Day: April 13, 2020

ARTICLE ABOUT The Who FROM New Musical Express, February 4, 1967

A great article by Mr. Drummond who unfortunately died in 2005 just 59 years old. He had been working in Afghanistan for the Institute of War and Peace Reporting and was coming to the end of his three month engagement when he collapsed.
He leaves behind some great articles written for the NME as you can all read here. Thank you for your contribution to music history, Mr. Drummond!
Read on!

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Who are mellower fellows now

says Norrie Drummond

AFTER twice failing to turn up for appointments, Keith Moon eventually arrived for our third arranged meeting an hour late. I was waiting for him with the group’s panicking publicist Nancy Lewis in a small coffee bar not far from Piccadilly.
He apologised, ordered coffees and settled down at our table.
“I didn’t realise it was so late,” he said, “and the traffic on the way here was dreadful. I bet you we’ve got a parking ticket by the time we get back.”
Although neither Keith nor John Entwistle drive, they have just taken possession of a new Bentley. They have their own chauffeur, a young man called Wiggy, who looks a cross between John Lennon and Mao Tse-tung.
“We got the Bentley at a reduced price,” explained Keith. “You see, John and I have been recording a group called the Brood and their manager runs a car salesroom.”
John and Keith are toying with the idea of forming a production company. “We’ve been thinking about calling it Moonwhistle Productions. But at the moment we’re deciding which company will issue the Brood’s record. It may come out on Reaction or possibly its subsidiary, Repulsion,” he gagged.
I mentioned to Keith that in the past few months I had noticed a distinct change in the personalities of the group. The tensions and frayed tempers had disappeared, John was now talking, Pete and Roger had mellowed. I asked him what had brought about the sudden change.
He agreed that they all had mellowed recently. “The group works much more as a unit now than we did six months ago. To progress we felt we had to change our outlook. We had to be less outspoken and be more pleasant to people.
“For the first year we said a lot of things we didn’t mean merely to create impact. Mind you, the fights and arguments we had were all genuine enough but some of the statements we made in interviews were deliberately controversial.
Now, of course, I think we’ve developed as individual personalities. We don’t need to be as outrageous as we were before, and I think that now we are far more natural. We now speak our minds without worrying so much about image.”
I asked Keith about the group’s proposed TV series and whether it would be similar to the Monkees’ show or not.
“I like their TV series myself,” admitted Keith, “but I don’t really think our series will be anything like it. We’re completely different personalities. We’ll probably end up in a five-minute spot after the Epilogue on BBC-2, co-starring with Ollie Beak and Noddy.
“As the Who were one of the first groups to smash up their guitars and equipment onstage, how did Keith feel about the Move, who have apparently taken the smashing up bit a stage further ?

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Not bad

“They’re not a bad group. I don’t really know much about them except that the bass player moves like John Entwistle.
“I know a far better act, though. Two motor mechanic friends of Roger Daltrey called George The Weld and Jaimo The Rub.
“George goes about welding cars, doors, people, anything he can lay his hands on, and Jaimo then polishes them up!
“In their act they’re going to put cars and effigies of Hitler together again”
Building things up instead of smashing things up — maybe that’s what the Who are going to do in future, too.

But it doesn`t help their stage act a bit

I CAN’T help wondering just what the Who are all about. Their concert at London’s Saville theatre on Sunday was a mixed-up ragbag of their hit songs, new group compositions, flashing lights and winking toy robots wandering around the stage.
Oh, it was all pleasant and inoffensive enough — perhaps too inoffensive — and the sound was good, but all their former excitement seemed to have disappeared.
Admittedly, smoke bombs and fire crackers could not be used because of the fire risks, and the law regarding the use of stage props on Sundays must be taken into consideration, but the Who and their managers have always been able to think of something in the past.
The numbers they played — including “Happy Jack,” “Barbara Ann,” “Maurice The Spider” and half a dozen more — were good, but not what one might call overwhelming.
No smashed drum kits, not one broken guitar, merely a feeble thrust at one of Pete Townshend’s amplifiers. There was some good and original lighting using square and rectangular spots.

Went wrong

But what was the purpose of intentionally bringing down the curtain half-way through the act? As far as I could see the only thing it succeeded in doing was to drive about fifty people from the theatre.
But then perhaps the whole act was a “happening”- a “freak out.”
It could easily have been that I was simply disappointed with the Who after seeing the Jimi Hendrix Experience, which closed the first half of the show.
Despite the fact that only one mike was working and a meeting of the ETU seemed to be taking place on stage at the same time, they brought the first spark of life from a hitherto unresponsive audience.
Hendrix doesn’t only play his guitar — he caresses it, abuses it, mothers it and talks to it. He has a love-hate relationship with it. He is often happy with it, occasionally annoyed by it, but always the master of it.
He played “Wild Thing” the way the Troggs never could, and “Like A Rolling Stone” the way Dylan never would. He plays his guitar with his teeth, his feet, his amplifier, his elbow, occasionally his hands, and sometimes it plays on its own. Jimi Hendrix also sings — very well!

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This band only recorded a handful songs, but were very influential in psychedelic music scene. What could have been, if not for the draft?

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