Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer School of Rock - The Who

They've often been referred to as the greatest rock band ever.

They started out with roots in bluegrass, competing against a ton of other bands that sprung up in the years after The Beatles hit it big.  They had to do something to set themselves, to define them, and did they ever.

Instrument destruction became a routine part of their act, and many guitars and drums have been sacrificed on stage as a result.  They gained popularity in England gradually, then hit is big here with My Generation in 1965.

Known for many years for their singles, the band made a clear shift toward full length performances, which would eventually come to be referred to as rock operas.

They performed much of Tommy at Woodstock.  Quadrophenia would be their second rock opera, released in 1973.  Their Who Are You album was their best seller, but was followed shortly by Keith Moon's death.  More tragedy hit the band when 11 fans were crushed to death in Cincinnati in 1979.

The band broke up in 1983, but reformed not long afterwards.  In 2005, they released their first studio album in over 20 years, and toured to go along with it.  They are still currently on tour.

The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, and the living members of the band, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey are recipients of Kennedy Center Honors as well.

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