Pete's Site Announces Rock Hall of Fame Exhibit

L. Bird pkeets at
Wed Mar 16 08:34:25 CST 2005

  	   16 March 2005
Tommy Exhibition

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'Tommy' is the subject of a new year long exhibition at the Rock and Roll 
Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Opening on April 7th the exhibition looks at the 
conceptual work from it's very beginnings through to its latest stage 

Pete has loaned the museum many of his previously unseen manuscripts, notes, 
lyrics, original tape boxes (amongst other things) and has been suppotive of 
the exhibition since it was first suggested two years ago.

As well as the exhibition the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is providing a full 
supporting programme, including talks by Chris Stamp, Jeff Stein, Des 
MacAnuff and Murray Lerner. The full details are contained in the following 
press release by the Hall of Fame.


"TOMMY: The Amazing Journey" opens at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and 

Rock Hall displays Pete Townshend’s never-before-seen archives of the Who’s 
concept album Tommy

CLEVELAND (March 16, 2005) – The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is 
pleased to announce the new exhibit “TOMMY: The Amazing Journey.” The 
exhibit will open on April 7, 2005 at the Cleveland music museum and will 
remain until March 2006.

Tommy is one of the earliest and most important rock operas. The iconic rock 
opera had many incarnations, including an album, movie, soundtrack, a 
Broadway play as well as an orchestral version and a ballet interpretation. 
Conceived and primarily written by Pete Townshend, the Who’s critically 
revered concept album, Tommy, was released in 1969.

March 18, 2005 marks the 30th anniversary of the motion pictures version of 
Tommy, directed by Ken Russell.

When the album Tommy was released over 35 years ago, the media divided in 
two distinctive groups. On one side, critics labeled it “shattering” and 
“remarkable.” On the other side, some media viewed the work as exploitative. 
The story of Tommy is one of a handicapped child who is exploited and abused 
by family members and others and goes on to become a spiritual leader. This 
is an area that no pop album had dared to tread before Tommy.

The controversy of Tommy led to the album being banned by the BBC and 
various radio stations, an act that did little to hurt its sales.

Richard Barnes wrote in the liner notes of the 1993 Tommy reissue, “Its 
story covers murder, trauma, bullying, child molestation, sex, drugs, 
illusion, delusion, altered consciousness, spiritual awakening, religion, 
charlatanism, success, superstardom, faith, betrayal, rejection, and 

While Townshend did not intend for Tommy to be autobiographical, he has said 
that in 1991 -- when the Broadway show was released -- he realized it indeed 

The album chronicles the story of a boy who becomes deaf, dumb and blind 
after witnessing the murder of his father. Through his mastery of pinball, 
he is cured, elevated to prophet status and then turned on by his followers. 
Without his major senses, Tommy is left to feel everything through rhythms 
and vibrations.

This examination of spirituality and self was a massive success and hit 
Number 4 on the U.S. album charts. The Who’s subsequent tour included a full 
performance of Tommy at each show. Ultimately, the barrier-shattering piece 
was performed at several major opera houses, including New York’s 
Metropolitan Opera House.

In 1975, director Ken Russell released his film version of Tommy, starring 
the Who, Ann-Margaret, Oliver Reed, and Jack Nicholson. The film also 
featured appearances by Eric Clapton, Tina Turner and Elton John. A Broadway 
musical version debuted in 1992.

“The Who are one of the great bands in rock and roll history, and Tommy is 
one of their greatest works,” said Jim Henke, the Museum's vice president of 
exhibitions and curatorial affairs. “We have worked closely with Pete 
Townshend, who created Tommy, and the result is a comprehensive look at the 
first rock opera.”

The exhibition features Townshend’s handwritten manuscripts and production 
notes as well as costumes, instruments, posters and other artifacts from the 
numerous incarnations of Tommy.

Artifacts in the exhibit include:

• Track Listing and Conceptual Notes, 1968 This handwritten manuscript 
reveals Pete Townshend's evolving concept of the opera.
• "Tommy Can You Hear Me/Go To the Mirror" handwritten lyrics, 1968

• UK Tour Concert Program, 1970

• Roger Daltrey Suit from Ken Russell Tommy film, 1974

• Fillmore East Program, 1969

• Ticket and brochure from Woodstock

• Program from Theatre de Champs D'Elysses, a European opera house where the 
Who performed Tommy.

• A typed letter from Pete Townshend to the fan club, Fall 1969

• Posters for both Isle of Wight concerts, 1969 and 1970

• Letter from Pete Townshend to Ken Russell with detailed casting proposals 
for the movie

• Posters from 5 different countries for the movie

• Poster for the Who, James Gang and James Taylor performance at Public 
Hall, Cleveland, 1970

Exhibit opening party details: There will be a special member’s night on 
April 7 to mark the opening of the exhibit. Doors for the event will open at 
6:30pm and at 7:00pm there will be a Curator panel discussion in the Fourth 
Floor Theater. Members and guests will then be able to tour the new exhibit. 
All exhibits will be open and there will be a cash bar and light hors 
d'oeuvres. To make a reservation, please call 216.515.8427.

Related Programs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum: In addition, 
the Museum’s has planned education programs in conjunction with the exhibit. 
All programs will take place in the Museum’s Fourth Floor Theater.

• April 13, 7:00 p.m.: An Evening with Des McAnuff Tickets are $5 and go on 
sale Monday, March 21 Director and co-writer of the Broadway version of 
Tommy comes to the Museum to discuss the staging of the legendary rock 
opera. (more bio to come)

• April 27, 7:00 p.m.: Rock and Roll Night School with general Who content 
This event is FREE and open to the public The Edge of the Invasion: The Who 
Blow Things Up – The Rock and Roll Night School returns to the Rock Hall in 
style with a class looking at the life and music of one of the greatest rock 
and roll bands of all time, The Who. This Class will explore The Who’s early 
singles career until 1969 (when they released the Rock Opera Tommy) and 
their role in the British invasion. Rising out of the British “Mod” culture 
in 1965 their early “maximum R&B” sound yielded such hit singles as “My 
Generation” and “Can’t Explain.” In 1967 they turned their attention to a 
more psychedelic sound in the hit “I Can See for Miles.” Jason Hanley, 
musicologist and Education Programs Manager at the Rock and Roll Hall of 
Fame and Museum, leads the classes, which are geared towards adults 
interested in gaining more knowledge about rock and roll history.

• May 4, 7:00 p.m.: Director Murray Lerner Tickets are $5 and go on sale 
Monday, March 21 Murray Lerner is perhaps best known as a multi-faceted 
filmmaker, having won an Oscar for his feature length documentary, “From Mao 
to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China” and created a fundamental breakthrough in 
the creative use of 3-D with “Magic Journeys” for the Kodak Pavilion at 
EPCOT, still considered the best 3-D film ever made. He trained himself to 
become proficient in all aspects of filmmaking, believing that it should be 
a unified art. Thus, he has written, directed and photographed, as well as 
edited, many of his films. He is a Class “A” Director of Photography and a 
member of both the Directors and Writers Guild of America.

• May 11, 7:00 p.m.: Rock journalist and author Dave Marsh Tickets are $5 
and go on sale Monday, March 21 Dave Marsh, rock critic, historian, 
anticensorship activist, talk show host, and “Louie Louie” expert, has 
written more than 20 books about rock and popular music, as well as editing 
that many more. He co-founded Creem, the legendary Motor City rock and roll 
magazine that helped launch heavy metal, glam and punk, among other styles, 
and spent five years as an associate and contributing editor of Rolling 
Stone, where he was chief music critic, columnist and feature writer. From 
1985-2002, he served as monthly music critic for Playboy. He has lectured 
widely on music, politics, and censorship. In 1983 Marsh published Before I 
Get Old: The Story of the Who. Written at the request of Pete Townshend and 
endorsed by the rest of the band, this in-depth history of the Who took 
author Dave Marsh three years to research and write. Complete with 
photographs, it covers the group’s origins and meteoric rise to fame, 
reveals inside information on the personalities and lives of the band 
members, and documents the relationships, drugs, destruction, money, and 
mayhem behind the music of this legendary rock band.

• May 18, 7:00 p.m.: An Evening with Chris Stamp Tickets are $5 and go on 
sale Monday, March 21 In the early 1960s, Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert, his 
future business partner, developed the concept of finding a rock group, 
becoming their managers, record their music, guide their songwriting and 
turn them into a success while filming the entire process. The team 
eventually found a group called the High Numbers who soon became the Who. 
Stamp created “Track Records” for the Who to record on (as well as Jimi 
Hendrix, Arthur Brown, Speedy Keane, Marc Bolan and others) and has 
continued to work on Who-related projects, including executive producing Ken 
Russell’s film version of “Tommy.” After going through rehab in 1987, Stamp 
decided he wanted to help others so he became a psychodrama and experiential 
therapist. He is a CASAC (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse 
Counselor), a Certified Experimental Therapist and an Auricular Acupuncture 
Detox Specialist. He is a consultant in Manhattan and is in private practice 
in East Hampton, NY. He is currently working on the documentary film “The 
Stamp & Lambert Story.”

• May 25, 7:00 p.m.: special Tommy Rock and Roll Night School This event is 
FREE and open to the public Tommy and Rock Opera: A Genre Emerges – Rock and 
Roll Night School continues its exploration of The Who by looking at their 
pop music innovation, the Rock Opera. With the release of Tommy in 1969, and 
Quadrophenia in 1973, The Who developed the idea of a concept album into a 
full stage show in which each song played an integral part. This class will 
examine the genre of the Rock Opera by focusing on Tommy and looking at the 
new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit The Who’s Tommy: The Amazing Journey. 
Jason Hanley, musicologist and Education Programs Manager at the Rock and 
Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, leads the classes, which are geared towards 
adults interested in gaining more knowledge about rock and roll history.

• June 1, 7:00 p.m.: An Evening with Jeff Stein Tickets are $5 and go on 
sale Monday, March 21 At fifteen, New Yorker Jeff Stein hit the road with 
the legendary British rock group the Who. He toured the United States and 
Europe witnessing the band's unique blend of musical mayhem, riotous stage 
performances with frenzied finales of explosions, smashed guitars, toppled 
amplifier cabinets and splintered drum kits. He survived the trashing of 
hotel rooms and the death-defying pranks of notorious drummer, Keith Moon, 
sometimes fleeing one step ahead of local law enforcement from Malibu to 
Germany. Before he was out of his teens, Stein was turning this baptism of 
fire into the cult classic, “The Kids Are Alright,” a tragic-comic chronicle 
of the Who's odyssey of rock and roll death and glory. Stein turned his two 
obsessions, rock and roll and film-making, into a pioneering career in music 
videos. His first video was Billy Idol's “Rebel Yell.” His second, the Cars 
“You Might Think” won MTV's first Video of the Year Award, as well as dozens 
of other honors worldwide. The clip had the distinction of being added to 
the Permanent Collection of the Museum of Modern Art. The following year, 
his video for Tom Petty's “Don’t Come ‘Round Here No More,” featuring a 
controversial version of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, won MTV's Special EFX 
Award, as well as Best Video at the International Video Awards in London. 
Stein has continued to conceptualize and direct music videos, television 
specials and commercials, documenting musical luminaries from Little Richard 
to Bruce Springsteen. A 25th Anniversary Edition of “The Kids Are Alright” 
was released in the fall of 2003. The first week of release, it debuted at 
No. 1 on the music DVD charts in England and ranked number 2 in U.S. music 
DVD sales. The film was honored that October with three special sold-out 
screenings of the rejuvenated 5.1 version at the New York Film Festival in 
Lincoln Center. In August of 2004, “The Kids Are Alright” won Best Music DVD 
at the 7TH ANNUAL DVD AWARDS sponsored by IRMA and the CMP. In November of 
2004, Stein teamed up with video visionary, Anne-Marie Mackay, to form the 
Lab, where they continue to create music-driven entertainment for the 
brightest lights of the New Millennium.

About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum The Rock and Roll Hall of 
Fame and Museum exists to educate its visitors, fans and scholars from 
around the world about the history and significance of rock and roll music. 
The Museum carries out this mission through its efforts to collect, 
preserve, exhibit and interpret this art form.

The Museum is open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On 
Wednesdays the Museum is open until 9:00 p.m. Museum admission is $20.00 for 
adults, $14.00 for seniors (60+), $11 for children (9-12) and children under 
8 and Museum members are free.

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