A farewell tour by The Who? What is this, 1982?

Who fans will remember the first time the band said they were calling it quits over 30 years ago. Yeah, well, we know that one didn’t take. But it looks like that day is finally here. Albeit not for another two years.

Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey have announced that they will quit touring after a final series of live shows in 2015 to mark their 50th anniversary.

In an interview with the Evening Standard newspaper, Townshend said the 2015 tour will make stops everywhere:

“For the 50th anniversary we’ll tour the world. It’ll be the last big one for us. There are still plenty of places we’ve not played. It would be good to go to eastern Europe and places that haven’t heard us play all the old hits.”

I saw The Who twice, in 1980 and 1982. I wrote about it here. FYI, In 2015 Townshend will be 70 and Daltrey will be 71. Here’s hoping they can still deliver the goods.

I’ve always been a huge Townshend fan. I love this clip of him performing “Drowned” from Quadrophenia at The Who’s London’s Royal Albert Hall show in 2000 (which was released in 2003).


The “It’s Friday. Finally.” Shuffle Report


The Shuffle Report: 10 songs I listened to, in order, on my iPod in shuffle mode at a given point in time. No editing, no skipping. It is what it is.

Ok, so the weather forecast for the weekend is iffy, but who cares. It’s the weekend. Just the thought of sleeping in a little made the subway ride today all the more tolerable.

1. Take It Inside–Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes (Hearts of Stone) [Great New Jersey rock n soul.]

2. Gone At Last–Paul Simon (Still Crazy After All These Years) [A little bit of gospel. Bet you can’t sit still through this one.]

3. Jump Up Behind Me–James Taylor (Hourglass) [A good album from JT. Recommended.]

4. Another Day (That Time Forgot)–Neil Diamond (Home Before Dark) [A killer tune. Really.]

5. Drowned–The Who (Live at the Royal Albert Hall) [One of my favourite Who songs. Pete’s amazing on this one.]

6. Blues In The Night–Quincy Jones (Quincy Jones’ Finest Hour) [Great ’60’s big band from Q.]

7. I Wanna Marry You–Bruce Springsteen (The River) [The Boss is such a romantic.]

8. Place To Be–Nick Drake (Way To Blue: An Introduction To Nick Drake) [Seems every year new people are discovering the genius that was Nick Drake.]

9. I’m So Proud–Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions (The Anthology 1961-1977) [Classic soul.]

10. Nothing But A Good Time–Lyle Lovett (My Baby Don’t Tolerate) [Catch him at Massey Hall in Toronto this summer. Sorry, couldn’t find a link for this track.]

Song of the Day: Love Reign O’er Me

When Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey of The Who were among the honorees to be feted by the Kennedy Center Honors in 2008, a number of musicians graced the stage to pay them tribute including Joss Stone, Dave Grohl and Rob Thomas. But it was soul singer Bettye LaVette who stole the show with her version of the ‘Quadrophenia’ track “Love Reign O’er Me”.

Eighteen months later, Lavette’s stirring and incredibly moving interpretation of that Who classic has finally been released as a bonus track on her new cd “Interpretations – The British Rock Songbook”. On this album Lavette just doesn’t simply cover songs by Led Zeppelin (“All My Love”), Pink Floyd (“Wish You Were Here”) and The Beatles (“The Word”) among others–she re-invents them, making an album of covers sound like fresh originals. But it’s The Who number that is the highlight. And it may sound like a cliché, but Lavette is one of a rare breed of singers who could sing the phone book and make you stand up and take notice. She’s that good.

Below is a video of her Kennedy Center performance. You can also listen to the entire album for free here although this link may not be up for long.

From The Ticket Stub Vault: The Who

October 9, 1982 (Exhibition Stadium Toronto)

This was the second time I saw The Who, the first being two years earlier at The Montreal Forum. This 1982 tour was supposedly the farewell tour, but we all know that didn’t last. In fact, The Who returned to Toronto just two months later to play Maple Leaf Gardens for a show that was broadcast on CBC. I even taped it off the radio and still have those cassettes. 🙂

The opening act for the Exhibition Stadium show was Joe Jackson. Now I’m a huge JJ fan and have seen him twice since that 1982 appearance but this definitely was not his crowd. Who fans threw stuff at him, practically booed him off the stage. While I could listen to both Joe Jackson and The Who all day long, JJ’s style of music was not what the diehard Who fans wanted to hear. But Joe still performed a great set, as did The Who. I’m hoping to have another opportunity to see Pete and Roger onstage in Toronto but due to Pete’s ongoing problems with tinnitus it may not happen anytime soon.

Trivia alert!–JJ was a replacement for the originally planned opening act, but that band had to cancel because they were booked on Saturday Night Live that night. The band? The Clash. Damn you, Lorne Michaels.

Couldn’t find a live clip of the Exhibition show, but here’s a good clip from the Gardens show two months later. The song is Long Live Rock. Couldn’t agree more.

In 1982, Joe Jackson released the outstanding Night & Day album. The big single was this one. Trust me, you know it.

The British Are Coming–Paul McCartney; Sting hitting the road. Also: frontman of classic rock band seeks guitarist to make beautiful music together.

Bunch of good stuff to report on today. First up is news that Sir Paul McCartney will be hitting the road this year. Tour details are just starting to trickle in, with only five dates announced so far:

Sunday 28th March Jobing.com Arena, Glendale AZ
Tuesday 30th March Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles CA
Wednesday 31st March Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles CA
Saturday 3rd April Sun Life Stadium, Miami FL
Monday 5th April Coliseo De Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico

McCartney hasn’t played the Hollywood Bowl since 1993. The Beatles of course played the Hollywood Bowl in 1964 and 1965 and those shows were recorded for a live album that finally saw the light of day 13 years later. A posting on McCartney’s website says more dates will be announced soon. Hopefully there will be some Canadian dates in the mix.

Here’s a great clip from the Good Evening New York City DVD.:

And while we wait for word on Canadian dates for McCartney, Sting has announced he will be heading out on a world tour, backed by the 45-piece Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. The tour launches June 2nd in Vancouver. According to his website, Sting’s greatest hits will be reinterpreted with brand new orchestrations created especially for this tour. Selections will include fan-favorites such as ‘Roxanne’, ‘Next To You’, ‘Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic’ and ‘Every Breath You Take’, to notable songs from Sting’s enduring solo career – ‘Englishman in New York’, ‘Fragile’, ‘Russians’, ‘If I Ever Lose My Faith in You’, ‘Fields of Gold’, and ‘Desert Rose.’ Toronto and Montreal are on the tour itinerary but dates have not yet been announced. Sting will also have a four piece band with him onstage. Could make for an interesting evening. Did you catch Sting on the recent Hope for Haiti telethon? I thought it was a pretty good performance.

And from the “this definitely has possibilities” file: With the future of The Who in doubt due to Pete Townshend’s problems with tinnitus, Roger Daltrey has stated that he would love to work with Jimmy Page. Daltrey has told the BBC that he’s a huge fan of Page’s and would love to form some kind of supergroup with the famed guitarist, maybe some kind of blues project.

Page’s bandmate John Paul Jones is part of another supergroup, Them Crooked Vultures, along with the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl. And while Daltrey may have to wait and see if Page wants to do something with him, Daltrey will be hitting the road with another legendary guitarist. He’ll be touring with Eric Clapton for about a dozen shows in the U.S. starting Feb. 25th. But Daltrey and Page? An evening of Who Tunes, Zep tunes and classic blues tunes? Count me in.

The “Why is the Subway so bloody slow today?” Shuffle Report


The Shuffle Report: 10 songs I listened to, in order, on my iPod in shuffle mode at a given point in time. No editing, no skipping. It is what it is.

I don’t understand. The ride to work on the subway this morning to forever. Not sure what the reason was, but it was so sloooooooooow. I mean, it’s not like I was in that big of a hurry to get to work, but there’s only so much standing shoulder to shoulder with people that one person can take. Thankfully the iPod was fully charged.
In the rotation this morning:

1. Livin’ On The Edge—Aerosmith (O Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits) [Is Steven Tyler in or out? Depends on who you ask.]
2. I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Loved You)—Aretha Franklin (30 Greatest Hits) [I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This is a must own.]
3. Me and Mrs. Jones—Billy Paul (360 Degrees of Billy Paul) [Ok, it’s about infidelity, but it still sounds great.]
4. Must Have BeenThe Devil—Otis Spann (The Blues Never Die!) [Damn straight.]
5. Sad Songs (Say So Much)—Elton John (Greatest Hits 1970-2002) [Musically, the 1980’s weren’t that kind to EJ. But there were a few gems, like this one.]
6. Run Runaway—Great Big Sea (Up) [Bet you can’t sit still through this one.]
7. City Love—John Mayer (Room For Sqaures) [A song about falling in love with the wrong person for all the right reasons. Awww.]
8. Boys—The Beatles (Please Please Me) [One of my favourite Ringo sings tracks.]
9. The Song Is Over-The Who (Who’s Next) [Please tour this year. Please tour this year. Please tour this year.]
10. Shoebox—Barenaked Ladies (Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits) [While I’ve always liked them, I highly doubt that without Steven Page, there will be a worthy Disc Two.]