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The Who and Why

This is noble and all:

    Eelpie.com and TheMusic.com have joined forces with The Who and Trinifold Management to bring you exclusive live recordings on CD of shows from the 2002 tour of North America by The Who.

    The band is aware that many of the shows on this tour will be sold as bootleg recordings and to satisfy this demand they have agreed to release their own official recordings to benefit worthy causes.

    Recorded and mixed live from the sound board, these CDs are as close as you will get, and as quick as you will get, to reliving the experience. By this process you will be provided with a good recording at a reasonable price just as soon as we can make them.

    Whether it is because you enjoyed the show you attended so much, or whether you could not make a particular venue but want to enjoy it anyway, you will be interested in this Encore series of CDs.

    We anticipate each double CD will be available within three weeks of each show. All profits from the sale of these CDs will go to young peoples’ charities supported by The Who….

But it also forces me to restate this:

    6/27/02
    I’m pretty stunned to hear about John Entwistle dying. He was 57 and had been a rock star, an unassuming and businesslike rock star, for almost 40 years. Maybe that’s why I’m stunned: when the normal guys – the business-like troupers with rational lifestyles – start dropping, you know we’ve turned another corner.

    I love the Who, but as with the Stones, I have long since wished they’d shut up and go away. I stopped really loving the Who after Keith Moon died, soon after the recording of Who Are You in ’78, and they just kept getting back together and touring over and over again. In fact I didn’t even like Who Are You all that much. The Who By Numbers in ’75 was the last great Who album, and here we are 27 years later. Damn.

    Imagine still touring almost THIRTY YEARS after your last really good record. Was there a point beyond money? Ego? Boredom?Kenny Jones is a functional drummer, but he isn’t Keith Moon (of course even Keith Moon wasn’t Keith Moon by the end, but that’s another story). What made the Who so special – besides Pete Townshend’s songwriting for the ten years between ’65 and ’75 – was what made them such a bizarre ensemble: drums, guitar, bass, and singer, but the guitar was OFTEN THE ENTIRE RHYTHM SECTION.

    Moon played the drums like a lead instrument: all syncopated energy, thrashing about with magically controlled fury, filling holes you didn’t even know were there; while Entwistle – tall, reserved and stoic – stood there like a pillar moving nothing but his fingers, which flew over the frets faster than the eye could follow.

    All of this frenetic motion from the ostensible rhythm instruments required Pete, on guitar, to hold down the rhythmic fort: percussively riffing, bashing out his windmill power chords, and keeping the songs moving forward while the others did their own things. Add to this the iconic ROCK STAR voice, looks, and swagger of Roger Daltrey, and you had one of the most magical live bands of all time. Listen to the holy metallic noise of Live At Leeds and come away converted.

    I saw the same tour that Glenn Reynolds mentions here in ’89, and I had seen them twice earlier in the ’80s and they were all very nice shows: hearing the great old songs, the band still spunky, Roger still belting, Pete still with some hair, but Kenny Jones is no more Keith Moon than Warren Haynes is Duane Allman – some parts just can’t be replaced.

    Just to quantify this a bit: there is a terrific new 2-CD collection of the Who’s best, The Ultimate Collection, that came out recently. All of the great songs are there: “I Can’t Explain,” “My Generation,” “Substitute,” “I Can See For Miles,” “Magic Bus,” on through classics from Tommy, Leeds, Who’s Next, Quadrophenia, Who By Numbers, Who Are You, Keith’s last. There are 35 songs in the collection. They really are THE BEST OF THE WHO. Only the final two songs – “You Better You Bet” and “Eminence Front” – were recorded after Keith Moon died.

    Yet the band has been touring for 24 years now without Keith. I had just seen ads on TV the other night for the upcoming Who summer tour. Guess that will be called off. As much as I loved John, I’m glad the band is finally over. For good. Please stay down now – don’t get up again. There hasn’t been a real Who in almost 25 years, now let’s finally allow the name to rest in peace along with the beloved Keith and John.

    6/28/02
    I was saddened and surprised by the death of John Entwistle, but I assumed that this would finally end the ritualistic abuse of the Who name that has gone on for 20 years now. Imagine my horror and amazement when I arrived at the office to find this:

      THE WHO AT CSU CONVOCATION CENTER FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 27, 2002

      ON SALE RESCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY JULY 5TH @ 10AM

      Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey of The WHO have today confirmed that their US tour is to go ahead despite the death of fellow band member, bassist John Entwistle. The Las Vegas show on 6/28 and the Irvine CA. 6/29 show will be re-scheduled for later in the tour. Details will follow shortly.

      Both Daltrey and Townshend view the tour as a “tribute to John Entwistle”, and to the loss of an irreplaceable friend. The Entwistle family is in full support of the decision to continue and feel this is what John would have wanted. His son Christopher said today “ He lived for music and will always live within The WHO’s music. This is what he would have wished and our love goes out to the remaining band members and the entourage that makes up THE WHO family.”

      Bill Curbishley
      WHO Manager

      Reserved Seats, $85.00, $60.00 and a limited number of gold circle seats, GO ON SALE FRIDAY JULY 5TH AT 10:00 AM at the CSU ticket office, all Ticketmaster locations

    Everything I wrote last night about the Who not being the Who without Keith Moon: double it now without Entwistle. As I said before, the drums and bass were often the lead instruments of the band. The band will now be as big a joke as the “Allman Brothers Band.”

    I had hoped otherwise, but I guess greed really is the motivating factor here. At least have the courtesy to call the configuration the “Townshend-Daltrey Band,” a la Page and Plant. Now I’m really sad. Are we going to see Jagger and Richards as “The Rolling Stones” after Charlie and Ronnie (barely a real Stone even now) leave or die? Perhaps Paul and Ringo should tour as “The Beatles.” Why not?

    As was correctly affirmed earlier by Glenn regarding Creedence, in a great group – even a group dominated by one member like Creedence – the sum is greater than the parts: that is EXACTLY THE DEFINITION of a great group.

    Sometimes – basically by chance – a collection of individuals band together and something clicks: they create a unit that is indivisible. It isn’t 1+1+1+1=4; it’s 1+1+1+1=5. And that extra number is the magic that goes away when a member is subtracted. It was bad enough trying to make 1+1+1=5 after Keith self-destructed, but now you’re going to try to make 1+1=5?? You don’t have to be a mathematician to say that’s impossible.

    I understand that for touring, for sales, purposes, “The Who” is the magical name. A “Townshend-Daltrey Band” wouldn’t be getting $60 and $85 a head, or playing in a large arena. But at some point – and that point has been long passed – you have to concede that the original unit meant something, and honor the reality by retiring the name. Please.

UPDATE
Beth Lipton disagrees with my assessment:

    Hi there–


    I saw The Who recently at Madison Square Garden — what a show!!

    I’ve tended to shy away from big stadium shows since, I don’t know, the late ’80s or so (at what point is one too old for those things?), so I didn’t have high hopes, though I’ve been a Who fan for as long as I can remember. Plus there were the semi-creepy feelings around seeing them so soon after John Entwistle’s death.

    Robert Plant opened, and although he looked great and his voice actually sounded really good, his new songs were so boring, it broke my heart. Uh oh… But when The Who came out and hit me with that huge sound, I swear it made me well up. Townsend’s talent is so huge, it still fills the Garden right up to the
    rafters. They had so much passion and fire — when they sang “My Generation,” it sounded so fresh, there was nary a snicker in the audience around the lyric
    “hope I die before I get old.” They *performed* — they ran around, they interacted with each other, they were energetic, they hit most of those old notes — and all the while, it looked like they were having FUN.

    So if you’re a fan, get that “bootleg” series — if it’s anything like the MSG show, it is worth every penny, and even more so if it’s going to charity.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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