THE WHO: Part 5

Penniless Popstars

“The Who are the most exciting thing around.” 

Paul McCartney made that statement to the press in the summer of 1965. The Who’s new single, their approach to fashion and their pontificating in the press were all a challenge to the status quo…But trouble would soon be brewing. 

The story of The Who is a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. In 1965 they finally had chart success. Their ability to be different and make outrageous statements to the press got them plenty of media coverage and prompted two European tours. But crazy twists of fate prevented the band from being “who” they were on both tours and fans were

vocal about their disappointment. The pressures of life on the road was medicated by pills and this lead to other challenges within the band. The experiences almost shattered The Who and it was a broken band that would end the year by recording “just about the grandest statement pop had ever made.”

The Who-Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts is a continuing series so if you haven’t heard Part 4 you may want to listen to Snakes & Ladders first.


A Rock Fashion Icon

Pete Townshend takes a Kit Lambert idea and creates a classic Rock fashion icon that is still being copied by musicians today.

The Lambert & Stamp Factor

These two guys would have an indelible impact on The Who.

Maximum R&B at The Marquee

How The Who attracted an audience to The Marquee for gigs that would become legendary.

Lighting Up the City of Light

The Who play their first gigs outside of the UK in Paris in 1965.

A Sonic Assault

An early Who live show could be a frightening experience for the uninitiated.

My Generation

Hard to believe this youth anthem was ever considered lightweight!

The Real Me

Releasing his natural curls transformed Roger from lead singer to Rock Icon.

The Detours
THE WHO: Part 2

Making the Scene

It’s early 1962 and Pete Townshend finally gets his audition with The Detours. Soon after three quarters of The Who play their first gig together on the scene. The band would morph and evolve over the next 2 years as they honed their skills and sound, with players coming and going. The burgeoning London club scene was spawning great music and in this episode we hear music from the Beatles, the Stones and Eric Clapton and the Yardbirds.

Haven’t heard Part 1 of The Who-Greater Than the Sum of It’s Parts? Listen to “Cradle to Stage” first.


Collateral Damage

Doug Sandom (2nd from right) was the first drummer to anchor The Who.

The Townshend Windmill

This truly iconic rock move was copped from Keith Richards!

The Who Part 1 image
THE WHO: Part 1

Cradle to Stage

From the war ravaged neighbourhood of Acton to the early 60’s London club scene this episode looks back at the young lives of Roger, John and Pete of The Who. It explores how their environments impacted their musical interests and shaped who they would become and how their initial musical influences of Big Band, Dixieland, Al Jolson, Skiffle and early rock n roll set the creative foundation of this live musical wrecking crew.

This is RockDocs Episode #2 and part one of the story of The Who. If you want to start at the very beginning listen to “Setting the Stage” first.


All Aboard the Magic Bus!

The 4 innocent looking boys of one of rock’s most influential bands.

Pete’s Childhood in Tommy Lyrics

How Pete Townshend’s childhood is reflected in The Who’s Tommy.

The Spark That Lit Roger’s Career

How a TV show performance sparked Roger’s musical career.

It’s a Bass, Isn’t It?!

How a chance meeting brings John Entwistle into Roger Daltrey’s band.

Pete’s “Greatest Bloody Triumph”

Of all his accomplishments Pete says in his book “Who I Am” that this was the big one.

That’s Creativity!

For John and Roger, making music first required making an instrument to play.

An Extraordinary Creative Tool

Who fans have drummer Mick Brown (pictured centre) to thank for introducing Pete to the power of recording in 1961. (Also pictured Peter Wilson)