Zak Starkey live with The Who:
to the 1996 Quad Beginnings||
| '96 Tour | '97 Euro | '97 US |
According to Simon, the addition of him and drummer Zak Starkey ... has lit a fire under the old dinosaur. "I thought that The Who's 1989 tour was stale," says Simon. "It was a musicians' version of The Who. And this has been brilliant. Perhaps Pete enjoys having people who care about the music and not the paycheck."
"Zak and I have a youthful zest about us that we bring to 'Quadrophenia,' because we both love The Who's stuff so much. Zak's a huge, crazed Who fan. He just loves that he's up there with The Who, and I think that energy helped fire it up into a whole show." -- Interview with Simon Townshend, published July 20, 1997 in the Pioneer Press, Minneapolis
Fans report Pete to have been in great spirits, with the encore featuring quite a bit of jamming, wind-milling, and his patented "almost smash" maneuver (the guitar twirl throw in the air followed by the catch as it falls perilously close to the ground, and "gotch ya" grin to end the song.
Reportedly, Pete told the audience that the Quad re-master brought tears to his eyes when he first heard it. And that Zak has added a lot of new vitality to the group.
In his posted review to Odds & Sods, attendee Mark S. says: "Zak is the best drummer on the planet, showing and increasingly intensive, aggressive style that drove the other musicians into a frenzy. Pete even said that Zak give the band a new found drive..."
Another poster quoted Pete's intro: "We've had some great drummers in the Who ... we have to, we've got a dead drummer to remember every night ... and this guy STUDIED with Keith Moon - - Zak Starkey!"
In his review posted to the Odds & Sods mailing list, attendee Kevin O'Brien wrote: "Finally, Zak is a blessing. Pete repeated the comment about how Zak has 'reinvigorated the group' over the last two years, and it [was] certainly borne out by his playing tonight. I liked Simon Phillips, and I have nothing against Kenney Jones, but this is the drummer for The Who now. He didn't remind me of Keith Moon, particularly, but he was simply magnificent."
Some fans reported Pete "stormed" off the stage at the end, and in fact, wasn't to happy the entire show. Others thought it was a "saving face" dramatic exit after failing to catch the guitar he had thrown into the air to end the last song. While still others chalked it up to simply Pete "theatrics".
Fan reports seem to indicate that Pete was very into the show this night. One concert attendee and Odds & Sods lister remarked that "Zak was all power, just perfect for this band." Lister Mike Hanley posted: "The sound of "The Rock" played live is as close to heaven on earth for me. Quad has always been my favourite album, and when I heard about them first regrouping for Hyde Park for Quad, I was nervous they'd ruin it. HP was so-so. MSG was much better, but I kept waiting for Pete of 1978 to jump out and blister the guitar. Buffalo was different was also good, with more electric, but I still did not feel complete. Last night I felt complete.
Christopher Clause reports that: "Zak Starkey's interpretation of one of the greatest "parts" in rock and roll drum history was faithful, creatively innovative and downright FANTASTIC. He drove the piece with excellent tempos (except for SEA AND SAND, which was too slow) and youthful energy. Keith would have been proud! However, the highlight for me was seeing the incredible bass solo by John Entwistle during 5:15. I have never seen Entwistle play with so much energy and high level of virtuosity. It left me breathless!!
So far the fan reports indicate this was a very energetic show, chock full of windmills and fine musicianship! It even included a surprise addition of a partial "Magic Bus" to begin the encore.
"... Zak Starkey, proved himself again, as, at least, the equal of Moon's (and probably surer on the downbeat)."
"This was classic Who: music about youth, made as youths, made as adults, played now for us as adults who haven't totally grown up."-Jim Sullivan in his Boston Globe review, 8/01/97
Roger's voice was unfortunately hurting for this show. So much so, that Pete came out alone after the Quad set, apologizing to the audience for Roger's lost voice. Pete went on to explain that Roger felt very upset for giving a poor performance. Pete disagreed with Roger's self criticism, stating that he thought Roger had done an 'amazing' job. He then claimed the encores were Pete's favorite part, so the tunes would go on. The standard first song of the "hits" section, began with only Pete and John. But Roger returned to the stage after the second verse, and continued on as before. Roger's voice was giving out through Substitute, and his frustration/disappointment was noticeable. Following Who Are You they all left the stage without any of the group hugs and crowd acknowledgments.
By all accounts, a killer show!!! The entire band tight and hotter than ever! "TKAA" was started by Roger on guitar, and taking the band by surprise as well as the audience.
Again, reports of a hot hot show, chock full of electric, energetic, wind-milling Pete. High praise also coming in for Simon's solos as well! This time "TKAA" was a full band powerful performance.
The reports form multi-show concert go-ers seem to indicate that the band is getting stronger, tighter, better and better. Seems now that each new show produces the "best so far" response, only to be out done by the next show!
Concert attendees report an extended jam at the end of "Who Are You". Described as reminiscent of the middle of "Young Man Blues", it came about when, at the normal ending point of WAY, Pete kept hitting power chords, walked to the drums, and started jamming. Zak kicked back in, followed closely by John and then Simon.
pete: "thank you all for coming out and supporting QUADROPHENIA, and for those who didn't know they were supporting QUAD, thank you too!". Seems Pete is acknowledging the rather confused promotion this tour has received. Many radio stations heavily promoted a "greatest hits" show, rather than "Quad". It is unclear where/who/why the misinformation was generated & perpetuated, however "grassy knoll" theories abound.
Pete's intro of Zak: "A fine young man, who has brought a lot of freshness to this piece, and also to what we now call The Who - Zak Starkey!"
"Zak Starkey, son of Ringo Starr, couldn't actually fill the late Moon's shoes. No mortal could, at least not one with only two arms. But he powered the band along in energetic fashion." - Curtis Ross, The Tampa Tribune
Pete, just prior to Who Are You: "This is our last show on this tour...any tour."
Who related sections on Kathy's Zak Starkey Site:
Quad Hyde Park and MSG * Quad USA '96 * Quad Europe '97 * Quad USA '97
Who's Serious? * Daltrey Sings Townshend * Who convention '95
Pete's Olivier Award Party * John Entwistle's The Rock * Pete's 98 solo gigs
* Who 1999 shows * The Who 2000 * Tony Ashton Testimonial Show
* The Who 2001 * The Who 2002 * The Who 2003 * The Who 2004 *
* The Who 2005 * The Who 2006 *The Who 2007 *
* The Who 2008 *The Who 2009 *The Who 2010 *The Who 2011*
* Kathy's Simon Townshend Pages *
Last Updated: Saturday, February 4, 2006
Created: July 1997
Copyright © 1997 - Kathy VanTassell