The Who’s Fillmore East ‘Tommy’ Poster Sells For $401 on eBay
From October 20-25, 1969, the Who occupied the New York version of Bill Graham’s club to promote their rock opera ‘Tommy,’ which had been released five months earlier. They performed two shows a night on the last two dates of the stand.
The Who’s concerts on this tour generally began with several of their now-classic singles, including ‘I Can’t Explain,’ ‘Substitute’ and ‘Happy Jack,’ mixed in with live staples like ‘Heaven and Hell,’ ‘Fortune Teller’ and ‘Young Man’s Blues.’ From there the band would launch into ‘Tommy,’ omitting only ‘Cousin Kevin,’ ‘Underture’ and ‘Sally Simpson’ from the album. The encores consisted of ‘Summertime Blues,’ ‘Shakin’ All Over’ and ‘My Generation.’
By all accounts, the gigs in October went a little better than the previous time they played the Fillmore East back in May. On the first night, May 16, the building next door caught on fire, and, when a policeman came onto the stage to evacuate the club, Pete Townshend kicked him in the groin. Townshend was arrested and subsequently fined.
The tour, which kept the Who on the road for most of 1969 (including a performance at Woodstock), helped break the band in the United States, where they hadn’t had much chart success to date. Within a few years they would be playing stadiums as one of the biggest and best bands in the world.