The Who, well what's left of them, will be performing at this year's Super Bowl, following in the history of legendary halftime performances by Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers and Bruce Springsteen. Rumors that XTC would be performing in the Who's place remain just that.
We're predicting that Townshend will hire many auxiliary musicians to augment the band and there will be no quiet time with Pete and Roger Daltrey sitting on stools crooning in harmony. The Who, after all, were never Simon and Garfunkel.
In the sprit of celebration, List Of The Day offers up 25 historical moments in the lifetime of the Who.
24) The Who Have First Hit With "I Can't Explain": It's important that bands have hits early in their career, otherwise they often don't have a career. The Who understood how to pack a single full of firepower and while the group went on to become one of the great "album rock" bands, it was with the single that mastered the game.
22) The Who Record "Mini-Opera": Both "A Quick One While He's Away" and "Rael" show the Who aiming towards something more complicated than the average hit single with reoccurring musical motifs and bits and pieces that add up to an unusual whole. Why not? Everybody's got to keep themselves amused somehow.
Pictures of Lily" is one of my personal faves from the group and I went into it knowing what the song was going to be about. Did they ever have a "Picture" contest where everyone could submit what they imagine Lily to look like?
20) The Who Record Concept Album: The Who Sell Out was among the first rock albums to think of itself not just as an album of songs but as an overall concept piece where the songs are interrupted by commercials. Great. That's like designing a videogame for Baseball and featuring rain delays!
18) The Who Smash Their Instruments: It's become a rock tradition to destroy your equipment. An expensive tradition, but a tradition, nonetheless. The Who did it at the Monterey Pop Festival, while Hendrix set his guitar on fire. The Association did not retaliate.
16) The Who Release Rock Opera Tommy: Love it, hate it, never actually finished it, Tommy remains one of those landmarks in rock n' roll that you have to have at least heard of. Like Styrofoam, it will outlast most of us, as album, movie, play. Maybe White City or The Iron Man is actually better (though I doubt it), but Tommy will always be first, no matter how many Small Faces fans gather in one place.
14) The Who Release Their First Live Album: Live At Leeds remains one of the finest live albums of the rock era. For the first time, the anarchic energy of the band is fully captured on tape. Don't blame them for Aerosmith's Live Bootleg. It wasn't their fault.
12) The Who Record Second Rock Opera, Quadrophenia: My personal fave among the Who's grand concepts. Again, I can't give you a plot synopsis. But if there are still classic rock radio stations, surely, they play "Love Reign O'er Me" upon the first sound of thunder, or right after the Doors' "Riders On The Storm." Weather rock never goes out of style.
8) Drummer Keith Moon Dies: The Who released Who Are You. The album was the group's fastest seller to date while Moon hid his beer belly behind a chair. Less than a month later on September 7, 1978, Moon was found dead hours after attending a party thrown by Paul McCartney. What kind of parties does Macca throw?
6) The Who Say "Farewell" In 1982: In what would become a tradition, The Who played their "final" shows during a 1982 "Farewell" tour of North America. The profits were so enjoyable that the Who would go on to perform many times for the last time.
Bob Geldof's Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium where the band agreed to feed the world for a year.
4) Pete Townshend Licenses The Catalog To Just About Anyone: Over the past few years, most of us have enjoyed the Who's music in quick, thirty second bursts as products march across the screen. I believe they're called "commercials" and were considered to be a new way for bands to get their music played once MTV stopped playing videos and it was discovered that people no longer listened to the radio.
2) The Who Receive Many Life-Time Achievement Awards: The Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, the UK Music Hall of Fame, Kennedy Center honors, the list goes on to include something called The Freddie Mercury Achievement in Live Music Award, which I'm sure John Kordosh has won at least once. Before this whole thing winds down The Who will have won The Wilco Award, The Pete Doherty Says High Award and others.
- Roger Daltrey
- Bruce Springsteen