Monday, 13 October 2008

The Who: The Definitive History

The Who - Playlist

The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964. The primary lineup consisted of guitarist Pete Townshend, vocalist Roger Daltrey, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. They became known for their energetic live performances,[1][2] are regarded as one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s and '70s and recognized as one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, their first year of eligibility.[3][4]
The Who rose to fame in the United Kingdom with a pioneering instrument destruction stage show, as well as a series of top ten hit singles (including the celebrated "My Generation") and top five albums, beginning in 1965 with "I Can't Explain". They first hit the top ten in the USA in 1967 with "I Can See for Miles". The 1969 release of Tommy was the first in a series of top five albums for the group in the USA, followed by Live at Leeds (1970), Who's Next (1971), Quadrophenia (1973), and Who Are You (1978) among others.
Keith Moon died in 1978, after which the band released two more studio albums, the top five Face Dances (1981) and the top ten It's Hard (1982), with drummer Kenney Jones, before officially disbanding in 1983. They reformed on several occasions to perform at special events such as Live Aid and for reunion tours such as their 25th anniversary tour (1989) and the Quadrophenia revival tours of 1996 and 1997. In 2000, the three surviving original members began to discuss the possibility of recording an album of new material. These plans were delayed following the death of John Entwistle in 2002. Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey continue to perform as The Who. In 2006 they released the studio album Endless Wire, which reached the top ten in the UK and US.
1 History
1.1 1960s
1.1.1 Early days
1.1.2 Early singles and My Generation
1.1.3 Conceptual work
1.1.4 Tommy and Live at Leeds
1.2 1970s
1.2.1 Lifehouse and Who's Next
1.2.2 Quadrophenia and By Numbers
1.2.3 Who Are You and Moon's death
1.3 1980s
1.3.1 Decline and breakup
1.3.2 Reunions
1.4 1990s
1.4.1 Partial reunions
1.4.2 Quadrophenia revival
1.5 2000s
1.5.1 Charity shows and Entwistle's death
1.5.2 Endless Wire
1.5.3 Amazing Journey
2 Influence
3 Awards
4 Band members
5 Discography
6 See also
7 Notes
8 References
9 External links

[edit] History

[edit] 1960s

[edit] Early days
The first band that could be considered a parent of The Who was a "trad jazz" band started by Pete Townshend and John Entwistle called The Confederates. Townshend played the banjo and Entwistle the French horn (which he would continue to use in The Who and in his solo career). Vocalist Roger Daltrey met John Entwistle in the street (with his bass slung over his arm) and asked him to join his band. Entwistle agreed and suggested Townshend as an additional (rhythm) guitarist.
In their early days the band was known as The Detours. Like many of their British peers, the group was heavily influenced by American blues and country music, initially playing mostly rhythm and blues. The initial lineup of the band consisted of Roger Daltrey on lead guitar, Pete Townshend on rhythm guitar, John Entwistle on bass, Doug Sandom on drums, and Colin Dawson on lead vocals. After Colin Dawson left the band, Daltrey moved to lead vocals and Townshend became sole guitarist. In 1964 drummer Doug Sandom left the band, and Keith Moon became their drummer.
The Detours changed their name to "The Who" in 1964 and, with the arrival of Keith Moon that year, their line-up was complete. However, for a short period during 1964, under the management of famed mod Peter Meaden, they changed their name to The High Numbers, during which time they released "Zoot Suit/I'm The Face", a single designed to appeal to their mostly mod fans. When it failed to chart, the band fired Meaden and quickly reverted to The Who. They became one of the most popular bands among the British mods, a 1960s subculture involving cutting-edge fashions, scooters and music genres such as rhythm and blues, soul, and beat music.
In September 1964, at the Railway Tavern in Harrow and Wealdstone, England, Pete Townshend smashed his first guitar. Playing on a high stage, Townshend's physical style of performance resulted in him accidentally breaking off the head of his guitar when it broke through the ceiling. Angered by snickers from the audience, he proceeded to smash the instrument to pieces on the stage. He then picked up a Rickenbacker twelve-string guitar and continued the concert. A large crowd attended their next concert, but Townshend declined to smash another guitar. Instead, Keith Moon wrecked his drumkit.[5][6] Instrument destruction became a staple of The Who's live shows for the next several years. The incident at the Railway Tavern is one of Rolling Stone magazine's "50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock 'n' Roll".[7]
The band would soon crystallise around Townshend as the primary songwriter and creative force. Entwistle would also make notable songwriting contributions. Moon and Daltrey contributed a handful of songs in the 60s and 70s.

[edit] Early singles and My Generation
The Who's first release, and first hit, was January 1965's "I Can't Explain", influenced by the early Kinks hits (with whom they shared American producer Shel Talmy). The song was first played in the USA on WTAC AM 600 in Flint, Michigan by DJ "Peter C" Cavanaugh[8] where Keith Moon drove a car into a hotel pool during his 20th birthday (Moon claimed it was his 21st so he could drink) [1]. The song was a top 10 hit in the UK and was followed by "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere", which was the only song credited as being composed in a joint effort by Townshend and Daltrey, though Townshend implied Daltrey assisted in songwriting without credit in the liner notes to Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy.
Their debut album My Generation (The Who Sings My Generation in the U.S.) was released the same year. The album included such mod anthems as "The Kids Are Alright" and the title track "My Generation". Subsequent hits, such as the 1966 singles "Substitute", about a young man who feels like a fraud, "I'm a Boy" about a young boy dressed as a young girl, "Happy Jack" about a mentally disturbed young man, and 1967's "Pictures of Lily", a tribute to masturbation, all show Townshend's growing use of stories of sexual tension and teenage angst. More hits followed, including "I Can See for Miles" and the 1968 single "Magic Bus".

[edit] Conceptual work
Although they had success as a singles band, Townshend had more ambitious goals. He wanted to treat The Who's albums as unified works, rather than collections of unconnected songs. Although Townshend later said that the song "I'm A Boy" was from a projected opus, the first sign of this ambition came in their 1966 album A Quick One, which included the storytelling medley "A Quick One While He's Away", which they later referred to as a "mini opera", and which has been called the first progressive epic.[9]
A Quick One was followed by The Who Sell Out in 1967, a concept album which played like an offshore radio station, complete with humorous jingles and commercials, and which also included a mini rock opera, called "Rael" (whose closing theme ended up on "Tommy"), as well as The Who's biggest USA single, "I Can See for Miles". The Who famously destroyed their equipment onstage at the Monterey Pop Festival that year and subsequently repeated the routine on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour with literally explosive results as Keith Moon detonated his drum kit. In 1968 The Who were the headliner of the first Schaefer Music Festival in New York City's Central Park. Also that year, Pete Townshend became the subject of the first Rolling Stone interview. Townshend revealed in that interview that he was working on a full-length rock opera.[10] This was Tommy, the first work billed as a rock opera and a major landmark in modern music.

[edit] Tommy and Live at Leeds
Around this time the spiritual teachings of India's Meher Baba began to influence Townshend's songwriting, an influence that continued for many years. Baba is credited as "Avatar" on Tommy. In addition to its commercial success, Tommy also became a critical smash, with Life Magazine saying, "...for sheer power, invention and brilliance of performance, Tommy outstrips anything which has ever come out of a recording studio,"[11] and Melody Maker declaring, "Surely The Who are now the band against which all others are to be judged."
The Who performed much of Tommy at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival later that year. That performance, and the ensuing film, catapulted The Who to superstar status in the USA. It's also worth noting that even though the festival became a free concert, the Who demanded to be paid before performing (despite both banks and roads being closed 2-3am on Sunday morning) and only agreed to play when one of the promoters, Joel Rosenman, came up with a certified check for $11,200[12] (the manager of the White Lake branch of Sullivan County National Bank had opened the bank so that performers could be paid) [13]
In February 1970 The Who recorded Live at Leeds, which is thought by many to be the best live rock album of all time.[14] The album, originally relatively short and containing mostly the show's hard rock songs, has been re-released in several expanded and remastered versions over the years, remedying technical problems with the original recording and adding portions of the performance of Tommy, as well as versions of numerous earlier singles and interstitial stage banter. A double-disc version contains the entire performance of 'Tommy.' The Leeds University gig was part of the Tommy tour, which not only included gigs in European opera houses, but also saw The Who become the first rock act to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

[edit] 1970s

[edit] Lifehouse and Who's Next
Also in 1970, The Who began work on a studio album that was never released. At the Isle of Wight Festival in August, Daltrey introduced "I Don't Even Know Myself" as "off the new album, which we're sort of half-way through". But within a few weeks of that concert Townshend wrote "Pure and Easy", a song which he later described as the "central pivot" of what became an ambitious concept album/performance art project called Lifehouse, distracting him and the band from work on the album in progress. Lifehouse was never completed in its intended form. Some Lifehouse songs were released as non-album-track singles, b-sides and on various albums over the years, such as 1974's outtakes compilation Odds & Sods and Townshend's 1972 solo album Who Came First. Townshend would later reconstruct it as a radio play for the BBC in 2000, and most of the material was released on a 6-CD album from Pete Townshend's website shortly after.
Meanwhile, in March 1971, the band began recording the available Lifehouse material with Kit Lambert in New York, and then restarted the sessions with Glyn Johns in April. Selections from the material, along with one unrelated song by Entwistle, were released as a traditional studio album, Who's Next, which became their most successful album among both critics and fans, but which effectively terminated the Lifehouse project. Who's Next reached #4 in the USA pop charts and #1 in the UK. Two tracks from the album, "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again", are often cited as pioneering examples of synthesizer use in rock music; ironically, both tracks' distinctive keyboard sounds were actually generated in real time by a Lowrey organ[15] (though in the case of "Won't Get Fooled Again", the organ's output was processed through the filters of a VCS3 synthesizer). However, synthesizers can be found elsewhere on the album, playing a prominent role in "Bargain", "Going Mobile", and "The Song is Over".

[edit] Quadrophenia and By Numbers
Who's Next was followed by Quadrophenia (1973), a work in the rock opera vein, but which can also be seen as something of an autobiographical or social history piece about early 1960s adolescent life and conflict in London. The story is about a youth named Jimmy, his struggle for self-esteem, his conflicts with his family and others, and his mental illness.[16] His personal story is set against a backdrop of the clashes between Mods and Rockers in the early 1960s in the UK, particularly the riots between the two factions at Brighton. The supporting US tour featured a legendary 20 November 1973 San Francisco, California concert at the Cow Palace in Daly City where drummer Keith Moon passed out during the show during "Won't Get Fooled Again" and again in "Magic Bus" due to tranquillizers. When Moon was finally incapacitated, Townshend asked the audience, "Can anyone play the drums? - I mean somebody good." An audience member, Scot Halpin, filled in for Moon for the rest of the encore.[citation needed]
The band's later albums contained songs of more personal content for Townshend, and he eventually transferred this personal style to his solo albums, as seen on the album Empty Glass. 1975's The Who by Numbers had several introspective songs in this vein, lightened by the crowd-pleasing "Squeeze Box", another hit single. Nevertheless, some rock critics considered By Numbers to have been Townshend's "suicide note."[17] A movie version of Tommy was released that year. It was directed by Ken Russell, starred Roger Daltrey in the title role and earned Pete Townshend an academy award nomination for Best Original Score. In 1976 The Who played a concert at Charlton Athletic Football Ground which was listed for over a decade in the Guinness Book of World Records as the loudest concert ever.[11]

[edit] Who Are You and Moon's death
In 1978, the band released Who Are You, a move away from epic rock opera and towards a more radio-friendly sound, though it did contain one song from a never-completed rock opera by John Entwistle. The release of the album was overshadowed by the death of Keith Moon in his sleep after an overdose of Heminevrin - a medication prescribed to him to combat alcohol withdrawal symptoms - only a few hours after a party held by Paul McCartney. Two ironies about the last album include the cover, which shows Moon sitting in a chair with the words "not to be taken away", and the song "Music Must Change", which has no drum track. Kenney Jones, of The Small Faces and The Faces, joined the band as Moon's successor.
In 1979, The Who returned to the stage with well-received concerts at the Rainbow Theatre in London, at the Cannes Film Festival in France and at Madison Square Garden in New York City. By late autumn, the band had agreed to undertake a small tour of the United States. This tour was marred by tragedy: on 3 December 1979 in Cincinnati, Ohio, a crush at Riverfront Coliseum before The Who's concert resulted in the deaths of eleven fans. The band was not told of the deaths until after the show because civic authorities feared more crowd control problems would arise if the concert was cancelled. The band members were reportedly devastated by this event. Also in 1979, The Who released a documentary film called The Kids Are Alright and a film version of Quadrophenia, the latter becoming a huge box office hit in the UK and the former capturing many of the band's most scintillating moments on stage over the years. In December, The Who became only the third band, after the Beatles and The Band, to be featured on the cover of Time Magazine. The accompanying article, written by Jay Cocks, was overwhelmingly positive with respect to The Who, their members, and their place in rock music, saying that The Who had "outpaced, outlasted, outlived and outclassed" all of their rock band contemporaries.[18]

[edit] 1980s

[edit] Decline and breakup
The band released two more studio albums with Jones as their drummer, Face Dances (1981) and It's Hard (1982). Face Dances produced a Top 20 smash with the single "You Better You Bet" and a string of MTV and AOR hits like "Another Tricky Day". Three videos from the album were played on MTV from the very first day MTV took to the air in August 1981. While both albums sold fairly well, and even with It's Hard receiving a five-star review in Rolling Stone, many fans were not receptive to the band's new sound. "Athena" was a US Top 30 hit and "Eminence Front" charted as well and became an instant fan favorite. Shortly after the release of It's Hard, The Who embarked on a 'farewell tour' after Pete Townshend declared his alcoholism, cleaned himself up, got sober, and stated that he wanted to do one more substantial tour with The Who before turning it into a studio-only band. It was the highest grossing tour of the year, with sellout crowds in numerous stadiums and arenas throughout North America.[19]
After their final show in December, 1982, Townshend spent part of 1983 trying to write material for the next studio Who album which was still owed to Warner Bros. Records from the contract they signed in 1980. By the end of 1983, however, Townshend had declared himself unable to generate material which he felt was appropriate for The Who and he issued a public statement in December, 1983, wherein he announced his decision to leave The Who. With Townshend formally ending The Who as an entity producing new music, Townshend focused on solo projects such as White City: A Novel, The Iron Man (which did feature appearances from Daltrey and Entwistle and two songs on the album credited to "The Who"), and Psychoderelict, a forerunner to the eventual release of the radio work Lifehouse.

[edit] Reunions
On 13 July 1985, the members of The Who, including Kenney Jones, reformed for a one-off performance at Bob Geldof's Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium. The band performed "My Generation", "Pinball Wizard", "Love Reign O'er Me", and an obviously unrehearsed "Won't Get Fooled Again" (it was later revealed that the band had also intended to play a new Townshend composition, "After The Fire", but was unable to learn it well enough to be played, it became a solo hit for Daltrey later that year). Although the BBC's equipment blew a fuse at the beginning of "My Generation", the band kept playing, so most of "My Generation" and all of "Pinball Wizard" was missed by the rest of the world.
In 1988 the band was honoured with the British Phonographic Industry's Lifetime Achievement Award. The Who played a short set at the award ceremony (which is the last time Kenney Jones has worked with The Who to date). In 1989 they embarked on a 25th anniversary "The Kids Are Alright" reunion tour which emphasised Tommy. Long time Townshend collaborator Simon Phillips played drums during the tour, with Steve "Boltz" Bolton playing lead guitar, as Townshend revealed that he had incurred massive hearing problems and would largely be relegated to strumming on acoustic guitar. A horn section and backing singers were added to the lineup. The tour was trashed by the media and many fans as well, not to mention the band themselves.[citation needed] Also, for the first time, The Who would play Townshend solo material live. Demand for tickets was phenomenal, inspiring Newsweek to say, "The Who tour is special because, after the Beatles and the Stones, they're IT." There were massive sellouts in stadiums throughout North America, including a four-night stand at Giants Stadium.[20] In all, over two million tickets were sold. The tour included two performances of Tommy. The first in New York, and the second at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, with special guests Elton John, Phil Collins, Billy Idol, Patti LaBelle, and Steve Winwood. Though the tour was a huge money maker, it left a bad taste, particularly for Townshend.[citation needed] A 2-CD live album Join Together was released to poor sales in 1990, limping to #188 in the US. Townshend also badly injured himself at a show in Tacoma, WA on Aug. 16, 1989 when he gashed open his hand during one of his famous windmill moves (by this point of the tour he was starting to play more electric guitar in the latter half of the shows). His hand hit the tremolo bar on the guitar and he started bleeding badly and was rushed to the hospital--the show was completed without him.

[edit] 1990s

[edit] Partial reunions
In 1990, their first year of eligibility, The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by U2, with Bono saying, "More than any other band, The Who are our role models." The Who's display at the Rock Hall describes them as prime contenders for the title of "World's Greatest Rock Band". Only The Beatles and The Rolling Stones receive a similar accolade at the Rock Hall.
In 1991 The Who recorded a cover version of Elton John's "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" for a tribute album. This was the last time that they released any studio work with John Entwistle. Pete Townshend toured in 1993 to promote his Psychoderelict album. On one night of the tour John Entwistle guested for several songs at the end of the show. In 1994 there were rumours of an upcoming 30th anniversary tour. These never happened but Roger Daltrey turned 50 and celebrated with two concerts at Carnegie Hall. These performances included guest spots by both John Entwistle and Pete Townshend. Although all the surviving original members of The Who were in attendance, they did not appear on stage together except for the finale, "Join Together", along with all the other guest stars at the end of each show. Roger Daltrey toured later that year with an orchestra and special guest John Entwistle. The band consisted of John "Rabbit" Bundrick on keyboards, Zak Starkey on drums and Simon Townshend filling in for his absent brother. Pete Townshend had given Daltrey his consent to call this band The Who, but Daltrey declined. Overall, the Daltrey Sings Townshend tour was not a major commercial success.

[edit] Quadrophenia revival
In 1996 Pete Townshend was asked to join the lineup for a major rock concert at Hyde Park. He intended to perform Quadrophenia as a solo acoustic piece using parts of the film on the screens. After contacting Entwistle and Daltrey it was agreed that a one-off performance of Quadrophenia would happen. The band was augmented by Zak Starkey on drums (although he was initially reluctant), Rabbit on keyboards and Simon Townshend and Geoff Whitehorn on guitars. Also, Jon Carin was added as an additional keyboard player, a horn section was added alongside backing vocalists and several special guests would join to play characters from the album. These included David Gilmour, Ade Edmonson, newsreader Trevor McDonald and Gary Glitter. The whole performance was narrated by Phil Daniels who played Jimmy the Mod in the film. Despite a few technical difficulties the show was a success which led to a sold out six night residency in New York at Madison Square Garden. These shows were not billed as The Who.
The success of the Quadrophenia shows led to a major US and European tour. Rabbit, Starkey, Simon and Carin remained for these shows. The show was reworked for the tour and included three Who standards as the encore. The show was originally billed under the band members names but was eventually billed as The Who to aid ticket sales. Among the worst attendances were 7,432 in the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, WA; 7,346 in Dayton, OH and just 6,210 for a show in Las Vegas, NV. However, some major markets like Chicago, IL; Philadelphia, PA (although a 2nd night was cancelled) and Detroit, MI drew sellouts or close to it. Billy Idol and Gary Glitter both played their roles on these dates for the shows.
After Quadrophenia The Who toured again in the summer of 1997. Though these shows were billed as "greatest hits" shows, they were simply reprisals of the Quadrophenia tour with five Who classics as an encore instead of three as the 1996 shows had had. P.J. Proby and Ben Waters replaced Glitter and Idol respectively. The European dates ranged from 23 April to 18 May, with the US shows ranging from 19 July until 16 August.
Pete Townshend went on to perform many acoustic shows, John Entwistle mounted several shows with his own band The John Entwistle Band and Roger Daltrey toured with the British Rock Symphony performing The Who and other classic rock songs with an orchestra.
In late 1999 The Who reformed as a five-piece band with Rabbit on keyboards and Zak Starkey on drums and performed several charity shows in small venues. Many of the songs at the shows were taken from Who's Next and included songs not performed for 30 years or more. For these shows, which took place from Oct. 29-Nov. 12 in the US and two UK charity gigs on Dec. 22 and 23, Townshend was again playing electric guitar for the full shows and The Who were now a five-piece unit. The Oct. 29 show in Las Vegas, NV was partially aired on TV as well as the internet and would later see release as the semi-official DVD The Vegas Job.

[edit] 2000s

[edit] Charity shows and Entwistle's death
The success of the 1999 shows led to a US tour in the Summer of 2000 and a UK tour in November that year. The tour ended with a charity show at the Royal Albert Hall for the Teenage Cancer trust with special guests which was released later on CD and DVD. With the numerous rave reviews of the shows in the press all three members of The Who began to discuss the possibility of a new album.[21]
The band performed at The Concert for New York City in October 2001. The Who were honoured with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award that year.[22]
Just before the onset of a tour in the summer of 2002, John Entwistle was found dead in his room at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The cause of death was a heart attack in which cocaine use was a likely contributing factor.[23] After a brief delay, the tour commenced in Los Angeles with bassist Pino Palladino. Most shows from the tour were released officially on CD as Encore Series 2002. Before the tour began new songs "Real Good Looking Boy" and "Certified Rose" were rehearsed alongside old classics such as "I Can See for Miles", but due to the death of Entwistle, they were not performed. In September, Q magazine named The Who as one of the "50 Bands to See Before You Die".

[edit] Endless Wire
In 2004 The Who released two new songs, "Old Red Wine" and "Real Good Looking Boy" (with Pino Palladino and Greg Lake, respectively, on bass guitar), as part of a singles anthology (The Who: Then and Now), and went on an 18-date world tour, playing Japan, Australia, the UK and the US. Again, all shows were released on CD, as part of Encore Series 2004. The band also headlined the Isle of Wight Festival that year and received the usual ecstatic reviews.[24] Also that year, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked The Who #29 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.[25]
The Who then announced that the spring of 2005 would see the release of their first new studio album in 23 years (tentatively titled WHO2). In March 2005, Pete Townshend's website issued a statement that the release was delayed indefinitely, and explained that expected UK/US tours in the summer of 2005 were also shelved. Part of this was due to slow recording of the new material, and part was due to Zak Starkey's commitment to tour with Oasis. Townshend continued working on the album, posting a novella called The Boy Who Heard Music on his Internet blog site. This concept developed into a mini-opera which formed the kernel for the new Who album, and later a full opera which Townshend presented at Vassar College.
The Who performed "Who Are You" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" on the London stage of the Live 8 concert in July 2005. Steve White (drummer for Paul Weller and older brother of ex-Oasis drummer Alan White) took the place of Starkey, who was on tour with Oasis, and Damon Minchella (Ocean Colour Scene's bassist) filled in for Palladino (who was touring South America as the bassist for Jeff Beck). Also that year, The Who were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame.

Remaining members Townshend and Daltrey
In 2006, The Who were the first recipients of the Freddie Mercury Lifetime Achievement Award in Live Music at the Vodaphone music awards. Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen presented the award.[26] On 3 October 2006, iTunes released two singles in advance of their new album, Endless Wire entitled "Tea & Theatre" (which is played at the end of the concerts during the North American leg of the tour) and "It's Not Enough".
Endless Wire was released on 30 October 2006 (31 October in the USA). It was their first full studio album of new material since 1982's It's Hard. The new album featured songs inspired by many subjects, such as the incidence of Stockholm syndrome during the Beslan school hostage crisis ("Black Widow's Eyes"), Mel Gibson's 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ ("Man in a Purple Dress" and "2000 Years") and it contained the band's first mini-opera since "Rael" on 1967's The Who Sell Out. Excerpts from the mini-opera, called "Wire & Glass", were released as a Maxi-single on 17 July exclusively on iTunes, and was released on CD and limited edition 12" vinyl in the UK on 24 July. "Mirror Door" was released in a radio edit and was first played on BBC Radio 2, on The Ken Bruce Show at 10:00 on 8 June 2006. Endless Wire debuted at #7 on Billboard and #9 in the UK Albums Chart.
In advance of the album, and later to support it, The Who embarked upon their The Who Tour 2006-2007. First they did a 24-date European tour followed by the rest of the world. These are their first shows since their 2004 world tour and brief performance at Live 8 in 2005. Members of the latest lineup remain, including keyboardist John "Rabbit" Bundrick, bassist Pino Palladino, drummer Zak Starkey and guitarist Simon Townshend, who is also acting as the supporting act for The Who with his band The Casbah Club. Other opening acts on the tour include The Pretenders and Rose Hill Drive. Shows are again on CD and DVD as part of Encore Series 2006. Zak Starkey was invited to become a full member of Oasis in April 2006, and, in November 2006 of The Who, but he declined, preferring to split his time between the two bands. On 24 June 2007, The Who topped the bill at the Glastonbury Festival.

[edit] Amazing Journey
In November 2007, the documentary Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who was released. The two-DVD set included new interviews from Daltrey, Jones, and Townshend as well as Sting, The Edge, and Eddie Vedder. The documentary includes footage not seen in earlier Who documentaries, including film from their 1970 Leeds University appearance and a 1964 performance at the Railway Hotel when they were known as The High Numbers.
On 30 October 2007, Roger Daltrey announced plans for The Who to return to touring in 2008 for a set of shows in Japan and Australia. "We don't want to stop..." Daltrey said. "We don't want those long hiatuses that we used to have.... You should at least keep the ball rolling."[27]
During this announcement, Daltrey also implied that Pete Townshend was working on new material for the group, and on 11 February 2008, Townshend confirmed this on the band's website. "I am hoping to come up with some songs for a more conventional Who record," Townshend wrote. He also stated that Roger Daltrey is working on setting up album work. A proposed T-Bone Burnett produced album of covers of old R&B songs has been ruled out by Townshend, however.[28]
In June, the Who announced a tour of Japan and a Mini-Tour of the United States, with preliminary dates being confirmed in four Japanese cities and nine North American cities.
The Who were honoured at the 2008 VH1 Rock Honors in Los Angeles. Taping of the show took place 12 July[29], followed by a network broadcast on 17 June.[30] That same week, a 12 song best-of collection was released as playable tracks for the music video game Rock Band. The Who performed at the Rock Band party at the Orpheum Theater during the 2008 E3 Media and Business Summit. Pete Townshend notably made a joke regarding the color choices on the game's guitar controller. [31]

[edit] Influence
The Who are one of the most influential groups in rock music. Their progressive approach to the writing of albums and their exciting live shows are matched by few. The hard rock style they brought to England's music scene was one that set the stage for other bands ranging from Led Zeppelin to The Clash. The Who have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.[32] The music of The Who's earliest Mod genesis in the 1960s provided a significant source of inspiration for bands of the Britpop wave in Britain in the mid-1990s. Bands such as Blur, Oasis, Stereophonics and Ash draw a heavy influence from the band's work, which, especially with the Mod counter-culture, provided a quintessentially "Cool Britannia" ideal.
The Who have also been called "The Godfathers of Punk" in numerous publications[33], as well as in Spike Lee's film, Summer of Sam. Part of the foundation of punk rock lies in The Who's onstage aggression, violence and snotty attitude. The Stooges, MC5, Ramones, Sex Pistols, the Clash, Generation X, Green Day and many other punk rock and protopunk rock bands, point to The Who as a major influence.
The group has been credited with devising the "rock opera" and it made one of the first notable concept albums. Following in the footsteps of Tommy were David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis and Pink Floyd's The Wall, among many others in the 1970s. More recent concept albums in the rock opera tradition include The Flaming Lips's Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots and Green Day's American Idiot.

Pete Townshend
In 1967 Pete Townshend coined the phrase "power pop" to describe The Who's sixties singles sound.[34] The guiding lights of the seventies power pop movement, from The Raspberries to Cheap Trick, take much of their inspiration from The Who.[35]
The Who's influence can also be seen in their early incorporation of synthesizers into rock music[36], with Who's Next featuring the instrument prominently and the single "Won't Get Fooled Again" becoming the first hit single to be driven by a synthesiser track. "My Generation" is perhaps the band's most covered song. Iron Maiden, Oasis, Sweet, Pearl Jam, Patti Smith, Green Day, McFly, Hawk Nelson, Di-Rect and Hilary Duff have recorded it. Oasis used it as their set closer during their 2005 world tour. The Zimmers, known as "the world's oldest rock band", made a tongue-in-cheek version and used it as their first single, which became a hit in Britain. David Bowie covered "I Can't Explain", "Pictures of Lily" and "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere". The Sex Pistols, The Ramones and Great White covered "Substitute". The Jam and The Breeders have covered "So Sad About Us".
The Clash incorporated the well-known riff of "I Can't Explain" into their songs "Clash City Rockers" and "Guns on the Roof". Pearl Jam performed "Baba O'Riley" and "The Kids Are Alright" during their tours in the 1990s and 2000s. Pearl Jam have also played many other Who songs such as "Leaving Here", "Blue, Red, & Grey", "Love, Reign O'er Me" and "Naked Eye". German band Scorpions covered "I Can't Explain" while shock metal band W.A.S.P. covered "The Real Me". Van Halen covered "Won't Get Fooled Again" on their 1993 live album Live: Right Here, Right Now, explicitly describing it as "a tribute to The Who" and in 1995, Phish covered Quadrophenia for their second annual Halloween concert tradition of performing another band's album in its entirety, which was later released as Live Phish Volume 14. Phish continued to cover "Drowned" regularly in their live performances. The Grateful Dead also covered "Baba O'Riley" in the early 1990s, as did Nirvana. Rush covered "The Seeker" and The Who's version of Summertime Blues on their 2004 "Feedback" EP and live during their R30 tour that same year. The Foo Fighters have also covered The Who songs "Bargain" and "Young Man Blues" on their most recent tour.
Limp Bizkit also did a cover of "Behind Blue Eyes" in their 2004 album Results May Vary. McFly covered "Pinball Wizard" for the B-side to their 2004 single "I'll Be Ok", and played the song live in their 2005 tour. Fish (ex Marillion) covered "The Seeker" during his Songs from the Mirror period. Many other artists, ranging from Buddy Rich to Richard Thompson to U2 to Petra Haden (who covered The Who Sell Out in its entirety), have covered Who songs. The Smithereens performed a cover of "The Seeker" on the album, Live, and released it as a single (this track is also found on the compilation album, Attack of the Smithereens).
The music of The Who is still performed in public by many tribute bands, such as (in alphabetical order): Bargain, My Generation, The Ohm, The Relay, The Substitutes, Townzen in Japan, The Whodlums (UK), The Wholigans, The Who Show, Who's Next USA, Who's Next UK, Who's Who UK. All three versions of the American forensic drama CSI (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, and CSI: NY) feature songs written and performed by The Who as their theme songs, "Who Are You", "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Baba O'Riley" respectively. The CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men once did a brief CSI spoof called Stiffs with the theme song "Squeeze Box". The movie Fever Pitch (UK, 1997) also featured "Squeeze Box" during a pivotal moment in the middle of the storyline. In addition, the song Eminence Front was during the red carped scene in the pilot episode of the HBO show Entourage

[edit] Awards
The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990,[37] the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005[38] and won the first annual Freddie Mercury Lifetime Achievement in Live Music Award in 2006.[26] They received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1988,[39] and from the Grammy Foundation in 2001,[40] for creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording. Tommy was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998, "My Generation" in 1999 and Who's Next in 2007.[41]

[edit] Band members
Main article: The Who personnel

[edit] Discography
Main article: The Who discography
My Generation (1965)
A Quick One (1966)
The Who Sell Out (1967)
Tommy (1969)
Who's Next (1971)
Quadrophenia (1973)
The Who by Numbers (1975)
Who Are You (1978)
Face Dances (1981)
It's Hard (1982)
Endless Wire (2006)

[edit] See also
The Who's influence on musical equipment

[edit] Notes
^ Vedder, Eddie (15 April 2004). "The Greatest Artists of All Time: The Who". Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2008-05-16.
^ "2006 Vodafone Live Music Awards". Vodafone. Retrieved on 2008-05-16.
^ "The Who". Brittanica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 2008-05-16.
^ "The Who". The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc.. Retrieved on 2008-05-16.
^ Rock and Roll: A Social History
^ The Marquee Club
^ 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock 'n' Roll
^ Local DJ - A Rock 'n' Roll History
^ The Who at
^ The Rolling Stone Interview: Pete Townshend
^ a b The Who. Sanctuary Group, Artist Management. Retrieved on 3 January 2007.
^ Spitz, Bob (1979). Barefoot In Babylon: The Creation of the Woodstock Music Festival. W.W. Norton & Company. p.462 ISBN 0-393-30644-5.
^ 1969 Woodstock Festival Concert - How Woodstock Happened - Pt.5
^ "Hope I don't have a heart attack". (22 June 2006). Retrieved on 3 January 2007.* Live at Leeds: Who's best... The Independent (7 June 2006). Retrieved on 3 January 2007.* Hyden, Steven. THE WHO: Live at Leeds. (29 January 2003)* The Who: Live at Leeds. BBC - Leeds - Entertainment (18 August 2006). Retrieved on 3 January 2007* 170) Live at Leeds. Rolling Stone Magazine (1 November 2003). Retrieved on 3 January 2007
^ Pete's Equipment Lowrey Berkshire Deluxe TBO-1 Whotabs Pete Townshend
^ The Who By Numbers liner notes
^ Time Magazine
^ The Who Concerts Guide 1982.
^ The Who Concerts Guide 1989
^ The Who Concerts Guide Newspaper Review.
^ List of Grammy Lifetime Awards and the years they were given.
^ Cocaine 'killed The Who star' BBC News
^ Wolfson, Richard (2004-06-14). ""Sheer genius"" (in English). Retrieved on 2007-01-07.
^ "The Immortals: The First Fifty", Rolling Stone Issue 946, Rolling Stone Magazine (24 March 2004). Retrieved on 2007-01-03.
^ a b 2006 Vodaphone Live Music Awards
^ Daltrey: The Who Returning To Road In '08
^ The Who Mulls Next Album, Revisits Classics
^ The Who Gets 'Rock Honors' in Los Angeles
^ The Who makes fun of Rock Band - GamesRadar
^ LA Phil Presents Hollywood Bowl About the Performer - Roger Daltrey
^ The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll
^ rock'sbackpageslibrary
^ PopMatters interview with Eric Carmen
^ Acoustic Sounds Inc
^ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
^ UK Music Hall of Fame
^ BRIT Awards
^ Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards
^ Grammy Hall of Fame

[edit] References
Marsh, Dave (1983). Before I Get Old: The Story of The Who. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-07155-8.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
The Who

[edit] External links
The official site
The Who biography from Rolling Stone
The Who at Allmusic
vdeThe Who
Roger DaltreyPete TownshendJohn EntwistleKenney JonesKeith MoonJohn "Rabbit" BundrickPino PalladinoDoug SandomZak StarkeySimon Townshend
Studio albums
My GenerationReady Steady Who (EP)A Quick OneThe Who Sell OutTommyWho's NextQuadropheniaThe Who by NumbersWho Are YouFace DancesIt's HardEndless Wire
Live albums
Live at LeedsWho's LastJoin TogetherLive at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970The BBC SessionsBlues to the BushLive at the Royal Albert HallEncore Series 2002Encore Series 2004Encore Series 2006 & Encore Series 2007Live from Toronto
Magic Bus: The Who on TourMeaty Beaty Big and BouncyOdds & SodsHooligansWho's Greatest HitsRarities Volume I & Volume IIThe Who Collection, Volume OneThe Who Collection, Volume TwoWho's MissingTwo's MissingWho's Better, Who's BestThirty Years of Maximum R&BMy Generation: The Very Best of the WhoThe Ultimate CollectionThen and Now
The Kids Are AlrightQuadropheniaAmazing Journey: The Story of The Who
Monterey PopWoodstockTommyQuadropheniaThe Kids Are AlrightMcVicarBuddy's SongThe Rolling Stones Rock and Roll CircusThe Concert for New York CityAmazing Journey: The Story of The Who
"Zoot Suit" • "I Can't Explain" • "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" • "My Generation" • "Substitute" • "A Legal Matter" • "The Kids Are Alright" • "I'm a Boy" • "La-La-La-Lies" • "Happy Jack" • "Pictures of Lily" • "The Last Time" / "Under My Thumb" • "I Can See for Miles" • "Call Me Lightning" • "Dogs" • "Magic Bus" • "Pinball Wizard" • "I'm Free" • "The Seeker" • "Summertime Blues" • "See Me, Feel Me" • "Won't Get Fooled Again" • "Let's See Action" • "Behind Blue Eyes" • "Join Together", "Relay" • "5:15" • "Baba O'Riley" • "Love, Reign o'er Me" • "The Real Me" • "Overture" • "Squeeze Box" • "Who Are You" • "Long Live Rock" • "You Better You Bet" • "Daily Records" • "Another Tricky Day" • "Don't Let Go the Coat" • "Did You Steal My Money" • "How Can You Do It Alone" • "You" • "Athena" • "Eminence Front" • "Cry If You Want" • "Dangerous" • "It's Hard" • "Twist and Shout (live)" • "Real Good Looking Boy" • "Wire & Glass" • "It's Not Enough" • "Tea & Theatre"
Related articles
DiscographyThe Boy Who Heard MusicInfluenceLifehousePersonnelTrack Records2006 - 2007 tourBill CurbishleyKit LambertPeter MeadenBob PriddenChris StampTwo Sides of the MoonThe Who's Tommy

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