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Guitar and Pen
See Me, Feel Me
A Legal Matter
A Word about Copyrights
History of The Who › 1984-1995
Roger released his next solo
album February 17, 1984 with the ironic title Parting Should Be
Painless. Pete continued with his book publishing, recording demos
and also starting an anti-heroin campaign in October 1984. Around the same
time, he began writing a new film/album concept based on London's White
City housing complex.
John worked on a double LP
live set that The Who were contractually required to deliver to MCA.
His mix and track selection were rejected in favor of a hastily
assembled selection of weak performances from
the 1982 tour. Released November 10, 1984, Who's Last
received the worst notices of The Who's career.
|The break-up of The Who lasted
just nineteen months. On July 13, 1985, The Who were reunited through a
skilful use of blackmail by Bob Geldof for his worldwide charity
broadcast Live Aid. Pete wrote a new song for the event, "After The
Fire," but tensions in the former band were so great that they could not
be assembled to rehearse it. A sloppy four-song set was mercifully
curtailed by a satellite blackout.
Roger used the new song on his
last popular solo album, Under A Raging Moon, and went on a solo
tour of the United States. Otherwise, over the next few years he tended
his trout farm and acted in the occasional movie.
Pete released his White
City film and accompanying album November 29, 1985.
It was preceded by the publication of a collection of short fiction
written by Pete called Horse's
Neck (May 27) with stories that often seemed to be
adapted from his own life. He also formed a short-lived solo band, Deep
End, which featured horns, backup singers, extra percussion and an
electric guitarist while Pete played acoustic guitar, all in an effort to protect
|John spent his time compiling
additional Odds and Sods-type Who albums Who's Missing (released
November 30, 1985) and Two's Missing (released April 11, 1987),
selling off memorabilia to pay his taxes and recording a new
solo album, The Rock, that through bad luck and lack of interest
was not released at the time. This solo group would feature Zak Starkey,
Ringo Starr's son, on drums.
On February 8, 1988 The Who with
Kenney Jones reunited one last time to play two songs after receiving
the BPI Lifetime Achievement Award. The performance was cut off by the
television network before it finished because the show was running over.
In early 1989, pressure was put
on Pete to tour again with The Who, primarily to get John out from under
a massive tax bill. After much hesitation, he finally agreed.
However, it would not be The Who of old.
|The band would bear a close resemblance
to Pete's 1985 Deep End setup with horns, backup singers and Pete on
acoustic guitar. At one point, Pete even toyed with the idea of playing
the entire tour in a soundproof booth. Roger agreed to go along with
this on one condition: that they replace Kenney Jones. Roger
had grown to hate the sound of The Who with Kenney on drums and Pete, although he
felt loyal to his decision to bring Kenney into the band, reluctantly
agreed. Simon Phillips, again from Pete's 1985 Deep End band, took the
photo: Neil Preston
The tour officially began where
The Who had left off, in Toronto, June 23. Each show featured a full
performance of the rock opera Tommy followed by a selection of
Who hits, rarities and Pete solo songs. Critics again howled, both at
the big band line up and the return of a beer company's sponsorship.
However, the tour not only paid The Who's bills, but also raised a great
amount of money for children's charities.
Concurrent with the tour, Pete
released a new solo album, a children's musical of Ted Hughes' book
The Iron Man that featured The Who performing on two tracks. The CD
was released July 15 to middling sales despite the publicity of The Who
After the 1989
reunion, The Who again dissolved. In November 1990, Pete made news after
a quote from an interview he had given in 1989 was taken out of context
by British tabloids as an admittance that he was gay. Pete did not
correct the impression until 1999, not wanting to imply that being
thought gay was something that should be quickly denied.
In July 1991,
Pete, Roger and John reunited for one last studio recording, "Saturday
Night's Alright For Fighting," for an Elton John tribute CD. It would be
the last released studio recording by The Who with John.
13, 1991, Pete badly broke his right wrist in a bicycle accident. Told
he might never play the guitar again, he began work on an autobiography
and while questioning his relatives, discovered that he had been the victim of
childhood abuse that he had mentally repressed. Years after having made
it part of the subject of Tommy, Pete began to take an active interest in
combating child abuse. The research into his past influenced his next project, a
musical adaptation of Tommy that opened on Broadway April 22,
1993. The play was a smash hit and earned Pete both a Tony and an
Olivier Award. He began to speak of leaving rock to write for the
Tommy's Broadway run started, Pete released his last solo album to
date of new music. Psychoderelict (June 4, 1993) was a
combination radio play/musical based on one of Pete's short stories
about a 60's rocker named Ray High whose career is revived by
accusations of involvement with an underage girl. The album flopped,
pointing Pete even more strongly toward a career outside traditional
On February 23
and 24, 1994, Roger brought the members of The Who together for a couple
of all-star performances of Pete's music accompanied by full orchestra
at Carnegie Hall. Backstage, Pete refused to be a part of a subsequent
tour and told Roger he had his permission to tour with John and call it
The Who. Pete's dismissal of The Who in interviews at this time again
drove relations between him and Roger to frosty levels.
|For the band assembled for what was
billed as a Daltrey solo tour, Roger replaced Pete with
his brother Simon, Zak Starkey on drums and John, never one
to miss a tour, on bass. As they set out that summer, a boxset of remixed and re-mastered Who
tracks, 30 Years of Maximum R&B, was released July 4, 1994. It
was the beginning of a complete overhaul of The Who's recordings that
would stretch into the next decade. Roger's tour was a financial failure
but did end with a private performance at a Who fan convention in London
September 16, 1995. Word spread about the convention via a fanbase
talking to one another in Who chatrooms on the Internet.