Personalities | The Who | Reunited & Revitalized (1996) | Key Events
Tommy On The London Stage
After the success of Tommy on Broadway, Pete Townshend moved the production to London’s West End, where it opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 5 March. During rehearsals in North Acton, Pete took time out to give a lengthy interview to Naked Eye fanzine, in which he spoke about the production and The Who in what was his most revealing dialogue in a long time. The show emulated its success on Broadway, garnering many theatre awards, with the Independent labelling it ‘a brave, outlandish, unmissable show’. It ran at the Shaftesbury until 8 February 1997.
Quadrophenia In Hyde Park
The Who reunited to perform Quadrophenia for The Prince’s Trust charity in Hyde Park on 29 June 1996. However, at no stage was the band’s name mentioned in the advertising or on stage. It was simply billed as Quadrophenia. It was, however, performed by an all-star band that included Townshend, Entwistle and Daltrey (TED for short), as well as Zak Starkey and Simon Townshend, amongst others. It was the first time that the band had attempted the piece in its entirety live. The day-long event also included performances by Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton.
Quadrophenia On The Road
Although the Hyde Park show was initially planned as a one-off event, it sparked a six-night residency at Madison Square Garden in the band’s spiritual home of New York. The success of those shows convinced the band – still nameless at this point – to take the production on the road. Not using their name posed problems for local promoters trying to sell seats, however, and some resorted to producing posters with ‘The Who’ boldly emblazoned across them. Townshend, now suffering hearing problems, mainly played acoustic guitar, athough he progressed to electric as the tour went on.
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