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Just as the Teenage Cancer Trust shows were coming to an end, tour dates for the Who's US Summer tour were starting to be announced. Tickets started going on sale at many venues the second week of February.
The Who Tour was all set to begin June 28th. John Entwistle had flew in to Las Vegas early to check up on a traveling exhibit of his artwork that was to open in the Aladdin. On June 27th, just one night before the start of the tour, while asleep in his room at The Hard Rock Hotel, John Entwistle passed away of a heart attack. He was 57 years old.
All sorts of rumors abounded, but as time went on more became known. John had been on heart medication for some time, was still a heavy smoker, and continued to drink to varying degrees. Conflicting accounts of his last evening and circumstances of his discovery led to more rumors, which were later (in Sept) cemented by the coroner's final report. He died in a very Rock & Roll fashion, be that good or bad.
Immediately various sources reported - almost as a tag line to the news flash
of his death - that the tour was canceled. Almost as quickly, management and
promoters were using the term "on hold". Then the following day, June
28th, came the announcement that the band will go forth with the tour as tribute
to John and with the blessings of his family who believe he would have wanted
it so. Session bassist extraordinare Pino Pallidino was called upon to complete
See petetownshend.com's Who news section for details and personal messages from Pete and Roger.
The band took much heat for this decision,(especially in the so-called press), but many people came to conclusion that they may have had no choice. July 2, the NYPost published much of the previous speculation that the band did not have insurance to cover concert cancellations. There were millions at stake for each date. Millions for which THEY'D be responsible. It even seems that their hands were tied when it came to postponing enough shows to have waited until after John's funeral to begin the tour.
The band postponed the first two shows, and performed the remaining 4 in the first leg. Members of the band and the tour crew later commented that although these shows were extremely difficult, there was comfort in being all together at such a time, and that the "work" and "family" was cathartic. John's funeral took place in England during the break before the second leg began.
The true scope of the factors surrounding the decision may never fully be known to the public, whose opinions, prior to the first shows, were clearly and strongly split. Emotions ran high and on edge. Some lamented on about how ideally there was no way the band could continue, or how uncaring or even how greedy it seemed, and many complained bitterly of not being able to get tickets for un-postponed shows refunded, as this was NOT the Who they claim they had paid to see. But the larger faction seemed to understand the difficulty of the situation, and wanted to attend, to show support for the band and its decision, to honor John's musical legacy and to simply gather with others who understood the loss.
The band has given 150% every single night. They know there is a huge hole that needs to be filled, and they are all up to the task of trying. The audiences have also shown great love and support. John lives on in the music, and together they have been able to celebrate that fact.
"The Who Encore Series" of CD's will be recorded and mixed directly from the soundboard and according to TheMusic.com, "... each double CD will be available within three weeks of the show concerned and all profits from the sale of these CDs will go to young peoples' charities supported by The Who." The first show available in the Who Encore Series is "Detroit" aka - Auburn Hills, MI
Complete release descriptions - see Who 2002 releases
The shows are available seperately or in special collectors edition cases.
Saturday, February 4, 2006
Created: Jan 11, 2002
Copyright © Kathy VanTassell