Personalities | The Who | Remixed (1980) | Key Events
The concerts the year before had gained critical acclaim. The new line-up, complemented by a horn section, had allowed the band to be less structured on stage, and they set off on another short European jaunt in March. This time, though, the band return to a more rigid set list and some of the previous opportunities for improvisation had disappeared. Off stage, Pete Townshend picked up where Keith Moon had left off and began to party heavily – delving deeper into the world of drugs and alcohol. He also moved into a new flat in King’s Road rather than return to his Twickenham family home.
Townshend’s Empty Glass
The ailing songwriter released Empty Glass in April 1980. Whereas his previous solo efforts – Who Came First and Rough Mix – were collaborations or devotional in nature, this one was full of new Townshend compositions that were powerful, emotional and honest, highlighting his own demons and struggles. The album had been written over the previous two years and represented a move away from his traditional writing for the band, although its release would cause a disturbance within it. A single, ‘Let My Love Open The Door’, became a Top 10 hit in the US. Townshend dedicated the album to his wife Karen.
Tour Of The US And Canada
The opening show of the North American tour, on 14 April, coincided with the UK release of Empty Glass. That show at the PNE Coliseum in Vancouver reportedly received enough requests to fill 3.2 million seats (with only 16,000 available) and was a testament to the band’s box-office credentials. The venue owners even applied to have it included in the Guinness Book Of Records as the largest mail-order response to a single music event. Townshend’s drug use became noticeable on stage during the tour, causing performances that were both erratic and brilliant.
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