Personalities | The Who | Remixed (1979) | Key Events
Kenney Jones Joins The Who
The Who without Keith Moon was hard to imagine. No other drummer in the history of rock music had treated the drums so badly and yet played them so well, turning them into a lead instrument. He was surely an impossible act to follow. Daltrey, Townshend and Entwistle thought otherwise, and quickly decided that they would continue. In December 1978 they announced that Kenney Jones, a long-time friend and ex-Small Faces drummer, would join the band as a permanent member.
Live At The Rainbow
The Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park was the unassuming venue chosen for the debut of the new Who, eight months after Keith Moon’s death. Although the choice of Jones had been questioned in some circles, their arrival back on the live stage was eagerly anticipated. The mod revival was peaking, and the streets around the venue were speckled with scooters and fishtail parkas – and a whole new audience. Alongside Jones, John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick completed the new line-up on keyboards. Some of the faces may have changed but on stage it appeared that very little had, as the band ripped through their back catalogue.
The Secret Policeman’s Ball
At the end of June Pete Townshend appeared at Amnesty International’s ‘Secret Policeman’s Ball’ at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London. An inebriated Townshend performed two solo numbers, ‘Pinball Wizard’ and ‘Drowned’, before being joined by classical guitarist John Williams for ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’. The following month he put in an appearance with a one-off band at the ‘Rock Against Racism’ show at the Rainbow, which raised funds for the legal defence of youths arrested at an anti-racism demonstration in London.
The Kids Are Alright
The film biopic had endured a tortuous production schedule and turned out to be an unhappy shoot for everyone involved, resulting in accusations and counter-accusations for years to follow. With Moon’s death, however, it also acted as a tribute to a man whose antics had provided the newspapers with countless headlines. The film reinforced what many of them had missed – that Moon’s talent outshone those often-lurid stories. Its London premiere in June saw a crowd of 4,000 gathered outside the Rialto Cinema.
Quadrophenia Film Released
Three months later, The Who Films released their next venture, Quadrophenia. The fruits of the band’s investment in the British Film Industry were beginning to show, and Quadrophenia was released with perfect timing, catching the zeitgeist of the mod revival gripping the UK. Bands such as The Jam and The Lambrettas appeared in the charts, ensuring a ready-made audience for Townshend’s tale of teenage angst. A huge hit in UK cinemas, its transition across the pond was less successful than that of its predecessor, due mainly to the leading characters’ broad cockney accents.
Headlining At Wembley
To celebrate the new line-up and a return to the road, the band played a huge show at Wembley Stadium on the August bank holiday weekend, supported by...
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