Personalities | The Who | Up & Running (1965) | Key Events
‘I Can’t Explain’
‘I Can’t Explain’ was released in the UK on 15 January 1965. Despite little publicity from the record company (Decca in the US and its subsidiary Brunswick in the UK), it reached No. 8 in the UK charts, although it only just nudged the Top 100 in the US. Lambert and Stamp took it upon themselves to publicize the record with TV and radio slots, but even with a Top 10 success it became clear that the contracts signed with Decca and Orbit were restrictive and not in the band’s favour. Certainly little was coming back in the way of royalties.
Ready, Steady, Go!
The Who made their TV debut on the seminal show Ready, Steady Go! on 29 January 1965. Lambert – ever the opportunist – managed to talk the producer into recruiting the audience from the Marquee for the taping of the show, guaranteeing the band a fantastic reception. It worked magnificently and The Who became regulars on the programme right up until the final show, Ready, Steady, Goes!, in December 1966. RSG! allowed the band to be seen by audiences outside their London stronghold and played an important role in popularizing the band both in the UK and abroad.
‘Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere’
Described by Townshend as ‘orderly disorder’, ‘Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere’ – released in the UK on 21 May 1965 – was the perfect aural description of The Who’s anarchic stage act. Townshend began to see himself as a mirror of his audience, and whereas ‘I Can’t Explain’ had delved into the insecurities of the teenagers he found himself performing to on stage, the new record was a two-and-a-half-minute exploration of the bravado and newfound confidence of British youth, happy to cast aside the shackles of previous generations. The single charted at No. 10.
Richmond Jazz Festival
The Who appeared at the prestigious Richmond Jazz and Blues Festival on 6 August 1965. Earlier the same day they had recorded another slot for Ready, Steady, Go! without singer Roger Daltrey, who had been taken ill with glandular fever a few days previously. However, the evening show took place with the band at full strength. They had recently recorded a segment for Shindig!, a US music show whose crew were also filming at the festival. Footage of the band appeared on the Shindig! Goes To London! special, which aired in the US on 9 December 1965.
Internal conflicts within the band were becoming more public, which of course helped raise the band’s profile. However, the tensions were serious enough to threaten their survival. The hostilities came to a head during a riotous September tour of Denmark, when founding member Roger Daltrey was fired following a backstage fight which saw the singer flush Keith Moon’s supply of drugs down the toilet. Out of the band and living in the back of his van, Daltrey had a change of heart, swallowed his pride and asked to be taken back,...
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