Tag Archive: History of The Who

Dec 24 2011

Popular Culture (Music) 20111223: A Brief History of The Who

The year 1970 was a roller coaster for The Who.  The success of Tommy, both in record sales and in touring revenue, were making them rich.  Not just doing OK, but rich.  However, the year started with a real tragedy, and probably marked the beginning of the end of the band, but no one knew it at the time.

Actually, there were two events that presaged the decline, but the one on 19700104 was the actual tragedy.  What I find interesting is that this event, which really happened, is not nearly as well know as the one about Moon driving the car into the swimming pool at the Holiday Inn the previous year, which as we discussed last week, never happened.

Dec 17 2011

Popular Culture (Music) 20111216: A Brief History of The Who

Hello, boys and girls!  Last week, until my ill advised outburst, we were finishing up 1968.  Actually, I think that some of their finest work was done then, but their commercial success was not as much as they would have liked, and Townshend in particular was in sort of a crisis of his ability to write and delivers songs that would chart well.

There were other things going on as well.  Please remember the it was Daltrey who invited Townshend to join HIS band, and by the end of 1968 is was pretty clear that Daltrey was not the “owner” of the band any more, Townshend was.  Daltrey had always been pugnacious, but he recognized that under the leadership of Townshend The Who was much more successful than The Detours ever would have been.

There were some other dynamics as well, as Kit Lambert began to spiral out of control with drink and narcotics, hard narcotics.  This was not full blown at the end of 1968, but the die had been cast and Townshend was well on his way to being the undisputed leader.

Dec 10 2011

Popular Culture (Music): A Brief History of The Who. Part III

Our last installment in this series appeared on 201111.  This took us up to about the middle of 1967, and we shall pick up where we stopped.

They had been recording material for what ended up being The Who Sell Out, and some singles from that effort appeared beginning in September.  However, they also did a tour in the US and Canada.

Nov 26 2011

Popular Culture 20111125: A Brief History of The Who. Part II

Last week we started this series, beginning in 1958 and going through early 1966.  This week we shall cover to the end of 1967.  The reason for the shorter timeframe is that the band were much busier and beginning to know real success beginning then, with a really good year in 1967.

Last week I failed to mention that Keith Moon married Patsy Kerrigan on 19660317.  He nicknamed her “Kim”, which stayed with her for the rest of her life.  She was killed in an automobile accident in 2006.  I apologize for the oversight.

I also neglected to report this piece of trivia about “Substitute”.  In the original US release on 19660402, the line in the original that goes “I look all white, but my dad was black.”  Was altered to “I try going forward but my feet walk back.”  I strongly suspect that this was because the Atco executives (this was the only song released by Atco with The Who) feared reprisal from the bigots in the US.

In any event, let us take up where we left off, more or less, last week.

Nov 19 2011

Popular Culture 20111118: A Brief History of The Who. Part I

In this series about The Who we have reviewed all of their albums through Who are You, and I chose to stop there because the band were just not the same after the death of Keith Moon.  We shall now go back and look at the formation of the band, their rise to fame, and their slow decline after the release of Who’s Next.

Tonight we shall concentrate on their meeting and early success, ending with the departure of the really shady Shel Talmey in 1966.  Most people are not really aware of how far back some of the band members actually went, and how the band came to be in its lineup of Roger Daltrey, John Enwistle, Keith Moon, and Peter Townshend.  There were two others who, although they did not play or sing or write, were absolutely essential to the evolution of the band into what it became.