20 years ago)

New album releases: Yourself or Someone Like You - Matchbox 20; The Moment - Kenny G; Anthology Vol. 3 - The Beatles; Best of Van Halen - Volume 1 - Van Halen

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

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

The Who 1996 San Jose poster

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

The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus DVD The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus DVD

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

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

Message To Love CD Message To Love CD

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

October 1991 (25 years ago)

New album releases: For My Broken Heart - Reba McEntire; Too Legit To Quit - Hammer; Diamonds and Pearls - Prince; A Decade of Hits - The Allman Brothers Band
Two Rooms CD Two Rooms CD

On the 1st, Two Rooms: Celebrating the songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin is released on video in the U.K. It features interviews with Roger and John and a little of Roger recording "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting." The song itself follows on the CD that enters the U.K. charts on the 26th. It will peak at #21.

October 1986 (30 years ago)

New album releases: Whiplash Smile - Billy Idol; Can't Hold Back - Eddie Money; To Hell With The Devil - Stryper; True Stories - Talking Heads

On the 8th, The Home Farm spills chemical fertilizer into the pond at Roger's Iwerne Springs trout farm in Dorset. The spill kills half a million fish and leads to a lawsuit that is settled in 1990.

Playing For Keeps poster Playing For Keeps poster

Playing For Keeps, a teen comedy, is released by Universal Pictures. The movie is directed by two brothers who get their distribution deal thanks to a star-packed accompanying soundtrack album including a new song by Pete, "Life To Life." The brothers had become friends with Pete when they ran concert promotion in Chicago during the 1970's. The duo, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, will direct no more movies but, as head of Miramax Pictures, will produce some of the most important movies of the next twenty years including Pulp Fiction, Scream and Shakespeare in Love.

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 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 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 that he has spent the last year recording at his mansion. 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. John continues to label shop.

Deep End Live Deep End Live

On the 25th, Pete's LP, Deep End Live! from the 1985 Brixton Academy charity shows, hits the U.S. charts and peaks at #98. Also released is a single "Barefootin'" backed with "Behind Blue Eyes."

October 1981 (35 years ago)

New album releases: Get Lucky - Loverboy; Ghost in the Machine - The Police; Physical - Olivia Newton-John; The Best of Blondie - Blondie

On the 6th, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat is murdered by Islamic extremists. Roger later says that he records his solo song "Treachery" on that date.

Too Late the Hero 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.

John Entwistle - Too Late The Hero by IvorTheEngineDriver

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.

The Who fanzine Who's News breaks the news that John "Rabbit" Bundrick will no longer be touring with The Who but does not explain why.

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.

Hooligans LP Holligans LP

On the 17th, MCA's new cash-in on The Who's back catalog, Hooligans, hits the U.S. charts. It contains the first U.S. LP releases of "Let's See Action," "Join Together", and "Relay" and peaks at #52. There is also a single, "Had Enough"/"Bargain", pulled from this LP released in Canada.

October 1976 (40 years ago)

New album releases: Night Moves - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band; The Song Remains the Same - Led Zeppelin; Leftoverture - Kansas; Free-For-All - Ted Nugent

On the 1st, the new Who compilation album The Story of The Who is awarded Gold status by the BPI.

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.

The Who San Diego 1976 The Who San Diego 1976

After a "dress rehearsal" on the 5th, The Who tour proper begins at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on the 6th. From there it's on to the San Diego Sports Arena on the 7th. Mother's Finest is the supporting group.

Keith Moon Oakland 1976 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 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.

On the 22nd, The Who return to England except for Keith who travels back to his home in Santa Monica.

Also on the 22nd, a single from the recently released album The Story of the Who comes out in Europe. "Substitute" is backed with the Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy version of "I'm a Boy" plus "Pictures of Lily." In addition to the 7" 45, the single is also released in a 12" format, the first ever in the U.K. "Substitute" re-charts in Britain, peaking at #7.

Keith Moon Annette Walter-Lax Keith Moon Annette Walter-Lax

On the 23rd, the press announces the engagement of Keith and his long-time girlfriend Annette Walter-Lax. The wedding is set for 15 December with Pete as best man and Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr accepting invitations. The only problem is Keith forgets to tell Annette about it. Nothing more is heard of the planned nuptials.

All This And World War II cover All This And World War II cover

On the 25th, the soundtrack to All This And World War II, including Keith's cover of "When I'm Sixty Four," is released in the U.S. where it peaks at #48. The accompanying movie also comes out at this time but no one can quite believe a movie made up of nothing more than Beatle covers with World War II footage over it was ever approved by 20th Century-Fox. It quickly vanishes rarely to be seen again.

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 1971 (45 years ago)

New album releases: Teaser and The Firecat - Cat Stevens; Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas - Elvis Presley; American Pie - Don McLean; Meddle - Pink Floyd

On the 1st, the new Scaffold single, "Do The Albert," featuring Keith on drums is released in the U.K. It does not chart.

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.

Also on the 2nd, Billboard reports that "Won't Get Fooled Again" has peaked at #6 in Canada.

On the 3rd, in The New York Times, Clive Barnes has an article about the future of ballets set to rock music using the recent staging of Tommy as an example. Les Grands Ballet's ballet has just returned to New York for a second run.

Pete Townshend Guilford 1971 Pete Townshend Guilford 1971
Photo: Robert Ellis

On the 9th The Who play another secret show at the Surrey University Gymnasium in Guildford. John Sebastian, then Keith's house guest, plays harmonica on stage with The Who during the encore. It is followed on the 10th by the final secret concert at the Elliot Masters House at Kent University.

Also on the 9th, New Musical Express carries a rather sober interview with Keith about rock and drumming for The Who.

And again on the 9th, John's first solo album Smash Your Head Against The Wall is finally released by Decca/MCA in the U.S. It peaks at &126.

On the 12th, BBC-2's The Old Grey Whistle Test airs the movie Summertime Blues featuring The Who's Woodstock performances of "See Me Feel Me," "Summertime Blues" and the end of "My Generation."

Let's See Action Netherlands picture sleeve 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," is 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. It peaks at #34 in Billboard and #24 in Cash Box.

Also this month, Polydor releases "Baba O'Riley" as a single in continental Europe and Australia/New Zealand. It peaks at #13 in the Netherlands charts.

Dave Marsh writes "A Who primer" for Creem in the manner of a grade-school reader.

Pete Townshend Melody Maker 16 Oct 1971 Pete Townshend Melody Maker 16 Oct 1971

On the 16th, Melody Maker has the article: "The Raver: by the light of the looning Moon" about John Sebastian's appearance onstage during a Who concert and Keith meeting him at Heathrow dressed as a chauffeur. There is also 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.

The Who 1971 UK tour ad The Who 1971 UK tour ad

On the 18th, The Who have a chance to show off that higher quality show as The Who's fully-promoted British tour begins at the Guild Hall in Southampton. From there they go to the Odeon Cinema in Birmingham (20th) and Green's Playhouse in Glasgow (21st). In Glasgow Keith taunts the crowd with a police bullhorn so Pete throws him to the floor and pours vodka down the bullhorn to silence him.

From there it's on to the Blackpool Opera House (22nd) where The High Numbers opened for The Beatles seven years before and Liverpool University (23rd), The Who's last university performance in the U.K. until 2006.

Also on the 23rd Melody Maker prints an interview with Roger by Chris Welch called "Squire Daltrey" conducted at Roger's newly purchased country mansion. 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.

The Who Hull newspapaer report The Who Hull newspapaer report

The 24th finds The Who at Trentham Gardens in Stoke-on-Trent followed by the Odeon Cinema in Manchester (28th) and the ABC Cinema in Hull (29th). Before Hull, Keith says something offensive to a visiting Sandie Shaw so Pete gets in a loud argument with him and ends by stuffing Keith into a wardrobe and nailing him into it. This, of course, delays the performance and The Who have to shorten their set.

200 Motels poster 200 Motels poster

On the 29th, Frank Zappa's movie 200 Motels, featuring Keith playing a nun, has its world premiere at the Doheny Plaza in Beverly Hills, California.

Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy US cover 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.

Also on the 30th, Melody Maker carries a letter in response to Pete's October 16th response. The writer says he is not impressed by Pete's "self-conscious humility" and he should quit feeling guilty about being wealthy and just make good music.

Billboard reports that "Won't Get Fooled Again" has hit #5 in Israel and made it to #1 in Singapore.

The month wraps up with a performance at the Odeon Cinema in Newcastle on the 30th.

October 1966 (50 years ago)

New records: "Good Vibrations" - The Beach Boys; "You Keep Me Hangin' On" - The Supremes; "Devil With a Blue Dress On & Good Golly Miss Molly" - Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels; "Gimme Some Lovin'" - The Spencer Davis Group

On the 1st, The Who fill in for a kancelled Kinks gig at the Imperial Ballroom in Nelson.

Pete Townshend DandME Oct 66 Pete Townshend DandME Oct 66

The same day 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.

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

John Entwistle in studio 1966 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.

On the 4th, "The Kids Are Alright" enters the Swedish Kvällstoppen sales charts where it will peak at #8.

On the 6th, the film of The Who's performance and backstage interviews shot at their 9 July show airs on the CBC-TV program Take 30.

Keith is interviewed about the new album in New Musical Express on the 7th. The article is called "Drummer Moon on zither, double track Who lp."

Oscar Join My Gang ad Oscar Join My Gang ad

On the same day, Oscar (a/k/a Paul Nichols) releases a 45 of a new Pete-composed song "Join My Gang." The song fails to chart.

Schhh You Know Who 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.

Who are they looking at? Who are they looking at?

Also on the 8th The Who play The Palais in Petersborough followed by the Pavilion in Bath (10th) a show that is filmed by CBS-TV for the show CBS Reports. It is not known whether this film ever aired.

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.

On the 12th, The Who head over the Channel to Amsterdam to pre-tape a mime job to "I'm A Boy" for the Nederland 2 TV show Waauw at the Bellevue Studios at the Leidseplein. That night they play the Club 192 in The Hague-Scheveningen.

On the 14th, The Who head back into IBC Studios to record a medley of "My Generation" and "Land of Hope And Glory" for their upcoming Ready Steady GO! TV special. They ultimately record a second pass combining "My Generation" with "Rule Britannia" that is used during the actual program. This day's recording remains unreleased until 1995.

That night The Who drive up to Leeds to perform at an all-night dance and barbeque at Queens Hall. Their performance, starting at midnight, sparks a riot.

The week a WHO boy... The week a WHO boy...

On the 15th they play the Corn Exchange in Chelmsford. The same day John is interviewed in both Record Mirror and Disc & Music Echo. He's already complaining about being tagged as "the quiet one."

Roger Daltrey Pete Townshend Ready Steady GO special 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 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."

With that behind them, Roger, John and Keith run off to Copenhagen on the 19th. Pete misses the flight as well as the press conference held at the Star Club. While there Helle Hellman interviews John for the Danish Beat magazine. John says his hearing is going and he has already developed the habit of seeming to listen and respond to people he cannot hear.

With Pete finally in town, The Who record another mime job of "I'm A Boy," "Substitute" and "My Generation" for the Danish TV show Klar i Studiet on the morning of the 20th having to borrow instruments from the group The Tages.

John Entwistle Roger Daltrey Hlev Hallen John Entwistle Roger Daltrey Hlev Hallen

That evening is a concert at Helev Hallen in Copenhagen. There is a riot during the show and afterwards, Keith swings from a pipe in his dressing room and pulls it down, flooding the backstage.

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."

The Who Stockholm 1966 The Who Stockholm 1966

That night The Who continue their European tour with two shows at the Konserthallen in Liseberg, Gothenburg, Sweden followed by two shows on the 22nd, first at Gislöv Stjärna in Simrishamn, Sweden then at Jägersbo-Höör in Höör, Sweden. On the 23rd, two more shows, the first and afternoon show at MFF-Stadion in Malmö, Sweden followed by an evening show at the Fyens Forum in Odense, Denmark. The next day has them at the Folkparken in Halmstad, Sweden followed by the Club Nalen in Stockholm on the 25th, The latter show is recorded and still exists. The Who return to London the next day.

Who disc row ends 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.

The same day, The Who fly over to Lyon, France to represent Great Britain at the British Trade Fair gala at the Palais d'Hiver de Lyon. Also representing with a performance are Screaming Lord Sutch and the Stormsville Shakers.

Billboard reports that "I'm a Boy" has reached #3 in the Netherlands.

Two days later (30th), The Who play The Sportspalast in Berlin. This disastrous show has The Who only performing for twelve minutes and afterwards they are thrown out of the Berlin Hilton for "bad behavior". According to Pete much later, this "bad behavior" is the first time that Keith demolishes a hotel room. Afterwards, Keith starts chatting up the local girls at the Sportspalast. Their dates show up, so Keith tells Who manager Chris Stamp and road manager Neville Chester to "talk to them" and runs off. Chris and Neville get beaten up in Keith's stead.

The Who then cancel an appearance on German TV's Beat Club to run back to London for more album recording. During this period they 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 1956 (60 years ago)

New records: "Love Me Tender" - Elvis Presley; "The Green Door" - Jim Lowe; "Singing The Blues" - Guy Mitchell
Acton County Grammar 1998 Acton County Grammar 1998
Photo: Brian Cady

Pete and John enter Form 1 at Acton County Grammar. Not long after this they meet, become friends and start up the first of several after-school bands.

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