Genres: rock, hard rock, power pop, art rock
Years Active: 1964-1982, 1985, 1988-1989, 1996-present
-English hard rock band formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey(lead vocals, harmonica, guitar), Pete Townshend(guitar, keyboards, vocals), John Entwistle(bass guitar, brass and vocals), Keith Moon(drums and percussion)
-Rose to fame in the UK with singles being played in pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline, starting in January 1965 with songs like "I Can't Explain". They released albums like My Generation(1965), A Quick One(1966), The Who Sell Out(1967). In 1967, they hit the US Top 40 with their single "Happy Jack". In 1969, they released the movie Tommy.
-In 1978, at age 32, drummer Keith Moon died from a drug overdose. They released 2 albums afterto his death, Five Faces(1981) and It's Hard(1982), with Small Faces drummer Kenney Jones, before disbanding in 1983.
-According to Rolling Stone Magazine, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who complete the holy trinity of British rock. In 1990, The Who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
-In 1962, influenced by American R&B and skiffle, Townshend and Entwistle started a Dixieland jazz band called The Confederates. Townshend played banjo and Entwistle played French horn. Roger Daltrey met Entwistle while walking down the street with a bass guitar over his shoulder and asked him to join his band called The Detours. After a few weeks, Entwistle suggested Townshend join up.
-This band played a variety of music, most of it inspired by American R&B, country music and jazz. The lineup consisted of Daltrey on lead guitar, Townshend on rhythm guitar, Entwistle on bass, Doug Sandom on drums and Colin Dawson on vocals
-The band wanted a recording contract and they were told they needed a better drummer. They used The Rolling Stones and The Beatles as a slight inspiration. In 1964, Sandom left the band and Keith Moon replaced him.
-In February 1964, The Detours changed their name to The Who. They became popular among the British 'Mods', which was a subculture in Britain involving cutting-edge fashion, scooters, R&B, soul and blues music.
-Their debut album was My Generation in 1965. This album had the tracks "The Kids are Alright" and the title track "My Generation". Also included were the tracks "Happy Jack" "I'm a Boy", "Pictures of Lily".
-Their most famous performance was at The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, where others "poor" performances were hailed as good. They came through with flying colors. While doing this, they performed the song "A Quick One While He's Away"
|Pete Townshend, Keith Moon and Mick Jagger|
|The Rolling Stones. L-R: Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman|
-In 1971, the band released it's Who's Next album. This one had tracks like "Baba O'Riley" "Won't Get Fooled Again". Both of which are used on CSI: NY and CSI: Miami.
-On Sept. 7, 1978, Keith Moon overdosed on Heminevrin, a drug used to combat alcohol withdrawal and died in his sleep.
-On dec. 3, 1979, while The Who was playing at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, OH, a crowd crush killed 11 fans and injured 26 others. This was due to festival seating, which is a seating arrangement that is basically the first to enter the venue is the one to get the best seats. When the fans heard the band's sound check, they mistook this for the concert starting, so they tried to force their way in. When the doors opened, people were trying to stampede in to get the best seats and the crowding became deadly.
-The band was not informed until after the show because police feared problems if the concert was canceled. The band was deeply hurt by what happened and they required safety precautions for future concerts.
-In 1996, Townshend, Entwistle, Daltrey performed their rock opera Quadrophenia with guest stars at a concert in Hyde Park. Zak Starkey, son of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, sat in on drums.
-In Nov. 2003, The Who landed 7 albums in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, more than any other artist with the exceptions of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen.