The Who is celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Who Live at the Fillmore East 1968 with a restored and remastered edition on April 20th via Geffen Records/Universal Music Enterprises (UMe). The set will be available on 2 CD and 3 LP. Both sets include three Eddie Cochran numbers: “My Way,” “Summertime Blues” and the never before released Who version of “C’mon Everybody.”
Also featured is a rare cover version of “Fortune Teller” written by Allen Toussaint, originally recorded by Benny Spellman but made famous by The Rolling Stones. These shows also showcased “Tattoo” and “Relax” from The Who Sell Out as well as stunning extended versions of “A Quick One” and “My Generation” which becomes a 30-minute jam with a the climax of guitar-smashing and drum demolishment!
The double CD Deluxe Edition will be presented in a digipak with 12 page booklet containing new liner notes and rare photos. The triple vinyl will be presented in a gatefold sleeve with three printed inner bags and new liner notes and rare photos.
The Who were in New York to conclude a grueling tour on April 4th, 1968, the day that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. America was already a country divided; Anti-Vietnam demonstrations, civil rights disturbances and militant student activism. With this turmoil as a backdrop on Friday and Saturday, April 5th and 6th, 1968, The Who performed two incendiary live sets at Bill Graham’s legendary Fillmore East on the lower East Side of Manhattan.
The venue had only just re-opened in March by Graham from its previous incarnation as the Village Theatre where the band had played on a couple of occasions the year before. The Who was the first British rock act to headline the Fillmore East and were booked to play four shows over the two nights. However, because of feared social unrest in the wake of Dr. King’s assassination, it was decided to compact the shows into one per night.
The Who’s time in New York City in 1968 can best be described as ‘lively’. Keith Moon’s antics with cherry bomb explosives had meant that the band had to move hotels. When installed in at the plush Waldorf Astoria, he then somehow managed to a blow a door off its hinges, and the band had to move once more.
On the morning of the Fillmore rehearsal, the band was photographed for Life magazine and legend has it that the band was so tired from Moon’s antics that they nodded out under the large Union Jack draped over them at the base of the Carl Schurz Monument in Morningside Park. This iconic image was later used as the cover and poster for The Who’s classic film The Kids Are Alright.
Both nights were recorded by Who manager Kit Lambert with the intention of releasing the results as The Who’s fourth album after The Who Sell Out and before Tommy. Disaster struck when it was discovered that due to faulty equipment or human error only part of the first night was captured. Thankfully the second night was recorded and has now been fully restored and mixed by long time Who sound engineer Bob Pridden (who was responsible for the band’s sound on those nights in 1968) from the original four-track tapes.
Thanks to an acetate reaching the bootleg market in the early ’70s, The Who’s reputation as rock’s most dynamic live act quickly grew. The show is regarded by fans as something of the “holy grail” of Who live shows equaling the legendary Live At Leeds album. The tapes have been meticulously remastered for optimum sound quality and will only serve to enhance The Who’s reputation as the best live act of the time.
- Summertime Blues
- Fortune Teller
- Little Billy
- I Can’t Explain
- Happy Jack
- I’m A Boy
- A Quick One
- My Way
- C’mon Everybody
- Shakin’ All Over
- Boris The Spider
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.