The Who
The Who

The Who are an English rock band shaped in London in 1964. Their traditional lineup consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist and singer John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They’re thought-about some of the influential rock bands of the twentieth century, and have bought over 100 million data worldwide. Their contributions to rock music embrace the event of the Marshall Stack, massive PA methods, the usage of the synthesizer, Entwistle and Moon’s influential taking part in kinds, Townshend’s suggestions and energy chord guitar approach, and the event of the rock opera. They’re cited as an affect by many onerous rock, punk rock and mod bands, and their songs are nonetheless frequently performed.

The Who developed from an earlier group, the Detours, and established themselves as a part of the pop artwork and mod actions, that includes auto-destructive artwork by destroying guitars and drums on stage. Their first single because the Who, “I Cannot Clarify” (1965), reached the UK prime ten, and was adopted by a string of hit singles together with “My Era” (1965), “Substitute” (1966) and “Completely happy Jack” (1966). In 1967, they carried out on the Monterey Pop Competition and launched “I Can See for Miles”, their solely US prime ten single. The group’s 1969 idea album Tommy included the only “Pinball Wizard” and was a vital and business success.

Additional pageant appearances at Woodstock and the Isle of Wight, together with the live performance album Stay at Leeds (1970), established their fame as a revered rock act. The success put stress on lead songwriter Townshend, and the follow-up to Tommy, Lifehouse, was deserted. Songs from the challenge made up Who’s Subsequent (1971), together with the hits “Will not Get Fooled Once more”, “Baba O’Riley”, and “Behind Blue Eyes”. The group launched one other idea album, Quadrophenia (1973), as a celebration of their mod roots, and oversaw the movie adaptation of Tommy (1975). They continued to tour to massive audiences earlier than semi-retiring from reside performances on the finish of 1976. The discharge of Who Are You (1978) was overshadowed by Moon’s demise shortly after.

Kenney Jones changed Moon and the group resumed touring, and launched a movie adaptation of Quadrophenia and the retrospective documentary The Youngsters Are Alright. After Townshend grew to become weary of the group, they cut up in 1983. The Who sometimes re-formed for reside appearances corresponding to Stay Help in 1985, a Twenty fifth anniversary tour in 1989 and a tour of Quadrophenia in 1996–1997. A full reunion started in 1999, with drummer Zak Starkey. After Entwistle’s demise in 2002, plans for a brand new album have been delayed till 2006, with Limitless Wire. Since Entwistle’s demise, the Who’ve continued to carry out and tour, mostly with Starkey on drums, Pino Palladino on bass, and Pete’s brother Simon Townshend on second guitar and backing vocals. In 2019, the group launched the album Who and toured with a symphony orchestra.

Historical past


Photograph of Ealing Art College in 2010

Pete Townshend attended Ealing Artwork School (pictured in 2010), and his expertise there contributed to the Who’s profession.

The founding members of the Who, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and John Entwistle, grew up in Acton, London and went to Acton County Grammar College.[1] Townshend’s father, Cliff, performed saxophone and his mom, Betty, had sung within the leisure division of the Royal Air Drive throughout World Conflict II, and each supported their son’s curiosity in rock and roll.[2] Townshend and Entwistle grew to become associates of their second yr of Acton County, and shaped a trad jazz group;[3] Entwistle additionally performed French horn within the Middlesex Faculties’ Symphony Orchestra. Each have been interested by rock, and Townshend notably admired Cliff Richard’s début single, “Transfer It”.[4] Entwistle moved to guitar, however struggled with it as a result of his massive fingers, and moved to bass on listening to the guitar work of Duane Eddy. He was unable to afford a bass and constructed one at residence.[5][4] After Acton County, Townshend attended Ealing Artwork School,[6] a transfer he later described as profoundly influential on the course of the Who.[7]

Daltrey, who was within the yr above, had moved to Acton from Shepherd’s Bush, a extra working-class space. He had bother becoming in on the faculty, and found gangs and rock and roll.[8] He was expelled at 15 and located work on a constructing website.[9] In 1959 he began the Detours, the band that was to evolve into the Who. The band performed skilled gigs, corresponding to company and wedding ceremony capabilities, and Daltrey stored a detailed eye on the funds in addition to the music.[10]

Daltrey noticed Entwistle by probability on the road carrying a bass and recruited him into the Detours.[11] In mid-1961, Entwistle advised Townshend as a guitarist,[11] Daltrey on lead guitar, Entwistle on bass, Harry Wilson on drums, and Colin Dawson on vocals. The band performed instrumentals by the Shadows and the Ventures, and quite a lot of pop and trad jazz covers.[12] Daltrey was thought-about the chief and, in accordance with Townshend, “ran issues the way in which he needed them”.[7] Wilson was fired in mid-1962 and changed by Doug Sandom, although he was older than the remainder of the band, married, and a more adept musician, having been taking part in semi-professionally for 2 years.[13]

Dawson left after steadily arguing with Daltrey[7] and after being briefly changed by Gabby Connolly, Daltrey moved to guide vocals. Townshend, with Entwistle’s encouragement, grew to become the only guitarist. By Townshend’s mom, the group obtained a administration contract with native promoter Robert Druce,[14] who began reserving the band as a help act. The Detours have been influenced by the bands they supported, together with Screaming Lord Sutch, Cliff Bennett and the Insurgent Rousers, Shane Fenton and the Fentones, and Johnny Kidd and the Pirates. The Detours have been notably within the Pirates as additionally they solely had one guitarist, Mick Inexperienced, who impressed Townshend to mix rhythm and lead guitar in his type. Entwistle’s bass grew to become extra of a lead instrument,[15] taking part in melodies.[16] In February 1964, the Detours grew to become conscious of the group Johnny Devlin and the Detours and altered their title.[17] Townshend and his house-mate Richard Barnes spent an evening contemplating names, specializing in a theme of joke bulletins, together with “No One” and “the Group”. Townshend most well-liked “the Hair”, and Barnes favored “the Who” as a result of it “had a pop punch”.[18] Daltrey selected “the Who” the subsequent morning.[19]


Early profession

Several scooters on a display

The Who’s aesthetic grew out of mod subculture with its excessive trend, scooters for transport, and shaggy hairstyles.

By the point the Detours had develop into the Who, that they had already discovered common gigs, together with on the Oldfield Resort in Greenford, the White Hart Resort in Acton, the Goldhawk Social Membership in Shepherd’s Bush, and the Notre Dame Corridor in Leicester Sq..[20] That they had additionally changed Druce as supervisor with Helmut Gorden, with whom they secured an audition with Chris Parmeinter for Fontana Information.[21] Parmeinter discovered issues with the drumming and, in accordance with Sandom, Townshend instantly turned on him and threatened to fireplace him if his taking part in didn’t instantly enhance. Sandom left in disgust, however was persuaded to lend his equipment to any potential stand-ins or replacements. Sandom and Townshend didn’t converse to one another once more for 14 years.[22]

Throughout a gig with a stand-in drummer in late April on the Oldfield, the band first met Keith Moon. Moon grew up in Wembley, and had been drumming in bands since 1961.[23] He was performing with a semi-professional band referred to as the Beachcombers, and needed to play full-time.[24] Moon performed a couple of songs with the group, breaking a bass drum pedal and tearing a drum pores and skin. The band have been impressed together with his power and enthusiasm, and supplied him the job.[25] Moon carried out with the Beachcombers a couple of extra occasions, however dates clashed and he selected to dedicate himself to the Who. The Beachcombers auditioned Sandom, however have been unimpressed and didn’t ask him to affix.[26]

The Who modified managers to Peter Meaden. He determined that the group could be preferrred to symbolize the rising mod motion in Britain which concerned trend, scooters and music genres corresponding to rhythm and blues, soul and Fashionable Jazz. He renamed the group the Excessive Numbers, dressed them up in mod garments,[27] secured a second, extra beneficial audition with Fontana and wrote the lyrics for each side of their single “Zoot Go well with”/”I am the Face” to attraction to mods. The tune for “Zoot Go well with” was “Distress” by the Dynamics,[28] and “I am the Face” borrowed from Slim Harpo’s “I Received Love If You Need It”.[29] Though Meaden tried to advertise the only, it failed to achieve the highest 50[30] and the band reverted to calling themselves the Who.[31] The group – none of whom performed their devices conventionally[32] – started to enhance their stage picture; Daltrey began utilizing his microphone cable as a whip on stage, and infrequently leapt into the gang; Moon threw drumsticks into the air mid-beat; Townshend mimed machine-gunning the gang together with his guitar whereas leaping on stage and taking part in guitar with a quick arm-windmilling movement,[33] or stood together with his arms aloft permitting his guitar to supply suggestions in a posture dubbed “the Chook Man”.[34]

Meaden was changed as supervisor by two filmmakers, Package Lambert and Chris Stamp. They have been in search of a younger, unsigned rock group that they might make a movie about,[35] and had seen the band on the Railway Resort in Wealdstone, which had develop into an everyday venue for them.[36][37] Lambert associated to Townshend and his artwork faculty background, and inspired him to write down songs.[35] In August, Lambert and Stamp made a promotional movie that includes the group and their viewers on the Railway.[38] The band modified their set in direction of soul, rhythm and blues and Motown covers, and created the slogan “Most R&B”.[27]

In June 1964, throughout a efficiency on the Railway, Townshend unintentionally broke the top of his guitar on the low ceiling of the stage.[39] Angered by the viewers’s laughter, he smashed the instrument on the stage, then picked up one other guitar and continued the present. The next week, the viewers have been eager to see a repeat of the occasion. Moon obliged by kicking his drum equipment over,[40] and auto-destructive artwork grew to become a function of the Who’s reside set.[41]

First singles and My Era

Promotional shot of the Who, 1965

By late 1964, the Who have been changing into well-liked in London’s Marquee Membership, and a rave overview of their reside act appeared in Melody Maker.[42] Lambert and Stamp attracted the eye of the American producer Shel Talmy, who had produced the Kinks. Townshend had written a tune, “I Cannot Clarify”, that intentionally sounded just like the Kinks to draw Talmy’s consideration. Talmy noticed the group in rehearsals and was impressed. He signed them to his manufacturing firm,[43] and bought the recording to the US arm of Decca Information, which meant that the group’s early singles have been launched in Britain on Brunswick Information, certainly one of UK Decca’s labels for US artists.[44] “I Cannot Clarify” was recorded in early November 1964 at Pye Studios in Marble Arch with the Ivy League on backing vocals, and Jimmy Web page performed fuzz guitar on the B-side, “Bald Headed Lady”.[31]

“I Cannot Clarify” grew to become well-liked with pirate radio stations corresponding to Radio Caroline.[45] Pirate radio was vital for bands as there have been no business radio stations within the UK and BBC Radio performed little pop music.[46] The group gained additional publicity after they appeared on the tv programme Prepared Regular Go![27] Lambert and Stamp have been tasked with discovering “typical teenagers”, and invited the group’s common viewers from the Goldhawk Social Membership.[47] Enthusiastic reception on tv and common airplay on pirate radio helped the only slowly climb the charts in early 1965 till it reached the highest 10.[48] The follow-up single, “Anyway, Anyhow, Wherever”, by Townshend and Daltrey,[49] options guitar noises corresponding to decide sliding, toggle switching[50] and suggestions, which was so unconventional that it was initially rejected by the US arm of Decca. The only reached the highest 10 within the UK[49] and was used because the theme tune to Prepared Regular Go![51]

The transition to a hit-making band with unique materials, inspired by Lambert, didn’t sit properly with Daltrey, and a recording session of R&B covers went unreleased.[52] The Who weren’t shut associates both, other than Moon and Entwistle, who loved visiting nightclubs collectively within the West Finish of London.[53] The group skilled a tough time when touring Denmark in September, which culminated in Daltrey throwing Moon’s amphetamines down the bathroom and assaulting him. Instantly on returning to Britain, Daltrey was sacked,[54] however was reinstated on the situation that the group grew to become a democracy with out his dominant management. Presently, the group enlisted Richard Cole as a roadie.[55]

The subsequent single, “My Era”, adopted in October. Townshend had written it as a gradual blues, however after a number of abortive makes an attempt, it was was a extra highly effective tune with a bass solo from Entwistle. The tune used gimmicks corresponding to a vocal stutter to simulate the speech of a mod on amphetamines, and two key adjustments.[56] Townshend insisted in interviews that the lyrics “Hope I die earlier than I get previous” weren’t meant to be taken actually.[57] Peaking at No. 2, “My Era” is the group’s highest-charting single within the UK.[48] The self-titled debut album My Era was launched in late 1965. Amongst unique materials by Townshend, together with the title monitor and “The Youngsters Are Alright”, the album has a number of James Brown covers from the session earlier that yr that Daltrey favoured.[58]

After My Era, the Who fell out with Talmy, which meant an abrupt finish to their recording contract. [59] The ensuing authorized acrimony resulted in Talmy holding the rights to the grasp tapes, which prevented the album from being reissued till 2002.[60] The Who have been signed to Robert Stigwood’s label, Response, and launched “Substitute”. Townshend mentioned he wrote the tune about identification disaster, and as a parody of The Rolling Stones’s “nineteenth Nervous Breakdown”. It was the primary single to function him taking part in an acoustic twelve-string guitar.[61] Talmy took authorized motion over the B-side, “Instantaneous Social gathering”, and the only was withdrawn. A brand new B-side, “Waltz for a Pig”, was recorded by the Graham Bond Organisation underneath the pseudonym “the Who Orchestra”.[62]

In 1966 the Who launched “I am a Boy”, a few boy dressed as a woman, taken from an abortive assortment of songs referred to as Quads;[63] “Completely happy Jack”;[64] and an EP, Prepared Regular Who, that tied in with their common appearances on Prepared Regular Go![65] The group continued to have battle; on 20 Could, Moon and Entwistle have been late to a gig having been on the Prepared Regular Go! set with The Seashore Boys’ Bruce Johnston. Throughout “My Era”, Townshend attacked Moon together with his guitar; Moon suffered a black eye and bruises, and he and Entwistle left the band, however modified their minds and rejoined every week later.[66] Moon stored in search of different work, and Jeff Beck had him play drums on his tune “Beck’s Bolero” (with Web page, John Paul Jones and Nicky Hopkins) as a result of he was “attempting to get Keith out of the Who”.[67]

A Fast One and The Who Promote Out

Roger Daltrey and Keith Moon backstage in 1967

Roger Daltrey (left) and Keith Moon, 1967

To alleviate monetary stress on the band, Lambert organized a song-writing deal which required every member to write down two songs for the subsequent album. Entwistle contributed “Boris the Spider” and “Whiskey Man” and located a distinct segment position as second songwriter.[68] The band discovered they wanted to fill an additional ten minutes, and Lambert inspired Townshend to write down an extended piece, “A Fast One, Whereas He is Away”. The suite of tune fragments is a few woman who has an affair whereas her lover is away, however is finally forgiven. The album was titled A Fast One[69] (Completely happy Jack within the US),[70] and reached No. 4 within the UK charts.[71] It was adopted in 1967 by the UK High 5 single “Photos of Lily”.[72]

By 1966, Prepared Regular Go! had ended, the mod motion was changing into retro, and the Who discovered themselves in competitors on the London circuit with teams together with Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Expertise.[73] Lambert and Stamp realised that business success within the US was paramount to the group’s future, and organized a cope with promoter Frank Barsalona for a brief package deal tour in New York.[74] The group’s performances, which nonetheless concerned smashing guitars and kicking over drums, have been properly acquired,[75] and led to their first main US look on the Monterey Pop Competition. The group, particularly Moon, weren’t keen on the hippie motion, and thought their violent stage act would stand in sharp distinction to the peaceable ambiance of the pageant. Hendrix was additionally on the invoice, and was additionally going to smash his guitar on stage. Townshend verbally abused Hendrix and accused him of stealing his act,[76] and the pair argued about who ought to go on stage first, with the Who profitable the argument.[77] The Who introduced employed gear to the pageant; Hendrix shipped over his common touring gear from Britain, together with a full Marshall stack. In line with biographer Tony Fletcher, Hendrix sounded “so a lot better than the Who it was embarrassing”.[78] The Who’s look at Monterey gave them recognition within the US, and “Completely happy Jack” reached the highest 30.[78]

The group adopted Monterey with a US tour supporting Herman’s Hermits.[78] The Hermits have been a simple pop band and loved medicine and sensible jokes. They bonded with Moon,[79] who was excited to be taught that cherry bombs have been authorized to buy in Alabama. Moon acquired a fame of destroying resort rooms whereas on tour,[75] with a specific curiosity in blowing up bathrooms. Entwistle mentioned the primary cherry bomb they tried “blew a gap within the suitcase and the chair”.[80] Moon recalled his first try and flush one down the bathroom: “[A]ll that porcelain flying by means of the air was fairly unforgettable. I by no means realised dynamite was so highly effective.”[80] After a gig in Flint, Michigan on Moon’s twenty first birthday on 23 August 1967, the entourage induced $24,000 of harm on the resort, and Moon knocked out certainly one of his entrance tooth.[81] Daltrey later mentioned that the tour introduced the band nearer, and because the help act, they might flip up and carry out a brief present with none main obligations.[82]

John Entwistle backstage with a bass guitar

John Entwistle backstage in 1967

After the Hermits tour, the Who recorded their subsequent single, “I Can See for Miles”, which Townshend had written in 1966 however had averted recording till he was certain it might be produced properly.[83] Townshend referred to as it “the last word Who document”,[84] and was upset it reached solely No. 10 within the UK.[84] It grew to become their greatest promoting single within the US, reaching No. 9.[72] The group toured the US once more with Eric Burdon and the Animals, together with an look on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, miming to “I Can See For Miles” and “My Era”.[85] Moon bribed a stage hand to place explosives in his drum equipment, who loaded it with ten occasions the anticipated amount. The ensuing detonation threw Moon off his drum riser and his arm was reduce by a flying piece of a cymbal. Townshend’s hair was singed and his left ear left ringing, and a digital camera and studio monitor have been destroyed.[86]

The subsequent album was The Who Promote Out – an idea album paying tribute to pirate radio, which had been outlawed in August 1967 by the Marine, &c., Broadcasting (Offences) Act 1967. It included humorous jingles and mock commercials between songs,[87] a mini rock opera referred to as “Rael”, and “I Can See For Miles”.[84] The Who declared themselves a pop artwork group and thus considered promoting as an artform; they recorded all kinds of radio ads, corresponding to for canned milkshakes and the American Most cancers Society, in defiance of the rising anti-consumerist ethos of the hippie counterculture.[88] Townshend said, “We do not change offstage. We reside pop artwork.”[89] Later that yr, Lambert and Stamp shaped a document label, Observe Information, with distribution by Polydor. In addition to signing Hendrix, Observe grew to become the imprint for all of the Who’s UK output till the mid-Nineteen Seventies.[90]

The group began 1968 by touring Australia and New Zealand with the Small Faces.[91] The teams had bother with the native authorities and the New Zealand Fact referred to as them “unwashed, foul-smelling, booze-swilling no-hopers”.[92][93] After an incident that happened on a flight to Sydney, the band have been briefly arrested in Melbourne after which compelled to go away the nation; Prime Minister John Gorton despatched a telegram to The Who telling them by no means to return to Australia.[94] The Who wouldn’t return to Australia once more till 2004. They continued to tour throughout the US and Canada through the first half of the yr.[95]

Tommy, Woodstock, Isle of Wight and Stay at Leeds

By 1968 the Who had began to draw consideration within the underground press.[96] Townshend had stopped utilizing medicine and took an interest within the teachings of Meher Baba.[97] In August, he gave an interview to Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner describing intimately the plot of a brand new album challenge and its relationship to Baba’s teachings. The album went by means of a number of names throughout recording, together with Deaf Dumb and Blind Boy and Superb Journey; Townshend settled on Tommy[98] for the album in regards to the lifetime of a deaf, dumb and blind boy, and his try to speak with others.[99][100] Some songs, corresponding to “Welcome” and “Superb Journey”, have been impressed by Baba’s educating,[101] and others got here from observations inside the band. “Sally Simpson” is a few fan who tried to climb on stage at a gig by the Doorways that they attended[102] and “Pinball Wizard” was written in order that New York Instances journalist Nik Cohn, a pinball fanatic, would give the album a great overview.[103] Townshend later mentioned, “I needed the story of Tommy to have a number of ranges … a rock singles degree and a much bigger idea degree”, containing the religious message he needed in addition to being entertaining.[104] The album was projected for a Christmas 1968 launch[104] however recording stalled after Townshend determined to make a double album to cowl the story in ample depth.[105]

By the top of the yr, 18 months of touring had led to a well-rehearsed and tight reside band, which was evident after they carried out “A Fast One Whereas He is Away” at The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus tv particular. The Stones thought-about their very own efficiency lacklustre, and the challenge was by no means broadcast.[106] The Who had not launched an album in over a yr, and had not accomplished the recording of Tommy, which continued properly into 1969, interspersed with gigs at weekends.[107] Lambert was a key determine in protecting the group centered and getting the album accomplished, and typed up a script to assist them perceive the story and the way the songs fitted collectively.[108]

Roger Daltrey singing on stage

By the point the Who have been touring Tommy, Daltrey’s stage picture had modified to incorporate lengthy hair and open shirts.[109]

The album was launched in Could with the accompanying single, “Pinball Wizard”, a début efficiency at Ronnie Scott’s,[110] and a tour, taking part in many of the new album reside.[111] Tommy bought 200,000 copies within the US in its first two weeks,[112] and was a vital smash, Life saying, “for sheer energy, invention and brilliance of efficiency, Tommy outstrips something which has ever come out of a recording studio”.[113] Melody Maker declared: “Absolutely the Who are actually the band in opposition to which all others are to be judged.”[114] Daltrey had considerably improved as a singer, and set a template for rock singers within the Nineteen Seventies by rising his hair lengthy and carrying open shirts on stage.[109] Townshend had taken to carrying a boiler go well with and Physician Martens sneakers.[109]

In August, the Who carried out on the Woodstock Competition, regardless of being reluctant and demanding $13,000 up entrance.[115] The group have been scheduled to look on Saturday night time, 16 August,[116] however the pageant ran late and they didn’t take to the stage till 5 am on Sunday;[117] they performed most of Tommy.[118] Throughout their efficiency, Yippie chief Abbie Hoffman interrupted the set to offer a political speech in regards to the arrest of John Sinclair; Townshend kicked him off stage,[115] shouting: “Fuck off my fucking stage!”[119][117] Throughout “See Me, Really feel Me”, the solar rose virtually as if on cue;[120] Entwistle later mentioned, “God was our lighting man”.[119] On the finish, Townshend threw his guitar into the viewers.[120][121] The set was professionally recorded and filmed, and parts seem on the Woodstock movie, The Previous Gray Whistle Check and The Youngsters Are Alright.[122]

Woodstock has been considered culturally important, however the Who have been vital of the occasion. Roadie John “Wiggie” Wolff, who organized the band’s cost, described it as “a shambles”.[116] Daltrey declared it as “the worst gig [they] ever performed”[123] and Townshend mentioned, “I believed the entire of America had gone mad.”[117] A extra pleasant look got here a couple of weeks later on the 1969 Isle of Wight Competition in England, which Townshend described as “an incredible live performance for” the band.[124] In line with Townshend, on the finish of the Isle of Wight gig the sphere was lined in garbage left by followers (which the band’s roadies helped to clear up), which impressed the road “teenage wasteland” from their single “Baba O’Riley”.[125]

Plaque at Leeds University

A blue plaque at Leeds College, the place Stay at Leeds was recorded

By 1970, the Who have been extensively thought-about among the finest and hottest reside rock bands; Chris Charlesworth described their live shows as “resulting in a sort of rock nirvana that the majority bands can solely dream about”. They determined a reside album would assist exhibit how completely different the sound at their gigs was to Tommy, and set about listening to the hours of recordings that they had accrued. Townshend baulked on the prospect of doing so, and demanded that every one the tapes be burned. As a substitute, they booked two exhibits, one in Leeds on 14 February, and one in Hull the next day, with the intention of recording a reside album. Technical issues from the Hull gig resulted within the Leeds gig getting used, which grew to become Stay at Leeds.[126] The album is considered by a number of critics together with The Impartial,[127][128] The Telegraph[129] and the BBC,[130] as among the finest reside rock albums of all time.[131]

The Tommy tour included exhibits in European opera homes and noticed the Who develop into the primary rock act to play on the Metropolitan Opera Home in New York Metropolis.[132] In March the Who launched the UK prime 20 hit “The Seeker”, persevering with a theme of issuing singles separate to albums. Townshend wrote the tune to commemorate the frequent man, as a distinction to the themes on Tommy.[133] The tour included their second look on the Isle of Wight Competition. A document attendance in England which the Guinness Guide of Information estimated at between 600,000 and 700,000 folks,[134] the Who started their set at 2:00 A.M. on Sunday 30 August.[135]

Lifehouse and Who’s Subsequent

The Who live in Charlotte, North Carolina, 1971

The Who on the Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina, 20 November 1971[136]

Tommy secured the Who’s future, and made them millionaires. The group reacted in numerous methods – Daltrey and Entwistle lived comfortably, Townshend was embarrassed at his wealth, which he felt was at odds with Meher Baba’s beliefs, and Moon spent frivolously.[137]

Throughout the latter a part of 1970, Townshend plotted a comply with up Tommy: Lifehouse, which was to be a multi-media challenge symbolising the connection between an artist and his viewers.[138] He developed concepts in his residence studio, creating layers of synthesizers,[139] and the Younger Vic theatre in London was booked for a sequence of experimental live shows. Townshend approached the gigs with optimism; the remainder of the band have been simply comfortable to be gigging once more.[140] Finally, the others complained to Townshend that the challenge was too sophisticated and they need to merely document one other album. Issues deteriorated till Townshend had a nervous breakdown and deserted Lifehouse.[141] Entwistle was the primary member of the group to launch a solo album, Smash Your Head Towards the Wall, in Could 1971.[142][143]

Recording on the File Plant in New York Metropolis in March 1971 was deserted when Lambert’s habit to onerous medicine interfered together with his capability to supply.[144] The group restarted with Glyn Johns in April.[145] The album was principally Lifehouse materials,[144] with one unrelated tune by Entwistle, “My Spouse”, and was launched as Who’s Subsequent in August.[146] The album reached No. 1 within the UK and No. 4 within the US. “Baba O’Riley” and “Will not Get Fooled Once more” are early examples of synthesizer use in rock, that includes keyboard sounds generated in actual time by a Lowrey organ; on “Will not Get Fooled Once more”, it was additional processed by means of a VCS3 synthesizer.[145] The synthesizer intro to “Baba O’Riley” was programmed based mostly on Meher Baba’s very important stats,[147] and the monitor featured a violin solo by Dave Arbus.[148] The album was a vital and business success, and has been licensed 3x platinum by the RIAA.[149] The Who continued to subject Lifehouse-related materials over the subsequent few years, together with the singles “Let’s See Motion”, “Be part of Collectively” and “Relay”.[150][151][152]

The band went again on tour, and “Baba O’ Riley” and “Will not Get Fooled Once more” grew to become reside favourites.[153][154] In November they carried out on the newly opened Rainbow Theatre in London for 3 nights,[155] persevering with within the US later that month, the place Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Instances described the Who as “the Biggest Present on Earth”.[156] The tour was barely disrupted on the Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on 12 December when Moon handed out over his equipment after overdosing on brandy and barbiturates.[157] He recovered and accomplished the gig, taking part in to his regular power.[158]

Quadrophenia, Tommy movie and The Who by Numbers

The Who playing live

The Who on the Ernst-Mercke-Halle, Hamburg, 12 August 1972[159]

After touring Who’s Subsequent, and needing time to write down a follow-up, Townshend insisted that the Who take a prolonged break, as that they had not stopped touring because the band began.[160] There was no group exercise till Could 1972, after they began engaged on a proposed new album, Rock Is Useless—Lengthy Stay Rock!,[161] however, sad with the recordings, deserted the classes. Tensions started to emerge as Townshend believed Daltrey simply needed a money-making band and Daltrey thought Townshend’s initiatives have been getting pretentious. Moon’s behaviour was changing into more and more harmful and problematic by means of extreme consuming and medicines use, and a need to occasion and tour.[162] Daltrey carried out an audit of the group’s funds and found that Lambert and Stamp had not stored ample data. He believed them to be now not efficient managers, which Townshend and Moon disputed.[163] The painful dissolution of the managerial and private relationships are recounted in James D. Cooper’s 2014 retrospective documentary, Lambert & Stamp.[164] Following a brief European tour, the rest of 1972 was spent engaged on an orchestral model of Tommy with Lou Reizner.[165]

By 1973, the Who turned to recording the album Quadrophenia about mod and its subculture, set in opposition to clashes with Rockers in early Nineteen Sixties Britain.[166] The story is a few boy named Jimmy, who undergoes a character disaster, and his relationship together with his household, associates and mod tradition.[167] The music options 4 themes, reflecting the 4 personalities of the Who.[168] Townshend performed multi-tracked synthesizers, and Entwistle performed a number of overdubbed horn components.[169] By the point the album was being recorded, relationships between the band and Lambert and Stamp had damaged down irreparably, and Invoice Curbishley changed them.[170] The album reached No. 2 in each the UK and US.[171]

The Quadrophenia tour began in Stoke on Trent in October[172] and was instantly beset with issues. Daltrey resisted Townshend’s want to add Joe Cocker’s keyboardist Chris Stainton (who performed on the album) to the touring band.[173] As a compromise, Townshend assembled the keyboard and synthesizer components on backing tapes, as such a method had been profitable with “Baba O’Riley” and “Will not Get Fooled Once more”.[75] Sadly, the know-how was not subtle sufficient to cope with the calls for of the music; added to this subject, tour rehearsals had been interrupted as a result of an argument that culminated in Daltrey punching Townshend and knocking him out chilly.[174] At a gig in Newcastle, the tapes fully malfunctioned, and an enraged Townshend dragged sound-man Bob Pridden on-stage, screamed at him, kicked all of the amps over and partially destroyed the backing tapes. The present was deserted for an “oldies” set, on the finish of which Townshend smashed his guitar and Moon kicked over his drumkit.[175][174] The Impartial described this gig as one of many worst of all time.[176] The US tour began on 20 November on the Cow Palace in Daly Metropolis, California; Moon handed out throughout “Will not Get Fooled Once more” and through “Magic Bus”. Townshend requested the viewers, “Can anybody play the drums? – I imply any individual good.” An viewers member, Scot Halpin, crammed in for the remainder of the present.[177][176] After a present in Montreal, the band (apart from Daltrey, who retired to mattress early) induced a lot injury to their resort room, together with destroying an vintage portray and ramming a marble desk by means of a wall, that federal regulation enforcement arrested them.[178]

The Who waving to a crowd

Promotional {photograph} celebrating the band’s tenth anniversary, December 1974

By 1974, work had begun in earnest on a Tommy movie. Stigwood advised Ken Russell as director, whose earlier work Townshend had admired.[179] The movie featured a star-studded solid, together with the band members. David Essex auditioned for the title position, however the band persuaded Daltrey to take it.[180] The solid included Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Elton John and Jack Nicholson.[181] Townshend and Entwistle labored on the soundtrack for many of the yr, dealing with the majority of the instrumentation. Moon had moved to Los Angeles, in order that they used session drummers, together with Kenney Jones (who would later be part of the Who). Elton John used his personal band for “Pinball Wizard”.[182] Filming was from April[183] till August.[184] 1500 extras appeared within the “Pinball Wizard” sequence.[183]

The movie premiered on 18 March 1975 to a standing ovation.[185] Townshend was nominated for the Academy Award for Greatest Authentic Rating.[186] Tommy was proven on the 1975 Cannes Movie Competition, however not in the principle competitors.[187] It received the award for Rock Film of the 12 months within the First Annual Rock Music Awards[188] and generated over $2 million in its first month.[185] The soundtrack reached quantity two on the Billboard charts.[189]

Keith Moon behind a drumkit

Keith Moon in 1975

Work on Tommy took up most of 1974, and reside performances by the Who have been restricted to a present in Could on the Valley, the house of Charlton Athletic, in entrance of 80,000 followers,[190] and some dates at Madison Sq. Backyard in June.[191] In the direction of the top of the yr, the group launched the out-takes album Odds & Sods, which featured a number of songs from the aborted Lifehouse challenge.[192]

In 1975, Daltrey and Townshend disagreed in regards to the band’s future and criticised one another by way of interviews within the music paper New Musical Specific. Daltrey was grateful that the Who had saved him from a profession as a sheet-metal employee and was sad at Townshend not taking part in properly; Townshend felt the dedication of the group prevented him from releasing solo materials.[193] The subsequent album, The Who by Numbers, had introspective songs from Townshend that handled disillusionment corresponding to “Nonetheless A lot I Booze” and “How Many Associates”; they resembled his later solo work.[194] Entwistle’s “Success Story” gave a humorous have a look at the music business, and “Squeeze Field” was a success single.[195] The group toured from October, taking part in little new materials and few Quadrophenia numbers, and reintroducing a number of from Tommy. The American leg of the tour started in Houston to a crowd of 18,000 at The Summit Enviornment, and was supported by Toots and the Maytals.[196] On 6 December 1975, the Who set the document for largest indoor live performance on the Pontiac Silverdome, attended by 78,000.[197] On 31 Could 1976, they performed a second live performance on the Valley which was listed within the Guinness Guide of Information because the world’s loudest live performance at over 120 dB.[113] Townshend had develop into fed up of touring[198] however Entwistle thought-about reside efficiency to be at a peak.[199]

Who Are You and Moon’s demise

Roger Daltrey singing and Pete Townshend singing and playing a guitar

Daltrey and Townshend, 21 October 1976, Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario – their final public gig with Moon

After the 1976 tour, Townshend took many of the following yr off to spend time together with his household.[200] He found that former Beatles and Rolling Stones supervisor Allen Klein had purchased a stake in his publishing firm. A settlement was reached, however Townshend was upset and disillusioned that Klein had tried to take possession of his songs. Townshend went to the Speakeasy the place he met the Intercourse Pistols’ Steve Jones and Paul Cook dinner, followers of the Who. After leaving, he handed out in a doorway, the place a policeman mentioned he wouldn’t be arrested if he might stand and stroll. The occasions impressed the title monitor of the subsequent album, Who Are You.[201]

The group reconvened in September 1977, however Townshend introduced there could be no reside performances for the instant future, a call that Daltrey endorsed. By this level, Moon was so unhealthy that the Who conceded it could be tough for him to deal with touring. The one gig that yr was an off-the-cuff present on 15 December on the Gaumont State Cinema in Kilburn, London, filmed for the documentary The Youngsters Are Alright.[202] The band had not performed for 14 months, and their efficiency was so weak that the footage was unused. Moon’s taking part in was notably lacklustre and he had gained loads of weight,[203] although Daltrey later mentioned, “even at his worst, Keith Moon was wonderful.”[204]

Recording of Who Are You began in January 1978. Daltrey clashed with Johns over the manufacturing of his vocals, and Moon’s drumming was so poor that Daltrey and Entwistle thought-about firing him. Moon’s taking part in improved, however on one monitor, “Music Should Change”, he was changed as he couldn’t play in 6/8 time.[205] In Could, the Who filmed one other efficiency at Shepperton Sound Studios for The Youngsters Are Alright. This efficiency was robust, and a number of other tracks have been used within the movie. It was the final gig Moon carried out with the Who.[206]

The album was launched on 18 August, and have become their largest and quickest vendor thus far, peaking at No. 6 within the UK and No. 2 within the US.[189] As a substitute of touring, Daltrey, Townshend and Moon did a sequence of promotional tv interviews, and Entwistle labored on the soundtrack for The Youngsters Are Alright.[207]

On 6 September, Moon attended a celebration held by Paul McCartney to rejoice Buddy Holly’s birthday. Returning to his flat, Moon took 32 tablets of clomethiazole which had been prescribed to fight his alcohol withdrawal.[208] He handed out the next morning and was found useless later that day.[209][208]


The day after Moon’s demise, Townshend issued the assertion: “We’re extra decided than ever to hold on, and we wish the spirit of the group to which Keith contributed a lot to go on, though no human being can ever take his place.”[210] Drummer Phil Collins, having a brief break from Genesis after his first marriage had failed, was at a free finish and requested to exchange Moon, however Townshend had already requested Kenney Jones, who had beforehand performed with the Small Faces and Faces. Jones formally joined the band in November 1978.[211][212] John “Rabbit” Bundrick joined the reside band as an unofficial keyboardist.[213] On 2 Could 1979, the Who returned to the stage with a live performance on the Rainbow Theatre, adopted by the Cannes Movie Competition in France[214] and dates at Madison Sq. Backyard in New York.[215]

The Quadrophenia movie was launched that yr. It was directed by Franc Roddam in his feature-directing début,[216] and had easy performing slightly than musical numbers as in Tommy. John Lydon was thought-about for Jimmy, however the position went to Phil Daniels. Sting performed Jimmy’s good friend and fellow mod, the Ace Face.[217] The soundtrack was Jones’ first look on a Who document, acting on newly written materials not on the unique album.[218] The movie was a vital and field workplace success within the UK[219] and appealed to the rising mod revival motion. The Jam have been influenced by the Who, and critics seen a similarity between Townshend and the group’s chief, Paul Weller.[215]

The Youngsters Are Alright was additionally accomplished in 1979. It was a retrospective of the band’s profession, directed by Jeff Stein.[220] The movie included footage of the band at Monterey, Woodstock and Pontiac, and clips from the Smothers Brothers’ present and Russell Harty Plus.[221] Moon had died one week after seeing the tough reduce with Daltrey. The movie accommodates the Shepperton live performance,[222] and an audio monitor of him taking part in over silent footage of himself was the final time he ever performed the drums.[223]

In December, the Who grew to become the third band, after The Beatles and the Band, to look on the duvet of Time. The article, by Jay Cocks, mentioned the band had outpaced, outlasted, outlived and outclassed all of their rock band contemporaries.[224]

Cincinnati tragedy

On 3 December 1979, a crowd crush at a Who gig on the Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati killed 11 followers.[225] This was partly because of the pageant seating, the place the primary to enter get the very best positions. Some followers ready outdoors mistook the band’s soundcheck for the live performance, and tried to power their method inside. As just a few entrance doorways have been opened, a bottleneck scenario ensued with hundreds attempting to realize entry, and the crush grew to become lethal.[226]

The Who weren’t informed till after the present as a result of civic authorities feared crowd issues if the live performance have been cancelled. The band have been deeply shaken upon studying of it and requested that applicable security precautions be taken sooner or later.[227] The next night, in Buffalo, New York, Daltrey informed the gang that the band had “misplaced loads of household final night time and this present’s for them”.[228]

Change and break-up

Roger Daltrey holding a microphone and Pete Townshend jumping on stage

The Who in Toronto, 1980

Daltrey took a break in 1980 to work on the movie McVicar, during which he took the lead position of financial institution robber John McVicar.[229] The soundtrack album is a Daltrey solo album, although all members of the Who’re included within the supporting musicians, and was his most profitable solo launch.[230]

The Who launched two studio albums with Jones as drummer, Face Dances (1981) and It is Onerous (1982). Face Dances produced a US prime 20 and UK prime ten hit with the only “You Higher You Wager”, whose video was one of many first proven on MTV.[231] Each Face Dances and It is Onerous bought properly and the latter acquired a five-star overview in Rolling Stone.[232] The only “Eminence Entrance” from It is Onerous was a success, and have become an everyday at reside exhibits.[233] By this time Townshend had fallen into despair, questioning if he was now not a visionary.[234] He was once more at odds with Daltrey and Entwistle, who merely needed to tour and play hits[235] and thought Townshend had saved his greatest songs for his solo album, Empty Glass (1980).[236] Jones’ drumming type was very completely different from Moon’s and this drew criticism inside the band.[235] Townshend briefly grew to become hooked on heroin earlier than cleansing up early in 1982 after remedy with Meg Patterson.[237]

John Entwistle playing a bass guitar

John Entwistle performing with the Who on the Manchester Apollo, 1981

Townshend needed the Who to cease touring and develop into a studio act; Entwistle threatened to stop, saying, “I do not intend to get off the street … there’s not a lot I can do about it besides hope they alter their minds.”[238] Townshend didn’t change his thoughts, and so the Who launched into a farewell tour of the US and Canada[239] with the Conflict as help,[240] ending in Toronto on 17 December 1982.[238]

Townshend spent a part of 1983 writing materials for a Who studio album owed to Warner Bros. Information from a contract in 1980,[241] however he discovered himself unable to generate music applicable for the Who and on the finish of 1983 paid for himself and Jones to be launched from the contract.[242] On 16 December 1983, Townshend introduced at a press convention that he was leaving the Who, successfully ending the band.[243]

After the Who break-up, Townshend centered on solo albums corresponding to White Metropolis: A Novel (1985), The Iron Man (1989, that includes Daltrey and Entwistle and two songs credited to the Who), and Psychoderelict (1993).[244]


In July 1985, the Who carried out at Stay Help at Wembley Stadium, London.[245] The BBC transmission truck blew a fuse through the set, briefly interrupting the printed.[246][247] On the 1988 Brit Awards, on the Royal Albert Corridor, the band got the British Phonographic Trade’s Lifetime Achievement Award.[248] The quick set they performed there was the final time Jones performed with the Who till 2014.[249]

1989 tour

In 1989, the band launched into a Twenty fifth-anniversary The Youngsters Are Alright reunion tour with Simon Phillips on drums and Steve “Boltz” Bolton as a second guitarist. Townshend had introduced in 1987 that he suffered from tinnitus[250][251] and alternated acoustic, rhythm and lead guitar to protect his listening to.[252] Their two exhibits at Sullivan Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, bought 100,000 tickets in lower than eight hours, beating earlier data set there by U2 and David Bowie.[253] The tour was briefly marred at a gig in Tacoma, Washington, the place Townshend injured his hand on-stage.[254] Some critics disliked the tour’s over-produced and expanded line-up, calling it “The Who on Ice”;[255] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic mentioned the tour “tarnished the fame of the Who virtually irreparably”.[256] The tour included most of Tommy and included such visitors as Phil Collins, Billy Idol and Elton John.[257] A 2-CD reside album, Be part of Collectively, was launched in 1990.[256]

Partial reunions

In 1990, the Who have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame.[258] The group have a featured assortment within the corridor’s museum, together with certainly one of Moon’s velvet fits, a Warwick bass of Entwistle’s, and a drumhead from 1968.[259]

In 1991, the Who recorded a canopy of Elton John’s “Saturday Evening’s Alright for Combating” for the tribute album Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin. It was the final studio recording to function Entwistle. In 1994, Daltrey turned 50 and celebrated with two live shows at New York’s Carnegie Corridor. The exhibits included visitor spots by Entwistle and Townshend. Though all three surviving unique members of the Who attended, they appeared on stage collectively solely through the finale, “Be part of Collectively”, with the opposite visitors. Daltrey toured that yr with Entwistle, Zak Starkey on drums and Simon Townshend filling in for his brother as guitarist.[260]


Revival of Quadrophenia

Zak Starkey playing drums

Zak Starkey has been the Who’s predominant drummer since 1996, and turned down an invite to be a full-time member.[261]

In 1996, Townshend, Entwistle and Daltrey carried out Quadrophenia with visitors and Starkey on drums at Hyde Park.[262] The efficiency was narrated by Daniels, who had performed Jimmy within the 1979 movie. This was the primary reside efficiency of Quadrophenia in its entirety. Regardless of technical difficulties the present led to a six-night residency at Madison Sq. Backyard and a US and European tour by means of 1996 and 1997.[262] Townshend performed principally acoustic guitar, however finally was persuaded to play some electrical.[263] In 1998, VH1 ranked the Who ninth of their listing of the “100 Biggest Artists of Rock ‘n’ Roll”.[264]

Charity exhibits and Entwistle’s demise

In late 1999, the Who carried out as a five-piece for the primary time since 1985, with Bundrick on keyboards and Starkey on drums. The primary present in Las Vegas on the MGM Grand Backyard Enviornment[255] was partially broadcast on TV and the Web and launched because the DVD The Vegas Job. They then carried out acoustic exhibits at Neil Younger’s Bridge College Profit on the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California,[265] adopted by gigs on the Home of Blues in Chicago[266] and two Christmas charity exhibits on the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London.[267] Critics have been delighted to see a rejuvenated band with a primary line-up similar to the excursions of the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies. Andy Greene in Rolling Stone referred to as the 1999 tour higher than the ultimate one with Moon in 1976.[255]

The band toured the US and UK from June to October 2000,[266] to usually beneficial evaluations,[268] culminating in a charity present on the Royal Albert Corridor for the Teenage Most cancers Belief with visitor performances from Paul Weller, Eddie Vedder, Noel Gallagher, Bryan Adams and Nigel Kennedy.[269] Stephen Tomas Erlewine described the gig as “an distinctive reunion live performance”.[270] In October 2001 the band carried out the Live performance for New York Metropolis at Madison Sq. Backyard for households of firefighters and police who had misplaced their lives following the September 11 assaults on the World Commerce Heart;[271] with Forbes describing their efficiency as a “catharsis” for the regulation enforcement in attendance.[272] Earlier that yr the band have been honoured with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.[273]

The Who performed live shows within the UK in early 2002 in preparation for a full US tour. On 27 June, the day earlier than the primary date,[274] Entwistle, 57, was discovered useless of a coronary heart assault on the Onerous Rock Resort in Las Vegas. Cocaine was a contributing issue.[275]

After Entwistle: Excursions and Limitless Wire

On-stage shot of the Who

The Who on tour in 2007. L to R: Zak Starkey, Daltrey, Townshend, and John “Rabbit” Bundrick

Entwistle’s son, Christopher, gave a press release supporting the Who’s resolution to hold on. The US tour started on the Hollywood Bowl with touring bassist Pino Palladino. Townshend devoted the present to Entwistle, and ended with a montage of images of him. The tour lasted till September.[276] The lack of a founding member of the Who induced Townshend to re-evaluate his relationship with Daltrey, which had been strained over the band’s profession. He determined their friendship was vital, and this finally led to writing and recording new materials.[277]

To fight bootlegging, in 2002 the band started to launch the Encore Collection of official soundboard recordings by way of An official assertion learn: “to fulfill this demand they’ve agreed to launch their very own official recordings to learn worthy causes”.[278] In 2004, the Who launched “Previous Crimson Wine” and “Actual Good Trying Boy” (with Palladino and Greg Lake, respectively, on bass) on a singles anthology, The Who: Then and Now, and went on an 18-date tour of Japan, Australia, the UK and the US, together with a return look on the Isle of Wight.[279] Later that yr, Rolling Stone ranked the Who No. 29 on their listing of the 100 Biggest Artists of All Time.[280]

The Who introduced in 2005 that they have been engaged on a brand new album. Townshend posted a novella referred to as The Boy Who Heard Music on his weblog, which developed right into a mini-opera referred to as Wire & Glass, forming the idea for the album.[277] Limitless Wire, launched in 2006, was the primary full studio album of latest materials since 1982’s It is Onerous and contained the band’s first mini-opera since “Rael” in 1967. The album reached No. 7 within the US and No. 9 within the UK.[281] Starkey was invited to affix Oasis in April 2006 and the Who in November 2006, however he declined and cut up his time between the 2.[261]

In November 2007, the documentary Superb Journey: The Story of The Who was launched, that includes unreleased footage of the 1970 Leeds look and a 1964 efficiency on the Railway Resort when the group have been The Excessive Numbers. Superb Journey was nominated for a 2009 Grammy Award.[282]

The Who performing the 2010 Tremendous Bowl halftime present

The Who toured in help of Limitless Wire, together with the BBC Electrical Proms on the Roundhouse in London in 2006,[283] headlining the 2007 Glastonbury Competition,[284] a half-time look on the Tremendous Bowl XLIV in 2010[285] and being the ultimate act on the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Video games.[286] In November 2012, the Who launched Stay at Hull, an album of the band’s efficiency the night time after the Stay at Leeds gig.[287]

Quadrophenia and Extra

In 2010, the Who carried out Quadrophenia with components performed by Vedder and Tom Meighan on the Royal Albert Corridor as a part of the Teenage Most cancers Belief sequence of 10 gigs.[288] A deliberate tour for early 2010 was jeopardised by the return of Townshend’s tinnitus. He experimented with an in-ear monitoring system that was really helpful by Neil Younger and his audiologist.[289]

The Quadrophenia and Extra tour began in November 2012 in Ottawa[290] with keyboardists John Corey, Loren Gold and Frank Simes, the final of whom was additionally musical director.[291] In February 2013, Starkey pulled a tendon and was changed for a gig by Scott Devours, who carried out with lower than 4 hours’ discover.[292] The tour moved to Europe and the UK, and ended on the Wembley Enviornment in July 2013.[293]

The Who Hits 50! and past

Daltrey and Townshend on the Who Hits 50! tour in 2016

In October 2013, Townshend introduced the Who would stage their remaining tour in 2015, performing in places they’ve by no means performed earlier than.[294][295] Daltrey clarified that the tour was unrelated to the band’s fiftieth anniversary and indicated that he and Townshend have been contemplating recording new materials.[296] Daltrey said, “We will not go on touring eternally … it might be open-ended, however it can have a finality to it.”[297]

Jones reunited with the Who in June 2014 at a charity gig for Prostate Most cancers UK his Hurtwood Polo Membership, alongside Jeff Beck, Procol Harum and Mike Rutherford.[249] Later that month, the Who introduced plans for a world tour with a attainable accompanying album.[298][299] In September, the Who launched the tune “Be Fortunate”, which was included on the compilation The Who Hits 50! in October.[300] That November, the group launched a digital actuality app co-designed by Daltrey’s son, Jamie, that includes occasions and pictures from the band’s historical past.[301]

The Who headlined 2015’s Hyde Park Competition in June, and two days later, the Glastonbury Competition. Townshend advised to Mojo that it might be the group’s final UK gig.[302][303] To coincide with The Who’s fiftieth anniversary, all studio albums, together with the brand new compilation, The Who Hits 50!, have been reissued on vinyl.[304] In September 2015, all remaining US tour dates have been cancelled after Daltrey contracted viral meningitis. Then Townshend promised the band would come again “stronger than ever”.[305]

The Who acting at Desert Journey in October 2016

The Who launched into the Again to the Who Tour 51! in 2016, a continuation of the earlier yr’s tour.[306][307] This included a return go to to the Isle of Wight Competition (on the Seaclose Park in Newport) on the 11 June opening date. After 13 live shows, it concluded with a efficiency on the Desert Journey pageant on the Empire Polo Membership in Indio, California on 16 October.[308][309][310] In November, The Who introduced that 5 UK dates the next April (beforehand scheduled for that August and September) would come with a full reside efficiency of Tommy. The five-date tour was renamed “2017 Tommy & Extra” and included the most important choices from the album since 1989.[311] Two preliminary live shows on the Royal Albert Corridor for the Teenage Most cancers Belief on 30 March and 1 April featured Tommy in full.[312]

In January 2019, the band introduced the Shifting On! Tour.[313] The tour started on 7 Could in Grand Rapids, Michigan, however was interrupted throughout a present at Houston, Texas in September 2019 Houston after Daltrey misplaced his voice. The COVID-19 pandemic put the rest of the tour on maintain.

On 6 December 2019, The Who launched their first studio album in 13 years, Who, to vital acclaim.[314]

The Who Hits Again

In February 2022 the band introduced The Who Hits Again tour.[315]

Musical type and gear

“The music of the Who can solely be referred to as rock & roll … it’s neither by-product of folks music nor the blues; the first affect is rock & roll itself.”

— Jann Wenner[316]

The Who’ve been regarded primarily as a rock band, but have taken affect from a number of different kinds of music throughout their profession. The unique group performed a combination of trad jazz and up to date pop hits because the Detours, and R&B in 1963.[317] The group transfer to a mod sound the next yr, notably after listening to the Small Faces fuse Motown with a harsher R&B sound.[318][319] The group’s early work was geared in direction of singles, although it was not easy pop. In 1967, Townshend coined the time period “energy pop” to explain the Who’s type.[320] Like their contemporaries, the group have been influenced by the arrival of Hendrix, notably after the Who and the Expertise met at Monterey.[78] This and prolonged touring strengthened the band’s sound. Within the studio, they started to develop softer items, notably from Tommy onwards,[321] and turned their consideration in direction of albums greater than singles.[322]

From the early Nineteen Seventies, the band’s sound included synthesizers, notably on Who’s Subsequent and Quadrophenia.[324] Though teams had used synthesizers earlier than, the Who have been one of many first to combine the sound right into a primary rock construction.[325] In By Numbers the group’s type had scaled again to extra commonplace rock,[326] however synthesisers regained prominence on Face Dances.[327]

Townshend and Entwistle have been instrumental in making excessive volumes and distortion commonplace rock practices.[328] The Who have been early adopters of Marshall Amplification. Entwistle was the primary member to get two 4×12 speaker cupboards, shortly adopted by Townshend. The group used suggestions as a part of their guitar sound, each reside and within the studio.[329][330] In 1967, Townshend modified to utilizing Sound Metropolis amplifiers, customised by Dave Reeves, then in 1970 to Hiwatt.[331] The group have been the primary to make use of 1000-watt PA methods for reside gigs, which led to competitors from bands such because The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd.[332]

All through their careers, the members of the Who’ve mentioned their reside sound has by no means been captured as they wished on document.[333] Stay gigs and the viewers have at all times been vital to the group. “Irish” Jack Lyons mentioned, “The Who weren’t a joke, they have been fucking actual, and so have been we.”[334]


Daltrey initially based mostly his type on Motown and rock and roll,[335] however from Tommy onwards he tackled a wider vary of kinds.[336] His trademark sound with the band, as famous in 1983, has been a attribute scream, as heard on the finish of “Will not Get Fooled Once more”.[337]

Group backing vocals are outstanding within the Who. After “I Cannot Clarify” used session males for backing vocals, Townshend and Entwistle resolved to do higher themselves on subsequent releases, producing robust backing harmonies.[338] Daltrey, Townshend and Entwistle sang lead on numerous songs, and infrequently Moon joined in. Who’s Subsequent featured Daltrey and Townshend sharing the lead vocals on a number of songs, and biographer Dave Marsh considers the distinction between Daltrey’s robust, guttural tone and Townshend’s increased and gentler sound to be one of many album’s highlights.[339]

Daltrey’s voice is negatively affected by marijuana smoke, to which he says he’s allergic. On 20 Could 2015, throughout a Who live performance at Nassau Coliseum, he smelled a joint burning and informed the smoker to place it out or “the present can be over”. The fan obliged, with out taking Pete Townshend’s recommendation that “the quickest method” to extinguish a joint is “up your fucking arse”.[340][341]


Collection of Who memorabilia including guitars and clothes

A choice of devices utilized by the Who, together with a Rickenbacker and Gibson SG Particular guitar, and Moon’s “Photos of Lily” drum equipment from Premier

Townshend thought-about himself much less technical than guitarists corresponding to Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck and needed to face out visually as a substitute.[329] His taking part in type developed from the banjo, favouring down strokes and utilizing a mixture of the plectrum and fingerpicking. His rhythm taking part in steadily used seventh chords and suspended fourths,[331] and he’s related to the ability chord, an easy-to-finger chord constructed from the foundation and fifth[51] that has since develop into a basic a part of the rock guitar vocabulary.[342] Townshend additionally produced noises by manipulating controls on his guitar and by permitting the instrument to suggestions.[34]

Within the group’s early profession, Townshend favoured Rickenbacker guitars as they allowed him to worry rhythm guitar chords simply and transfer the neck again and forwards to create vibrato.[343] From 1968 to 1973, he favoured a Gibson SG Particular reside,[344] and later used customised Les Pauls in numerous tunings.[345]

Within the studio for Who’s Subsequent and thereafter, Townshend used a 1959 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins hollow-body guitar, a Fender Bandmaster amp and an Edwards quantity pedal, all presents from Joe Walsh.[346] Townshend began his profession with an acoustic guitar[4] and has frequently recorded and written with a Gibson J-200.[347]


A particular a part of the unique band’s sound was Entwistle’s lead bass taking part in, whereas Townshend focused on rhythm and chords.[15][322] Entwistle’s was the primary well-liked use of Rotosound strings in 1966, looking for a piano-like sound.[348] His bassline on “Pinball Wizard” was described by Who biographer John Atkins as “a contribution of its personal with out diminishing the guitar traces”;[349] he described his half on “The Actual Me” from Quadrophenia, recorded in a single take, as “a bass solo with vocals”.[350] Entwistle’s basses embrace a “Frankenstein” assembled from 5 Fender Precision and Jazz basses, and Warwick, Alembic, Gretsch and Guild basses.[351]


Moon additional strengthened the reversal of conventional rock instrumentation by taking part in lead components on his drums.[352] His type was at odds with British rock contemporaries corresponding to The Kinks’ Mick Avory and The Shadows’ Brian Bennett who didn’t think about tom-toms crucial for rock music.[353] Moon used Premier kits beginning in 1966. He averted the hi-hat, and focused on a mixture of tom rolls and cymbals.[354]

Jones’ drumming type was in sharp distinction to Moon’s. The Who have been initially smitten by working with a totally completely different drummer,[252] although Townshend later said, “we have by no means actually been in a position to exchange Keith.”[262] Starkey knew Moon from childhood and Moon gave him his first drum equipment. Starkey has been praised for his taking part in type which echoes Moon’s with out being a replica.[262][355]


Townshend centered on writing significant lyrics[356] impressed by Bob Dylan, whose phrases handled topics aside from boy–woman relationships that have been frequent in rock music; in distinction to Dylan’s intellectualism, Townshend believed his lyrics must be about issues youngsters might relate to.[357] Early materials centered on the frustration and anxiousness shared by mod audiences,[356] which Townshend mentioned was a results of “trying to find [his] area of interest”.[358] By The Who Promote Out, he started to work narrative and characters into songs,[359] which he totally developed by Tommy, together with religious themes influenced by Baba.[104] From the mid-Nineteen Seventies onwards, his songs tended to be extra private,[194] which influenced his resolution to go solo.[360]

Entwistle’s songs, against this, sometimes function black humour and darker themes.[361] His two contributions to Tommy (“Cousin Kevin” and “Fiddle About”) appeared as a result of Townshend didn’t consider he might write songs as “nasty” as Entwistle’s.[105]

Private relationships

“We’re not mates in any respect.”

—Roger Daltrey, 1965[362]

“I simply could not get by means of to Pete and Roger. We now have completely nothing in frequent other than music.”

—Keith Moon, 1965[362]

The Who’re perceived as having had a poor working relationship. Within the unique band, Sandom had been the peacemaker and settled disputes. Moon, against this, was as risky as Daltrey and Townshend. Entwistle was too passive to develop into concerned in arguments.[363] The group established their reside fame and stage present partly out of insecurity and aggression amongst its members,[364] and Townshend recalled that every one choices needed to be made democratically “as a result of we at all times disagreed”.[365]

The one real friendship within the Who through the Nineteen Sixties was between Entwistle and Moon. The pair loved one another’s sense of humour and shared a passion for clubbing. Journalist Richard Inexperienced famous a “chemistry of playfullness that might transcend playfullness”.[53] Their relationship diminished considerably when Entwistle obtained married in 1967, although they nonetheless socialised on tour.[78] When Moon was destroying bathrooms in lodges, Entwistle confessed he “was standing behind him with the matches”.[366]

The group frequently argued within the press,[365] although Townshend mentioned disputes have been amplified in print and the group merely discovered it tough to agree on issues.[367] Tommy mutually benefitted Townshend and Daltrey’s standing within the band due to the previous’s songwriting and the latter’s stage presence, but even this didn’t make them shut associates.[368] The pair quarrelled, notably within the mid-Nineteen Seventies, over the group’s path.[369] Throughout his time with the band, Jones was topic to intermittent criticism from Daltrey.[370]

Entwistle’s demise got here as a shock to each Townshend and Daltrey, and induced them to re-evaluate their relationship. Townshend has mentioned that he and Daltrey have since develop into shut associates.[367] In 2015, Townshend confirmed their friendship was nonetheless robust, including their acceptance of one another’s variations “introduced us to a extremely real and compassionate relationship, which might solely be described as love.”[302]

Legacy and affect

“The one factor that disgusts me in regards to the Who’s the way in which they smashed by means of each door within the uncharted hallway of rock ‘n’ roll with out leaving far more than some particles for the remainder of us to put declare to.”

—Eddie Vedder[371]

The Who’re some of the influential rock bands of the twentieth century.[300][372] Their appearances at Monterey and Woodstock helped give them a fame as one of many best reside rock acts[373] they usually have been credited with originating the “rock opera”.[372] The band has bought over 100 million data worldwide.[374]

The group’s contributions to rock embrace the ability chord,[375] windmill strum[376] and the usage of non-musical instrument noise corresponding to suggestions.[34] The band influenced trend from their earliest days with their embrace of pop artwork[377] and the usage of the Union Jack for clothes.[378] The guitar-smashing incident on the Railway Resort in 1964 is certainly one of Rolling Stone journal’s “50 Moments That Modified the Historical past of Rock ‘n’ Roll”.[379]

Pink Floyd started to make use of suggestions from their early exhibits in 1966, impressed by the Who, whom they thought-about a formative affect.[380] Shortly after arriving in London in 1966, Jimi Hendrix visited Marshall’s music store demanding an amp setup like Townshend’s[357] and manipulated digital noises in ways in which Townshend had pioneered.[34] The Beatles have been followers and socialised with Moon specifically through the mid-Nineteen Sixties.[381] In 1965, Paul McCartney mentioned the Who “are probably the most thrilling factor round”[381] and was impressed to write down “Helter Skelter” within the group’s “heavy” type;[382] John Lennon borrowed the acoustic guitar type in “Pinball Wizard” for “Polythene Pam”.[383]

The loud quantity of the band’s reside present influenced the method of onerous rock and heavy metallic.[384] Proto punk and punk rock bands such because the MC5,[385] the Stooges,[386] the Ramones[387] the Intercourse Pistols,[201] the Conflict[388] and Inexperienced Day cite the Who as an affect.[389] An early affect on Queen, guitarist Brian Could referred to the Who as being “amongst our favorite teams”.[390] The Who impressed mod revival bands, notably the Jam,[391] which helped different teams influenced by the Who develop into well-liked.[373] The Who influenced onerous rock bands corresponding to Weapons N’ Roses.[392] Within the mid-Nineteen Nineties, Britpop bands corresponding to Blur[393] and Oasis have been influenced by the Who.[394] The Who’ve additionally influenced pop punk band Panic! on the Disco.[395]

The Who’ve impressed many tribute bands; Daltrey has endorsed the Whodlums, who elevate cash for the Teenage Most cancers Belief.[396][397] Many bands have lined Who songs; Elton John’s model of “Pinball Wizard” reached No. 7 within the UK.[398]


Throughout the Who’s hiatuses within the Eighties and 90s, Townshend developed his expertise as a music writer to be financially profitable from the Who with out recording or touring. He countered criticism of “promoting out” by saying that licensing the songs to different media permits a wider publicity and widens the group’s attraction.[367]

The American forensic drama CSI (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, CSI: Cyber and CSI: Vegas) function Who songs as theme music, “Who Are You”, “Will not Get Fooled Once more”, “Baba O’Riley” and “I Can See for Miles” respectively.[399][400] The group’s songs have featured in different well-liked TV sequence corresponding to The Simpsons,[401] and High Gear, which had an episode the place the presenters have been tasked with being roadies for the band.[402]

Rock-oriented movies corresponding to Nearly Well-known,[403] College of Rock[404] and Tenacious D within the Choose of Future consult with the band and have their songs,[405] and different movies have used the band’s materials of their soundtracks, together with Apollo 13 (which used “I Can See For Miles”)[406] and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (which used a take of “My Era” recorded for the BBC).[407] A number of of the band’s tracks have appeared within the online game Rock Band and its sequels.[408]

The New York Instances Journal has listed The Who amongst tons of of artists whose materials was reportedly destroyed within the 2008 Common hearth.[409]

Awards and nominations

The Who’ve acquired many awards and accolades from the music business for his or her recordings and their affect. They acquired a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Trade in 1988,[410] and from the Grammy Basis in 2001.[411]

The band have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame in 1990 the place their show describes them as “prime contenders, within the minds of many, for the title of World’s Biggest Rock Band”,[412][413] and the UK Music Corridor of Fame in 2005.[414]

In 2003, Rolling Stones 500 Biggest Albums of All Time listing included Who’s Subsequent at quantity 28,[415] Tommy at quantity 96,[416] The Who Promote Out at quantity 113,[417] Stay at Leeds at quantity 170,[418] My Era at quantity 236,[419] Quadrophenia at quantity 266,[420] and A Fast One at quantity 383.[421] And in 2004, on their 500 Biggest Songs of All Time listing, Rolling Stone included “My Era” at quantity 11,[422] “Will not Get Fooled Once more” at quantity 133,[423] “I Can See for Miles” at quantity 258,[424] “Baba O’Riley” at quantity 340, and “I Cannot Clarify” at quantity 371.[425] They’re ranked the twenty ninth best artist of all time by Rolling Stone journal,[426] and the identical journal ranked Pete Townshend among the many best songwriters.[427]

The only “My Era” and the albums Tommy and Who’s Subsequent have every been inducted into the Grammy Corridor of Fame.[428] In 2008, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey acquired Kennedy Heart Honors as members of the Who.[429] In 2009, My Era was chosen for preservation in the USA Nationwide Recording Registry.[430]

Band members

Red, white, and blue circles

The Who’s mod roundel

Present members

  • Roger Daltrey – lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica, percussion (1964–1983, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1996–current)
  • Pete Townshend – lead and rhythm guitar, backing and lead vocals, keyboards (1964–1983, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1996–current)

Present touring musicians

  • Zak Starkey – drums, percussion (1996–current)
  • Simon Townshend – guitar, backing vocals (1996–1997, 2002–current)
  • Loren Gold – keyboards, backing vocals (2012–current)
  • Jon Button – bass guitar (2017–current)

Former members

  • John Entwistle – bass guitar, horns, backing and lead vocals (1964–1983, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1996–2002; died 2002)
  • Doug Sandom – drums (1964; died 2019)
  • Keith Moon – drums, backing and lead vocals (1964–1978; died 1978)
  • Kenney Jones – drums (1978–1983, 1985, 1988, 2014)

Former touring musicians

For a whole listing, see former touring members

  • John Bundrick – keyboards (1979–1981, 1985, 1999–2012)
  • Simon Phillips – drums (1989)
  • Steve Bolton – guitar (1989)
  • Pino Palladino – bass guitar (2002–2017)
  • John Corey – keyboards, backing vocals (2012–2017)
  • Frank Simes – keyboards, mandolin, banjo, percussion, backing vocals, musical director (2012–2017)[431]


  • My Era (1965)
  • A Fast One (1966)
  • The Who Promote Out (1967)
  • Tommy (1969)
  • Who’s Subsequent (1971)
  • Quadrophenia (1973)
  • The Who by Numbers (1975)
  • Who Are You (1978)
  • Face Dances (1981)
  • It is Onerous (1982)
  • Limitless Wire (2006)
  • Who (2019)

Excursions and performances

Headlining Nineteen Sixties–Nineteen Nineties

  • 1962–1963 performances
  • Tommy Tour
  • The Who by Numbers Tour
  • 1979 tour
  • 1980 tour
  • 1981 tour
  • 1982 tour
  • 1985 and 1988 reunions
  • The Youngsters are Alright Tour
  • 1999 performances

Headlining 2000s–2010s

  • 2000 tour
  • 2001 The Live performance for New York Metropolis look
  • 2002 tour
  • 2004 tour
  • 2005 Stay 8 look
  • 2006–2007 tour
  • 2008–2009 tour
  • 2010 performances
  • 2011 performances
  • Quadrophenia and Extra
  • The Who Hits 50!
  • Again to the Who Tour 51!
  • 2017 Tommy & Extra
  • 2017 tour
  • Shifting On! Tour


  • Aledort, Andy (June 1994). “Most Rock ‘n’ Roll”. Guitar World. pp. 57–63.
  • Atkins, John (2000). The Who on File: A Crucial Historical past, 1963–1998. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-0609-8.
  • Campbell, Michael (2012). Common Music in America:The Beat Goes On. Cengage. ISBN 978-0-8400-2976-8.
  • DiPerna, Alan (June 1994). “Not F-F-F-Fade Away”. Guitar World. pp. 40–50.
  • Evans, Mike; Kingsbury, Paul (2009). Woodstock: Three Days that Rocked the World. Sterling Publishing Firm. ISBN 978-1-4027-6623-7.
  • Ewbank, Tim; Hildred, Stafford (2012). Roger Daltrey: The biography. Hachette UK. ISBN 978-1-4055-1845-1.
  • Fletcher, Tony (1998). Pricey Boy: The Lifetime of Keith Moon. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-1-84449-807-9.
  • Harison, Casey (2014). “Is It in My Head?”: The Pleasure and Ache of Listening to the Who, 1964–1973. Quantity! / Éditions Mélanie Seteun. ISBN 978-2-913169-35-7. Archived from the unique on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  • Howard, David (2004). Sonic Alchemy: Visionary Music Producers and Their Maverick Recordings. Hal Leonard Company. ISBN 978-0-634-05560-7.
  • MacDonald, Ian (1997). Revolution within the Head: The Beatles’ Information and the Sixties (First Revised ed.). Pimlico/Random Home. ISBN 978-0-7126-6697-8.
  • Knowles, Christopher (2013). The Secret Historical past of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Cleis Press. ISBN 978-1-57344-564-1. Archived from the unique on 19 Could 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  • Marsh, Dave (1983). Earlier than I Get Previous: The Story of The Who. Plexus Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-0-85965-083-0.
  • McMichael, Joe; Lyons, Jack (1998). The Who: Live performance File. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-7119-6316-0.
  • Neill, Andrew; Kent, Matthew (2009). Anyway Anyhow Wherever: The Full Chronicle of The Who 1958–1978. Sterling Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7535-1217-3.
  • Townshend, Pete (2012). Who I Am: A Memoir. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-212726-6.
  • Unterberger, Richie (2011). Will not Get Fooled Once more: The Who from Lifehouse to Quadrophenia. Jawbone Press. ISBN 978-1-906002-75-6.
  • Whiteley, Sheila (2003). The Area Between the Notes: Rock and the Counter-Tradition. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-91662-7. Archived from the unique on 16 June 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2016.

Additional studying

  • Barnes, Richard (1982). The Who: Most R & B. Eel Pie Publishing. ISBN 978-0-85965-351-0.
  • Halfin, Ross, ed. (2002). Most Who: The Who In The Sixties. Genesis Publications. ISBN 978-0-904351-85-9.

  • Official web site
  • The Who Live performance Information
  • The Who at Curlie
  • A Information to The Who from The A.V. Membership
  • The Who biography from Rolling Stone
  • The Who at AllMusic
  • “The Who”. Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame. Edit this at Wikidata
  • The Who interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1970)

Latest Posts
Jim Bowen
Product categories

The Who  
Arsenal need Jesus return as Man Utd offer timely reminder – Europa League & Europa Conference League hits & misses – Sky Sports *  DFL to harden ‘50+1’ rule to protect German clubs from investor predators *  Mustang 1392-802, Sandale Femme *  *-* Huawei Emphasizes Dominance of EV Brand AITO *  Le rire de Stella *  COC rejects suggestion it open to Russia athlete pathway to Paris 2024 | Reuters *