The British Invasion, Part 3: The Who


March 1, 1944, Roger Daltrey is born. October 9, 1944. John Entwistle is born. May 19, 1945. Peter Townshend is born. August 23, 1946. Keith Moon is born. All four of these amazing musicians had completely separate lives, different hometowns, different histories, yet they came together to form one of the most well-known bands in the world. The Who. The Who, in a brand-new music environment, where any rules that had been in place had been broken, either by The Beatles, or more likely The Rolling Stones (History: The Story of The Who, 2012).

            The Who didn’t start out as The Who. In 1964, Roger Daltrey formed a band, called “The Detours,” while at Acton County College (History: The Story of The Who, 2012). John Entwistle, and Peter Townshend, also joined Daltrey, in addition to Doug Sandon on drums. Keith Moon, currently in a band named The Beachcombers replaced Doug Sandon (The Who Biography, 2012). The Detours changed their name to The Who in the February of 1964. However, at the suggestion of their manager, Kit Lambert, they changed their name to “The High Numbers,” at least long enough to release a single, titled “I’m The Face” in 1964 before changing back to The Who (The Who Biography, 2012).

            In this burst of British innovation, The Who needed something to stand out by. In The Who’s initial albums, The Who purposely limited the number of covers that they did, unlike The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and other competitors (The Who Biography, 2012). Another recognizable motif of The Who is Peter Townshend’s windmill while playing guitar. However, this was taken from a warm-up exercise The Rolling Stones’ guitarist was doing before a performance. Years later, Townshend asked The Rolling Stones if they minded him taking their trick, and they returned him blank looks.

            It took The Who until 1967 to secure a spot in the US Top 40. The single that took it was “Happy Jack”. The single “I Can See For Miles” was The Who’s biggest US single so far, reaching number nine. At this point, Townshend was looking at more conceptual albums, not just singles, so less singles were produced, and work was focused on albums.

            Although they were successful there, The Who didn’t appear in the US until March 25, 1967 with.



 However, previous to that, the first footage of them reached to US. It was pre-recorded footage from the


 UK (History: The Story of The Who, 2012).




Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment with feedback in the comments below!

~Jacob Montgomery

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