Four London Mods who smashed guitars, overturned drum kits, trashed hotels — and, at the same time created classic rock.
The Who began life in 1962 as a skiffle group known as the Detours, comprised of vocalist Roger Daltrey, bassist John Entwistle, guitarist Pete Townshend and drummer Doug Sandom. In 1964 Moon took over the drumstool and the band became the Who for a short time, before manager Peter Meaden suggested the High Numbers as a name and blatantly cultivated a Mod image. Purveying high-energy R&B, the band initially relied on covers for the bulk of their live set, which ranged from James Brown to Bo Diddley.
The image of the band destroying equipment originated at the Railway Hotel, Harrow, where the low ceiling was a constant source of impact for the top of Townshend's guitar. One night the guitar neck snapped clean off to the delight of the delirious crowd. Lambert and Stamp were quick to realize that repetition and exaggeration of this stunt would attract considerable publicity.
Lambert renamed them the Who and secured them a Tuesday night slot at London's famous Marquee Club. Townshend began writing original material as a vehicle to express his ideas on youth culture; alienation, confusion, amphetamine abuse and a disregard for authority all featured prominently in his lyrics. After some difficulty, including a rejection from EMI, they eventually secured a deal through Shel Talmy, an independent producer who negotiated a contract through Decca in the US. The band's debut 'I Can't Explain' in 1965 became a UK Top 10 hit following appearances on Ready Steady Go! and Top Of The Pops.
'Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere' resulted in a further Top 10 success, even though the mod movement was beginning to lose its impetus.
December 1965 saw the release of the band's debut album 'My Generation', an angst-ridden statement that highlighted teenage frustrations and took them into the UK Top 5. Further single success ensued with 'Substitute' (UK Number 5), I'm A Boy' (UK Number 2) and 'Happy Jack', (UK Number 3, US Number 24) and saw Townshend widen his lyrical horizons with comments on awakening sexuality as well as society's eccentrics. In December 1966, 'A Quick One' became the band's second Top 5 album success and included the nine-minute, mini-rock opera 'A Quick One, While He's Away7, which pre-dates the Beatles' 'Sgt Pepper' and is a blueprint for Tommy'.
The US market became primed following the band's infamous equipment-wrecking show at the Monterey Pop Festival on 25 June 1967. 'I Can See For Miles' became a Top 10 hit on both sides of the Atlantic, while The Who Sell Out (1967) which featured tracks linked by commercial radio ads was a success in the album charts reaching Number 48 in the UK charts and Number 13 in the US. Townshend began work on an ambitious rock opera in the spring of 1968, which eventually materialized two years later as Tommy' (1969).
The band only performed Tommy' in its entirety twice, but in 1972 Townshend coordinated a new recording with the London Svmphony Orchestra, featuring guest appearances from Rod Stewart, Sandy Denny, Steve Winwood and others. In 1975, Ken Russell produced a film version of Tommy starring The Who, with Daltrey in the central role, arid featuring Tina Turner as the Acid Queen' and Elton John as the 'Pinball Wizard'. Controversial and violent performances at Woodstock and the Isle of Wight festival elevated the band to legendary status.
Following the studio labours of Tommy', in 1970 the band recorded 'Live At Leeds' (UK Number 3, US Number 4), a charged set of high-energy R&B, featuring screeching feedback and explosive guitar work from Townshend. This is considered by many as one of the greatest ever live recordings. Who's Next (1971) (UK Number 1, US Number 4) saw the band utilize synthesizers for the first time and achieve a more refined sound. Won't Get Fooled Again', released as a single, went to Number 9 in the UK and Number 15 in the US. A trio of new single releases ensued over the next eighteen months, to mark time until Townshend's second rock opera was fully completed; 'Let's See Action', 'Join Together' and 'Relay1 helped to maintain a high media profile during this period.
|The Who - Idols Of Swinging London|
Following the release of 'Odds And Sods' (1974), a compilation of unreleased leftovers from the previous decade, The Who By Numbers' (1975) suggested that Townshend's lyrical and musical cutting edge had become less sharp. With the advent of punk, Townshend had to radically reassess his approach, and against the odds the band rediscovered themselves in 1978 with the more confident and aggressive Who Are You?' (UK Number 6, US Number 2). However, tragedy struck in September 1978 when Keith Moon died from an overdose of drugs; ironically, these had been prescribed to treat his alcoholism.
|Keith Moon - played the largest drum kit at that time|
After serious contemplation, the remaining trio decided to continue and recruited former Small Faces drummer Kenney Jones. Following the release of 'The Kids Are Alright' (1979), a double album retrospective, the long-delayed 'Face Dances' (1981) represented a creative nadir reaching Number 2 in the UK and Number 4 in the US which was further confirmed by 'It's Hard' (1982) (UK Number 11, US Number 8), the band's final studio release. In December 1982, the band split up following the last gig of a North American farewell tour. The event was filmed and recorded for subsequent video and album release.
The band re-formed for live Aid in 1985 and again in 1989 for a lucrative 25th-anniversary tour, which yielded Join Together', yet another live album. Although somewhat tarnished, the legend of the Who lives on; their flamboyant, aggressive style has influenced many generations of bands over the years and their-characteristic trademarks are still copied, but rarely equaled. [extract from The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Rock, edited by Michael Heatley, Carlton Books, 1994.p216-217]
|Townsend destroys another guitar|
The Who Tour 1969 was a series of performances and tours by The Who, partially in support of their Tommy album. 1969 was an extremely transitional year for the band, due almost entirely to Pete Townshend's rock opera Tommy, which they had begun recording the previous autumn. By the second half of the year, the success of Tommy began to elevate the status of the band, who continued to feature it as the focal point of their act.
Starting with the show at Fairfield Halls in Croydon, London on 21 September, the band added several songs to the Tommy set to present the rock opera in more complete form, while shows generally ended with long versions of "My Generation" that included reprised themes from Tommy, along with various other instrumental sections. A live FM radio broadcast from the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam followed shortly afterwards (from which this Bootleg probably originated), and the group returned to North America for another five-week tour in early October, highlighted by six nights at the Fillmore East in New York City.[extract from wikipedia]
|Daltrey & Townsend 1969|
This recording was made by a Dutch radio/TV broadcast. It's not 100% certain who did it, but it was probably done by the VPRO, who also did the Pink Floyd recording the same year at the same venue. And just like that Pink Floyd recording, this one was also bootlegged a million times from various very good to very poor sources. All of these sources were originated from radio broadcast/s. Back then, and today still, the 'Concertgebouw' in Amsterdam was not a place for rock bands but for opera's and other classic music. Mixed directly to 2-tracks, this may been one of the reasons why the mixing engineer had a hard time finding the right balance. The mix changes often, and sometimes the drums or the guitar just disappear or get buried for a while. It also must have been hard for the band to hear each other, because of the extremely reverberating acoustics.
Did you know that Keith fell off the stage that night in Amsterdam? When the band came on stage, Keith came running up the stairs on the right side of the stage (which was a small one) and he forgot to stop. He tried to get his balance again, but he fell into the audience and took some speakers with him in his fall. I was standing maybe three feet away from where he fell and with some other people, we lifted him up onto the stage again. He shaked his head, which was covered with blood, jumped behind his drums and the show was on. This was my 1st WHO Concert and since than they are still the best band for me. [review by Henk Hulstkamp at thewholive.net]
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from an AMCOS CD (Australian) release and includes full album artwork (plus several other bootleg covers for same concert). The quality of this bootleg recording is pretty good for the period in which it was recorded, but don't expect another Live at Leeds !
The track listing is quite interesting and most of their well known songs are here, including a good slab of material from their rock opera Tommy and some of their classic standards like "Shakin' All Over" and "Substitute". The only bummer is that my favourite Who track "Magic Bus" wasn't on the playlist, but I guess I've got 'Live At Leeds' to console me. Enjoy.
01 - I Can't Explain
02 - Fortune Teller
03 - Tattoo
04 - Young Man Blues
05 - Pinball Wizard
06 - Substitute
07 - Happy Jack
08 - I'm Free
09 - 1921
10 - Summertime Blues
11 - See Me, Feel Me
12 - I'm A Boy
13 - Christmas
14 - The Acid Queen
15 - Shakin' All Over
16 - My Generation.
The Who Line Up:
Pete Townshend (guitars, vocal)
Roger Daltey (vocal)
John Entwistle (bass, vocal)
Keith Moon (drums, vocal)
The Who Link (149Mb) New Link 18/10/2015