Personalities | The Who | Rock Gods (1976) | Key Events


By Numbers Tour

The previous year had re-established The Who’s reputation as the premier live band. At the start of 1976 Townshend undertook a second pilgrimage to Meher Baba’s tomb, while a deteriorating Moon was admitted to hospital after suffering an epileptic fit caused by alcohol withdrawal. Mirroring events 10 years earlier, the band members also found themselves tied up in legal matters, this time with Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, who had filed court papers against them. Consequently, the reliance on live work dominated once again. At the end of February the By Numbers tour continued for a few dates in Europe.


Keith’s Second Collapse

The European shows were followed by a further trip to the States, where the band would spend much of the year. Here, history repeated itself, and the opening night of the tour in Boston proved memorable for the wrong reasons. During the second song, Moon collapsed behind his kit and had to be removed from the stage. Unlike in San Francisco, though, no volunteers were sought as a replacement and the show was cancelled, causing riotous behaviour from the crowd. At the time, the publicity machine gave out that Moon was suffering from flu, but this is unlikely to have been the real cause of his collapse.

The Tour Continues

The second show of the tour was put back a day to allow Moon to recover, and they took to the stage once again at Madison Square Garden on 11 March. The drummer found himself the centre of attention but played as if nothing had happened. Standing ovations and ecstatic reviews followed, and this became the norm for the rest of the tour, as American cities welcomed the band with open arms. However, Moon’s downward spiral – which began with the death of Neil Boland and intensified with his break-up from Kim – was becoming more evident.


Who Put The Boot In Concerts

Having helped pioneer stadium rock in the US, The Who arranged three huge shows back in the UK, playing at football stadia under the banner Who Put The Boot In. The mini-tour opened on 31 May with a return to Charlton Athletic and the show earned the band the title of ‘World’s Loudest Pop Group’ in the Guinness Book Of Records, although the event was spoiled by overcrowding and violence. The other shows took place in Glasgow and Swansea, the latter marking the last time Keith Moon would play with The Who on home turf before a paying audience.


US And Canada Tour

The second tour of North America began in August. Moon’s health was still a major cause for concern, and he was hospitalized in Miami for eight days after collapsing in his hotel room, suffering from ‘nervous exhaustion’. He later admitted that his drinking had become out of hand and that he was trying to cut back on doctor’s orders. Unlike previous tours, the shows didn’t sell out, mainly because of high ticket...

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