The Who Biography

Classic Rock Legends > Biographies

Recognized as one of the greatest rock bands of all time, The Who have been inspiring fans for almost 50 years with their unique sound, controversial lyrics, and energetic performances. They are still as relevant today as when they first started.

The Who biography starts in 1964 in the UK. Although various members of the band had already worked in the music industry with bands like The Confederates and The Detours, their success only really began with The Who.

The original band members included Roger Harry Daltrey born in 1944, John Alec Entwistle, also born 1944, Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend, born in 1945, and Keith John Moon, born in 1946.

In 1964 The Detours changed their name to The Who and their story begins. Roger Daltrey starred as the lead vocalist, John Entwistle on bass and backing vocals, Pete Townshend on the guitar and backing vocals, and Keith Moon on the drums.

The Who biography would not be complete without a mention of Peter Meaden, their first publicist. He changed their name once again, this time to The High Numbers. This name was short lived and only a few months later they became The Who all over again. Their first big hit single “I Can’t Explain” was released in January 1965.

“I Can’t Explain” released January 1965.

The first album in The Who history was “My Generation.” It came out in December of that year and was followed by “A Quick One” in 1966, “The Who Sell Out” in 1967, and “Tommy” in 1969. They began touring Europe, and made their US debut at The Brooklyn Fox Theatre.

Other studio albums which must be included in The Who biography are “Who’s Next” in 1971, “Quadrophenia” in 1973, and “The Who by Numbers” in 1975. In the summer of 1978 they released their best selling album “Who Are You.” This success was followed closely by the tragic death of drummer Keith Moon. He died of an accidental drug overdose at 32.

Keith Moon was replaced by Kenny Jones from The Small Faces. He worked with them on the albums “Face Dances” in 1981 and “Its Hard” in 1982. Pete Townshend announced his departure from The Who in 1983, which resulted in the band’s break-up.

The Who biography resumes in the 90´s and 2000´s, when they were reunited for various tours. They faced another tragedy in 2002, when John Entwistle was found dead in his hotel room. His death was caused by a heart attack brought on by a cocaine overdose. Pino Palladino replaced him on the bass guitar.

The last album in The Who history was “Endless Wire” which was released in October 2006. The Who is still seen as one of the most influential bands of all time and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.