The Who Biography by Vince P Platania
The Who biography is a tale that captures all of the elements of hard work, success, dedication and tragedy that are typically associated with the larger than life classic rock bands that dominated their era.
This British band officially came together in 1964, after guitarist Pete Townshend and bassist John Entwistle folded their traditional jazz band into a new group at the behest of singer Roger Daltrey. The band initially performed together under a different name, The Detours, and Daltrey had not yet evolved into the powerful vocalist that would define later Who records. However, when the original singer of The Detours left the band, Daltrey assumed the role that would make him famous, and the group renamed themselves The Who.
Keith Moon, the band's drummer whose fits of destructive excess would become the stuff of legend, was the final piece of the puzzle. After the original drummer left The Who, shortly after the name change, the band used a session drummer who was merely adequate. 17 years old, Moon was in the audience at a show by The Who and approached the band afterwards to boastfully tell them that he was much better than their current man behind the kit, and offer his services.
The band found almost immediate success with a series of hit singles that were primarily derived from the band's first album, 'My Generation'. The title track, 'I Can't Explain' and 'The Kids Are Alright' gave The Who huge audience in both their native England and the United States. Early on, the band was associated with the Mod movement in Britain, and while they continued to find success on the charts, Townshend and the rest of the band wanted to push the limits of what they could do both on stage and in the recording studio.
Concept albums and rock operas like 'Tommy' and 'Quadrophenia' set the band apart from many other rock groups of the day, and for a time The Who seemed as though they had completely abandoned the trappings of traditional rock releases. 'Who Are You', the last album by The Who before the death of John Bonham in 1978 signaled a return to their chart rock roots.
The Who biography doesn't end with the loss of Moon, but the band never fully recovered. Dissolving in the 80's, each member would continue to be active musically, and The Who subsequently reformed to tour and perform at special shows in the ensuing decades, occasionally releasing new studio material.
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