As The Who have recently wrapped up their 2022 US tour, with more European shows scheduled for next year, this site has been filling up with concert pages full of photos and concert memories from fans around the world who went to see their favorite band, perhaps for the final time. Readers and contributors of these pages will be delighted to know that there is a new book out that is completely dedicated to covering Who shows from their golden era, when they were arguably the greatest live rock and roll band in the world.
The Who: Concert Memories from the Classic Years 1964 to 1976 is a fantastic collection of photos and memories of fans who attended some of the most legendary shows of The Who’s career. Detailed accounts include their shows at Monterey Pop, Woodstock, Isle of Wight, Marquee Club, Fillmores East and West, Grande Ballroom, Cow Palace, Winterland, Leeds, Tanglewood… just to name a few. It is a project that has been in the works for years, and has been eagerly anticipated by hard core Who fans who knew it was going to be something really special. The long wait was worthwhile, as this book is a real corker.
This treasure trove of material was lovingly put together by author Edoardo Genzolini, a young man from Italy who was so inspired by a TV broadcast of the bands performance at Woodstock that he began collecting Who photos and enticing those who attended early shows to share their memories with him. Since he was too young to have been alive during these peak years, he wanted to live vicariously through those who were lucky enough to experience seeing them. His collection grew to an impressive quantity of material, and in 2018 Edoardo published the first edition of his first book in Italy entitled The Who, a Million Little Memories: Ricordi di Una Rock’n’Roll Band.
Edoardo wanted to extend his work to the English speaking public, so he brought in Jeremy Goodwin to help edit and translate the text to English, and greatly expand the content. Jeremy has some family ties to the band, and first met Pete Townshend when he was a child in 1968. His step-father used to cut Pete’s hair and did the haircuts for the Quadrophenia album booklet. His parents were part of the Meher Baba community, so their families socialized together. Jeremy helped to build up the book with new content, and contributed his own personal stories of his meetings with Pete.
The book is laid out in chronological order by the years spanning 1964 to 1976, with each section of photos and memories prefaced by a chapter of Who history for that period which details what was going on with the band at that particular time. It is absolutely chock full of amazing photos of the band, taken on stage, backstage, and behind the scenes places such as airports and hotels. The quality of the photos varies, with a mix of black & white and color, professional and amateur. They are all wonderful to see and have likely never been released anywhere else before. They help tell the story brilliantly. The sheer quantity is really impressive, considering how long ago these shows took place.
The stories come from a large variety of sources, including fans who attended the shows or met band members backstage or at their hotel. Some people worked with them at the shows, such as road crews, promoters, photographers and journalists. The fact that so many people can recall details from shows and meetings that took place decades ago is astounding, and is a testament to how incredible the performances really were to stick in peoples memories for so long, and how a chance meeting with them in the flesh was such a momentous occasion.
The Who: Concert Memories from the Classic Years 1964 to 1976 was released by Schiffer Publishing in the US on 18 October and will hit the stores in the UK this weekend, on 18 December.
This book is a must have for everyone who is a fan of Pete Townshend and The Who! It would make a great Christmas present, so be sure to order it today!
Many thanks to Edoardo Genzolini for providing a few lovely photos from the book for this article, and to Edoardo, Jeremy Goodwin, and Irish Jack, for telling us their own background stories about the work they have done on this book! Be sure to read what they all have to say about it down below!
Seattle Center Coliseum, October 14, 1976.
Pete being interviewed by Tony Glover at Suzanne Weil's house after the Who's concert at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis on June 8, 1969.
Edoardo’s book looks wonderful. The photographs are very special. His take on The Who, and on me, is intriguing and extremely insightful. I wasn’t always a pleasant person to be around in the early days. It’s good to see that sometimes I managed to do some decent things for fans. I am very pleased to see this wonderful book published in English.
Pete Townshend, London, April 8, 2020. From an email sent to editor and contributor Jeremy Goodwin.
Alameda County Stadium, Oakland (CA), October 9, 1976.
Winterland, San Francisco (CA), February 24, 1968. Pete receives a Kay acoustic guitar as a gift from Craig Patterson (photographer) and Randy Tinch (left).
From the author, Edoardo Genzolini
This book was not something planned: it happened naturally, automatically, necessarily.
Arduous and simplistic as it might be trying to pin down the exact event in which something as significant started to burgeon, I can see this project begin with me at 13. It all started with Who’s Next, and particularly “Baba O’Riley,” played in my father’s car while we were going to pick up my brother at a party. Although it stands out in my memory as a pretty distinctive moment, the true consecration to the Who would occur a few months later, when I accidentally bumped into a broadcasting of Woodstock on TV on the night of 2003/2004 New Year’s Eve. My life can thus be easily divided into two times – before and after watching Woodstock. Something similar had happened with watching Robert Altman’s Nashville the year before, but nothing quite as radical as seeing especially those 15 minutes of the Who’s performance in the documentary on those three days of peace and music. Nothing was the same for me after that.
Today, almost 20 years later since that night, this obsession, authentic and sincere as it blossomed, is still there, looking very different at the same time: it has simply, and patiently, shaped into something else. This book is the coherent, consequent result of what this obsession has generated into. It is also the reflection of the utopistic dream of the teenager born in the Nineties and living in the early 2000s: to live in his heroes’ times. I can vividly remember the times I daydreamed being at Woodstock, at Monterey, at the Fillmore East and West, at the Marquee Club. From then, just out of spontaneity, I found myself accumulating photos, information, asking concert attendees to tell me their stories, to the point where, almost ten years later, at 25, I realized I had been unwittingly working on a potential book project. I realized then that accumulation was the key to the purpose I was serving: only quantity could really determine the quality of the immersive project I had in mind.
This book is the result of both the exciting and stressful effort to challenge space and time; the challenge of finding as many photos and films as possible from the same concert, especially the earliest ones, when the Who were still an underground phenomenon struggling to gain world recognition; the challenge also to correct inaccuracies, myths, as well as providing hardcore Who fans with the definitive book that my 15-16-year old self always wanted to read, but always ended up disappointed by finding the same information and photos used over and over, publication after publication.
I progressively realized that insiders, fans, friends of the band, photographers, were the keepers of a hidden and still totally unknown identity of the Who that could have given the band a new, fresh look and, mostly, could save it from the embalming destiny it seemed to be fated to. The never-seen-before photos of John Entwistle smashing his bass in Anaheim in 1967 put the Quiet One under a new and unprecedented light; who knew also that John was in charge of live concerts’ setlists? That’s what one of the many contributors in the book remembers from being one of the lucky fans being allowed in the Winterland dressing room with the Who in 1968. And who knew that “I Can See For Miles” was recorded live during the Moon era, precisely in early 1968? It’s in one of the many reel-to-reels and cassettes I have found in my endless and mad research.
This allows me to point out that the painful aspect of this book is that what you see in it is only the tip of the iceberg, a one-dimensional reflection of an incredibly deeper and richer work behind it: the essence of it was hooking up with people away from social media who had been hiding the most precious Who treasures in their closets (some even in their shoeboxes!); the essence of it was to gain the trust and the friendship of such people, and being able to work personally and directly on their original negatives, their original slides, 8mm films and tapes; it was desperately trying, but finally succeeding, to rescue a box full of original negatives and rare prints across Italy, risking to end up in some stranger’s hands, after the sender, a friend of mine from California, misspelled my address on it!
Last but not least, the essence of it was to work on the book’s main text with Jeremy Goodwin, who did help me express the concepts I had in mind in a better English, and helped me to take them even further, thanks to his invaluable writing and editing skills and precious knowledge of the Who. This and many more moments are what this work is all about, and would really deserve another book on its own.
Many would argue, why choose a book form, and not a simple website or a Facebook page? That would undoubtedly have made it all so much easier for me, in all respects. The answer is because I wanted all this work and all this material, all these memories and names to last, to survive the fleeting and ephemeral world wide web; I wanted people to hold this book, to smell it, to consume it and to hopefully hand it down to posterity.
Although I was and still am amazed at the incredibly positive feedback the book is receiving, to me it’s still very far from being called “definitive,” as some of the many kind readers called it: some of the photos and stories in it suggest that there is still so much yet to be discovered. For instance, take the first of the three photo sets taken by Craig Patterson at the Fillmore Auditorium on June 16, 1967: who’s that guy under the stage pointing that Rolleiflex camera at Roger? Where are his photos? Also, who is the woman narrated by Mark d’Ercole that scooted from one side to the other of the Fillmore West stage and stuck her camera in Pete’s face, almost blinding him with its flashbulb? Where is that photo? (If you don’t know what I’m talking about it means you still have to get this book!)
These are just two of the many examples that suggest that the research goes on, and that “I won’t get to get what I’m after ‘til the day I die.”
Sundown Theatre, Edmonton, London. December 22, 1973.
Winterland, San Francisco, February 24, 1968.
From the editor and contributor, Jeremy Goodwin
Here is a little background on the book, for which I was editor and a contributor. It was an exciting project.
Pete Townshend’s comment on the book cover was quoted with his permission and extracted from an email he sent to me on April 8, 2020 after I sent him a couple of chapters from the book. Pete was friends with my stepfather Dallas Amos and my mother, Barbara Goodwin. Dallas cut his hair for years and worked on the Quadrophenia album booklet. Our families socialized together in Richmond and Twickenham as part of the Meher Baba community.
I was ten years old when I met Pete in 1968 and over the next forty or so years saw him in concert about forty times. My music taste is eclectic but I had a particularly strong passion for The Who’s and Pete’s solo music because it spoke to me in a visceral way especially during my teenage years. In my mind, Pete’s lyrics and musicianship, fantastically punctuated by the other members of the Who and by other musicians is a defining tour de force of the rock music era. That music added colour to the graphics of my younger years, something for which I am most grateful.
After my family moved to California in the mid 1970’s, we only saw Pete in person backstage after concerts unless he visited our home. I went on to become a neurologist in the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland teaching in a medical school and my musical taste broadened with age, but in specific situations such as driving alone in my car, I would quite often revisit my youthful indulgence in rock music and blare it very loud. My patients would have laughed but my friends knew better. It was for me an important check on growing old.
Edoardo and I crossed paths in 2018 when he decided to translate and expand his first book already published in Italy by Arcana (The Who: A Million Little Memories). By interviewing people for that book he came across my name and asked if I would be interested in contributing some stories. I wasn’t. I didn’t want someone using something I had written about someone famous potentially irritating Pete. That would have been sad and embarrassing. But Edoardo persisted and through our conversations I grew to see that his motives were genuine, the result of a passionate longing to connect with those who had experienced the Who some years before he was born if he couldn’t actually time travel there himself. At that time he had a certain facility with spoken English that was perhaps not quite matched by his written skills. He was translating his Italian work into English but needed a native speaker’s help with the nuances of the language in order to better communicate his ideas with some flair and a greater breadth of vocabulary. Following his reading of my initial suggestions, I think Edoardo felt that with my cultural upbringing and personal background, we would make an effective team.
The book is thus largely of single authorship but it was indeed co-written. The research and creative ideas were mostly already in place as evidenced by the Italian book but because of the switch from Italian to English, I had to reconstruct much of it as far as the language was concerned, adding at times ideas, perceptions and concepts but always as a process involving joint decision making by the two of us. We talked through occasional disagreements without difficulty and played off each other well enough that by exchanging the evolving text back and forth many times over a couple of years, the result was the book as finally published. I think it noteworthy that he no longer needs a co-writer unless it is for reasons of ideas. His writing has really blossomed. I, too, have learned a lot and through this collaboration we have become good friends.
Fillmore East, New York, October 20-25, 1969.
Alameda County Stadium, Oakland (CA), October 9, 1976
From contributor and longtime friend of The Who, Irish Jack
Back in the U.S.S.R. Sorry, wrong song.
Back in 2016 on 7 January I received a Facebook PM from a guy whom I didn't know and calling himself Edoardo Genzolini. His message was unsolicited and it went...'Good day Mr. Lyons (a good start)... I'm a 24 year old writer for an Italian magazine called Wildwood and I am writing an article to celebrate 50 years of The Who, the band I'm mostly heavy on (Right?)...'In order to make the article as interesting as possible, I'm collecting recollections from people who had attended any Who gig back in the '60s or the '70s or simply were familiar with them. and I know You for your attendance at their early career's gigs and your friendship with Pete Townshend....' There was a bit more in his message but in the next one came the unexpected exaltation from him...'It's a privilege to me getting in contact with you Sir.'
This was an unexpected ego massage from an unknown Italian Who fan and naturally I played hard to get. I eventually obliged and sent Edoardo a couple of specific already written pieces of memoir. I didn't tell him of course but inwardly I hoped that my couple of memoirs might get into his article on 50 years of The Who. It was just another tricky day for me and I wished him luck. But it didn't end there and I never saw my memoir pieces published in this Wildwood magazine. I began to discover over the course of several e mails (and more Facebook PM's) that this fella Edoardo Genzolini was more than just an obscure Italian Who fan. Despite the odds he appeared as dogged, intrepid and hellbent on getting published. By now, perhaps a year later, he had abandoned the article for Wildwood and was now God forbid, talking about publishing a book on The Who. He displayed professionalism and had dropped Mr. Lyons and Sir....now I was just ordinary Irish Jack !
Mr. Genzolini went through the usual gambit of hope dashed by disappointment every aspiring writer experiences. There's nothing more soul destroying by the risen hope, the courage to hope only to be flattened by the dreaded Rejection Slip....and of course he was told that perhaps not too many people in western Europe would be interested in a book on an English band written specifically in Italian. Edoardo despaired and in one message told me he didn't know what to do next. I admired him and I knew his pain.
Let's move on to 2018 just before the pandemic. Edoardo published a 374-page book with an English title..'The Who : A Million Little Memories'. I was absolutely delighted to see that his publisher Arcana had succeeded in inserting the grammerically correct Oxford colon after Who. Inside the cover Edoardo thanked me with a touching handwritten message. And yes, along with many others he didn't neglect to put my name in the credits. The only thing was that like a lot of people in Ireland / UK I didn't speak Italian but I was of course well familiar with my two pieces of memoir he used and was able to proudly show my wife Maura her name in the book. The two memoir pieces submitted to the book were 'The Who's Last Gig At The Goldhawk - 3 December 1965' and 'Life On The Line', I had no problem self-translating because in all honesty I had lived every heartbeat, every second of these two episodes.
NOW... Edoardo Genzolini has, with the help and guidance of Schiffer Publishing, delivered the impossible with 'The Who Concert Memories from the Classic Years 1964 - 1976....Ah yes, 1964 : that's my department ! And that most assuredly is my Oxford colon.
Edoardo is ably assisted by his editor and contributor Jeremy Goodwin. Jeremy is the step-son of the well known hair stylist Dallas Amos who as well as being a trusted hairdresser to the star's also fashioned the hair of the boys and girls who appeared as typical young mods in the original Quadrophenia album of 1973. Jeremy recounts some really good stories about his friendship with Pete Townshend and how the Quadrophenia album (the fucking Bible, mate !) had such an influence on him. A man after my own heart.
I'm still reading it and it weighs a ton. The book is filled with the most alarming pictures each one intimate to the lucky Who fan who scrambled for tickets after being told there was none and who by some miracle found themselves in the Who's after-show orbit..the dressing room, the hotel lobby. What I love about all these personal little anecdotes from the fans is how extraordinary it was for them to get into the proximity of the band and to capture the special moments on camera....thankfully, there's not a single specimen of the dreaded selfie at large here. I truly envy these people (and I know some of them) I envy them because I am 79 and I have only not known The Who for nineteen of those years...which is a staggering statistic...and a frightening one. I've never had to queue for a ticket like these genial people, I've never had to buy an album if you get the drift...the band are my family and I can never see them in a way that these book contributors see them. Wood from the trees? That's why these people to me are so special. They have something I'll never have.
On the jacket cover whoever had the temerity to design this front has the audacity to decapitate the 'h' in Who. I am immediately reminded of Kit Lambert in 1964 encouraging a nervous backstreet Soho tailor hands trembling with treason as he snipped the sides of a Union Jack flag to fit inside the steel frame of a large energy-pounding 100-watt Marshall speaker for the old Marquee. This is what it was all about...
Inside the hard cover there's a spread photo overlapping two pages. The crowd look ecstatic like it used to be when the whole place would light up during 'See me, Feel me..'. On the right is a graphic designer's dream because two-and-a-half inches up from the bottom is a young guy in the crowd and y'know what? He looks like Edoardo Genzolini. Almost as if in that crazy moment this fabulous book was preordained. Out of the entire throng photographed you can't miss him. It's got to be Edoardo two-and-a-half inches up looking sideways, long hair down over the ears...'Hey, Edoardo !!!!'....
"Mr. Genzolini. Sir. Are you writing a book? Thank you for believing......"
Photo of Edoardo Genzolini taken near San Francisco, 2019
From the webmaster of petetownshend.net, Carrie Pratt
As a fellow collector and archivist of all things Pete Townshend / Who related, I find a kindred soul in Edoardo, and really appreciate all the love and work he has put into producing this amazing book! I imagine the journey he went on to find so many fantastic photos and to coax out the detailed stories behind them was very fun and fulfilling. I hope he made a lot of friends along the way. I would like to personally thank him for putting this treasure trove together for all of us!
Having researched and produced all the content and concert pages for this site for the past 10 years (plus all the shows that were up on my old longliverock.org website from 2006 - 2012, and the website for the 2010 and 2013 Who conventions), I have met passionate fans from all over the world who have been so generous to share their photos and reviews. Concerts mean so much to fans, and they certainly are good at capturing great photos and writing about the important details of every show. So many times I have asked someone to write a review, and it will be the first time they have ever written something like that. They worry that it won’t be good, but give it a try anyway. Those are often the best reviews! They always know what other fans will be interested in hearing about, and whether the show is good or bad, it’s fun to read about what happened at it. It’s been a great pleasure for me to connect to all the fans I have met over the years, and it's one of the main reasons why I run this website.
My own Who journey began back in 1967, when I first heard I Can See For Miles playing on the radio. The Who's music has been a huge part of my life ever since. I wasn’t old enough to see them in concert until I was 15, and the very first Who show I went to was on October 14, 1976 at the Seattle Center Coliseum. This ended up being the last show that Keith Moon played in the US. I’m so glad I got to see him! The concert had such a big impact on me that I wrote a school report about it in tenth grade. It was the very first concert review that I ever wrote. I wish I had sent it to Edoardo to be included along with the lovely photos from that Seattle show that are featured as the very last concert in his book!
Instead, I will post my review of the show here as written when I was 15 years old.
THE WHO: IN CONCERT
Seattle Center Coliseum, October 14, 1976
The excitement bloomed in the air months before the grand concert was announced. People crowded into stores just to buy tickets to this event. For years, The Who made a tremendous impact on their audiences with songs that revolve through our minds again and again. Now the time had come to prove to us that they still had the magnetism that they once produced years ago.
People from all age groups gathered in a huge mob, which extended from the Coliseum doors to the streets. There they chanted and screamed, requesting that the barricading doors be opened and for them to enter. Finally, the moment came and the pushing crowd filed in. They ran madly to what they considered the prime viewing seats. After the crowd mellowed out and the gigantic room filled the air with smoke, the magic time came.
The familiar faces of the foursome entered the stage and the spirits of the crowd rose as they screamed their approval. Although they were fashioned in a casual attire of jeans and T shirts, they had an essence about them that was pure professional. When they broke into their first song, the energy seemed to pulse through the audience.
The whole stage was dynamically lit with bright fluorescent colors. There were a few tasty effects to tantalize the audience, such as green laser lights shooting across the room, appearing to touch the crowd. At the climax of one popular song, the band turned on some powerful spot lights and shined them on the people. The crowds excitement and love flowed back to the stage.
Each member of The Who showed every sign of a professional performer. Roger Daltrey strutted around the stage and belted out each note with perfect pitch. He spun his microphone over his head and marched around the stage in rhythmatic steps. Pete Townshend banged out chords that vibrated in perfect harmony. With each stroke he added gigantic leaps and bounds catching the crowds attention. Keith Moon kept perfect beat adding his own touches for spice. He threw his drumsticks and caught them again, missing not a single beat. He had remarkable talent.
All and all the concert guaranteed a grand time for all.
Review by Carrie Matthew – October 1976
Seattle Center Coliseum, October 14, 1976.