Category Archives: The Who

It Was 40 Years Ago Today: ‘Live At Leeds’ Released

The Who’s groundbreaking live album from their performance at Leeds University three months prior, Live At Leeds was released in the United States on Saturday, May 16, 1970. Side one of the original album contained four hard-hitting classics (“Young Man Blues,” “Substitute,” “Summertime Blues” and “Shakin’ All Over”) while side two featured extended versions of “My Generation” and “Magic Bus.”

Though the tracks were not released until 1995, The Who also ran through the entirety of Pete Townshend’s rock opera, Tommy, and additional songs like “I Can’t Explain,” “Fortune Teller” and John Entwistle’s “Heaven and Hell” for the crowd of about 2,000 students.

The original Live At Leeds album also contained within a flap numerous facsimiles of memorabilia such as a publicity photo of The Who, their contract for performing at Woodstock, a full-size ‘Maximum R&B’ poster, a receipt for smoke bombs and a list of gigs with financial figures included.


Leave a comment

Filed under The Who

Townshend’s Hearing Problems Spell Uncertain Future for The Who

After touring with The Who for the last 45 years, guitarist Pete Townshend's ears may have had enough.

Just weeks after leading The Who onstage at Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, guitarist Pete Townshend tells Rolling Stone Magazine that his tinnitus has returned and may effect whether the band stays together or calls it quits.

“If my hearing is going to be a problem,” he said, “we’re not delaying shows. We’re finished. I can’t really see any way around the issue.”

Townshend had already scrapped plans for a tour later this year with singer Roger Daltrey, though The Who is still scheduled to perform Quadrophenia at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Mar. 30.

The band produced 10 studio albums from 1965 to 1982, beginning with The Who Sings My Generation and ending with It’s Hard. In 1970 The Who released Live At Leeds, which set a precedent for all future live albums to live up to, and garnered similar acclaim for Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival when it was released in 1996. The Who did not record any new material until 2006, when Townshend unveiled his newest rock opera, Endless Wire.

It is not immediately clear whether Townshend will continue work on a new musical called Floss, which he had said would appear on a record by The Who in 2010.

Leave a comment

Filed under The Who

It Was 40 Years Ago Today: The Who Performs at Leeds University

Following the release of Tommy in 1969, The Who began a world tour to promote Pete Townshend’s groundbreaking rock opera.

After they debuted the new live act — including Tommy in its entirety and “A Quick One, While He’s Away” — at London Coliseum two months earlier, the group played to a crowd of students at Leeds University in West Yorkshire, England, on Valentine’s Day 1970.

The accompanying album, Live At Leeds, went on to become famous in its own right as one of the first (and best) live records ever put together by a rock group.

Leave a comment

Filed under The Who

Monday Morning QB on The Who’s Halftime Performance

Roger Daltrey (left) and Pete Townshend perform onstage at Super Bowl XLIV in Miami.

A day after The Who headlined the Super Bowl XLIV halftime show, there are too many online reviews to count, but a general feeling seems to be that the group did not come close to matching its reputation as the world’s loudest rock ‘n’ roll band.

The New York Times said “It looked as if the show’s producers that the rock geezers at the center [Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey] might not look herioc enough to the camera.” And The Houston Chronicle said that “[Daltrey] and Townshend harmonized like bickering walruses.”

Some reviews were more complimentary, as The Los Angeles Times’ music blog mentioned that “As [Townshend] swung his trademark windmills on ‘Baba O’Riley’, he certainly looked the part, playing the role of a man 30 years younger.” And Rolling Stone Magazine called The Who’s 12-minute set an “Explosive Medley of Big Hits.”

Leave a comment

Filed under The Who

Townshend Reveals Halftime Set List

Guitarist Pete Townshend has told that The Who’s upcoming Super Bowl performance will be a “compact medley” of the band’s most recognizable classic rock hits: “A bit of ‘Baba O’Riley,’ a bit of ‘Pinball Wizard,’ a bit of the close of Tommy, a bit of ‘Who Are You’ and a bit of ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again.’ It works – it’s quite a saga.”

The band is the latest in a string of classic rock acts to headline the halftime show, following the likes of Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones and U2.

The Who will take the stage Feb. 7 at Super Bowl XLIV in Miami’s Sun Life Stadium.

Leave a comment

Filed under The Who

It Was 40 Years Ago Today: The Who Premieres ‘Tommy’ at London Coliseum

The Who: (from left) John Entwistle, Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon and Pete Townshend in 1969.

Billed as “A Two-Hour Non-Stop Concert,” The Who’s performance at London Coliseum on Sunday, Dec. 14, 1969, marked the first of hundreds of times the band would play Tommy live in its entirety (most of it, anyway).

On this occasion, Townshend’s rock opera was bookended at the beginning by John Entwistle’s “Heaven And Hell” and the iconic “I Can’t Explain,” and at the end by classics like “Summertime Blues,” “Shakin’ All Over” and “My Generation.” In between, the band debuted songs from Tommy such as “Amazing Journey/Sparks,” “I’m Free,” “Listening To You” and “Pinball Wizard.”

The concert went mainly unseen until its 2008 release as a supplementary DVD on The Who At Kilburn: 1977.

Leave a comment

Filed under The Who

The Who to Play Super Bowl XLIV

Legendary rock group The Who is reported to be the headliner at this season’s Super Bowl halftime show in Miami on Feb. 7.

Original band members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will be joined (as they have been in recent years) by bassist Pino Palladino, keyboardist John “Rabbit” Bundrick and drummer Zak Starkey, son of legendary Beatles stickman Ringo Starr.

After dismantling as a group in 1982, The Who did not have an original album release until Endless Wire in 2006. Since then, the band has played a handful of tours across the globe, and Townshend has said he is currently working on a new musical titled Floss.

Leave a comment

Filed under The Who