The West Australian on Who presser

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 23 10:42:56 UTC 2009


http://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx?MenuID=5&ContentID=131913 

The Who to fire up Grand Prix
23rd March 2009, 16:00 WST

More than 40 years after Prime Minister John Gorton told them they were never again welcome in Australia, British rockers The Who are back, set to fire up this weekend’s Formula One Grand Prix.

While fast cars will be the common link between the band and the Australian F1 opener, it was an incident on board a flight in 1968 that led to the former PM’s order.

Though tame by most wild rock’n roll antics of the era, the band was blasted for taking beer on board the plane, using bad language and upsetting the Ansett cabin crew, during the flight from Adelaide to Melbourne en route to New Zealand.

Police met the band - lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon - at Essendon airport before escorting them on a different Ansett flight across the Tasman.

But the damage was done and Mr Gorton later telegrammed the band, telling them never to set foot in Australia again.

On Monday, surviving members Daltrey and Townshend (Moon died from a drugs overdose in 1978 while Entwistle suffered a fatal heart attack in 2002) arrived in Melbourne for their Sunday night Grand Prix gig, regretting their lengthy absence.

While 40-plus years is a lifetime for some, Daltrey and Townshend say they are excited to be back in Australia, despite their extended absence being interpreted as a grudge following their ugly first experience here.

“We should have come back earlier, but in hindsight it’s easy isn’t it,” Daltrey says.

Though he vowed never to return to Australia after the 1968 tour, Townshend is at pains to point out that he did actually have a good time.

“I think the problem really was not the kind of places we played, or certainly the people we played to. On that particular tour, I met a girl I nearly married. I mean, I had a lovely time,” he says.

“We had a ball on that trip. I don’t think it was about holding a grudge that we did (not) come back, it was the fact that it was so painful the experience for me, sensitive little soul that I was.

“I deeply, deeply regret not coming back now.”

Daltrey is also looking forward to the racing, happy that Formula One is “in better shape than it has been for years”.

“For quite a long time there - won’t mention any names - but a certain gentleman at number one all the time, it got deadly dull for me,” says Daltrey.

“Last year it came alive, so I’m looking forward to this one.”

Daltrey admits he’s also the exception to the rule when it comes to having a garage full of hot wheels.

“I’ve got an (Mercedes) AMG 55 at the moment...I love it, but only got one. I must be the only rock star in the world with one car, and that will do me. He’s got hundreds,” Daltrey says, pointing to Townshend.

“Mind your own f***ing business,” the guitarist chimes in, no doubt for the benefit of the assembled journalists.

The Who are also performing in Brisbane, Adelaide, the Hunter Valley, Sydney and Perth.

MELBOURNE
AAP

 -Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!
http://www.thewhothismonth.com 


      



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