New old Who footage
You may have heard this past week – especially if you hang out at the iJamming! pub – that Keith Moon is to be honored with a “blue plaque” at the site of the former Marquee Club, 90 Wardour Street, courtesy of the English Heritage Foundation. In fact, if you follow the thread over at the pub, it would appear that our own landlady, Shona, had something to do with ensuring that the wheels were put in motion with the Heritage Foundation, after the stuffy English National Heritage people turned down the application on the basis that Keith hadn’t been dead long enough.
The ceremony is taking place on March 8, with Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend confirmed to be officiating. Sadly, at this point, I doubt that I will be there, living as I do on the other side of the Atlantic. Nonetheless, I am thrilled, for the sake of Moon’s legacy, that he has been seen fit to receive a plaque; it’s an important victory in what could be considered a long-standing class war over the relevance of rock’n’roll to the “arts.”
In the meantime, I received a link to previously unseen footage of the Who performing in Cleveland on July 14, 1968, at an event called Musicarnival. Eric Carmen, later of the Raspberries, was in the support band that night, Cyrus Erie, and he offers memories of the night at his website, along with a QuickTime video, shot by someone in the audience, that shows the Who in what appears to be typically fine form. I say “appears to be” because back in the sixties, home movie cameras often did not have sound; Carmen has overdubbed “Substitute” to provide some musical accompaniment. As was often the case in those days, the Who are shown playing in extremely close proximity to each other, Keith’s kit on the floor within inches of his band members. The unknown cameraman seems to have had a particular fixation with Moon, and, once you’ve seen the footage for yourself, it would be hard to blame him. Thanks to Eric Carmen for sharing the film, and for this abiding memory of the event.
“The Who came on and smashed all of their equipment … including some of ours!”