The Who release their third album on December 15, 1967. It’s a concept album many believe is their homage to pirate radio — fancied by the mods of London in the 60’s.
It’s #113 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
December 11, 1968 ~ The Rolling Stones record their Rolling Stones’ Rock and Roll Circus TV special – and then bury it for nearly 30 years.
The Boys organize and headline the event, which is played under a grungy circus tent for invited guests, most of whom wear yellow ponchos. Among the acts preceding the Stones’ performance are Jethro Tull, The Who, Taj Mahal, and assorted — well — circus acts. Also appearing: The Dirty Mac, a one-time grouping of Eric Clapton, John Lennon, Keith Richards, and Mitch Mitchell.
The recording takes far longer than expected, lasting until 5 o’clock the next morning. The special never airs: rumor has it that Jagger is so disappointed with the Stones’ showing that he kills it. This decision holds until October 12, 1996, when it is finally shown at the New York Film Festival and is released on video.
40 years ago ~ December 3, 1979 ~ before The Who concert at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, 11 people are trampled to death and dozens are injured in a rush to enter the arena. “Festival seating” is the way of the day at big concerts back then. That all ends with the resulting controversy (and lawsuits) as promoters rethink the practice.
November 20, 1976 ~ After Keith Moon passes out at his drum kit, The Who pull a fan from the audience to take over.19-year-old Scot Halpin is the lucky fan chosen to complete the set at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. He does an admirable job on the three remaining songs – “Smokestack Lightning,” “Spoonful,” and “Naked Eye” – and takes a bow with the group.
Rolling Stone names him their “Pick-Up Player Of The Year.”As for Moon, management blames jet lag, but it probably has something to do with the horse tranquilizers he ingested.
Moon The Loon plays his last gig with The Who at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto …
September 17, 1967 ~ Keith Moon of The Who rigs his bass drum to explode at the end of “My Generation” during their appearance on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, but he doesn’t realize that the stage crew has already done the deed. The resulting explosion cuts Moon’s leg, singes Pete Townshend’s hair and an eardrum, and scares the shit out of fellow guests Bette Davis and Mickey Rooney.
How far would you go to get your favorite band to come play in your town? For Milwaukee radio personality Tim The Rock ‘N’ Roll Animal, it involved going out on a ledge.
August 29, 1970 ~ The Isle of Wight Festival hits its stride on Day 4 of 5, with performances by Miles Davis, The Doors and The Who. Joni Mitchell’s set is interrupted by a hippie named Yogi Joe who has to be removed by security. Some of the hundreds of thousands of fans at the festival are there to protest its consumerism, believing that music should be free. When Yogi Joe comes on stage, it’s peaceful at first – he and Mitchell are acquainted. But when he starts banging on the congas, Mitchell asks him to leave, which is when he grabs the microphone and goes on a rant while as Mitchell plays on.
The crowd begins to show its displeasure with Joni, but she not only stays on stage, but chides the audience. “You’re acting like tourists,” she says. “Give us some respect.”
They do, listening quietly as she finishes her set.