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The Who To Headline Isle Of Wight Festival 2016

The Who Isle of Wight Festival

As spring starts to poke its head around the wintery corner excitement about summer festivals is hot on its heels and the latest headline announcement has proved no exception - The Who is set to take on the Isle of Wight Festival.

The WhoThe Who will play the Isle of Wight festival for the fourth time

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend have been added to the top of the bill for the first festival of the summer that, this year, has a Best of British theme to coincide with the Queen’s 90th birthday.

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The Who Announce Anniversary Tour, Set To Be Their Last

The Who Rolling Stones

It’s the circle of life… and rock music. Some bands have put up new albums this year, while The Who have just announced their retirement. The English rockers, who began their career together (more or less, with the occasional lineup change) in 1964 and were quick to achieve international stardom, will go on one final blowout tour to commemorate half a century in the business. The 50th anniversary tour is planned for 2015, after which Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend will call it quits.

The Who, Ziggo Dome
After fifty years on stage, The Who are retiring to the dismay of fans.

It seems like the band have taken some cues from The Stones, who celebrated their own 50th with a massive tour earlier this year, which included their very first Glastonbury gig (coincidentally, the most successful Glasto performance in the festival’s history.)

Continue reading: The Who Announce Anniversary Tour, Set To Be Their Last

The Best And The Worst Performances In Super Bowl History (Videos)

Diana Ross No Doubt The Who Whitney Houston Beyonce Knowles Christina Aguilera Madonna Enrique Iglesias Janet Jackson Justin Timberlake

The Super Bowl half-time entertainment shows have slowly evolved into one of the biggest deals in the entertainment industry. Get it right, get richer (you’ll already be rich, if you’re performing at the Super Bowl, these days). Get it wrong? Suffer at least 12 months of ridicule and about a fortnight of humiliation every year subsequently, as people like us dig up lists like this to remind everyone of your shame.

A good Super Bowl Halftime Show can be life-affirming. Patriotism in its finest form; live music at its glitziest and its most extravagant. Here are five of the best:

5. Diana Ross, Sun Devil Stadium, 1996

Continue reading: The Best And The Worst Performances In Super Bowl History (Videos)

Are The Who Going To Play Glastonbury 2013?

The Who

Now that the Coachella line-up has been revealed, the rumour mill can churn on towards the next major music festival in the western hemisphere, Glastonbury Festival, with eager gossip mongers eyeing up bands’ touring schedules in order to work out whether they’re free between June 28 and June 30 of this year. Those that have been doing that might well have noticed that legendary Brit rockers The Who have Saturday June 29, 2013 free in their tour schedule. You know what that means – they could be headlining Glastonbury on Saturday night!

But is that really likely? The Who are touring the UK and Ireland between June 8 and June 30, before heading off on the rest of their European tour and, if you look at their site, you’ll see that they’re playing Birmingham on the 28th and Liverpool on the 30th, leaving a handy gap – until you look a little closer. Yep, Roger Daltry, Pete Townshend and co have left a day’s gap at least between every show they’ve been booked to play, something they’ve more or less replicated on the US tour that they’re currently on. Far from it that they’ve been keeping the date free in case of any phone call from Glastonbury’s Michael Eavis, we get the sense that the legends might just be starting to feel their age a bit and don’t really fancy putting their bodies through the mill night after night. Though we could be wrong…

Watch the video for '5:15' by The Who

Continue reading: Are The Who Going To Play Glastonbury 2013?

George Michael's Back In The Studio, But After The Olympics, Who’s Listening?

George Michael Spice Girls The Who

George Michael is working on a new album, according to his Twitter feed today (January 25, 2013). The pop star, who made it big in the ‘80s as part of Wham! and went on to have a successful solo career with songs such as ‘Careless Whisper’ and ‘Faith,’ has been talking about the possibility of a new album for some months, but has now confirmed that the recording process is underway, with a tweet that read “Hi everyone, hope you are all well, just to let you know I've been back in the studio a few weeks now, working on the new record....”

After suffering a serious bout of pneumonia, which left him fighting for his life, George Michael managed to stage a remarkable comeback, which culminated in him performing at last year’s London 2012 Olympics ceremony. However, the response to his performance there was probably not what George expected. Dressed in black leather and reflective shades, the 49 year old started off well, with a performance of his old classic, ‘Freedom 90,’ which fit in well with the nostalgic feel of the event, which also saw the likes of The Spice Girls and The Who perform. Everything went wrong for George Michael, though, when he used the opportunity to promote his new single, which was obviously not such a popular choice for the crowd, who were getting into the sing-along nature of the event.

Suddenly, a nation turned on George. No sooner were we praising his physical recovery than we were calling for him to be banished from the world of pop, for his commercial faux pas. So, George, you might be busy recording a new album, but some of us are still sulking over the Olympics, you know. 

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Out Now - US Albums Releases: 12-12-12 Concert Compilation Features Who's Who Of Rock, Aaron Neville Makes Blue Note Debut,

Bruce Springsteen Rolling Stones The Who Alicia Keys Aaron Neville Keith Richards GARY ALLAN Bad Religion

It’s a real mixed bag for the biggest album releases today and the most popular is bound to be the accompanying CD release to the 12-12-12Benefit Concert for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The tracklisting reads like a who’s who of the biggest names in rock and pop, with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band contributing ‘Land of Hope And Dreams’ and ‘Wrecking Ball,’ whilst The Rolling Stones liven things up with ‘You Got Me Rocking’ and ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash.’

And of course, a who’s who isn’t a who’s who without The Who, who also make an appearance, with ‘Who Are You,’ ‘Baba O’Riley’ and ‘Love Reign O’er Me.’ It’s very much a line-up full of (ahem) ‘experienced’ male musicians. The presence of Alicia Keys doesn’t exactly balance things out, as she sits there alone, with one track breaking up the compilation and ‘Empire State of Mind’ closing things out. The latter track, though, an affection paean to one of the cities destroyed by the hurricane, is an obvious highlight of this emotionally-weighted compilation.

Watch Bruce Springsteen discussing Hurricane Sandy and the 12.12.12. concert

Continue reading: Out Now - US Albums Releases: 12-12-12 Concert Compilation Features Who's Who Of Rock, Aaron Neville Makes Blue Note Debut,

Bruce Springsteen And The Rolling Stones Among The Lineup Of Sandy Benefit Concert

Rolling Stones Jon Bon Jovi Bruce Springsteen Jon Stewart Adam Sandler Alicia Keys The Who Sir Paul McCartney Nirvana Mick Jagger

A slew of New York natives, as well as plenty of Brits performed at last night’s 12-12-12 benefit concert for victims of Hurricane Sandy, which ripped through the city in October.

Bruce Springsteen, a Jersey man himself, took the stage first with Land of Hope and Dreams followed by the evocative Wrecking Ball and the very aptly themed My City in Ruins, all of which was meant to address the rebuilding process and the NY spirit. The musician spoke fondly of his native New Jersey, mentioning its inclusiveness. “I pray that this chraracteristic remains the same” Springsteen went on to say, before going into Born to Run, for which he was joined on stage by Jon Bon Jovi, another Jersey resident.

The concert was definitely geared towards classic rock fans – a smart marketing decision, since this is also the demographic with the highest disposable income. Besides a number of to-the-bone New Yorkers, like Jon Stewart, Adam Sandler and Alicia Keys, it also featured an unexpectedly high number of appearances by British musicians – The Who and Sir Paul McCartney among others. The ex-Beatle joined the surviving members of Nirvana onstage for a cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit.

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Confusion Reigns On First Night Of The Who Tour As Pete Townshend Walks Off Stage (Photos)

The Who Pete Townshend

Roger Daltry Florida

"Where's Pete gone?" Confusion reigned on the first night of The Who's tour

The first night of The Who's tour in America got off to a shaky start in Sunrise, Florida last night (November 1, 2012) after guitarist Pete Townshend walked off stage, forcing the legendary rockers to curtail their encore. The night was the first of 36 planned dates and saw the group play all of their seminal 1973 album Quadrophenia as well as classic songs Pinball Wizard, Behind Blue Eyes and Who Are You.

Continue reading: Confusion Reigns On First Night Of The Who Tour As Pete Townshend Walks Off Stage (Photos)

Pete Townshend Admits Child Pornography Investigation Was "Insane"

Pete Townshend The Who

Pete Townshend, The Who guitarist has admitted in a recent interview that his decision and method in investigating child pornography was insane, but has also felt vilified by comments about him since, after the incident became public knowledge in 2003. Townshend was put on the sex offenders register for five years after it was discovered he'd paid a website dealing in child porn.

The Press Association reports that Townshend was talking to UK newspaper The Times, and attributed his decision to investigate child pornography as "a product of success" and the urge to want "to be seen as the one that's helping." The musicians said "I had experienced something creepy as a child, so you imagine, what if I was a girl of nine or 10 and my uncle had raped me every week? I felt I had an understanding, and I could help." Townshend said that he intended to show that child abuse had a financial chain that ran from Russian orphanages to British banks, by paying for a site, a charge which he cancelled immediately.

Police found nothing incriminating on his computer, but the news was already out and put his reputation on the line. "What I did was insane," said Townshend, who said he didn't speak out sooner "Because there was no sense of 'the truth will out'. I've had the misfortune to read online comments where I'm judged as a paedophile because I've got a big nose."

Pete Townshend: I Paid $7 For Child Pornography Images

Pete Townshend The Who

Pete Townshend has broken his nine year silence on the child pornography scandal that threatened to derail his career. The legendary guitarist with The Who was arrested for downloading images of abused children, though has always maintained it was for research reasons.

Now, speaking about the storm in detail for the first time, Townshend still insists he was trying to prove that British banks were complicit in channelling profits from paedophile rings. However, the rocker concedes that he was “insane” to download the images, though when asked why he didn’t speak out sooner said, “Because there was no sense of 'the truth will out'. I've had the misfortune to read online comments where I'm judged as a paedophile because I've got a big nose.” In his new memoir – which is to be serialised in The Times – the guitarist admits he felt suicidal after his vilification in the media, writing, “If I had a gun I would have shot myself…It really did feel like a lynching.”

Before his arrest in 2003, Townshend had posted numerous essays on his personal website as part of his campaign against the widespread availability of child pornography on the internet.

Pete Townshend Finally Breaks Silence On Child Porn Scandal

Pete Townshend The Who

A mere nine years after the story first broke, Pete Townshend has broken his silence over the child pornography scandal at last, giving the ‘full’ story of events in his upcoming autobiography Who I Am.

The Who guitarist spoke to The Times magazine recently to promote the book and set a few things clear about the damning scandal, insisting that he was doing research on the subject and instantly regretted his actions. The guitarist revealed that he was suffering from ‘white knight syndrome’ and wanted to appear to be the guy trying to do something about the issue, but instead was caught in a nationwide police sting to arrest online child predators and pornography users. He told the newspaper, “I had experienced something creepy as a child, so you imagine: what if I was a girl of 9 or 10 and my uncle had raped me every week? I felt I had an understanding, and I could help.”

Townshend was planning on putting together a report that proved that child pornography leaves an international money trail behind it, linking Russian orphanages to British banks. Townshend then paid a £7 sign up fee to a child pornography site, although he immediately cancelled the transaction. When police linked him to the site, they checked his computer and, although that too showed no signs of illicit images on it, the damage had already been done to his image.

The Who, Quadrophenia, The Directors Cut Album Review

Ever since Johnny Strabler (Marlon Brando) rode into town as the leader of The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, a troubled James Dean dared to show outwardly open angered contempt towards his hopelessly inept parents or Bill Haley rocked around the clock to usher in a new dawn for music and teen culture there has always been a captive audience wanting, and in some cases needing, to see the portrayals of life as a disillusioned or dysfunctional adolescent. Capturing the angst and frustration felt by certain groups who yearn to be heard and understood not only gives them validation and a sense of identity but it also makes their seemingly intolerable isolation and misunderstood life make far more sense. The unifying quality of a well versed song or an actors ability to channel the mood and feeling of the youth of the time can not only be a very powerful thing it can also serve as a great way of preserving a piece of history through a medium that doesn't rely wholly on news reels, facts, speeches or statistics.

Continue reading: The Who, Quadrophenia, The Directors Cut Album Review

The Who, The Greatest Hits & More Album Review

Some of those Contact readers born in the eighties and nineties will be unfamiliar with The Who, other than when their dad plays 'My Generation' in the mirror whilst furiously imitating Pete Townsend's air-guitar windmilling. And dinosaurs they may be, but they're also worthy of respect.

Let's not forget after all that the Sex Pistols debut set at an unsuspecting St. Martin's College contained various covers, including a version of 'Substitute'. And slightly more obvious kudos should be gained from the fact that without them there would simply have been no Quadrophenia, no Oasis and by extension no Britpop. Thus it could be argued that the London four piece were surrogates for two of the most influential British rock bands of the twentieth century, and all that grainy YouTube footage of them smashing up their instruments on stage can now be viewed in an appropriate context. Oh, and they've sold approximately ninety-nine and a half million more records than N-Dubz.

A thirty-five track, two disk edition, Greatest Hits & More tells a story of a group which took some time to find it's identity, as the sub-Kinksian 'I Can't Explain' and 'Pictures of Lily' demonstrate. Little more remains to be said about 'My Generation', but if anything it's 'Substitute' which makes for the band's most intriguing early contradiction, musically staid but lyrically reflecting chief songwriter Pete Townsend's emerging fondness for themes of dissolution and sexual jealousy. We then enter the era of their creative and commercial peak; the stadium rock before it existed of 'I Can See For Miles' here exceeded by the globe-conquering ubiquity of 'Pinball Wizard'. Their later commercial flurry is represented by more AOR sounding 'You Better You Bet' and 'Who Are You'.

Given that there have been umpteen similar Who compilations over the years I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised to find some previously undiscovered country amongst these well trodden chords in the darkly introspective 'Behind Blue Eyes'. And the metamorphosis of Daltrey's voice from its pop beginnings to its more familiar asphalt-melting growl is one gloriously completed on 'Won't Get Fooled Again', a song about the abuse of power whose opening verse remains depressingly timeless: 'We'll be fighting in the streets/with our children at our feet/and the morals that they worship will be gone/and the men who spurred us on/sit in judgement of all wrong/they decide and the shotgun sings the song'. None of their modern work has anywhere near this much gravity.

The second disk - the 'More' of the title that's presumably meant by Polydor to make fans feel slightly less like their pockets have been picked - consists of more than an hour of the band live in locations as exotic as San Francisco, Nassau and Swansea. It's also worth stating that, having released the most successful live album of all time (1970's Live At Leeds) it's hard to understand why it's completely ignored here. Of mild interest is a three song medley of Naked Eye, Let's See Action and My Generation culled from what was supposedly the loudest concert on record (At Charlton Athletics Valley) but with everything already much bootlegged, all the material here is for a subset of Who fans that regard diehards as amateurs acting on a whim.

It's in no doubt that The Who shaped the face of modern guitar music, but I can think of no reason why Greatest Hits & More has been released other than to squeeze a few more quid out of people like your dad. Roll on 2020 then, when The Libertines: The ultimate collection is released, and you can embarrass your own kids.

Andy Peterson


Extra Glastonbury Tickets Snapped Up

Glastonbury Festival Arctic Monkeys Shirley Bassey The Killers The Who

An additional 20,000 tickets for this year's Glastonbury Festival sold out quickly on Sunday morning, to the delight of successful music fans who missed out in the main sale three weeks ago.

Today's tickets constituted those from the April 1st sale which were returned or where payment for the £145 tickets failed to process properly.

A total of 137,500 of the festival's 177,000 maximum capacity were sold three weeks ago using organiser Michael Eavis' new registration system, designed to beat ticket touts.

Previous ticket sales for the festival have been blighted by tickets appearing on internet auction websites soon after the annual sell-out is completed.

This year 400,000 applicants passed through the festival's online pre-registration process, which required them to provide photo identification.

Most of those will have failed to get tickets to the extremely popular festival, which returns after taking a break in 2006.

Headline acts already confirmed for this year's event include the Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, The Who and Dame Shirley Bassey.

Continue reading: Extra Glastonbury Tickets Snapped Up

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