Personalities | The Who | Remixed (1979–82) | An Overview

The band’s decision to continue, with Kenney Jones on drums, raised a few eyebrows. At first they proved the sceptics wrong by demonstrating that The Who were still an unstoppable live force. The honeymoon period came to an abrupt halt at the end of 1979, however, when tragedy struck in Cincinnati and 11 fans died.

The new line-up released two albums but neither received the critical acclaim of the group’s previous efforts. They also invested heavily in the British film industry, releasing three movies, starting with the biopic The Kids Are Alright. Further successes came with a screen adaptation of Quadrophenia and McVicar, the story of one of Britain’s most notorious gangsters. Daltrey carved out a respectable acting career as a sideline. Meanwhile, Townshend had started using drugs regularly and was drinking to excess. He seemed intent on emulating Moon’s ‘hellraiser’ reputation, and ended up in hospital after taking a near-lethal cocktail of drugs. Entwistle and Jones had their share of personal issues too, as their marriages dissolved.

A radical shake-up was needed, and Townshend entered rehab. Tensions within the band resurfaced and Daltrey vented his frustrations towards Jones, making for unworkable relationships. Daltrey also believed that Townshend was sacrificing The Who in favour of his own solo work. A crisis meeting was held at Bill Curbishley’s house, at which they discussed shutting down the band in 1983. As events progressed, though, it became clear that closure would take place earlier than expected.

Personalities | Introducing The Who
Personalities | The Who | Remixed (1979) | Key Events


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