September 23, 2020

1980-04-25 – The Minneapolis Star

1980 04 25 The_Minneapolis_Star_Fri__Apr_25__1980_



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The Minneapolis Star
Friday, April 25, 1980


The Who’s revival

Drummer’s tragic death shocks group back to life

Minneapolis Star Sta" Writer

At the beginning of 1979. it looked as if
The Who. enduring champions of adoles-
cence and rock's most madcap band, was

Drummer Keith Moon had died of a drug
overdose in November ’78 on the eve of his
marriage. Weeks earlier the band had is-
sued its first new album in three years,
“Who Are You." which discussed the
problem of musicians over age 30 sustain-
ing careers In rock. And The Who's guid-
ing force. gultarlst-songwrlter Pete Town-
shend. ha been widely quoted about his
lack of artistic stimulation and disinterest
in touring.

“We were at the end of an era," Town-
shend told the Associated Press. “Keith
died at a time when The Who really was
finished . . . . But his death was such an in-
credible. catalytic thing."

Indeed. the tragic loss reinvigorated The
Who. Townshend. singer Roger Daltrey
and bassist John Entwistle regrouped with

Jon Bream reviews The Who's
‘Quadmphenlafl Page 103

drummer Kenne Jones. formerly of the
Faces. And. by t e end of 1979, The Who
was named rock band of the year by the
readers and staff of Rolling Stone maga-

That was quite an accomplishment for a
group that did not issue any recordings of
new material that year. Instead, the Brit—
ish quartet assaulted the United States
with two movies—"The Kids Are Al-
right." a documentary of the band's ca-
reer. and “Quadrophenla.” a drama based
on the Who's ‘73 album—-and a brief con-
cert tour.

The trium hant concert tour indicated
The Who de initely had come back. But it
also brought the group. and rock music.
notoriety neither will ever be able to
shake. The day of lniamy was Dec. 3,
1979, in Cincinnati. Eleven persons were
tram led to death trying to get into a con-
cert y The Who, which was riding the
po charts with the hit “Long Live Rock."

e show went on that night. And The
Who has continued to press on. The group
has embarked on a new concert tour.
which visits the St. Paul Civic Center
Wednesday and next Frlda . Meanwhile,
singer and sometimes actor altrey is star-
ring in a dramatic film about British thlei
John McVicar and TOWnshend has record-
ed a solo album. And The Who is working
on‘ a new group album. which is expected
to be released in October.

The popularity and influence of [his
celebrated British band is rivaled only by
the Beatles and Rolllng Stones. The Who
was the first punk band. And the quartet
has made a career of singing about the tri-
als of adolescence.

The group began in London in l963 as

the Detours. Townshend (on banjo, and
Entwlstle (on trumpet) had played In a
Dixieland jazz band in school. ntwlatle
looked up his old crony when the Detours.
which included guitarist-slnger Daltrey
and drummer Doug Sanden. needed a
rhythm guitarist.

Townshend’s interest in the music of
U.S. bluesman John Lee Hooker guided the
direction of the Detours. who changed
their name to The Who. The band's man-
agers realized the players were less than
accomplished so they urged the musicians

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to take advantage of the current teen tad
of the Mods. rebellious worklng-class kids
who favored ties and coats, and dresses.

However, drummer Sanden didn't fit in.
He was more than 10 years older than his
colleagues; so he was sacked and the
group changed its moniker to the High


Keith Moon auditioned by destroying a
drum kit that had served its previous own-
er for 20 years: he was hired. And, before
too long, the band gained a following in

the London pubs with its gritty rhythm-
and-blues sound and recorded a single.
“I'm the Face," with “Zoot Suit" on the
flip side.

Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. small-
time film directors. took note of the High
Numbers‘ popularity and took over man
agement. They encouraged the band
(which reverted to its old name) to incor—
porate aggression in its stage act that
would match the physical aggression of
the Mods.

Star illustration by Davis F. Matheny

Onstage, Daltrey. who had put away his
guitar. twlrled his microphone like a larlat
and stuttered his lyrics in imitation of the
amphetamine-chewing Mods. Townshend
leaped into the air and swung his arm like
a windmill while producing feedback and
distortion on his guitar. Entwlstle stood
stoically in the corner and watched it all.

The final touch to The Who‘s stage an-


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