Personalities | The Who | Rock Gods (1978) | Key Events
Last Show With Moon
Disappointed with the results at Kilburn, director Jeff Stein requested a further shot at capturing the band’s live prowess on film. On 25 May the cameras once again rolled as the band performed a private show at Shepperton Studios. Originally scheduled for just three numbers, the band went on to play a complete show, on much better form. The audience, which included members of The Sex Pistols, The Rich Kids and The Pretenders, not only witnessed the band firing on all four cylinders but were also, unknowingly, watching the last show at which the original members would ever perform together.
‘Who Are You’
The first new material in almost three years hit the shops on 14 July with the release of the single ‘Who Are You’. Moon had returned to live in Britain and, with the film wrapping up and a new album in the can, the band’s future looked assured for the first time in a number of years. On 1 August Townshend and Moon attended ‘Who’s Who’, an exhibition at the ICA to mark the group’s 15th anniversary. It was a bittersweet event, as the news filtered through that Pete Meaden, the influential figurehead from those early days, had died a few days previously, aged just 36.
Who Are You
Recording for the album had commenced the previous September but turned out to be a prolonged affair. Townshend had publicly stated that he no longer wished to undergo long tours with the band. Moon moved back to London but was woefully out of shape in the studio. Entwistle provided three songs for the album, a contribution that underlined Townshend’s growing disenchantment. Daltrey took his frustrations out on Glyn Johns, who he insisted was overproducing the record. Released almost a year after the sessions began, the cover shows Moon sitting in a chair marked ‘Not To Be Taken Away’.
Quadrophenia Filming Begins
Production on the long-awaited celluloid version of Quadrophenia had started earlier in the year when Bill Curbishley picked up the reins from Chris Stamp. After considering various directors he settled for Franc Roddam, who had impressed him with his work on TV. Although none of the band was to star in the film, the image and sound of The Who would loom large. Virtually unknown actors were cast in the roles and New Musical Express ran competitions for fans to star as extras. The soundtrack was overseen by Entwistle, Daltrey and Townshend as musical directors.
Death Of Keith Moon
Seemingly having more lives than the proverbial cat, Keith Moon finally succumbed to his excesses on 7 September. Having attended the premiere of The Buddy Holly Story in London, Moon and his girlfriend, Annette Walter-Lax, left the event early to return to their rented flat in Mayfair. He retired after taking Heminevrin, which had been prescribed to help kick his alcohol addiction. At 3.40 p.m. Annette found him dead. An open verdict was recorded at the inquest 11...
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