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The inauspicious backdrop of Acton County Grammar School provided the foundation for one of the world’s most exciting, articulate, explosive and entertaining rock’n’roll bands – The Who. Roger Daltrey (b. 1944), John Entwistle (1944–2002) and Pete Townshend (b. 1945) showed a proclivity towards music at an early age and came together when Entwistle and Townshend joined Daltrey’s band, ...

Source: The Who Revealed, by Matt Kent
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The Who became embroiled in legal proceedings with their record company and producer. Finally extricated from a restrictive contract, the group launched into a period of creative brilliance, spurred on by Townshend’s eloquence and knack for writing the perfect pop single. Encouraged by Lambert and influenced by classical composers such as Purcell and Scarlatti, Townshend experimented with elaborate ...

Source: The Who Revealed, by Matt Kent
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Tommy proved to be The Who’s salvation. Whilst it did not make an immediate impact, subsequent performances – including headline slots at the Woodstock and Isle Of Wight festivals – catapulted the group into superstardom. They rewrote the rule book when it came to live shows, and raised the rock bar so high that few could follow. The intended ...

Source: The Who Revealed, by Matt Kent
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The band’s decision to continue, with Kenney Jones on drums, raised a few eyebrows. At first they proved the sceptics wrong by demonstrating that The Who were still an unstoppable live force. The honeymoon period came to an abrupt halt at the end of 1979, however, when tragedy struck in Cincinnati and 11 fans died. The new ...

Source: The Who Revealed, by Matt Kent
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After the farewell tour of 1982, Pete Townshend made it clear that he wanted out of the band and a complete break-up followed. Despite misgivings, they agreed to play Live Aid in the summer of 1985 and, although a messy affair, the gig did get the band talking again and the subject of 25th anniversary celebrations were ...

Source: The Who Revealed, by Matt Kent
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Origins Of The Band Acton County Grammar School in West London would not, on the face of it, seem a likely melting pot of teenage angst. But it was here that Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and John Entwistle – having served their apprenticeships with various bands – came together as The Detours in 1962. Although they enjoyed some ...

Source: The Who Revealed, by Matt Kent
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January Townshend’s Drug Confession The Who’s hedonistic lifestyle and use of illicit substances were already newsworthy. Their mod fans embraced drug use as part of their lifestyle and it seemed only fitting that a band mirroring its audience should follow suit. Daltrey had already discovered – to his cost – the extent of the problem, and Townshend elaborated on it ...

Source: The Who Revealed, by Matt Kent
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March ‘Pinball Wizard’ After all the talk about Tommy, the first recording, ‘Pinball Wizard’, was released on 7 March 1969 in the UK. Reaching No. 4 in the charts, it failed to topple Peter Sarstedt’s ‘Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?’. In the US, the single was released in a picture-cover sleeve that stated ‘from the ...

Source: The Who Revealed, by Matt Kent
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January Kenney Jones Joins The Who The Who without Keith Moon was hard to imagine. No other drummer in the history of rock music had treated the drums so badly and yet played them so well, turning them into a lead instrument. He was surely an impossible act to follow. Daltrey, Townshend and Entwistle thought otherwise, and quickly ...

Source: The Who Revealed, by Matt Kent
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July Live Aid Two and a half years after the final show of their farewell tour, The Who reunited to play Live Aid at Wembley Stadium on 13 July 1985. The worldwide event, masterminded by Bob Geldof’s Band Aid charity, was to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. The band’s four-song performance was little short of shambolic ...

Source: The Who Revealed, by Matt Kent
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August–October The High Numbers With Moon in place behind the drums, the transformation within the band was remarkable. Slightly younger than the others, Moon exuded a confidence that rubbed off on his band mates. A new publicist was in the offing too, when Pete Meaden, a mod evangelist, saw a chance to take the band and ...

Source: The Who Revealed, by Matt Kent
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January Saville Theatre Concerts With a new record label (Lambert and Stamp’s Track Records) and the lure of America ahead, the year started well. The Who appeared at the Saville Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue for one of Brian Epstein’s Sunday Soundarama shows. Playing two performances on 29 January, the supporting bill included Track stablemates The Jimi Hendrix Experience, ...

Source: The Who Revealed, by Matt Kent
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January Moon’s Chauffeur Killed The highs of the Sixties quickly dissipated at the onset of the new decade. On 4 January, Keith Moon attended the opening of a nightclub in Hertfordshire. When he was leaving, a group of youths began kicking his car. The driver, Cornelius ‘Neil’ Boland, jumped out to clear a pathway and was knocked ...

Source: The Who Revealed, by Matt Kent
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March European Tour 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 ...

Source: The Who Revealed, by Matt Kent
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February BPI Lifetime Achievement Award Live Aid would prove to be the band’s only live outing for a further three years. They once again reunited on 8 February 1988 to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry. The ceremony, at the Royal Albert Hall, included a three-song set comprising ‘My Generation’, ‘Substitute’ and ‘Who Are You’. ...

Source: The Who Revealed, by Matt Kent
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