The Who were formed in 1964. Their classic line-up consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide and holding a reputation for their live shows and studio work.
In early September 1978, drummer Moon attended a party held by Paul McCartney to celebrate Buddy Holly’s birthday. Returning to his flat, Moon took 32 tablets of Clomethiazole, which had been prescribed to combat his alcohol withdrawal. He passed out the following morning and was discovered dead later that day.
Moon was replaced by Faces drummer Kenney Jones and the group went on to record and release two more studio albums with Jones as drummer, Face Dances (1981) and It’s Hard (1982). Face Dances produced a US top 20 and UK top ten hit with the single “You Better You Bet”, whose video was one of the first shown on MTV. Both Face Dances and It’s Hard sold well and the latter received a five-star review in Rolling Stone. The single “Eminence Front” from It’s Hard was a hit, and became a regular at live shows.
Music videos, and particularly their impact on the popularity and success of performing artists at the time was quite new and in this conversation from 1982 Pete Townshend talks about the impact of video and how he and the rest of the band were coming to terms with this new medium.
Photo by Heinrich Klaffs.