Like many of the bands that sprang up in England during the first half of the '60s, the Who were heavily influenced by American R&B music. But they had something most of them did not: a guitar-slinging songwriter whose aspirations went beyond the usual songs about cars and girls. Pete Townshend first revealed his intentions on the Who’s 1965 single ‘My Generation,’ which became a timeless anthem for kids who didn’t want to end up like their parents. Over the next few years, the songs got bigger and more ambitious, culminating in 1969’s ‘Tommy,’ a hugely influential rock opera. They followed it up with one of rock’s true masterpieces, ‘Who’s Next.’ By the end of the ‘70s, drummer Keith Moon was dead and the group’s classic era closed.
Why Roger Daltrey Must Retire 'Even If It's After This Tour'
The Who singer says his band's "music is very different from most rock."
20 Years Ago: The Who Carries on Without John Entwistle
His death could have ended the band. Instead, it launched its next era.
Tenacious D Unleash 'The Who Medley' to Promote Gun Safety
Comedic rock duo cover three 'Tommy' songs to benefit charity.
Mike Campbell Announces Fall Concert Dates With the Who
Heartbreakers guitarist and the Dirty Knobs also confirm headlining shows.
Pete Townshend to Who Concertgoer: 'We Don’t Do F---ing Requests'
Watch the guitarist emphatically rebuff a fan during a recent concert.
The Who Found ‘Calmness’ After Return to Cincinnati
Longtime manager Bill Curbishley decided not to share his memories with the band when it returned to scene of 1979 tragedy.
The Who Honor Victims of 1979 Cincinnati Tragedy in City Return
Charity concert included families of those who died, message from Eddie Vedder and opening act featuring fans who were there.
The Who Reflect on Cincinnati Return, Decades After Tragedy
"I think there’s been such a difficulty with dealing with our feelings about it," says Pete Townshend, referencing tragic crowd surge that killed 11 fans in 1979.
Why Keith Moon's Death Was a 'Shock' to Pete Townshend: Premiere
Guitarist reflects on bandmate's death in 'Somebody Saved Me' Audible entry.