Personalities | The Who | Live & Loud (1966) | Key Events
Townshend’s Drug Confession
The Who’s hedonistic lifestyle and use of illicit substances were already newsworthy. Their mod fans embraced drug use as part of their lifestyle and it seemed only fitting that a band mirroring its audience should follow suit. Daltrey had already discovered – to his cost – the extent of the problem, and Townshend elaborated on it further when he appeared on the first edition of the TV show A Whole Scene Going on 5 January 1966. In front of a live audience, he stated that the band used drugs regularly and were ‘blocked’ a lot of the time. The confession created a minor furore.
‘A Legal Matter’
Despite efforts by Lambert and Stamp to improve the contractual situation with Decca and Talmy, the duo felt stymied at every turn. As a last-ditch measure they consulted lawyers and decided to break the contract, signing a temporary agreement with Robert Stigwood for record distribution on his Reaction label in the UK and with ATCO in the US. The first release was the Townshend-produced ‘Substitute’ instead of the intended Talmy production ‘Circles’. Talmy sought an injunction and, three days after the release of ‘Substitute’, The Who’s original label released ‘A Legal Matter’ – no doubt completely unaware of the irony.
Battle With Talmy
After the promise of the previous year, 1966 proved to be one of frustration, with a prolonged court battle that effectively stopped the band releasing any new material for more than five months – a lifetime as far as the charts were concerned. Despite flirting with Rolling Stones representatives Andrew Oldham and Allen Klein, The Who managed to extricate themselves from Talmy’s grasp in August 1966. The price of freedom was dear, however – an out-of-court settlement which included an agreement that Talmy would receive five per cent on all Who recordings over the following five years. It was a millstone the group begrudgingly accepted.
Although the magazine Disc ran an article on 19 March stating that Keith was going to be engaged to a dancer from Ready, Steady, Go!, this was nothing more than a subterfuge, as he had actually married his girlfriend Kim Kerrigan two days earlier at Brent Registry Office. Kim was pregnant at the time, and their daughter Amanda Jane (Mandy) was born on 12 July, when Keith was still only aged 19. Marriage and fatherhood didn’t stop him being a face around the London party scene, however, and the couple split in 1973. The divorce was finalized in April 1975.
With the enforced studio layoff, The Who continued their relentless schedule of live work. At the time there was little option as it was their main revenue stream. In between gigs they fitted in TV work, including shows filmed in France. On 20 March they also appeared on the cover of the Observer Sunday supplement, photographed by Colin Jones, with Townshend sporting a Union jacket. In April they set out on their...
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