The Who

ARTICLE ABOUT Pete Townshend (The Who) FROM New Musical Express, August 19, 1972

Yeah, I know there is a lot of articles by the Who on this blog, but there`s a reason for that. It really goes to show how huge they were at this time in history and it was a good reason for this. One man mentioned in this article is Meher Baba, an Indian spiritual master. His teachings concerned the nature and purpose of life. He spoke of the reincarnation and that the phenomenal world is illusory, and presented the idea that the Universe is imagination, though also that God exists, and that each soul was God passing through imagination in order to realize individually his own divinity.
Read on!

Pill head Mod turned accursed intellectual

By Nick Logan

TOWNSHEND WAS on his way into town from Eric Clapton’s house where he`d spent the previous evening and had ended up staying the night. He was late, getting later.
A series of phone calls by his publicist elicited the information that Pete was on his way in his Porsche, also that his condition was a bit “fragile”, but seeing how the man had laid on a two-roomed suite (complete with bar) at the sedately splendid Mayfair Browns Hotel for the purpose of holding interviews, it would have been mean to carp about his timekeeping.
We were there to talk about the new Townshend solo album “Who Came First” — Pete’s first Meher Baba -dedicated album “officially” intended for general release.
You may be aware that Townshend, with Faces’ bassist Ronnie Lane, had compiled and edited two previous “limited edition” Baba albums, intended for Baba devotees only but extensively bootlegged in the States.
“Who Came First” was originally aimed at undermining bottlegging exploitation, but, as Townshend will explain, in its completed form stands for a whole lot more.
For the most part “Who Came First” really is a Pete Townshend solo job, recorded at the home studio — “Eel Pie Sound” — of which he is immeasurably proud.
As the man himself (I presume it’s him) writes on the press literature distributed with white label copies of the album: “All instruments, vocals, recording, engineering, mixing, synthesisers — in fact everything except making the tea — in one gynormous ego trip by Pete Townshend.”
Not quite one gynormous ego trip, though, because Ronnie Lane also has a cut on the album, as does Billy Nicholls. Both of them, like Townshend, are Baba devotees of long standing and here’s where a few mind-tangling paradoxes begin to set in.
Okay, so you don’t know too much about Billy Nicholls, but take it from me he’s not into squatting on Indian rugs in a mystic trance.
Ronnie Lane — dear ole brandy swigging Ronnie of Faces face — you should know well enough, and Townshend… well… Townshend is still just the same Townshend you’ve all known and loved from way back when. Pill head Mod turned accursed intellectual — his own words.

Arriving around the same time as the club sandwiches, and as if lured in by the opening of the brandy, Townshend is fully aware of the apparent paradoxes concerning his religious and business position:
“I was staying, as you know, at Eric’s last night, and his chick was very surprised that I stayed in bed till mid-day. She thought I should have been up at 7 or something, meditating…. lighting candles.
“I mean, she was joking actually, but there are people who feel that way… “
He settled behind the brandy and sandwiches…
There’s a mixed set of reasons for the album. One, because it didn’t look as if the Who would be recording for a long time, and we knew we weren’t gonna be working in England or America till 1973. Why, I don’t know, but we’d decided that, and it looks like we’re gonna stick to it.
Another was the fact that after I did that television programme “How Can You Be Sure”, talking about Baba, a lot of people came up to me and said listen, nobody wants to sit for half an hour listening to you talking about it… If you’ve got anything to say about Baba, do it through music.
You’re a musician – that’s why you got on the programme in the first place — so play, sing songs, do what you were bloody born to do.
So I had that in mind.
The other thing was that there had been two limited edition albums out already and in America they were getting bootlegged at fantastic fees… selling for 11/15 dollars or something like that.
I’ve got a copy of one of them, and the quality is incredible, right, but the thing is that on the second one for instance, “I Am,” I only did two bloody songs, “Baba O`Riley” and “Parvardigar” which is on “Who Came First” – and the album was being described as “The Pete Townshend Solo Album”.
It meant that I was getting credited, in some cases, with doing really strange songs… songs I had had bugger-all to do with apart from the fact that I edited the album together.
Recording is my hobby, if you like – like recording Thunderclap Newman was a kind of hobby. The fact is, I enjoy recording. I enjoy putting albums together and, although it is my business as it were, I still enjoy doing it. So when the group stops for a period, I still want to go on recording. That’s John’s (Entwistle) philosophy as well.

Also, recording on my own brings out different things. Because there are things I want to do, that when I try to force them through a group like the Who, the group make-up doesn’t allow them through.
The whole reason for this album I suppose is frustration, not musical frustration and certainly not frustration with the Who, but a communication frustration.
The fact is, I don’t feel I’ve ever been able to get across clearly to anybody – and there are a lot of people who wanna know – what it is about Baba that got me so committed to him.
Because there are a lot of apparent paradoxes in there… the fact that I’m still in a group, I’m still earning money and am obviously still part of a fairly exploitive situation as well.
And at the same time I’m trying to do something with myself spiritually.
You see, so many people still acquaint spirituality with the Scott Walker syndrome… going into a monastery and shutting oneself off, or meditation, or the Maharishi thing… whereas it’s really got nothing do with all that where I am concerned.
Christianity has got nothing to with that. Christianity, just like being a Baba lover, is to do with life, with living, with dealing with things and people that come along and making the best of every situation.
One can admire monks and nuns who say ‘Listen I’m just going to pray for the rest of my life’ — but y`know, that’s definitely not what it’s all about. Loving Baba is definitely not about that, but a lot of people seem to think it should be… I think what I hope to achieve through this album is that people will realise that Pete Townshend being a Baba lover is as much a part of his work as anything else. And that there are things like “Parvardigar” and “Time Is Passing” which aren’t in conflict with any beliefs. Like “Time is Passing” and “Pure And Easy” have both been recorded by the Who, and are bloody good by the Who, but they’re somehow nearer to the knuckle by me, done just on my own as straight demos. “Let’s See Action”, which is on this album, has also been done by the group (Townshend’s album version is the original demo of the single). But I think the album version is better than the single quite honestly. That’s one of the reasons I put it on there. I was disappointed with the single. It was too relaxed, not uptight enough, y’know… I mean, I hope people don’t think I sit at home slaving over tape recorders for sounds all the time, `cause I don’t. This is like my Paul McCartney trip if you like. All these cuts I made at home were very easily come by, even something like “Parvadigar” which is sort of epic in proportion and sounds very heavily produced.

But it’s not. The thing is that I’ve spent so much time in that little room in my house recording, that now I can just plug the mike in, twiddle the knobs and dials, and just play and let it come out… and it’s good.
The thing is it’s mine, it’s my sound. It’s not something they could get at Olympic, it’s not something I could get at Olympic or any other studio. It’s something I do at home and that is so personal… but not so personal as to exclude the Who.
Somehow this album stops short of the Who. That’s the interesting thing about it. The demos are like what the Who get from me before we start recording, and apart from the fact that this is something I’ve always wanted people to know about, the thing about “Who Came First” is that it is not so much a collection of songs put together for a purpose as it would be if it was a Who album.
Obviously the general atmosphere of thing is devotional, and dedicated to Baba, and contains as much unembarrassed love for Baba as Ronnie and Billy and I could muster.
It’s very difficult for a trio like Ronnie and Billy and me to muster any kind of love without embarrassment, specially while rolling about the floor under the effects of brandy, but you know, it happens.
Ronnie’s song — which we did together when we were really inebriated — the reason I put that in was because the album is supposed to be for Baba and Ronnie’s song really makes it. It breathes Baba, an aspect of Baba that people wouldn’t imagine and also, because Baba is Christ, it brings out an aspect of Christianity that people are unaware of.
That is, the fact that Christianity is in fact a part of day-to-day life. It’s fucking fun, apart from anything else…

Look I’ll tell you, the main reason originally for this album was that I was getting very worried about those basement tapey things that were being bootlegged and what Decca said to me, indirectly, was: “These albums are selling for 11.98 in stores, and there’s nothing we can do about it under the Piracy Act because it’s not a legitimate record. We don’t mind you making them.”
They didn’t make any contract pressure or anything. In fact nobody has. Everybody in the business… I don’t know for fuck’s sake why… but everyone in the business — Track, Decca, Polydor — they’ve all been so respectful.
It’s almost as if I was a fucking monk, y’know, and that they regard making these albums as part of my therapy or something. The record companies are giving up incredible amounts of percentages. I think it’s because “Bangla Desh” set certain traditions that the industry are very proud of, and rightly so, and they are anxious to perpetuate this.
Anyway, they said to me: “We’ll put this out, we’ll give you a dollar an album” — which is an incredible amount of money — “and well make sure the thing is done in good taste.”
I thought, well why not. How many copies do you want? They said, “Well we`ll take 25,000 to start with.” So I nearly fell through the fucking roof? I said, how many! Christ that’s a lot of albums.
So I said, listen if we’re going to go into it on this scale, why don’t I just do a completely fresh album.
So I looked at the material I had, did a few new mixes and that was it. A few things off the first album, a few off the second, and a few demos which I thought had a certain amount of Baba atmosphere.
So that’s the real reason I started to do it. Later on I started to really enjoy the thought that people were at last going to hear what I could do in my little studio.

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ARTICLE ABOUT Keith Moon (The Who) FROM New Musical Express, July 8, 1972

A little madness is always appreciated when you`re a rock`n`roller. You don`t need to take it as far as death, but please don`t be just like any other ordinary living being. You are NOT ordinary when you`re a rock star, and Mr. Moon understood this. He just took it a little bit too far in the end.
Read on.

The loon in moon

Outrageous. Extrovert. And yet there`s a sensitive side to Keith Moon, finds Roy Carr

IT WAS JUST another busy afternoon along London’s crowded Oxford Street — no different from any other. Bustling shoppers, tourists and tradesmen went about their business.
Suddenly a chauffeur-driven lilac Rolls-Royce oozed ominously into the kerb and out sprang two of the most menacing, scar-faced hoodlums in padded suits this side of Chicago. They ran to a bald middle-aged vicar of average build and began to set about him with a horrifying and intense savagery.
“How dare you!” exclaimed the astonished Man of God in a haughty Oxbridge accent only just audible beneath the sound of the traffic and the awful thud of the blows upon his person. But the villains dragged him mercilessly toward the open door of the waiting car, its engine quietly ticking over.
“I’ve never been so outraged in all my life,” the struggling victim screamed loudly at his assailants. The crowd of onlookers froze, horrified in its tracks.
“I say, have you no respect for the cloth?” was the vicar’s final futile plea as, amidst threats and grunts, this scuffling trio then tumbled in a confused heap into the back of the limousine which promptly accelerated and sped off down the busy thoroughfare.
Enraged by such scandalous carryings-on and motivated by the sight of the pair of clerical legs thrashing feverishly out of the car’s open window, a posse of public-spirited citizens gave pursuit.
Half-a-mile down Oxford Street the Rolls was halted at a police road-block. The vicar was set free and his would-be kidnappers firmly apprehended.
So who were these scroundrels who dared to make the streets of London unsafe for God-fearing people to walk? And the poor clergyman, who had been subjected to such despicable violence?
I am able to reveal that the reverend gentleman was a certain Keith Moon, living out one of his more bizarre fantasies, and that for this intermission in the hurly-burly of the spring sales he was aided and abetted by Viv Stanshall and “Legs” Larry Smith.
Indeed, the infamous antics of Mr. Moon — The Who’s rock ‘n’ roll Playboy of the Western World — have become a most colourful part of Pop Music Folklore.
Be it cherry-bombing hotel bedroom doors in New York; impersonating Adolf Hitler; driving a Lincoln Convertible into a swimming pool; or slinging a giant 21st birthday cake in the face of a gun-totin’ sheriff, the perpetrator of such incidents does it with such panache, such personal flair, that he will invariably escape any drastic repercussion.
And so this week I went to see him; to examine, so to speak, The Other Side of the Moon.

AFTER AN HOUR’S drive from London (half that time, if Moon is at the wheel), we arrived at Tara House. His home stands as a futuristic stack of concrete and plate glass pyramids, set in the middle of a secluded private estate in a lush part of England’s green and pleasant land.
We were greeted by Kim, the Squire`s attractive lady, who immediately informed us she was not quite certain of her husband`s whereabouts.
“You mean he`s actually loose somewhere in the grounds?” publicist Chris Williams revealed in an initial symptom of panic.
Kim affirmed his fears. “Then for God’s sake we must be very careful,” was Williams’ directive.
“Come inside if you’re worried,” suggested the Moon lady with a grin and we made our way past a chrome hot-rod with a shattered windscreen; a hovercraft; and other forms of transportation in various stages of disrepair.
Within the comparative safety of the house music blared from apparently every room. Sha Na Na’s new album filled the bedroom; Jan and Dean’s “Dead Man’s Curve” from somewhere else; and the Stones’ “Tumbling Dice” emitted from a huge neon-lit juke box in the Moon playroom.
It is this solitary den, vividly reflecting his unharnessed nervous energy, that propels Keith Moon’s seemingly chaotic life-style. Every available surface is cluttered with junk, toys, paints and booze bottles, the contents of most having been recently consumed.
They litter the cushion and saddle-strewn floor as they make a crazy trail out of the sliding glass window door to the rear of the house, where they terminate in a seeming stack of a million empties.
Back in the playpen the garish figures of Spiderman, Thor, the Silver Surfer and a dozen other cosmic comic heroes, locked in mortal combat, survey the scene of utter confusion from a superb mural that completely covers an entire wall and overlaps on to another.

SUDDENLY A LARGE glass of brandy and ginger appears in the doorway. Our host follows immediately behind, unshaven and dishevelled. It’s drinks all round and down to business.
One doesn’t adopt accepted journalistic techniques with Moon. Shock tactics give the best results.
“So when did you start going mad,” I suddenly blurted, attempting to throw him off guard. Alas his reflexes have been primed for the unexpected.
“Good grief! I know what you mean. But I suppose it was when I realised the alternative.
“People often say to me: ‘Keith, you’re crazy’. Well, maybe I am, but I live my life, and I live out all my fantasies, thereby getting them all out of my system. Fortunately I’m in a position where financially I’m able to do it.
“When you’ve got money, and you do the kind of things I get up to, people laugh and say that you’re eccentric… which is a polite way of saying you’re f—– mad.
“When you’ve got no money at all, then they come right out and say you’re mad.
“I don’t care. If I feel like doing something… I go right ahead and do it.”

THE DOOR OF the Soho Bier Keller burst open with a resounding crash, as in marched Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler in full Nazi ceremonial attire.
Singing at the top of their voices they goose-stepped amongst the tables filled with gawping drinkers prior to being ejected by an irate guv’nor. Hours later this deadly duo was espied being chased around Golders Green by an angry shopkeeper wielding a razor-sharp meat axe.
Moon and Stanshall were up to their pranks yet again.
With such outrageous extremities in public there could, perhaps, be an acute danger of even the most well-meaning stunt back-firing with alarming consequence?
Moon disagrees.
“That kind of thing couldn’t backfire. It backfired in 1945 when they lost the war, and they were doing it for real. This is why I like the Monty Python brand of humour. It’s part of today’s culture; it’s today’s universal humour.
“Nothing’s really sacred anymore. Everything is there to be used. You can do virtually anything. Just as long as it’s done correctly, and you add to it.
“O.K., Hitler started out with some ideas… knew how to sell them… sold them and very nearly succeeded. But because they were the wrong ideas, they failed. That’s what I mean when I say nothing is sacred… and anyway, he had a lousy publicist.”
His explanation for Moon madness is simple.
“A lot of things I do are done to see how people will react to certain situations.
“For instance to see how people would react to seeing a rhino stroll across the stage during a performance of ‘Twelfth Night’.
“I love the unexpected, and I love to make people laugh. To me, that’s what life’s all about. You can’t really plan anything, and I suppose that’s one of the reasons why I don’t often hurt myself. I never ever consider I might actually sustain an injury. If I did, then I’d probably get hurt.
“Now if I had some kind of morbid death wish. I never would have survived any of those times when I’ve crashed my cars. I suppose it’s luck, and the fact that I never think anything could happen to me.
“If you think it’ll be dangerous — it’ll be be dangerous. You’ve admitted to it.

“I LOVE TO SEE people laugh, and I love it more if I can make them laugh,” Moon admits. “I think this comes across in my drumming.
“I watch a lot of Marx Brothers movies, and they were doing the same sort of things.
“You’ve seen the way Chico plays the piano with that certain flair… adding something to the music while taking liberties within his own capabilities?
“It’s a question of taking somebody else’s music, but not sending it up in a derogative sense. Just injecting your own personality.
“Pete’s (Townshend) music allows me to do just this. All Pete ever says is: ‘Keith, there it is. Now do what you want with it’. He never dictates.
“All the band ever says to me when they’re in the studio singing, is ‘Get Out’. Then I act as barman, ’cause they all get terrible dry throats and I have to keep on pouring out the brandy all the time.
“Also, if I’m in the studio, looning about while they’re trying to lay down a vocal track they can’t sing if they’re laughing at me dressed up as a wasp.
“You know, there’s nothing worse, when you’re trying to be serious, than to have a human wasp flying all over the studio.”
From experience I know of a number of bands in which the singer or guitarist, or both, would violently resent their drummer trying to upstage them. Had Moon’s antics on-stage ever caused unpleasantness within the Who, I inquired?
“It’s not a question of one person trying to upstage the other, for we’re all in it together. If one of us can see whatever it is the audience needs at that particular moment, to get them up and get them going, then that person does it.
“It doesn’t matter who it is — just as long as they see it, grab it, and use it for the benefit of both the band and the audience.
“If you can do that — then you’ve achieved what you’re there for.
“On stage we’re part of the audience, and they’re part of us. It’s fairly difficult, being stuck behind a drum kit and all the connotations that go with it. But unless the audience is involved — then there’s no show. We’ve failed to establish a rapport.
“Rapport is a word you hear used a lot these days. But it doesn’t mean just standing up there saying, ‘C’mon everybody, clap your hands’ and the band claps their hands and then the audience. There’s much more to it than that.
“It’s a question of using your power. You’re on stage and amplified. The audience isn’t.
If it’s going to be a question of ego in a group, over the enjoyment of the audience, then personally I don’t see any alternative. A band is doomed to failure from the very start.
“A band has to sort out its own ego problems, and if the lead guitarist gets pissed off because he feels the drummer’s upstaging him, then he’s thinking more about himself than the audience.
“It’s the audience he should be thinking about. Not be concerned with his own personal ego trip.
“Unfortunately I still see this happening in a number of bands. And when I do its usually a young band that doesn’t really know what its all about.
“In the Who we don’t know what its all about, but we’ve got a good idea what it’s not all about. The exclusion of ego within the Who has made a vast improvement in our band.
“In the early days we weren’t very disciplined… but that was before we understood each other.
“At times it used to go in every other direction than the one we wanted it to go in. We knew where we wanted to go but we didn’t know how to get there.
“Now we find we can work together a helluvah lot easier, because we all share the same beliefs in the Who, and we’ve spent the last 10 years together getting to know what makes each, and everyone of us, tick.”

MOON ADMITS to being a frustrated comedian and he places great store in human nature, even if — at times— his faith takes a severe battering.
“You know, if I ever stopped laughing inside, and quit believing in people, then I would get very hurt and totally disillusioned. You have to treat everything — even if at that time it seems like a right bummer — as a good experience.
“There are things that have happened to me that have made me wonder where I went wrong… things of a personal nature, like my relationship with the wife. They’re the things that make you think most, because one is far more deeply involved.
“Like when I used to go looning off to Copenhagen a couple of years ago, and Kim left me for a time.
“It was then I realised I’d taken the wrong turning, and so I backtracked and learned from my mistakes.
“You see, I love Kim very much, and the group, and therefore I wouldn’t do anything to hurt them in any way.”
Moon reveals that the rest of the Who react to his continual bouts of chaos and mayhem in the same way as he reacts to theirs.
“We’re all like a battery. We need each other, to bounce ideas off each other, and create both internal and external energies.
“The mere fact that we clash causes energy, and when we harness it within the context of the group, it becomes productive.”

TO THE RIGHT hand side of the high, metal gates adorned with musical motifs that makes the entrance to Tara House, there is a large board that proclaims: “CAUTION, CHILDREN AT PLAY”.
Behind the tall brick wall surrounding the grounds we, the “children”, are now in fact playing with our toys.
With a little help from Moon I glide across the lawn via hovercraft; Robert Ellis trades in his Instamatic for an E-type with which he tears up the driveway, and Chris Williams plays with bottles of coloured liquid.
When the time comes for all good children to call it a day I turn to Moon and ask how would he have attempted to live out his fantasies had he not been successful.
He replies, matter-of-fact: “I never considered not being successful.”

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to:
The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
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ARTICLE ABOUT Keith Moon (The Who) FROM New Musical Express, April 19, 1969

This article was found in print about a month before the group released their breakthrough album in the US, the now legendary “Tommy” album. So Moon may have liked to joke about its first single, but he didn`t know that this album would make The Who a household name for people all over the western world.
Read on!


As `Piebald Lizard` leaps to No. 10, NME visits the Highgate Palace of…

Moon: Drummer extraordinaire

Words in the local by Richard Green

PRINCE Pizzowl Teenuque Moon, self-styled Ambassador to Highgate, made his grand entrance in the local exactly one hundred minutes late and graciously explained: “Matters of State, you know.”
His subjects, instead of showing the required respect, fell about laughing. This because “his Highness” is the latest guise of Keith Moon, Who drummer extraordinaire.
Since he advertised in a national newspaper recently for a title, Keith has been enjoying his own brand of regal status. He likes being introduced as a prince and he screws up his eyes and shakes with mirth when people respond.
Keith is feeling pleased that “Pinball Wizard”, or “Piebald Lizard” as he insists it be called, is doing well. Apparently this means the group will not have to work so hard on it.


“Oh, good,” he replied when I told him its high NME position. “We can have a holiday now. That’s the best time to go away, when they all want you here.”
Keith has been spending some time recently in Bournemouth. To prevent panic among the more staid members of that community, I hasten to add that he has only been staying with his parents-in-law and has no evil intent.
“You have to get away now and again, else you’d go mad,” he grinned. “That’s why I won’t have a phone. You’d get home from a gig about four a.m., get the baby off to sleep and the phone’d go, there’d be people yelling ‘We’re coming round’ and the next thing, they’d be lugging crates up the stairs.
“You’d lie in bed watching them troop through, alsatians, performing elephants, the lot. They can’t phone me now, so I’m safe.”
And he broke up into another period of squeaking laughter. Whoever wrote “laugh and the world laughs with you” must have had Mr. Moon in mind.
He ordered another round of “tomato juices with the wonder ingredient — vodka,” then told me: “The LP’s finished. Actually, it was quite a quick one, it only took about four years! There’s only the mixing to do now.”


Stage act

As Pete Townshend revealed in the NME a few weeks ago, the Who’s act is to be based entirely around the “Deaf, Dumb and Blind Boy” album. Keith, in a rare moment of seriousness, elaborated.
“We may have to cut a bit because the album lasts about two hours,” he commented. “Maybe we’ll cut it to ninety. We’re doing that now on stage, though. ‘Specially places like universities where it goes on until one. We go on about eleven and there’s no hurry.
“It doesn’t mean the group’ll change, just the act. That’s only to get the feel of a continuing story across. All the songs are linked by a theme and one carries on from another.”
A friend asked Keith what the growths at the side of John Entwistle’s mouth were. He had been seen on “Top Of The Pops” sporting them.
“Oh, the best way to annoy the Ox (a Who-ism for J.E.) is to keep calling him Peter Sarstedt,” Keith advised, once more the Satanic smirk playing about his mouth.
Someone else asked Keith what the programme had been like and he replied: “We were about the only group down there, they’re filming most of it now. One bloke that was on was that coloured guy who’s good with his hands… Black and Decker’s his name I think.”
At this point, a reporter phoned and asked to speak to Keith. Keith decided it was time for a merry jape and put me on the line to answer the questions for him. We wait with baited breath for the resultant feature.


Enter Pete Townshend to try and persuade Keith that a rehearsal is necessary. Keith tells Pete that I’ve already written the feature while waiting for him and I add that Keith’s statements have been outrageous.
“Oh, Christ, what’s he been saying,” Pete moaned. “I can just see next week: We’ll be holding auditions for a new drummer!”
Pete dragged a protesting Keith away before further harm was done, Keith wanting to go back to his fifteen-room flat above a garage.

Make noise

“It’s useful being above a garage, you can make as much noise as you like,” he pointed out. “I only use two rooms and let some to a little old lady. There’s one where a bloke had a party about a year ago and I haven’t bothered to take the decorations down yet.”
There is also the room where a champagne bottle emerges from a wall. Keith alleges that having got upset with Kim, his wife, once he aimed the bottle at her head from a distance of two feet and missed. It stuck in the wall where it has remained ever since. Much to the amusement of two year-old Mandy who is used to seeing Daddy do funny things.


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ARTICLE ABOUT The Who FROM New Musical Express, April 15, 1967

This Coronavirus thingy have made it necessary for me to spend more time at home. So at the time of writing I have about a month of articles written and ready for publishing here. Even if this crisis hits us hard in many ways, there will be something new to read here for a long time. To be positive: something good comes out of this at the very least. I hope that you, my loyal readers, are well and that you will continue to be well.
April 1967 was a better time to visit New York than April 2020 – as the Who found out!
Read on.


Who`s smashing New York trip

By Keith Altham

THAT well-known demolition squad – the Who – recently returned from nine “smashing” days on a Murray the K “endurance test” at the New York RKO Radio Theatre (other non-combatants included Wilson Pickett, Mitch Ryder and the Cream) where they contrived to destroy everything on stage to the tunes of “My Generation” and “I Can`t Explain.”
Now that some of the dust and debris have settled I talked to bombardier Pete Townshend last Thursday who issued a full report on the damage and exclusively revealed to the NME news of their next missile, “Pictures Of Lily,” to be launched next Friday (21st).
“We worked hard on ‘propaganda’ for the first three days and I had two stock quotes which everyone wrote down,” said Pete.
“They were ‘we want to leave a wound’ and ‘we won’t let our music stand in the way of our visual act!’
“At the Press reception I walked around in an electric jacket with flashing light bulbs which proved to be something of an anti-climax because a girl had appeared on TV recently with a dress on the same principle. Reporters kept asking me where I had got my copy from and I said, ‘It’s psychedelic and it cost £200 and it’s supposed to blow yer mind!’
“We were to have done an Ed Sullivan TV show but the new readers were out on strike and as artists we were expected to support their action — so no show.
“Once in the theatre for the Murray the K show you are virtually trapped for the day and the show goes on continuously with artists appearing one after the other on a conveyor belt system.
“Originally we were supposed to do four numbers but we complained and said it was impossible to put the act over with only four numbers so they cut it to two!
“Someone had to cut their act because the show was running over so we volunteered.
“Murray the K’s wife was on the programme. She appeared about ten times in a fashion spot with teeny bopper girl models — `Jackie the K and her fabulous fashion show’.
“The most presentable of the models was a girl called ‘Joy Bang’ who took a liking to Keith which I think was mutual until she said, ‘You must meet my husband Paul Bang!’
“We really worked the destruction bit to a fine art in our spot. I developed a great thing where I hit myself on the head with my guitar which had absolutely no visual impact but made me see stars and I thought — ‘that’s nice!’


“At one time I noticed Keith throwing his big bass drum at me with the spike protruding and Roger hurling the stand-mike at me from another direction.
“I made myself very thin and the mike shattered to pieces in front of me while the spike from the drum ripped my shirt down the back. The stage hands got tired of sweeping up the equipment and went on strike.
“Most of the things we broke had to be repaired by us afterwards for the next house — I discovered Fender guitars are very strong and cheap out in the U.S.!
“We shared a dressing room with a group called the ‘Hardly Moving Players` who did satirical sketches and were nice people. Below us the Cream and the Blues McGoos played whining guitars all afternoon until Pete and Keith retaliated for about three hours by going through the entire Shadows repertoire.
“Occasionally we went outside and allowed ourselves to be torn apart and sign autographs which wasn’t so bad because the kids give it back to you by storming the stage during the act.
“The only club I liked was one called The Scene where a man called Tiny Tim plays ukulele and sings ‘He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands’ and when anyone applauds he whoops like a Red Indian.
“I’m trying to get him signed up with our recording company!
“A few words on the new single.
“I submitted three songs and ‘Pictures Of Lily’ was the most obvious hit. It’s all about a boy who can’t sleep at night so his dad gives him some dirty pictures to look at.
“Then he falls in love with the girl in the pictures which is too bad because she is dead.”
Follow that!


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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!


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 ?


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!


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

If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to:
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.