Who's First?

Pete and RogerLet’s say that Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr decided that they’d kick off 2009 with a worldwide tour, starting in Liverpool, moving on to Hamburg, then going everywhere else. Would this be a “Beatles‘ Reunion”? I don’t think so. Even though it represents 50% of the band, even though Paul was certainly as integral to the group as John Lennon was, and even though, it must be admitted, it was pretty much a toss up between George Harrison and Ringo, the two members of the band don’t constitute the band, period.

So consider the case of the band currently known as “The Who.” Which includes Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey. Keith Moon is long passed; he hasn’t been a member of the band for 30 years. John Entwistle has been gone for six. And, arguably, The Who stopped being The Who as the members went on to do other things (including Entwistle playing in the “All Starr Band”).


But Townshend and Daltrey are on the road. As The Who. While I certainly imagine that seeing those two for those who hadn’t seen what I would consider to be the bona-fide The Who, or even the three-fourths The Who, would be worthwhile, it still seems a bit dodgy that they’re out there as The Who.

But I do want to give them credit for doing something incredibly kind, incredibly laudable. They are playing Detroit’s giant venue, which isn’t actually in Detroit, The Palace of Auburn Hills, on October 21. And the earnings are going to the Gleaners Food Bank and Focus: HOPE, two renowned charitable institutions in the D.

The newspaper ad for the event includes this:

Pete and I are very aware of the problems people are having in Michigan and feel we should give something back for all the support we have had over the last 40 years.”—Roger Daltrey.

It doesn’t matter who those guys are. Go see them.

Good on’, boys.

Previously: When Is It Over? (2002); The End (2002).

4 thoughts on “Who's First?”

  1. If your deafination (yuk yuk) of the who is only the originals, well, it ain’t. It’s a little like Pink Floyd touring without Rajah.

    Then again, its something of the very nature of bands large and small to have personal drift in and out. At least its the rhythem section they’re passing off on us, and not Pete touring with David Coverdale.

    Since I have proximity, and the day off,

    it might be a road trip for me next week…

  2. Still love what Pete and Roger are doing, personally I would like to see them tour as an acoustic act with both new and old material. I’ve seen The Who 23 times since 1979. I need their music in my life so just think how Pete and Roger feel. It’s not The Who of old but they have something to share.

    Love and music.

    Al Goodwin.

  3. The Who probably lost quorum the night Moon died. They definitely lost quorum the night Entwistle died. But I saw “them” a couple of years ago with Pino, Zak etc. and it was a great show.

    Whether they’re billed as The Who or Pete & Roger & Some Guys, the songs are still just as fantastic.

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