6 Things You Might Not Know About The Who
By: Katrina Sharpe, Marketing Communications Coordinator
Published: May 4, 2015
The Who made a stop at Gwinnett Center last week as they took fans back to the 1960’s and 1970’s. When you are at a show like this one with so much history behind the band, you meet people who have been fans since the band’s start, fans who follow the band from show to show, and fans who just appreciate good classic rock music. You may know some, if not all of these facts, but just in case you don’t, keep reading to find out 6 things you might not know about The Who.
1.The Who doesn’t use the same set list at each show.
Although the majority of the songs they play are the same, they have what are called “swingers,” which are songs they rotate out from show to show. They may also change the version of a song day of show! They could decide to go with a live version as opposed to playing a recorded version, or vice-versa.
2.The Who wasn’t always called The Who.
The band went through a few name changes before staying with The Who. Here is the back story: Pete Townshend and John Entwistle formed a band in 1959 under the name The Confederates. In 1961, Roger had a band called The Detours. He recruited John as the bass player for The Detours. The next year, John suggested Pete be added as the guitarist. In February of 1964, the name changed to The Who and Keith Moon joined the band as the drummer. Soon after, their publicist changed the name to The High Numbers. Seven months later, the name changed back to The Who, this time for good.
3.The Who announced their farewell tour back in 1982.
We are thankful it wasn’t their last.
4.The Who had 8 trucks and 4 busses on their The Who Hits 50! tour.
This is a bit unusual since many of the artists that perform at our venue have more than just 8 trucks and 4 busses. It took their crew about 3 hours to set up the stage and 3 hours to take it down. Even Roger told the crowd they don’t use all the glam and production. They just like to play their music. Contrast that with Lady Gaga when she brought her tour to The Arena. She traveled with 32 trailers and 11 busses!
5.The Who’s drummer is the son of one of The Beatles’ band members.
The Who’s current drummer Zak Starkey is the son of Richard “Ringo Starr” Starkey. Ringo reportedly did not wish for his son to follow in his footsteps as a drummer, but rather saw him as more of a lawyer or a doctor. Zak, being surrounded by music at a young age, followed in his father’s footsteps and became a successful drummer. He was inspired by Keith Moon, original drummer for The Who, Ringo’s good friend, and Zak’s godfather.
6.The Who logo incorporates the Royal Air Force (RAF) roundel.
This roundel is a national insignia. It became representative of the mod culture that formed in Britain in the 1960’s. This mod culture consisted of wearing tailored clothes, listening to modern jazz, and hanging out at nightclubs. The Who wore the RAF roundel along with the union flag on their tailored clothes during their early days as a band. And this is how the RAF roundel became synonymous with the band.
Sources: http://thewho.com/history/; http://www.drumlessons.com/drummers/zak-starkey/; http://www.gbacg.org/costume-resources/original/articles/mods.pdf