Here's a Cure for the Summertime Blues: The Who at Memorial Auditorium on July 23, 1967

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Earthquake. "Today may end up being the coolest day thru the middle of the upcoming week." Sun storms. "U.S. drought may persist for another year." Pastor Perry.

But, amidst all that awful news, there's this reprieve posted just Thursday: "The Who - Live at Memorial Auditorium, Dallas, 23 July 1967." That was a little more than a month after the Monterey Pop Festival, where Pete Townshend and Jimi Hendrix sparred over who should follow whom. (The Who got their way and lost anyhow.) This was the band's first U.S. tour, as the opening act for Herman's Hermits. Roger Daltrey would later shrug it off: "It got us around America, but it did us no good at all," he says in Richard Barnes's book Maximum R&B. "The audience's didn't mix."

It's evident, at least early. A woman intro's the band: "I'd like to introduce to you now the most explosive group ever to come out of England -- The Who." Screams. Applause. Followed by 30, 45 seconds' worth of fiddling about. You can hear the crowd's chitchat; a feller sitting next to the taper twangs, "I wanna hear 'Boris.'" But first there's "Substitute," greeted ... politely. Then: "Summertime Blues"; then, "Pictures of Lily," which prompts one man in the audience to note, well, "they got style."

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With but two records to its credit and little time to play, the opening act's set list is short, an intriguing mishmash -- why, there's "Love Hurts," of all things, amongst the classics ("So Sad About Us," "I'm a Boy" and "Happy Jack," then the closest thing The Who'd had to a U.S. hit). Finally, the closer: "My Generation," the beginning lopped off on this audience keepsake but its explosive ending intact. The audience roars at the chaos that cost the band more than it made on its first American tour. The feedback fades into whistles of adoration. So the audiences did mix.

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4 comments
RWilliams
RWilliams

My only excuse for being at this concert is that the girl I was dating loved Peter Noone. (I was more interested in seeing the Blues Magoos.) No one knew who the hey the Who was, but we sat through the set because the concert was sponsored by WFAA's "Sump'n Else" and Ron Chapman and we figured the group might show up on tv sooner or later. (They smashed/burned their instruments at the end of the set, but it was obvious they had switched everything out for dummies. Also, Townsend had to get down on his knees in front of one of the amps to re-light a flare that had fizzled out. Really fakey.)

The Blues Magoos were so-so, but the highlight of the show was when the girls in the audience---my date included---rushed the stage to get to Peter Noone. The band ran offstage, and Ron Chapman had to come out to warn us that "he would stop this show right now if you don't start acting like young ladies and gentlemen." My date went back to her seat; I went out to the herb store in the parking lot. 

LaceyB
LaceyB

This appears to be before "Baba O'Reilly"--still my favorite song, still my favorite moment being able to pay to take my dad to see them when they did the "Wire & Glass Tour 2006ish(?)" at AA. I know, his voice was going, but, still, just fucking amazing. Little whiff of pot in the air from the rows behind...I'm there all over again.

I even remember hearing a bootleg cut of "Baba" on my bday on "Til 2". We waited ALL F-EN NIGHT bent over someones speakers-busted POS laptop for that. I still get razzed for waiting and listening to the radio at my party. But it was worth it. I think. If I remember right.

ChrisU
ChrisU

love the first three songs, conducive to pete's windmill gutiar stylings

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

The quality's B-ish. But, man, the playing? Effin' A-plus. Wore this out running errands today.

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