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The Who

1964-
Pete Townshend(guitar, vocals)
Roger Daltrey(lead vocal)
John Entwistle(bass, vocals)
Keith Moon(drums)1964-1978
Kenney Jones(drums)1978-1988
Simon Phillips(drums)1989
Zak Starkey(drums)1996-

Artistfacts for The Who

  • In 1969 they created Tommy, the first successful Rock Opera.
  • They played Woodstock but hated it. Said Entwistle: "Probably the worst ever festival experience we ever had."
  • Before they were The Who they were The Detours, then The High Numbers.
  • They started out as a cover band, performing American R&B songs.
  • Daltrey was kicked out of the band in 1965 after a fight with Moon (Daltrey flushed his drugs down the toilet because he felt it was affecting his performance). Daltrey apologized and 3 days later, they took him back.
  • They made the Guiness Book of World Records for loudest concert for a show in London on May 31, 1976. The record was beaten several times before Guiness stopped listing it because too many people were losing their hearing.
  • Moon died on September 7, 1978 after taking a lethal combination of sleeping pills and alcohol. He died in the same apartment in London where Mama Cass Elliott from the Mamas And The Papas died four years earlier. The apartment was owned by Harry Nilsson, who let friends stay there when they came to London. After Moon's death, Nilsson never came back.
  • "Thunderfingers" and "The Ox" were among nicknames given to bassist John Entwistle. (thanks, Todd - Wheelersburg, OH)
  • They left their first manager, Pete Meaden, to sign with film directors Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. Meaden died a few years later of a drug overdose.
  • Entwistle was found dead in his Las Vegas hotel room on June 27, 2002. The band was to begin a tour the next day, and while they postponed the first dates, The Who did the tour anyway. A coroner's report found that Entwistle was doing cocaine before he died.
  • On December 3, 1979, 11 people were killed, and dozens of others were injured at the then Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio, when concert goers were trampled while attempting to enter the arena. Apparently the band members were on stage warming up and people outside waiting thought that they were starting the show. Only a limited amount of doors leading inside the building were opened, prompting a stampede to gain entry. The Who, as well as the coliseum officials, the promoter, and the city were all sued and found liable for the mishap. This ultimately lead to the ban of "Festival Seating" in Cincinnati, which is still in effect to this day. The Who hasn't played in Cincinnati since. (thanks, Randy - Colerain Twp., OH)
  • In 1983 Daltrey acted in The BBC's adaptation of Shakespeare's play The Comedy Of Errors. He played twins, both named Drumio, which are servants of another set of twins, both named Antipholus. (thanks, Sebastian - Gdansk, Poland)
  • In the '70s, they were cited in the Guinness book of world records as the world's loudest band. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
  • Al Kooper in Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards talks about seeing The Who perform live for the first time. Kooper was watching "to see what all the fuss was about" from the wings when The Who did "My Generation" as the closing act during a 1967 event. First Pete Townsend smashed the guitar into an amp, then a mike stand, then the stage floor, before it was finally destroyed. Then Keith Moon kicked over his entire drum stand and the curtain came down on a cloud of artificial smoke. How did The Who pay for all this? Kooper reports that between shows, The Who's roadie, Bob Pridden, would be in the dressing room, gluing guitar bits and drum kits back together while constructing smoke bombs and signing microphone repair bills.
  • They played at halftime of Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 in Miami, Florida. Their 12-minute set included parts of "Pinball Wizard," "Baba O'Riley," "Who Are You," "See Me, Feel Me" and "Won't Get Fooled Again." Daltrey and Townshend were backed by Zak Starkey on drums and Pino Palladino on bass. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
  • While answering fans' questions on thewho.com, Pete Townshend revealed that he actually preferred playing with Keith Moon's replacement Kenney Jones above Moon himself. Daltrey was vehemently opposed to naming anyone Moon's replacement, preferring to change drummers on a project-to-project basis. After being out-voted by Townshend and Entwistle, he reluctantly approved Jones joining the band, yet openly criticized his drumming as being wrong for the Who.
    On February 8th, 1988 the Who performed for the last time with Jones when the band reunited for a three-song set at London's Royal Albert Hall during the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) awards, after receiving the prestigious lifetime achievement award. Ringo Starr's son Zak Starkey has been the Who's unofficial full-time drummer since 1996. Although Townshend and Daltrey have offered him a permanent spot as the Who's third official drummer, he has declined, preferring to remain a free agent. (thanks, Mark Clark - Rochester, MN)
  • The Who Are You album was released just three weeks before Keith Moon died. The cover photo shows the band, with Moon sitting on a chair that has the words "Not To Be Taken Away" on the back of it.
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Comments: 74

So, so great.Dc - Seattle, Wa
Mon 30/05/66
Sincil Bank Festival: Lincoln City Football Club, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England (12 noon-10:45 pm)
The Brother-hud, The Children, The Creation (first ever gig), The Dimples, Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, The Small Faces, The Barron Knights, Crispian St Peters, Screamin' Lord Sutch, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, The Ivy League, The Koobas, The She Trinity, The Yardbirds, The Alan Price Set, The Kinks, The Who (headliners)
Kate - Chester, United Kingdom
Simply the greatest band of all time. Pete Townshend may not be rock and roll's greatest guitarist, but his style is utterly unique, and he is also one of the greatest songwriters, ever.

Yet, do you notice that so few other acts cover The Who's songs? I think that's because no one could perform them a tenth as well as The Who, so people don't even try.

Rock and roll contains many shreiking singers (especially in the heavy metal brigade) but nobody could shreik ON KEY as consistently as Roger Daltry. Keith Moon was rock and roll's greatest drummer and John Entwistle was its' greatest electric bassist.

Rock is dead they say--LONG LIVE RICK!
Daniel - Seattle, Wa
Pete Townshend began the legendary 'guitar smashing.' When the Who was playing a concert one time, Pete accidentally broke the neck of his guitar by hitting it against something. When people in the crowd started laughing amongst themselves at Townshend, he became angry and repeatedly smashed his guitar on the floor, tossed it aside, grabbed another and kept right on playing.Chris - Hudsonville, Mi
The Who ties with The Beatles for the best band ever. I think Roger Daltrey is an amazing singer (and actor, for that matter)! My dad met and played pool with Keith Moon the night he died. He is the most amazing drummer ever.Audrey - Laurel, Md
My God - so many comments and so little time (for now)!
(1) Pete helped Clapton of the drugs - can't love him all the time!
(2)I don't think scientists ever wrote a thesis on how quick Keith's arms moved (although drum tutor's couldn't teach him nor could they work out what he was doing)
(3)The live tv show was the Smothers Brothers which you can see at the start of The Kids Are Alright.One explosion does not a total hearing loss make though!
(4) Keith thought that drum solo's were mindnumbling boring so wouldn't have even tried to play Moby Dick (which is mind numbingly boring!)
(5)Bands are considered to have sold out when they sell their music for more money than they get from recording deal.Strange concept that I know - imagine trying to earn more money doing your job!
(6) Mary, Nicolaus, CA - you need to see someone professional!!
Allen - Belfast, Ireland
I love the who!!!They have awesome songs that are full of meaning!!!! PETE= an awesome guitarist and songwriter! He had the best stage presence and antics of any guitarist in history!! ROGER= Has an awesome voice!!!!Sweet hair too!!! JOHN= May he rest in peace; a great bassist and one among few!!! KEITH= where can i start? 1. he was and is one of the founding fathers for drumming. a god in his work and may he rest in peace. i'm sure he's up there now just flailing away on his heavenly drum kit!!!!! In short= THE WHO ROCKED AND STILL DO ROCK OUT !!!! <3Allie - A Little Ol' Town In, Mi
Pete's song "Who Are You" was actually about a drunken night in a pub where he met Steve Jones & Paul Cook from the Sex Pistols, then woke up in a doorway with a police officer saying (as per the song): if you can get up and walk again, I'll let you off...Michelle - Adelaide, Australia
Hey Danny, my mum saw the Who in here in Sydney in 1968 and she said they got banned on a Qantas flight for drinking on an airplane (very backward country back then, Aust was. Also, Pete punched a journo as he stepped off an 18 hour flight from UK!! They said they'd never come to Aust again & could explain why Keith Moon assualted Norman Gunston in UK in '70's.Michelle - Adelaide, Australia
I seriously <3 The Who. Bless John and Keith, RIP, guys. Keith- what can you say about him? He's so fabulous he's indescribable and John is so...John-ish that he is just perfect. Roger= hot and tuff and Pete= great.Shelby - The Dark Side
I LOVE THE WHO! my ultimate favorite band everrr. Some people said behind they stones and the beatles, yeah those are good people to be behind for their opinion and whoever said the kinks ROCKS! lola and celluloid heroes are awesome songs. anywho. people yelled at someone for saying they thought the who were better than the beatles. it's their opinion yo! respect it.

i saw the who :) it made my life. pete is still crazzzy

i sitll need the live at leeds album though. it's arguablly the best live album in rock n roll. some website listed it as number one, and another as number 6 overall the who rock. i love them. Baba O'Riley rules. as do like all their other songs. my generation was genius.

okay i ranted long enough!

ps: did john entwistle write boris the spider because he was arachnaphobic? i heard that somewhere. i think that's a pretty cool tid bit if it's true
Claire! - Kansas City, Nj
I'm looking for The story before Tommy. When they were in a cave and they had to eat somebody before they were rescued.I watched this on a video when I was young and it was the Who? singing of there story before Tommy? What was that story?Then came Tommy. Tommy can you feel me? Tommy can you see me. Tommy can you touch me?Mary - Nicolaus, Ca
i Love keith moon he is possibly one of the greatest drumers OF ALL TIME!!!! he is so damn hyper. RIPLilac - Washington Dc, Dc
I just recently saw The Who at Van Andel arena on their farwell tour and it changed my life. They jammed out for 2 hours and I was with them the whole time. It was unbelieveable, words cannot describe. I can't imagine seeing them with the whole original band. Although the artists who fill the voids ( Zak Starsky, Pete's brother) are great they will never match the original 4.Classicrocker - East Lansing, Mi
Although many do not agree, The Who are the greatest band of all time. With arguabley the greatest Classic Rock drummer (argued by Bonham fans and Peart fans), the greatest bassist ever and one of the top ten guitarist, and one hell of a unique voice. The Who are and will forever be the greatest band of all time, between the jams they made and the fun they had they can't be touched.Classicrocker - East Lansing, Mi
Susan from NPR..."Dear Boy, the Life of Keith Moon" and "Moon-Life and Death of a rock legend" are one and the same book. Tony Fletcher didn't write two books, it was just rereleased with a different title.Fintan - Manchester
The Who are awesome, but if you look solely at the numbers, The Beatles sold way more albums then The Who did. Six diamond albums, plus a number of gold and platinum albums. The Who are an amazing band, but going by the numbers, they weren't as good as The Beatles.Ben - Baltimore, Md
Andy from London...Keith Moon did NOT write Fiddle About in Tommy. In fact he didn't write a single song for Tommy, and not Tommy's Holiday Camp either even though he's credited for it. The songs he wrote for the Who are I Need You, Cobwebs and Strange, Waspman, partly The Ox and In The City together with John Entwistle.Fintan - Cheltenham
It's too bad Entwhistle had to die. I pay tribute to him every time I play a song by the who.Greg - Oakville, Canada
I don't care what anyone says about pete townshend he's one of the best gutarist there ever will be and let my love open the door is a real cool songCody - Hagerstown, Md
Pete Townshend is awesome! I know someone who's last name is Townsend, and since that is close to Townshend, I call her Pete. She hates it, too, because she does not know The Who. How do you not know The Who, jeez?Bobbtu - Graceland, Mn
To learn more about Keith Moon, look up these books online. Even if you don't get the books, you can get a little information reading about them. Dear Boy, the Life of Keith Moon, by Tony Fletcher, is one good book. This same author also wrote, Moon, the Life and Death of a Rock Legend. Another book is Keith Moon, Instant Party, by Alan Clayson and Rob Johnstone. Also take a look at a write-up on National Public Radio at npr.org, and use their search with this title: "Remembering the Who's Keith Moon". It has some good links, too. You can also get other write-ups there by just searching "Keith Moon" or "The Who". There is so much, I haven't had time to read all of what's out there.

To say that Keith Moon died of a drug overdose is too general. He is said to have died from taking an overdose of a drug meant to combat the effects of alcoholism, Heminevrin. Supposedly, he had 32 capsules in his system. Once source said it could have been a case of getting up during the night and not remembering what he had already taken. He could have also taken more, just as people do sometimes with less dangerous drugs --take more, get better faster. It wasn't considered suicide. He did, however, live life to the max and burned the candle at both ends. Everything he did was excessive. He was gorgeous, a gifted musician, charming, eccentric, restless, and probably, just guessing here, tortured inside. He had to know what he had become. It's sad that it was too late for him to change. As someone said, he could have died so many other times, so many different ways. Roger Daltrey apparently has a movie project he wants to complete about Keith Moon. Mike Meyers is the planned star of the movie. How it will turn out, if it gets completed, is anyone's guess.
Susan - Npr, Fl
Cool, Tom! Hilarious, Ochoda. I agree with Ty. The Who are my favorite Band two, behind the Beatles and the Stones. Right now I'm listeing to the Tommy album on the radio (I assume, i don't remember every song) Right now I'm listening to underture. What a great piece of work, I dare you to put this up against ANY classical piece.Johnny - Los Angeles, Ca
a little tit bit, in tommy, fiddle about is the only song written by keith moon....great drummer but somewhat messed up in the head methinks!Andy - London
This is my all-time favorite band because every album they had sounded different from the last, and yet they managed to make each album work. The fact is, you can't really judge The Who until you've heard all their albums. I have, and am amazed.Chris - Sunnyvale, Ca
I think they should replace John Entwistle with John Paul Jones, they should also get Neil Peart for Zepp. reunionsTom - Dosen't Matter, Ct
Someone asked about Pete being arrested...Yes he was arrested because he accessed child porn sites on the net and paid with his credit card, but as he'd imnformed some organization (think it was the FBI or something) before he did so and did it for reasons of research, he was cleared of all charged and the case was dropped. So, no, he didn't have to go to jail, but his name remains on the Sex offenders list for some time.Fintan - Cheltenham, England
The Who have been selling out since 1967, when they released "The Who Sell Out"....duh! Big deal, so their songs are on a few commercials. Which great band's aren't? The Who are still one of the greatest bands ever (I have them listed at #3, just behind the Stones and the Kinks, and just in front of Zeppelin and the Beatles). Townshend brought flashy, over-the-top, kickass, guitar-playing into the forefront. Until The Who arrived on the scene, guitar players just played the chords and the music. Townshend turned axe-grinding into a theatrical art. Millions have developed their own flashy styles since then, but Townshend was THE MAN!Ken - Dupont, Pa
John Entwistle died of cocaine abuse?? that substance should be gathered up and destoyed for all the lives it's Taken.Ben - Nyc, Ms
No don't get me wrong I like the Who. I just think that Roger and Keith are slightly overated and didnt I say that they deserve millions of fans.Noel - Dublin, Ireland
Ok here's my thoughts on the members of the Who and The Who itself

+=Overated
==He gets what he deserves
-=Underated

Roger Daltrey + I'm sorry but if someone hasn't wrote any of his own songs and his name isn't Elvis he doesn't deserve so much popularity as he gets.

Pete Townshend = Pete Townshend is underated in his songwriting, but slightly overated in his guitar playing so it all equels out.

John Entwisle - Even now bass players get the short end of the stick and no one gets it more than John, the greatest Bass player of all time

Keith Moon + People are going to kil me for saying this, but Keith Moon isn't the greatest thing that has ever happened to drumming.

The Who = They get what they deserve which is millions of fans world wide.
Noel - Dublin, Ireland
Question: Didn't Pete get in trouble for having kiddy porn on his computer? I understood that he was molested as a child which might have screwed him up. Did he have to go to jail or anything?Kelli - Cedar Rapids, Ia
The who are a great band and my friend managed them in concert and got to jam with Roger. anyway if Anybody has some more info on Keith Moon please tell meJimmy - Philadelphia, Pa
pete only lost hearing because keith exploded his drums at the end of my generationMike - Germantown
Hey just cause I say Moon was a pr*ck, does'nt mean I don't love the Who and think he's one of the greatest musicians of all time. I mean come on, the man blew up his drum kit and sent American TV of air everywhere - what a legend!Danny - Sydney, Australia
First of all, Keith Moon was no pr*ck. Second, he wasn't that serious when he said that and besides, he was drunk. Third, The Who are the greatest f*cking band ever.Fintan - Cheltenham, England
It almost amazes me how much of a pr*ck Keith Moon is. What was wrong with him? I have never seen anyone else like him. When Australian TV show host Norman Gunston approached him for an interview, Moon yelled "are you Australian?!", to which Norman replied "yes", Moon then yelled "I AM NOT DOIN' ANY INTERVIEWS FOR ANY OF YOU AUSTRALIAN (insert gay insult here)". He then attacked Norman with a bottle of vodka.Danny - Sydney, Australia
I love Roger Daltrey's voice!!! Who's Next is an awesome album too. I baught it on cd a few months ago.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
They are truly one of the greatest bands of all time. Keith Moon is the greatest drummer of all time Roger Daltry has the greatest voice ever, along with Plant from Led Zeppelin. There greatest songs are on Who's Next, I suggest buying the CD.Jesse - Cilmette, Il
yeah. Keith was an awesome drummer!Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
i think keith moon was the best drummer to come out of rock n roll... with bonham, mitchell, and peart at his heels.... keith's energy was unmatchable, and if you've ever seen one of his live preformances he's a double-bass wizard as well... theres many other great drummers in rock... but those four are my favoriteTy - Canal Fulton, Oh
i like "behind blue eyes" i also like when they dismeandle their instrumentsMicah - Huntington Beach, Ca
No, no, no! It was Pete townshend who lost his hearing, not roger Daltrey!Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
Kieth Moon could never play the drum solo in moby dick.Michael - Indialantic, Fl
When THE WHO appeared on THE SIMPSONS, they looked like the late seventies, (WHO ARE YOU) but still without MOONY, strange........Steve - Hannover, Germany
The record for loudest rock band has been broken a LOT, and Guiness stopped listing it because too many people were losing their hearing!Steven - Congers, Ny
Quadrophenia is the best Who albumSteven - Congers, Ny
I must agree with Lindsey form New York, Baba O'riley IS the best song ever!Steven - Congers, Ny
Townshend is reportedly a chickenhawkSparky - Pitcarin, Pa
some great, little known songs by the who you should get: getting in tune, and relyCharlie - Thomaston, Ct
The Who are releasing a CD in the spring of 2005! Pete says that in his diary on -www.petetownshend.co.uk/diary. Was the Who's loudest concert record in the 1976 Guinness book of world records broken??Lindsey - New York, Ny
When the Who was on the simpsons in 2000, Pete's brother, Paul actually played Pete. And Keith Moon was responsible for the Who being banned from every Holiday Inn in the U.S because he was very wild while celebrating his 20th birthday in Flynt, Michigan. Oh yeah and Baba O'reily is the best song EVER!Lindsey - New York, Ny
When the Who were on the simpsons Roger said that he would play magic bus if they tore down the wall. Pete took down the wall but played We don't Get fooled again. (a better choice :)Jp - Kelowna, Canada
It was Pete that got the hearing loss. In the Kids Are Alright documentary, you can see his hair smoking!

Long Live the Who!
Coley - Los Angeles, Ca
Their first Single, "I'm the face"(recorded under the name "The High Numbers" has the same melody as "Got Love if you want it" by the KinksHartwig - Vienna, Austria
Pete townsend wrote who are you, or whatever the theme song for csi is as a response to the emergence of punk rock in the late 70s and early eightiesJames - Des Moines, Ia
Keith Moon was often called moon the loon, it wasn't uncommon for him to play with his tom tom full of water with gold fish in it, when asked about it, he said he gets hungry, Keith ran over his chauffer when they got horded at a new pub full of people that didn't like the who, he was tormented about it up until his death, when playing some show on live tv, they had the idea to smash all of the instruments at the end of the song, and put a cannon charge in keith's bass drum, they tested the charge and it was small, so keith convinced the props guy for the show to double the charge, and later convinced him to add another charge, and before the show keith dumped on even more explosive, when the charge went off, daltrey was standing in front of it and now has hearing lossJames - Des Moines, Ia
The resturant in question is Jaspers and the Who was not the bandChristie - Edgewater, Md
Supposedly, Keith Moon was so fast that scientists who slowed down his tape and studied it concluded that no human with two arms could play those rhythms. And yet he did, live in concert, with no help. Amazing.Brian - Mayfield Heights, Oh
BTW, Pete owns the rights the Who's music ... apparently smashing all those guitars and amps racked up quite a bill.Ben - New York, Ny
The key to the Who's success was adaptability. Their sound changed so much over their careers, but that's what makes them so great. That and outside of Daltrey it was an assembly of some the greatest people to pick up their instruments. Townshend was a genius on guitar -- he wasn't as talented as Page, Hendrix, or Richards but he could pack so emotion and meaning into every chord. He was also the arguably the best songwriter of his generation and a true visionary. Entwistle was the greatest ever to play his instrument, he totally amazes me still when I listen to him play. The Ox was the eye of the storm, holding together the band's sound. Moon was the opposite of Townshend -- incredibly talented but all over the place but that's what set him apart from everyone else. It's amazing to think that they couldn't stand each other off stage and barely talked -- they just had that chemistry. Truely one of the greatest bands ever.Ben - New York, Ny
They appeared on an episode of The SimpsonsRobbie - Placentia, Ca
One of the best bands of all time.The 4 best albums by the Who. 1.Quadrophenia. 2. Who's Next.3. Live at Leeds.4. Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy. Get them and listen. Enough said.Don - Pittsburgh, Pa
Nicky Hopkins(1944-1994), a great piano player,who played with John Lennon,Rolling Stones and others,played the piano in "My Generation".Simon - Brno, Czech Republic
When they were The High Numbers,they recorded and released single "I´m The Face" in 1964.Simon - Brno, Czech Republic
I helped open a 4 star restaurant in the '80s, The Who was on tour and in town and stopped in since they heard it was a hot spot, the owner had a 'dress code', no tennis shoes, of course one band member had tennis shoes on, a bunch of the people who were working there said it's the 'Who' let them in, the owner asked them 'Who are you' they said yeah, the 'Who', finally the owner said, I don't care who you are you aren't coming in my restaurant with those shoes on.

After years of therapy, I am still too ashamed to even post the name of the restaurant.
Ohcoda - Greenbelt, Md
great bandAllen - Superior, Wi
On their most recent tour, Ringo Starr's son, Zak Starkey, drummed for the Who.Tom - Trowbridge, England
I went to one of their shows in their last tour in 2002. It was great, but i think Pino Palladino was a poor replacement for John Entwistle, totally different style.Colin - Denver, Co
Who has the rights to the Who's songs? Cuz it seems like they're a major sellout cuz the Who's songs are in a lot of commercials and CSI etc.Gonny - Faketown, Ga
pete helped eric clapton get off drugsSimon - Sydney, Australia
Nothing against Keith Moon, but I think that there have been better musicians in history.Gonny - Faketown, Ga
Ah, one of the greatest bands with my favorite musician of all time, Keith Moon. I prefer their music before '78, and Tommy was wonderful. Only a genius like Pete Townshend could think of something as brilliant as that.Lynn - Indianapolis, In
John Entwistle died in Las Vegas, NV on June 27th, 2002. He was to host an exhibit of his art the day he was found in a hotel room. He was said to have died of heart problems possibly associated with his cocaine use. He was replaced by Pino Pallandino for the rest of the 2002 tour.Erik - Davis, Ca