memories of seeing the who



JOELTLE515 at aol.com JOELTLE515 at aol.com
Tue Feb 9 00:55:20 UTC 2010


written by steve marinucci, columnist for the beatles examiner, paul 
mccartney examiner, TV on DVD examiner and vintage rock n' roll examiner (he 
examines alot apparently):

Let's say at the beginning that we're pretty much a Beatles guy at heart. 
After all, we do write the Beatles Examiner and Paul McCartney Examiner 
columns here.

But the Who, who will be playing the halftime show at the Super Bowl on 
Sunday, have always had a fond place in our heart. Not only for their music, 
but because of the several times I've seen them perform live. 

Indeed, two of those are among the most memorable rock shows we've ever 
seen. 

The first was in 1971 at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium. We remember we 
were in the balcony that night but we had a clear view to the stage. 
Finally the lights went down and the band started walking out on the stage. You 
couldn't tell one from another -- except when one of them did a windmill leap. 
The crowd, of course, recognized who it was and loudly screamed with 
excitement.

Then came the introductions. The late, great rock promoter Bill Graham 
himself introduced them. As we recall, it was John Entwistle first, then Roger 
Daltrey, both of whom saluted the crowd politely and got good applause. Then 
Graham said something like "Keith Moon on drums." And, of course, you 
couldn't introduce Keith Moon without him doing something, making noise or fooling 
around. He made the crowd laugh.

Then the last member of the group was introduced. And we remember the words 
exactly as Graham said them.

"And the King -- Pete Townshend," Graham said. The spotlight shined on 
Townshend and he was wearing a huge crown, kind of like the ones in the Imperial 
margerine commercials of the day. The crowd screamed as Graham said, 
"Ladies and gentlemen, The Who." And then, as we recall, the band roared into "I 
Can't Explain." The thrill of that introduction stuck with us.

The other unforgettable night was in November, 1973, at the Cow Palace on 
the infamous night when Keith Moon passed out at the drums and an audience 
member was recruited to take his place. We were standing on the left side of 
the crowded floor, but we never made a move to try and fill in, since we 
didn't know how to play the drums. We thought Scot Halpin, who did fill in, did 
a credible job. A video of the show taken by the Graham crew circulates 
among collectors. 

One thing about seeing the Who -- they were LOUD! We remember our ears 
ringing for days after the Civic Auditorium show. Portions of that S.F. show, by 
the way, are available through iTunes. 


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