THE WHO


SEE ME FEEL ME!!!

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INDUCTED INTO THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME IN 1990

MEMBERS OF THE GROUP 
 Peter  Townshend 
Roger Daltrey 
John Entwistle
 Keith Moon

Roger Daltrey - Lead Vocals, Pete Townsend - Guitar/vocals, John Entwhisle -Bass, Keith Moon - Drums

 

WHO ARE YOU?


 

 

HISTORY OF THE GROUP

THE EARLY YEARS-----  The group basically started in western London in 1964 . The group was playing in their tavern called the Railway and Peter ;s leap into the air made his gitar smash into the low ceiling and to make it part of the act and not look foolish he smashed the gitar into his amp and the wild drummer Keith was happy to join right in and smashed his drums  , while roger also join into the fun and took the mikes and mike stands and smashed amps etc. This is how there crazy stage show end for years after due to how well the crowd reacted to it.   The Groups original name was The Detours until one night the manager of the club forgot their name and said the name of your group is the who ? and they paused for a second and said yes that is our name THE WHO!  The Groups early singles were produced by the Kinks producer and that is why they may sound simialr . The Group had mild hits with such songs as Can't Explain and Anyway, Anyhow but did not enjoy true stardom until they released their first Rock opera Tommy in 1969 after playing in the Monterey Pop festival and Woodstock the group had secured their place in rock history.

                                                    

IN THE EARLY YEARS THE WHO WOULD SPLASH THEIR INSTRUMENTS AT THE END OF THE SHOW!!

HISTORY OF THE GROUP

The Who began as The Detours, a band started by guitarist Roger Daltrey (born March 1st, 1944) in London in the summer of 1961. In early 1962 Roger recruited John Entwistle (born October 9th, 1944), a bass guitarist who had been playing in bands based at their mutual school of Acton County Grammar. John then suggested as an additional guitarist--his school and band friend Pete Townshend (born May 19th, 1945). The five-piece band also had Doug Sandom as drummer and Colin Dawson as singer. Colin soon left The Detours and Roger took over as singer. The group would remain as a three-piece band and singer through the late 1970's. The Detours started off performing covers of pop tunes, but quickly progressed to loud, hard-edged covers of American rhythm-and-blues. In early 1964, The Detours discovered a rival group also named The Detours, and decided to change their name. Pete's art school friend Richard Barnes suggested The Who and it was officially adopted. Shortly after this Doug Sandom was encouraged to leave the band and that April his seat was taken over by young maniacal drummer Keith Moon (born August 23rd, 1947). Moon, dressed all in ginger-colored clothing with hair dyed to match, had insisted on performing with The Who at a gig. He smashed their replacement drummer's foot pedal and was accepted into the band. The Who found another way to attract fans when Pete accidentally cracked the neck of his guitar on a low ceiling during a show. The next time they played there, fans called for Pete to smash his guitar again. He did and Keith followed it up by smashing his drum kit. Also around this time, Pete developed his windmilling style of guitar playing, adapting it from a stage move of Keith Richards. In May 1964, The Who were taken over by Pete Meaden. Meaden was big in a new British youth movement called the Mods, young men who dressed in stylish clothes and wore their hair short. Meaden renamed The Who The High Numbers. Numbers were what Mods called each other and the High implied both rank and use of "leapers," the speed tablets that Mods took to allow them to party all weekend. Meaden wrote The High Numbers' only single "I'm the Face" backed with "Zoot Suit." Both songs were old R&B songs with new lyrics about Mods. Despite his best efforts, the single failed, but the band became the Mods' favorite group. It was at this point that two men,Kit Lambert (son of composer Christopher Lambert) and Chris Stamp (brother of actor Terence Stamp), were looking for a band about whom they could make a film. They lighted on The High Numbers in July 1964 and became the band's new managers. After a failed audition for EMI Records, the band's name reverted to The Who. The Who made their first big splash in London after taking over the Tuesday night spot at the Marquee Club in November 1964. They were advertised all over London with black handbills designed by Richard Barnes featuring a windmilling Pete and the legend "Maximum R&B." Shortly after this Kit and Chris pushed Pete to begin writing songs for the group, specifically one to attract The Kinks' producer Shel Talmy. Pete adapted a song he had already written called "I Can't Explain" to The Kinks' style and won over Talmy. The Who signed a contract making Talmy their producer for the next five years. He in turn, signed them to Decca Records in the U.S. Pete's earliest songs were written to match Rogers macho stage posture. Roger was the leader of the group at the time, a position he controlled with his fists. Petes increasing abilities as a songwriter threatened that position, especially after the hit single "My Generation." It was a defining ode to the Mod outlook on life, with the singer stuttering from amphetamine-overdose crying out "I hope I die before I get old." With the single a hit in the charts in December 1965, Pete, John and Keith forced Roger out of the band because of his violent ways. Roger promised to be a "peaceful perce" from then on, and was accepted back. At the same time, The Who released their first album, also called "My Generation." However, distressed by Decca's lack of marketing of The Who's records in the U.S. and wishing to sign with Atlantic records, Kit and Chris broke the band's contract with Talmy and signed the band with Atlantic in the U.S. and Reaction in the U.K. Talmy struck back with countersuits, almost halting the release of the band's next single "Substitute." It was eventually settled with The Who paying record royalties for the next five years to Talmy and reverting to Decca in the U.S. This settlement, along with the band's extremely expensive act of equipment-smashing, soon left The Who in severe debt. Kit continued to push Pete as a songwriter. While playing one of his home demos to Kit, Pete joked that he was writing a "rock opera." Kit thought it was a wonderful idea, and sent Pete off to write one. His first attempt was called "Quads." Set in the future, it concerned parents who request four girls. When one turns out to be a boy, they insist on raising him as a girl. However, The Who's need for a new single caused this first rock opera to be compressed into one short song called "I'm a Boy." Meanwhile, as a means of making money, Kit had gotten an advance on The Who's next album with the proviso that each member of the band write two songs for it. Roger only managed one and Keith one and an instrumental. John, however, wrote two peculiar ditties, one about a "Whiskey Man" and the other about "Boris The Spider." It was the beginning of John as an alternate songwriter for the band, a songwriter with a dark sense of humor. The new album came up short for material, so Pete wrote a mini-opera to close the album. "A Quick One While He's Away" is the story of a woman who is seduced by Ivor the Engine Driver after her "man" has been gone for "nigh on a year." The album was named "A Quick One" both for the mini-opera and the slight sexual innuendo (for that reason it was renamed "Happy Jack," after the single, in the U.S.). With the lawsuit with Decca and Talmy finally settled, The Who were free to tour the U.S. They came over first for a series of quick shows at D.J. Murray The K's Easter concerts in New York. Their equipment-smashing, which they had abandoned in England, was revived and Americans were awed. It was the beginning of a rabid cult following in the U.S. They returned to the U.S. that summer to play at the Monterey Pop Festival in California which brought The Who to the attention of the San Francisco hippies and the rock music critics that would soon form Rolling Stone Magazine. Pete, with his constant pontificating, could always be relied upon for copy, and he helped sell the band in the U.S. as a "thinking man's" band. That summer they toured as an opening act for Herman's Hermits. It was on this tour that Keith's reputation as a hellraiser would be cemented at his 21st birthday party (when he was actually 20) held at an after-show party in a Holiday Inn in Flint, Michigan. All that actually happened was that birthday cake got mashed into the floor, a fire extinguisher was sprayed on cars, ruining their paint jobs, and Keith broke out a tooth when he slipped in the cake while running from the police. With time and many embellishments by Keith, this turned into an orgy of destruction climaxing with a Cadillac at the bottom of the hotel swimming pool. In any event, The Who were banned for life from Holiday Inns and this along with their occasional smashing up of hotel rooms became part of the band's and Keith's legend. While their fortunes increased in the U.S., their career began to nose-dive in the U.K. Their next single "I Can See For Miles," while their biggest single hit in the U.S., barely got into the Top Ten in Britain. Subsequent singles such as "Dogs" and "Magic Bus" did even less well. The album they released in December 1967, "The Who Sell Out," did not sell as well as their previous ones. It was a concept album designed to sound like a broadcast from the now-outlawed Radio London, an offshore pirate station, and would later be considered one of their best. During this downturn, Pete quit using drugs and turned to the teachings of Indian mystic Meher Baba. Pete would become Baba's most-famous disciple and his following work would reflect what he learned from Baba's teachings. One such idea was that those who can perceive earthly things are unable to perceive the world of God. From this Pete devised a story of a boy who becomes deaf, dumb and blind and removed from such earthly perceptions can then see God. When cured he becomes a messiah figure. The story eventually become known the world over as "Tommy." The Who worked on it from the summer of 1968 through to the following spring. It was a last ditch effort to save the band and give them a hit and material for their stage show. It would succeed beyond anyone's dream. When "Tommy" was released it was only a moderate hit. When The Who played it on stage, however, it became the highlight of their show. "Tommy's" big break occurred when The Who performed it at the Woodstock Music Festival in August 1969. The climax of the opera, "See Me, Feel Me," was played just as the sun rose over the festival. Captured on film and shown in the movie "Woodstock," "Tommy" and The Who became international sensations. Kit also found novel ways to promote the work, having The Who perform "Tommy" in opera houses in Europe and at the Met in New York. "Tommy" went on to have a life of its own spawning ballets and musicals. The band became so connected with the work that many thought the band was called "Tommy." Finding a follow up would prove a daunting task. In the meantime, Pete continued to make demos and work with a new musical instrument, an ARP synthesizer. To buy time before the next project, The Who recorded a live album at Leeds University. "Live At Leeds" became The Who second worldwide hit. By late 1970 Pete had the idea for the next project. Kit had made a film deal with Universal Studios for a Who film which he hoped would be "Tommy" with him directing. Pete instead came up with his own idea called "Lifehouse." It would be a science-fiction story about virtual reality and a boy who rediscovers rock music. The hero would hold an endless concert and at the end find the Lost Chord which would take them all to nirvana. Pete had The Who perform at open door concerts at the Young Vic Theatre in London. People were supposed to wander in and out of the concert while they and the band were filmed. Audience members would become part of the film, their life stories changed into computer sequences to be played on the synthesizer. What resulted was disappointing. The audience just called out for Who favorites and the rest of the band grew quickly bored. Pete's project was put on hold and The Who went into the studio to record the songs Pete had written for "Lifehouse." The two-record length work was whittled down to one album and the result was released as "Who's Next." It became another international hit and is considered by many as The Who's best album. "Baba O'Riley" and "Behind Blue Eyes" were radio staples and "Won't Get Fooled Again" became the band's closing song for the rest of their career. With growing fame, the members of The Who began to chafe under the burden of being the voice for Pete's songs. John was the first to launch a solo career with the album "Smash Your Head Against The Wall" released shortly before "Who's Next." He would continue to record solo albums through the early 1970's, giving vent to his dark humorous songs. Roger also began a solo career after building a studio in his barn. His album "Daltrey" yielded a Top Ten British single "Giving It All Away" and gave him a power in the band he hadn't had since he'd had to beg for his job at the end of 1965. Roger used his new power to launch an investigation into managers Kit Lambert's and Chris Stamp's financial practices. He discovered they had been misusing The Who's funds for years and worked to get rid of them. Pete, who looked on Kit as an artistic mentor, took Kit's side leading to a rift in the band. Pete, meanwhile, began work on the next Who rock opera. It was to be a history of The Who, but after a meeting with Irish Jack, who had followed the band since their Detours days, Pete made it into the story of a Who fan. It concerned Jimmy, a mod fan of The High Numbers in 1964. He works a dirty job to make money to buy a GS motorscooter, hip mod clothes and enough leapers to get him through the weekend. The heavy doses of speed cause his personality to split four ways, each personality represented by a member of The Who. His parents discover his pills and kick him out of the house. He travels to Brighton to relive Mod's glory days but finds the head Mod reduced to a lowly bellboy. In despair he takes a boat out to a rock in the sea in a violent storm and has an epiphany ("Love, Reign O'er Me"). "Quadrophenia" developed problems shortly after recording. It was to have been mixed for the new four-channel quadrophonic system, but the technology was too inadequate. Once mixed down to stereo, the rich sound tended to bury the vocals, to Roger's consternation. On stage The Who tried to recreate the sound by playing along to backing tapes. The tapes, however, refused to cooperate and often led to chaos. In addition to all this, Keith's wife left him shortly before the tour taking their daughter with her. Keith drowned his sorrows in booze and whatever else he could get his hands on. At the San Francisco show that opened the U.S. tour, Keith passed out in the middle of the show and was replaced by Scott Halpin, a member of the audience. Pete got no rest on his return to London. Production began immediately on the film of his rock opera "Tommy." Control of the film had been taken away from manager Kit Lambert and given to madman British filmmaker Ken Russell. Russell turned the work into a glittering comic book with guests stars like Elton John, Eric Clpaton, Tina Turner, Ann-Margaret and Jack Nicholson. The result was very gaudy and although it pleased few Who fans, it was a hit with the public. Two after-effects were that, playing the lead role, Roger became a star apart from the band which gave him much more leverage than he had had since 1965, and Pete worked himself into such a state that he had a nervous breakdown and began drinking even more heavily than usual. It all came to a head at the Madison Square Garden concerts held in June 1974. When the audience called for Pete to "jump, jump" he realized he no longer wanted to. The passion of performing with The Who was beginning to fade for him. This led to the next Who album, "The Who By Numbers." A dark, bitter look at Townshend's soul, the album was heralded by a vicious shouting match between Pete and Roger carried out in the British music press. The tours that followed in 1975 and 1976 seemed much more successful than the album. But there was a growing emphasis on playing the band's oldies and short shrift given to the new. After a particularly loud concert on this tour, Pete noticed he had a ringing in his ears that wouldn't stop. A trip to the doctor revealed that he tinnitus and would soon go deaf if he didn't cease touring. After 1976, The Who did stop touring. All that was left was the final break between The Who and their old managers. In early 1977 Pete signed the final papers dissolving The Who's ties to Lambert and Stamp. He left the meeting only to run into two members of the Sex Pistols, the new punk sensation that seemed to be the new broom that would finally sweep The Who away. It ended with Pete drunk in a doorway told to move on by a policeman. This became the song "Who Are You" the title track of the next Who album. After a two-year break from the recording studio, activity for the band began to increase. In addition to a new album, The Who were having a film made of their history that would eventually be released as "The Kids Are Alright." The Who even bought Shepperton Studios to film it in. However, when Keith returned from America after the hiatus, he was in sorry shape. He had gained a lot of weight, had become a severe alcoholic, and looked a decade older than his true age of 30. The Who completed the album and the film in 1978 with a concert held at Shepperton for Who fans on May 25th, 1978. Three months later the album was released to massive sales. Twenty days after that, on September 7th, Keith Moon died of an accidental overdose of pills he had been prescribed to control his alcoholism

 

WHO'S NEXT?


ROCK OPERA

 

ROCK OPERA= THE WHO

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TOMMY --- ROCK's First Opera --Cousin Kevin, The Acid Queen, Pinball Wizard, I'm Free, Tommy can you hear me, Holiday Camp and more!!
released in 1969

QUADROPHENIA---Rock's Second opera-- I am The sea, Cut MY Hair, I Had Enough, Doctor Jimmy ,I'm One ,The Dirty Jobs and more great songs!!!
released in 1973

 

 

ON VH1 Top 100 Album List

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WHO's NEXT

The album  was going to be another rock opera but Pete could not finsih the opera so he made this great album from the material. The album has such songs as: Baba O'Riley, Behind Blue Eyes, getting In Tune, Going Mobile, Won't Be Fooled Again, and many more great songs. !!
released in 1972


 

The Group really broke out into the main light stream when they played Woodstock!!

 

Other Great Albums

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The Group became even more famous after their appearance in Woodstock and was always famous for their wild concert style. I was luckly enough to see the group in one of the early concerts at Rosevelt Racetrack on Long Island Ny during the era where they smashed all their instruments at the end of the concert!

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HITS AND MORE HITS!!

 

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SONGS BY THE WHO

SOME SONGS BY THE WHO

Can't Explain

My Generation

Substitute

I'm A Boy

I Can See For Miles

Magic Bus

Pinball Wizard

The Seeker

Won't Get Fool Again

Who Are You

Squeeze Box

You Better , You Bet

Behind Blue Eyes

Join Together

 

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THE WHO at their 2000 summer concert at Jones Beach LI,  NY


 

 

TOMMY -THE ROCK OPERA

 

Tommy is the first of The Who's two full-scale rock operas (the second being Quadrophenia), and the first musical work explicitly billed as a rock opera. In some older publications it is called Tommy (1914–1984). Released in 1969, the opera was composed by Who guitarist Pete Townshend, with two tracks contributed by Who bassist John Entwistle and one fictitiously attributed to Who drummer Keith Moon, though actually written by Townshend. An earlier song by blues artist Sonny Boy Williamson II was also incorporated into the opera.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 96 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The album was also ranked 90 on VH1's 100 Greatest Albums of Rock & Roll and appears in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

When Tommy was released, critics were split between those who thought the album was a masterpiece, the beginnings of a new genre, and those that felt it was "sick" and exploitative because of its dark theme. The album was banned by the BBC and certain U.S. radio stations. Ultimately, the album became a huge commercial success, as did The Who's frequent live performances of the rock opera in the following years, elevating The Who to a new level of prestige and international stardom.

Although Tommy is conventionally described as a rock opera, author and Who historian Richard Barnes points out that this definition is not strictly correct, since Tommy does not utilise the classic operatic formulae of staging, scenery, acting and recitative. According to Barnes, Tommy could be more accurately described as a "rock cantata" or a "rock song cycle".

Musically, the original album is a complex set of pop-rock arrangements, generally based upon Townshend's acoustic guitar and built up with many overdubs by the four members of the band using many instruments, including bass, electric and acoustic guitars, piano, organ, drumkit, gong, tympani, trumpet, French horn, three-part vocal harmonies and occasional doubling on vocal solos. Despite this instrumental richness the sound tends to be very "stark", especially in comparison to the band's later work. Many of the instruments only appear intermittently -- the ten-minute "Underture" features a single toot on the horn -- and when overdubbed many of the instruments are mixed at low levels that require careful listening to notice. Townshend mixes fingerpicking in with his trademark power chords and fat riffs, and in some delicate moments his guitar sounds almost like a harpsichord. Moon's drumming is controlled with a few dramatic moments; Entwistle's bass provides support and effectively takes the instrumental lead in several cuts. Daltrey swaggers as lead vocalist, but shares that role with the others on a surprising number of tracks. Townshend's later interest in synthesizers is foreshadowed by the use of taped sounds played in reverse to give a whistling, chirping sound on "Amazing Journey."

"Amazing Journey" can be interpreted as the central pivot of Tommy, since its lyrics are essential to understanding what the opera is about (beyond the facile story line). "Go to the Mirror" is the climax of the opera both musically and dramatically; tradition holds that when the band was touring the show live the audiences would spontaneously stand up during "Go to the Mirror" and remain standing until the end—listening in silence, unlike the customary behavior of Who fans. "We're Not Gonna Take It / See Me, Feel Me / Listening to You" is the denouement, with its ambiguous return to the earlier state of the story reinforced in concert by returning to the riff from "Overture" and "Go to the Mirror" at the very end rather than the long fade from the studio recording. Various themes are repeated in different songs in order to give the opera a coherent feel.

The tracks "Overture", "Pinball Wizard", "I'm Free", and the "See Me, Feel Me / Listening to You" reprise were released as singles and got a decent amount of airplay. "Pinball Wizard" reached the top twenty in the U.S. and the top five in the UK. "See Me, Feel Me / Listening To You" landed high in the top twenty in the U.S. and "I'm Free" reached the top forty. The tracks "Overture", "Christmas", "I’m Free", and "See Me Feel Me" were released on an EP in late 1970. The "Overture" was also covered by a band called The Assembled Multitude and received a lot of airplay. Tommy was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.

The child abuse that features so prominently in the story caused a good deal of outcry when it was first released. It has often been claimed that the basic idea of the Tommy story was lifted from The Pretty Things' 1968 concept album S.F. Sorrow, and Townshend himself later admitted that he listened to the Pretty Things LP extensively and that it was a major inspiration for Tommy. Steve Marriott also claimed that some musical elements in Tommy were "borrowed" from the music of The Small Faces. Christian rock pioneer Larry Norman, in his official biography, states that "Pete Townshend credited Larry's own rock-opera, The Epic, for inspiring the rock-opera, Tommy, recorded by The Who". Notwithstanding the numerous outside influences, several structural precedents for Tommy exist in Townshend's own work, including "Glow Girl" (1968), "Rael" (1967), and the sectional work "A Quick One While He's Away" (1966).

A couple of years before the album came out Pete Townshend explained his ideas and apparently actually thought out some of the structure of the opera during a famous Rolling Stone interview. John Entwistle claimed years after the release that he had never actually listened to the album because he was so sick of it after the endless takes and re-takes.


 

 


THE WHO ALBUMS

USA - Decca 1966 LP (Mono)

UK - 1966 Reaction LP (Front Cover) USA release later

 

USA - 1967 Decca LP (front cover)

 

UK - 1972 Polydor LP--Alternate Cover

 

USA - 1969 Decca LP

 

 

USA - 1970 Decca LP
 
USA - 1971 Decca LP

 

USA - 1973 MCA LP

 

USA--MCA --1978

 

 

USA - 1975 MCA LP

 

USA - 1985 MCA CD

 

UK - 1979 Polydor LP MCA -USA LP

 

USA - 1985 MCA LP

 

THE GROUP DID RELEASE OTHER ALBUMS

 

MEMBERS HAVE ALSO RELEASED SOLO ALBUMS

 

 

 

WHO BY NUMBERS

 


 

LIFEHOUSE

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Pete's project was put on hold and The Who went into the studio to record the songs Pete had written for "Lifehouse." The two-record length work was whittled down to one album and the result was released as "Who's Next." It became another international hit and is considered by many as The Who's best album. "Baba O'Riley" and "Behind Blue Eyes" were radio staples and "Won't Get Fooled Again" became the band's closing song for the rest of their career. With growing fame, the members of The Who began to chafe under the burden of being the voice for Pete's songs. John was the first to launch a solo career with the album "Smash Your Head Against The Wall" released shortly before "Who's Next." He would continue to record solo albums through the early 1970's, giving vent to his dark humorous songs. Roger also began a solo career after building a studio in his barn. His album "Daltrey" yielded a Top Ten British single "Giving It All Away"

IF YOU PURCHASE THE DELUXE CD SET OF WHO'S NEXT IT CONTAINS MORE SONGS FROM PETE'S LIFEHOUSE ROCK OPERA WHICH NEVER SAW THE LIGHT!

The Story of the Lifehouse

The ‘Lifehouse’ idea really was very simple. It was a portentous science fiction film with Utopian Spiritual messages into which were to be grafted up lifting scenes from a real Who concert. I was selling a simple credo: Whatever happens in the future, rock ‘n’ roll will save the world.

Lifehouse began as a story written around several songs. Pete Townshend: "The essence of the story-line was a kind a futuristic scene…It’s a fantasy set at a time when rock ’n’ roll didn’t exist. The world was completely collapsing and the only experience that anybody ever had was through test tubes. They lived TV programs, in a way. Everything was programmed. The enemies were people who gave us entertainment intravenously, and the heroes were savages who’d kept rock ‘n’ roll as a primitive force and had gone to live with it in the woods. The story was about these two sides coming together and having a brief battle."

Under those circumstances, a very, very, very old guru figure emerges and says ‘I remember rock music. It was absolutely amazing—it really did something to people.’ He spoke of a kind of nirvana people reached through listening to this type of music. The old man decides that he’s going to try to set it up so that the effect can be experienced eternally. Everybody would be snapped out of their programmed environment through this rock and roll-induced liberated selflessness. The Lifehouse was where the music was played and where the young people would collect to discover rock music as a powerful catalyst—a religion as it were. "Then I began to feel ‘Well, why just simulate it? Why not try and make it happen?’"

The plan was for The Who to take over a theater [the Young Vic] with a regular audience, develop the new material onstage and allow the communal activity to influence the songs and performances. Individuals would emerge from the audience and find a role in the music and the film. When the concerts became strong enough, they would be filmed along with other peripheral activity from the theater. A story-line would evolve alongside the music. Although the finished film was to have many fictitious and scripted elements, the concert footage was to be authentic, and would provide the driving force for the whole production.

Pete went wild, working out a complex scenario whereby a personal profile of each concert-goer would be worked out, from the individual’s astrological chart to his hobbies, even physical appearance. All the characteristics would then be fed into a computer at the same moment, leading to one musical note culminating in mass nirvana that Pete dubbed ‘a kind of celestial cacophony.’ This philosophy was based on the writings of Inayat Khan, a Sufi master musician who espoused the theory that matter produces heat, light, and sound in the form of unique vibrations. Taking the idea one step further, making music, which was composed of vibrations, was the pervading force of all life. Elevating its purpose to the highest level, music represented the path to restoration, the search for the one perfect universal note, which once sounded would bring harmony to the entire world. Despite Pete’s grandiose plans, the project had its problems. The theater had its own schedule of drama productions, and wasn’t available on a regular nightly schedule that Townshend insisted was necessary for the band to sustain a "euphoric level" of performance. Pete: "The fatal flaw…was getting obsessed with trying to make a fantasy a reality rather than letting the film speak for itself." Eventually Pete had to let go of Lifehouse for his own sake.

Pete’s inability to translate the ideas in his head to those around him eventually led to a nervous breakdown. "It was a disaster." No one apart from himself actually understood the whole concept of Lifehouse. Kit Lambert, an integral part of the communication between the members of The Who, was missing. Pete had rejected a Tommy film script written by Lambert. Kit, dejected, frustrated and hurt, had moved to New York. With Tommy, Lambert had served as Townshend’s "interpreter," explaining "to the willing but befuddled people around me what I was on about." The film was indefinitely postponed until the album had been issued. The band went to Glyn Johns to produce their collection of songs, intended for a double album. They decided to shelf most of the songs in favor of a single album, hoping that it would have "a sharper focus and greater impact" than the concept of Lifehouse had become.

 

SONG LISTING OF LIFEHOUSE

BABA O’RILEY

The slated opening of "Lifehouse." This song is a reference to the mental and spiritual pollution at the hands of the neo-fascist Big Brother government.

BABY DON’T YOU DO IT

Mary decides to leave her suit and go to the Theater instead of being plugged in via the Grid.

BARGAIN

About the search for personal identity amid a sea of conformity. This song is one of the most obvious examples of tunes that were written by Pete as a prayer to his spiritual mentor Meher Baba.

BEHIND BLUE EYES

About how the villain of "Lifehouse" feels on being forced to play a two-faced role, branded a bad guy when he feels that he is doing good.

GETTING IN TUNE

Perhaps about gearing up for a show at the Lifehouse, and Bobby’s feelings for Mary.

GOIN' MOBILE

I DON'T EVEN KNOW MYSELF

This song seems to be Townshend’s way of saying: listen, don’t try to judge me, to overanalyze me. How can you think that you have me figured out, when I can’t even figure myself out?

JOIN TOGETHER

Another central "Lifehouse" song, about the hopes that under the right circumstances, performer and audience would ‘join together’ and become one.

LET'S SEE ACTION

LOVE AIN'T FOR KEEPING

MARY

NAKED EYE

PURE AND EASY The pivotal song of "Lifehouse." Much like Amazing Journey from "Tommy," Pure and Easy is the most important song of the concept, and embodies the main idea of "Lifehouse."

PUT THE MONEY DOWN

Lament about the lack of connection between the performer and the audience.

RELAY

THE SONG IS OVER The climax to "Lifehouse." Second to Pure and Easy with regards to importance in the "Lifehouse" concept.

TIME IS PASSING

TOO MUCH OF ANYTHING

WATER

WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN

Tells of rebels being offered amnesty to abandon anarchic ways and join up with conventional forces, accepting the status quo and thereby receiving power in return. "The hero of the piece [Bobby]," states Townshend, "warns ‘Don’t be fooled, don’t get taken in.’" It’s tells of a revolution but ends by stating that revolution doesn’t really change anything.



 

 


THE WHO TRIVIA

 

March 1, 1944: Roger Daltrey was born.

October 9, 1944: John Entwistle was born.

May 19, 1945: Pete Townshend was born.

August 23, 1947: Keith Moon was born.

October 29, 1965: The Who release “My Generation.”

October 28, 1967: The Who hit #9 with “I Can See For Miles”.

July 7, 1968: break up, guitarist Jimmy Page forms the New Yardbirds and changes the group’s name to , allegedly on the advice of the Who’s Keith Moon.

December 11-12, 1968: film the ‘Rock and Roll Circus’, with guests , , Jethro Tull and the Who.

June 6, 1969: ‘Tommy’, the Who’s rock opera, hits #2 in the UK and #4 in the US.

June 7, 1969: The Who’s ‘Tommy’, a double-album rock opera, debuts on U.S. charts.

AUGUST 15-17, 1969: The year 1969 was the year of the rock festival. The largest was the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, held on the weekend of August 15-17 in the tiny town of Bethel, in upstate New York. An estimated crowd of 450,000 attended the event, which featured everyone from and Joe Cocker, to Arlo Guthrie, the , the Who, , , Ravi Shankar and Country Joe McDonald. If Woodstock marked the apex of the hippie movement in America,  " hidden="linked">the Rolling Stones’ free concert in Hyde Park did the same for England. Held on July 5, the show drew nearly 300,000 people, the largest gathering in England since V-E Day.

November 28, 1970: The Who hits #12 in the US with “See Me, Feel Me” from ‘Tommy’.

November 12, 1973: The Who hits #2 with ‘Quadrophenia’.

December 29, 1973: The Who hit #76 in the US with “Love Reign O’er Me” from their rock opera ‘Quadrophenia’.

September 7, 1978: Keith Moon of the Who dies of an overdose of the drug prescribed to control his alcoholism.

October 4, 1978: The Who hit #14 with “Who Are You”.

May 9, 1981: The Who hit #18 with “You Better You Bet”

March 1, 1982: Pete Townshend, Stevie Nicks, Mick Jagger, Adam Ant, Pat Benatar, and kick off the “I Want My MTV” advertising campaign.

October 29, 1982: The Who hits #28 with “Athena”.

1990: The Who are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

June 27, 2002: John Entwistle of the Who dies of a heart attack in Las Vegas, NV.

 


 

 

Must Have Recordings

My Generation
Won’t Get Fooled Again
I Can See for Miles
I Can’t Explain
Pinball Wizard
Baba O’Riley
Substitute
Magic Bus
Who Are You
Happy Jack
Join Together
Squeeze Box
See Me, Feel Me
Behind Blue Eyes


 

MEMBERS WHO HAVE LEFT US

 

Keith John Moon

Keith John Moon was born on 23 August 1946 at Central Middlesex Hospital, Park Royal, London to Alfred and Kathleen Moon. He lived in Wembley as a boy and was extremely hyperactive and had a restless imagination as a child. As a youth, the only thing that could hold his attention was music. A report from his secondary modern school is not encouraging – his art teacher, for example, commented: 'Retarded artistically. Idiotic in other respects.

Even at an early age, one of his teachers (Aaron Sofocleous) praised his music skills and encouraged his chaotic style, even if one school report noted "he has great ability, but must guard against a tendency to show off". Moon failed his eleven-plus and left school in 1961.

At the age of twelve, Moon joined his local Sea Cadet Corps band as a bugle player, but quickly traded his position to be a drummer. Moon started to play the drums at the age of 14 after his mother bought him a Ringo drum kit. Moon received drumming lessons from one of the loudest drummers at the time, Carlo Little, paying him 10 shillings a lesson. During this time he joined his first serious band "The Escorts". He later spent 18 months as the drummer for the "The Beachcombers", a London cover band most notable for their renditions of songs by Cliff Richard.


Moon initially played in the style of American surf rock and R&B drummers, utilising grooves and fills of those genres, particularly Hal Blaine of the Wrecking Crew, but playing them much faster and louder, with more persistence and authority.

Moon started off on various 4 or 5 piece drumsets, but made the move to a British Premier double bass kit in late 1965. This was inspired by a conversation he had with Ginger Baker, who told Moon that he had ordered an American Ludwig double bass set and was waiting for it to arrive. Moon decided to simply take two Premier drumsets and put them together. This new equipment widened Moon's playing to an enormous degree. Specifically, he abandoned his hi-hat cymbals almost entirely and started basing his grooves more on a double bass ostinato consisting of eighth note flams, and a wall of white noise created by riding a crash or ride cymbal. On top of this he would play fills and cymbal accents. This would become his trademark style.

Moon joined The Who in April 1965, at the age of 18, an early replacement for their original drummer Doug Sandom. Sandom had left the band less than a month earlier and the remaining members hired a session drummer to fulfill a run of shows that they had already agreed to play. Keith Moon was in attendance at one of these shows. Townshend later described him as looking like a "ginger man" with ginger (brown) coloured clothes and his hair dyed ginger. The band knew that they needed Moon after seeing him practically smash the drum set to pieces.

Moon quickly gained a reputation for being highly destructive. He was known to lay waste to hotel rooms, the homes of friends, and even his own home, often throwing furniture out of high windows and destroying the plumbing with fireworks. These acts were sometimes fueled by drugs and/or alcohol, but most of the time, Moon was simply living out his larger-than-life persona.

Keith Moon's final night out was as a guest of Paul McCartney at the preview of the film The Buddy Holly Story on 7 September 1978. After dining with Paul and Linda McCartney, Moon and his girlfriend, Annette Walter-Lax, left the party early and returned to a flat on loan from Harry Nilsson in Curzon Place, London. He died that night at the age of 32, having overdosed on Clomethiazole, a medication taken as part of a programme to wean him off alcohol. Moon was cremated. His ashes were scattered in the Gardens of Remembrance at Golders Green Crematorium in London.
 


John Alec Entwistle
 


John Alec Entwistle was born in Chiswick, a London suburb in 1944 and attended Acton County Grammar School. He joined the Middlesex Youth Orchestra and his initial music training was on trumpet, french horn, and piano, all three of which would figure into his later rock playing. In the early 1960s, he played in several traditional jazz and dixieland outfits with schoolmate Pete Townshend in a duo The Confederates, and later joined Roger Daltrey's band the Detours. This band later became The Who.

He was nicknamed "The Ox" not for his size or his tendency to stand still during shows, but because of his strong constitution -- his seeming ability to "eat, drink or do more than the rest of them." Bill Wyman, bassist for the Rolling Stones, described him as "the quietest man in private but the loudest man on stage." For much the same reason, he was often known by the nickname "Thunderfingers" by his bandmates and Who fans.

Entwistle's Who songs, along with his solo material, reveal a dark sense of humor which was often incompatible with Pete Townshend's more introspective work. Though he continued to contribute material to all of The Who's albums with the exception of Quadrophenia, his frustration with having his material recorded by the band (largely with having to relinquish singing duties to Roger Daltrey) led him to release Smash Your Head Against the Wall in 1971. He was the first member of The Who to release a solo record.

Entwistle's technique ranged from using fingers, plectrums and tapping to utilizing harmonics in his passages. He would change the style of play between songs and even during songs to change the sound he produced. His fingering technique would involve pressing down on the string hard and releasing in an attempt to reproduce a trebly, twangy sound. Note however, that he would change his thumb position from pickup, to the E string and occasionally even allowing his thumb to float near the pickup. His plectrum technique would involve holding the plectrum between his thumb and forefinger, with the rest of his fingers outstretched for balance.

Entwistle also developed what he called a "typewriter" approach to playing the bass. It involved positioning the right hand over the strings so all four fingers could be used to tap percussively on the strings, causing them to strike the fretboard with a distinctive twangy sound. This gives the player the ability to play three or four strings at once, or to use several fingers on a single string. It allowed him to create passages that were very percussive and melodic. He used this approach to mimic the fills used by his drummers in band situations, sometimes sending the fills back at the drummers faster than the drummers themselves could play them.

Entwistle also contributed many backing vocals and horn performances to the group, most notably on Quadrophenia, where he layered several horns to create the impressive brass as heard on songs such as 5:15, among others.

John Entwistle died in a hotel room at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on June 27, 2002 one day before the scheduled first show of The Who's 2002 US tour. The number of the actual room in which he died has remained a closely guarded secret, likely to prevent the room becoming a shrine/place of pilgrimage.
 



 

 


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