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The Who
"Have been one of my favourite groups for years..."
John Peel, Disc & Music Echo, 1968-11-02

The Who were among the very biggest names in rock music in the late 1960s and 1970s. Even in the changed landscape after 1976, their 1965 My Generation anthem continued to find a place in the Festive Fifty, while a new generation of musicians such as The Jam paid their respects and the release of the film version of Quadrophenia sparked something of a mod revival.

Links To Peel Edit

The band's drummer, Keith Moon, sat in for Peel for the second hour of the DJ's Tuesday slot with A Touch Of Moon, produced by John Walters, for four shows between 21 August 1973 and 11 September 1973. In 1976 Peel narrated a TV advert promoting The Who's album The Story Of The Who and in 2000 narrated the TV documentary The Real ... Keith Moon.

The Who are mentioned three times in Peel's autobiography, Margrave Of The Marshes, completed by this wife Sheila:

  • {pg 102): I can remember one night when I couldn't sleep because John was downstairs with Marc Bolan and they were playing an advance copy of Tommy by The Who over and over again with the volume cranked up.
  • (pg 193): We took a driving holiday in Europe in summer 1969, accompanied by John's brother Alan, blasting out The Who and Leonard Cohen and Captain Beefheart on the superb eight-track cartridge system in the Dormobile.
  • (pg 199): There was a similar incident at a gig in Birmingham with The Who, where Keith Moon collapsed at his drumkit. John helped to drag him off stage, where he was roused with a bucket of cold water in the face before being carried past me and plonked behind his kit again. (This appears to have taken place at a gig in Mothers on 1969-07-19. See also Gigography 1969.)

The band also crop up in Olivetti Chronicles, a collection of Peel's journalism:

  • (pg 205) Sounds 1973-12-01: From here the debate movied onto weightier matters and I found myself trying to explain why I like the Faces, the Floyd and The Who, but not ELP, Yes and Focus.
  • (pg 297-8) Sounds 1975-04-05: Peel describes at great length the premiere of the film Tommy before concluding, "Oh, alright then. I wasn't invited."
  • (pg13) Sounds 1976-08-14: reference to a retrospective on the band (see below, Other Shows Played).
  • (pg 72) The Listener 1976-04-22: Although I have a lot of time for them myself - after all, I grew up with them - I am astounded that such ageing combos as The Who, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and the Pink Floyd still dominate the romping and stomping field.

The Complete Chronicle Of The Who (Andrew Neill & Matthew Kent) contains four entries that mention Peel:

  • 1967-10-21: Around this time, Pete (Townsend) played an acetate of a rough mix of "Armenia City In The Sky" to Radio 1 DJ John Peel while being interviewed for Dutch television at Track's Old Compton Street office. Townsend displayed the proposed artwork for The Who Sell Out and discussed the album's thematic advertising link, as well as the difference between selling records and playing concerts. This "John Peel Special Report" appeared in Vjoew, transmitted Monday 30th October, 7:03-7:55 pm on Nederland 2. (Part of this footage may have been used in the band's Amazing Journey documentary).
  • 1969-01-22: On the 22nd, a nine minute interview for Dutch television by John Peel, filmed at Regents Park Zoo (date unknown), was screened on Later, 7:13-7:55 pm on Nederland 2. "We were told that the Dutch can't say 'Who', so could we say 'Woo!' " Peel explained. " 'Tell me, Pete, what are the plans for The Woo?!' 'Well, John, The Woo aren't merely a singles group and I'm working on a rock opera especially for The Woo!' 'A Woo opera, eh Pete? Strong stuff,' and so on.
  • 1975-03-07: At Broadcasting House, London, Pete recorded an interview with John Peel, previewing the Tommy soundtrack for a two and a half Radio 1 Rock Week special, broadcast 5:00-7:30 pm the following day.
  • 1975-10-01/02: Keith (Moon) and John (Entwistle) appeared on respective nights as guests on John Peel's new Radio 1 programme, broadcast 11:00-12:00 pm, previewing a side each of The Who By Numbers. Neither of them had heard the final mixes. "This will be as much of a surprise for me as it will be for you," said Keith, confessing he hadn't heard most of the vocals.

After Peel's death, the band's singer, Roger Daltry would appear on John Peel's Record Box.

Festive Fifty Entries Edit

Sessions Edit

The band released a BBC Sessions collection, which contains several of the tracks below, although it is largely drawn from the pre-1967 period before the launch of Radio One, when Peel joined the BBC.

1. Recorded: 1967-10-10. First broadcast: 15 October 1967 (Top Gear compered by Pete Drummond & Tommy Vance)

  • Pictures Of Lily / Our Love Was / I Can See For Miles / I Can't Reach You / A Quick One While He's Away / Jingles (Top Gear #1, Top Gear #2, Radio 1 #1, Radio 1 #2) / Happy Jack / Jingle (& See My Way, Someone's Coming)

Other Shows Played Edit

The list below was researched only from the database of this site, with only limited tracklistings available for the band's peak period. Please add further information if known.


Pete Townsend

  • 13 March 1980: Rough Boys (single) Atco - Peel is appearing on on the following evening's Rountable with The Who guitarist and Nick Lowe

External Links Edit

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