The Who look back to '77 on live DVD

Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:16am EST
 
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By Gary Graff

DETROIT (Billboard) - A 1977 concert filmed for the Who documentary "The Kids Are Alright" has long been considered a holy grail by rock fans. But frontman Roger Daltrey remembers it as taking place on "kind of a weird day."

"We did the show in the afternoon, which is not the best time of day to be on form, especially for (drummer) Keith Moon," Daltrey told Billboard.com.

The concert footage, from the Gaumont State Theater show in the London suburb of Kilburn, was released in its entirety this week on the DVD "The Who at Kilburn 1977."

Though Who biographer Johnny Black has called the concert "disastrous," Daltrey said he "always thought it was quite a good show, but I remember that Pete (Townshend) at the time wasn't very happy with it, and I never quite figured why. I'll have to buy the DVD and find out, I guess."

During the concert a clearly upset Townshend tells the somewhat unruly crowd that, "There's a guitar up here if any big mouth f---ing little git wants to take it from me."

The December show was the second to last the Who played with Moon before his death on September 7, 1978. The group played another London show, on May 25 of that year, at Shepperton Studios, also for the "The Kids are Alright." Daltrey has said that Moon was not in good shape for either taping and that seeing the footage while the documentary was being assembled had a profound effect on the drummer.

In addition to the Kilburn show, the new DVD also includes a never-before-seen December 14, 1969, concert from the London Coliseum, which purports to be the first-ever officially recorded live performance of the rock opera "Tommy."

Daltrey and Townshend, meanwhile, are gearing up to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors, which will take place December 7 in Washington, D.C. "It really is an honor indeed," Daltrey said. "Coming from where we come from, being totally inspired by American music at such a young age and now being honored by the country that inspired me, it's unbelievable."

Reuters/Billboard

 
<p>Roger Daltrey of The Who arrives at the taping of the third annual VH1 Rock Honors: The Who concert in Los Angeles July 12, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>