Pete Townshend - An Evening Celebrating The Who with Pete Townshend and Eddie Vedder held at Rosemont Theatre - Performance at Rosemont Theatre - Rosemont, Illinois, United States - Thursday 14th May 2015
There's a cool 1960s beat to this documentary, which explores the creation of The Who through the eyes of the two men who made them stars, Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. Filmmaker James D. Cooper deploys an astonishing collection of unseen photos and film footage to tell the story, including both new and archival interviews with the people involved. And even if there are sequences that feel like they're off the topic, this is a strikingly engaging documentary both about the band and the music industry.
Kit and Chris were the ultimate odd couple: Kit was super-posh (and also gay at a time when being so was illegal), while Chris was a working-class Londoner. But they shared a deep love of art and philosophy, and planned a career together making movies. To kick off their career, they decided to make a film about a band, and they thought the High Numbers were the perfect subjects: neither cute like the Beatles nor brutish like the Stones. They chose one of the band's old names for itself, The Who, and came up with clever ways to build an audience. Then in 1969 their rock opera Tommy pushed The Who into super-stardom, resulting of course in drug use, money issues, fame problems and lots of arguments.
What's most fascinating about Lambert and Stamp is the way they allowed The Who to have a life of its own, constantly shifting their own goals rather than try to make the band what they wanted it to be. Using a range of colour and black-and-white imagery, this lively and witty documentary captures their strong personalities, while carefully detailing how they managed everything from the band's music and clothing to the way they played on-stage (there's a hilarious montage of guitar-smashing). And like Lambert and Stamp themselves, everything is infused with a strong sense of the British class system, which they cleverly exploited for their own gain.
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Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend - Shots of Legendary British rock band The Who as they performed live on stage during 'The Who Hits 50 Tour' which was held at the O2 Arena in London, United Kingdom - Sunday 22nd March 2015
Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp were important players in The Who's career. Eager to produce a film based on rock 'n' roll as amateur filmmakers, they ended up managing the group, bringing their music to a wider audience and gleaning interest from the US music industry with top albums such as 'Who's Next', 'Tommy' and 'A Quick One'. They wanted to mentor and document a band that would become renowned for their misfit music and rebellious lifestyle, but within ten years the relationship between the Lambert and Stamp and the band was broken down beyond repair as serious financial issues arose, and their drug fuelled lifestyles began to take their toll on their success.
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The Who are releasing their first new song in eight years.
It's been a long wait, but mod legends The Who are releasing their first new song in eight years. What took you so long fellas?!
Daltrey and Townshend performing in The Netherlands last summer
BBC reported on the news that Roger Daltrey and co would be releasing a new track on their complimation album 'The Who Hits 50!' as the band gear up to celebrate their half-century anniversary. The mammoth album features forty-nine of the band's previous songs as well as their their new song 'Be Lucky'.
Continue reading: The Who Are Releasing Their First New Song In Eight Years
The first night of The Who's tour in America got off to a shaky start in Sunrise, Florida last night (November 1, 2012) after guitarist Pete Townshend walked off stage, forcing the legendary rockers to curtail their encore. The night was the first of 36 planned dates and saw the group play all of their seminal 1973 album Quadrophenia as well as classic songs Pinball Wizard, Behind Blue Eyes and Who Are You.
Pete Townshend, The Who guitarist has admitted in a recent interview that his decision and method in investigating child pornography was insane, but has also felt vilified by comments about him since, after the incident became public knowledge in 2003. Townshend was put on the sex offenders register for five years after it was discovered he'd paid a website dealing in child porn.
The Press Association reports that Townshend was talking to UK newspaper The Times, and attributed his decision to investigate child pornography as "a product of success" and the urge to want "to be seen as the one that's helping." The musicians said "I had experienced something creepy as a child, so you imagine, what if I was a girl of nine or 10 and my uncle had raped me every week? I felt I had an understanding, and I could help." Townshend said that he intended to show that child abuse had a financial chain that ran from Russian orphanages to British banks, by paying for a site, a charge which he cancelled immediately.
Police found nothing incriminating on his computer, but the news was already out and put his reputation on the line. "What I did was insane," said Townshend, who said he didn't speak out sooner "Because there was no sense of 'the truth will out'. I've had the misfortune to read online comments where I'm judged as a paedophile because I've got a big nose."
Pete Townshend has broken his nine year silence on the child pornography scandal that threatened to derail his career. The legendary guitarist with The Who was arrested for downloading images of abused children, though has always maintained it was for research reasons.
Now, speaking about the storm in detail for the first time, Townshend still insists he was trying to prove that British banks were complicit in channelling profits from paedophile rings. However, the rocker concedes that he was “insane” to download the images, though when asked why he didn’t speak out sooner said, “Because there was no sense of 'the truth will out'. I've had the misfortune to read online comments where I'm judged as a paedophile because I've got a big nose.” In his new memoir – which is to be serialised in The Times – the guitarist admits he felt suicidal after his vilification in the media, writing, “If I had a gun I would have shot myself…It really did feel like a lynching.”
Before his arrest in 2003, Townshend had posted numerous essays on his personal website as part of his campaign against the widespread availability of child pornography on the internet.
A mere nine years after the story first broke, Pete Townshend has broken his silence over the child pornography scandal at last, giving the ‘full’ story of events in his upcoming autobiography Who I Am.
The Who guitarist spoke to The Times magazine recently to promote the book and set a few things clear about the damning scandal, insisting that he was doing research on the subject and instantly regretted his actions. The guitarist revealed that he was suffering from ‘white knight syndrome’ and wanted to appear to be the guy trying to do something about the issue, but instead was caught in a nationwide police sting to arrest online child predators and pornography users. He told the newspaper, “I had experienced something creepy as a child, so you imagine: what if I was a girl of 9 or 10 and my uncle had raped me every week? I felt I had an understanding, and I could help.”
Townshend was planning on putting together a report that proved that child pornography leaves an international money trail behind it, linking Russian orphanages to British banks. Townshend then paid a £7 sign up fee to a child pornography site, although he immediately cancelled the transaction. When police linked him to the site, they checked his computer and, although that too showed no signs of illicit images on it, the damage had already been done to his image.
Fans wanting to find out about Pete Townshend's arrest following a child pornography incident in 2003 can read all about it in his new autobiography, reports The Guardian.
The book - a candid insight into the rock star's life - features the detailed trail of events that lead to The Who star's arrest. Townshend said he intended to reveal the financial lines of child abuse from Russian orphanages to British banks by paying a £7 fee to access a child pornography site with his credit card. This, obviously lead so suspicions and his eventual arrest: "It's a product of success, he explained. "I had experienced something creepy as a child, so you imagine, what if I was a girl of nine or 10 and my uncle had raped me every week? I felt I had an understanding, and I could help. What I did was insane." Townshend was talking to The Times, who are serialising the book. "I've had the misfortune to read online comments where I'm judged as a paedophile because I've got a big nose," he added. The scandal landed him 5 years on the sex offenders register after he claimed to be looking at a website while conducting research for a campaign against images of child sex abuse on the Internet.
Following a four-month investigation, the Metropolitan police said Townshend "was not in possession of any downloaded child abuse images," but had accessed a site containing such images in 1999. Who I Am will be released on 11 October.
Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who celebrated the re-release of Quadrophenia: The Director's Cut by performing an intimate acoustic gig at London's Bush Hall in front of 200 guests. The set list included Corrina, Corrina; Acid Queen; I'm One and Drowned. Prior to their gig, there was an hour long question and answer session featuring Pete, who ranks Quadrophenia as the 'last great Who album'.
Continue reading: Pete Townshend, Quadrophenia The Director's Cut Video Interview