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Do you know how to reach a member of the band or it's management
What are their birthdays?
How did they meet?
How did Pete come up with his "windmill" guitar style? When did he start smashing his guitar?
What was Pete's 1st song?
How did they come up with the name The Who?
How did Keith Moon join the band?
What's this legendary 21st birthday party of Keith's I hear about?
Why are The Who also known as The High Numbers?
What are the circumstances of Keith's death?
What are the differences between the Who's orignal version of "Tommy," and the movie and play?
What's up with the stuttering on My Generation?

Do you know how to reach a member of the band or it's management

This site is a fan site and does not have any specific information on contacting the band or their management.
Our Pete biography has an address we believe will get to him, but we make no guarantees.
The Who's Management company is "trinifold". A google search should find you an address

What are their birthdays?

Roger's is March 1st (1944), John's is October 9th (1944), Pete's is May 19th (1945) and Keith's is August 23rd (1946) (not 1947, as is commonly listed)

How did they meet?

Pete and John met as students at Acton County Grammar School in 1959. Roger, also a student, approached John about being the bassist for his group The Detours. John suggested bringing his friend Pete into the band. Moon didn't join them until 1964.

How did Pete come up with his "windmill" guitar style? When did he start smashing his guitar?

Pete adapted the windmill from a move Keith Richard was using to open The Rolling Stones stage act which Pete saw when The Detours opened for them in 1963. Pete's first public guitar smashing occurred in early 1964 when he cracked his guitar on a low ceiling and smashed it in disgust. When he played there again, the crowd expected him to smash it again and so he did.

What was Pete's 1st song?

The first song covered by anybody was "It Was You", which was recorded but never released by The Detours (but was released by The Naturals as a b-side in late 1964). It is unknown what the first song that Pete authored was.

One side has "Look At Me Now" (Mitch Murray) with a number 7XCE 18173 and the other side is "It Was You" (Townshend-Parker-Grey), 7XCE 18174, but neither is an "A" or a "B". I would probably also assume going by the above numbers that it may have been "sold" as a 'b' side.

How did they come up with the name The Who?

It was suggested by Pete's friend Richard Barnes during a late-night session to rename The Detours in February 1964. One story has it created in response to someone present who answered every name suggestion by saying, "The who?"

How did Keith Moon join the band?

The Who forced their old drummer Doug Sandom to leave the band and were searching for a replacement. Moon joined the band in May 1964. It has been written many a time that he joined at a Who gig, dressed in a ginger suit with his hair dyed ginger and claiming could play drums better than the guy they had on drums that night. He may have actually first approached them during a rehearsal in Acton.

What's this legendary 21st birthday party of Keith's I hear about?

On August 23, 1967, Decca held a 21st birthday party for Keith at the Holiday Inn in Flint, Michigan. It has been written in the past that it was actually Keith's 20th, but that he claimed he was 21 so he could get served alcohol. However, it actually was his 21st birthday. He slipped on some cake after a food fight and broke out a front tooth. He was taken to a dentist for emergency repairs and by the time he got back, most of the damage at the hotel was done, mostly by members of Herman's Hermits! There was no car driven into a swimming pool EVER and The Who were not banned from Holiday Inns. In fact, they stayed at Holiday Inns throughout their 1968 tour.

The more common (ie, actually wrong) stories are listed below:

When the manager tried to end the festivities at midnight, Keith started a cake fight and the ensuing melee resulted in a broken tooth (or two) for Keith, wrecked vehicles and motel rooms, a Lincoln Continental in the motel pool, and The Who being banned "for life" from the Holiday Inn chain.

According to Rolling Stone, Twenty fifth Anniversary Special, #641, October 15th, 1992 titled "Interviews", Keith Moon is quoted from an interview done in RS #124, December 21st, 1972. In the interview he talks about the Holiday Inn pool incident. (By the way, the interview is one Keith anecdote after another, and well worth finding.)

"...By the time the sheriff came in I was standing there in me underpants. I ran out, jumped into the first car I came to, a brand-new Lincoln Continental. It was parked on a slight hill, and when I took the hand-break off, it started to roll and smashed straight through this pool surround [fence], and the Lincoln Continental went into the swimming pool, with me in it. So there I was sitting in the drivers seat of a Lincoln Contintial, underwater. ...." "...I thought there'd would be quite a crowed gathered by now... .But no. There's only one person standing there and 'e's the pool cleaner, and 'e's furious."

Other accounts say Keith dove headfirst into an empty pool and broke one or two teeth.

Why are The Who also known as The High Numbers?

The Who were renamed The High Numbers between June and November of 1964 by their then manager Pete Meaden who also wrote their one single "I'm the Face" / "Zoot Suit." He restyled the band to appeal to mods. Under this name they also opened for The Beatles on August 16th, 1964. They reverted to The Who shortly after being taken over by their new management, Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp.

What are the circumstances of Keith's death?

He died the morning after an overnight on the town, from a combination of alcohol and drugs he was taking to lessen his alcohol dependence. Apparently contrary to Pete's recollection a few years later, Keith did *not* die of a drug overdose at a party the night before his death.

On the evening of September 6, 1978, Moon, in the company of his live-in girlfriend, Annette Walter-Lax, attended a party hosted by Paul McCartney, in honor of the UK premiere of the motion picture, THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY. After attending the party and the premiere, Moon and Walter-Lax, returned to their London apartment on Park Street. Ironically, Moon's flat was the same place where Cass Elliott, the former singer for The Mamas and Papas died in 1974. Moon proceeded to have a late supper and watch a movie on video.

It appears that at some juncture, Moon ingested a number of Heminevrin (chlormethiazole), a medication Moon had been prescribed, in order to combat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal as well as episodes of epilepsy. Heminevrin is prescribed typically, according to British National Formulary guidelines, for alcohol detoxification, on a short term basis (usually no longer than seven days) only, for patients who are confined to a mental health facility. Additionally, Heminevrin is used in the treatment of major psychotic disturbances. It has been found to cause drowsiness and impair psychomotor performance.

The late hour, combined with the effects of Heminevrin, and wine that he had consumed at the party, apparently caused Moon to fall asleep part way though the video.

Moon awoke the next morning (September 7, 1978), and asked Walter-Lax to cook him breakfast. When Walter-Lax complained that he was being inconsiderate in asking her to get up and cook another meal, Moon snapped, "If you don't like it, you can f**k off!" These are reported to be Moon's last words.

After eating a steak, and consuming more Heminevrin tablets, Moon and Walter-Lax went back to sleep. At this point, stories appear to vary. One account reports that Walter-Lax arose at mid-day, leaving Moon in bed. She returned to the bedroom at approximately 4:30 PM, to find Moon lifeless. The other account is that when Walter-Lax awoke at approximately 2:00 PM, she found Moon dead.

After attempting to revive him, Walter-Lax called Moon's doctor, Dr. Geoffrey Dymond, who arrived shortly thereafter at the apartment. Moon was then taken to the hospital, where he was declared, dead on arrival.

The autopsy revealed 28 undissolved Heminevrin tablets in Moon's stomach, or 14 times the stated dosage. Dr. Dymond testified that while he was aware that Moon was ignoring the dosage, and had stopped prescribing the medication to Moon for a few days, he was unaware of whether or not he had a supply remaining. (A half empty bottle of 100 Heminevrin tablets was found at the bedside.) While the coroner recorded an open verdict in the case, it appears clear that the death was the result of Dr. Dymond's improperly treating Moon with of Heminevrin, on an out-patient basis, combined with Moon's overdosage of the medicine.

What are the differences between the Who's orignal version of "Tommy," and the movie and play?

1. There are significant lyric changes in both the movie and play. In the movie the most obvious are "1921," which is changed to "1951;" "Sally Simpson;" "Sensation" and "Amazing Journey." In the play, the lyrics to "We're Not Going to Take It" are changed, completely altering the finale of the piece. There are also changes to "I'm Free," "Sally Simpson" and "Welcome."

2. On the recorded and play versions, the father kills the lover. In the movie, the lover kills the father.

3. Additional songs were added to the movie and play. To the movie, "Uncle Frank's Holiday Camp" and "Champagne" were added. The play has a new song called "I Believe My Own Eyes."

4. On the recorded version, the awakening of Tommy's senses is heralded by "Sensation." In the movie and play, it's "I'm Free."

In the play, the ending of "Tommy" is changed. The differences begin when Tommy stops performing after Sally Simpson is beaten at one of his concerts (in the recorded version and movie, Tommy is oblivious to her plight). The lyrics to "We're Not Going to Take It" are changed; instead of urging his disciples to follow him, Tommy chastizes them for worshiping him and urges them to go back to their own lives. Instead of the spiritual awakening that is the finale of the recorded version and movie, the play ends with Tommy returning to the normallacy of his family life. [Lisa]

6. For background & context, I think the original "Tommy" had an overtly deistic message -- Tommy met "God" on the Amazing Journey and came back as a messiah. In the movie, the backdrop was much more existentialist to me -- salvation is a matter of individual enlightenment in a world of hype and deceit; it can't be mass-produced. The play almost-but-not-quite closes the circle by jettisoning both religious and individual salvation in favor of the contemporary "family values" equation.

What's up with the stuttering on My Generation?

Depending what Who member you ask what year, you get different answers. Some explanations are:

1. Symbolic of the "everyman" voice Pete was writing for.
2. That Roger couldn't read the writing on Pete's lyrics, and they liked the way it sounded.
3. Roger singing the part of a mod on uppers. [Brad]

Also, "the stutter was introduced because the "My Generation" character was supposed to be a mod blocked on pills -- and amphetamine abusers stammered like mad." D. Marsh, "Before I Get Old: The Story Of The Who" p. 182 (1983).

In the BBC interview 1996 Roger said: "It wasn't written in. It came from the studio. It was reflective of a kid on purple hearts, on speed. Both Pete and I do stutter. I suppose Kit picked up on that and said "Right, put it into the song". When My Generation started out it was more like a Bo Diddley song, but Keith couldn't play that rhythm very well, so we slammed it on the on-beat".

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