Simon Townshend has been a key element of The Who's line up as guitarist and vocalist since 1996, and has proven to the band members, the fans, and himself that he's not just Pete's younger brother, but is an extremely talented musician and artist.
Simon started his career at the age of 9, when he was recruited to add vocals to the Tommy album. From then on, he has gone from strength to strength, releasing six well received solo CD's, and one with the Casbah Club, featuring Bruce Foxton (The Jam) and Drummer Mark Brzezicki (Big Country), all on his own Stir Music label. In 2004, Simon serve as a producer on The Who's first new, original studio recordings in more than 20 years, and in 2006 he contributed to The Who's album Endless Wire. Simon accompanied Roger Daltrey on tour, including stints with Eric Clapton, and has performed with numerous other established acts including Jeff Beck, Pearl Jam and Dave Grohl.
In the fall of 2012, Simon released an excellent and dynamic new album, Looking Out Looking In. He will be the supporting act opening for Heart in Canada and Big Country in the UK this Spring, and is scheduled to play songs from his new album at a few gigs around the UK in June and July.
For more on Simon, visit his official website: www.simontownshend.com
Godfrey Townsend (no “H”, no relation) was the kid who sat in the garage with his guitar, working out all the songs he heard on the radio. Unlike most of us, he stuck with it so when opportunity knocked, he was ready to kick the door open wide. From a chance jam with John Entwistle at New York’s legendary China Club, Godfrey was offered the guitarist’s slot in the newly-forming John Entwistle Band (leading to the standard introduction mentioned above). This led to some of the most blistering rock performances to be heard outside of The Who itself, as Godfrey went toe-to-toe with John, and John expanded his own musical presence to suit himself.
Following John’s untimely demise, Godfrey continued to play in the “A Walk Down Abbey Road” tour, and now tours regularly as musical director and all-purpose guitarist with the Happy Together and Hippiefest shows, playing with “the royalty of rock” including Jack Bruce, Leslie West, Mitch Ryder, Ann Wilson, Rare Earth, Mickey Dolenz, The Turtles and many more. He also put a band together for Alan Parsons which became The Alan Parsons Live Project for almost a decade. Godfrey recently teamed up with Ginger Baker's son Kofi and Jack Bruce's son Malcolm to form the tribute band Sons of Cream. In addition he has written and recorded a solo CD, Easy Journey to Other Planets, which reflects his longstanding interest in Eastern philosophy and musical exploration.
For more information about Godfrey, please visit his website: godfreytownsendmusic.com
Since their humble beginnings in West London in 1996 to now; Who’s Who, the longest established Who Tribute Show in the UK, have received incredible reactions across Europe and beyond for their exciting live performances. Pete Townshend’s leaping and Roger Daltrey’s microphone whirling antics have all but transformed the standard of tribute shows and set a benchmark within the industry for others to follow. Widely recognised and respected by their musical peers and acknowledged by members of (and those close to) The Who, as the group that most interprets the songs of Pete Townshend and the legendary live performances of The Who with honesty and integrity. Giving nothing less than 100% during a performance, Who’s Who ensure that a night to remember is guaranteed for those people who are lucky enough to be able to attend.
With the raw power, passion and soul of the members that make up Who’s Who, these guys deliver far more than your average “run of the mill” band. Their longevity is testament to the reputation they have worked extremely hard for and as history rolls on; they have proved to be an essential ingredient to fans of The Who and their legacy, highlighting a void and illustrating just what The Who have left their fans and the music world.
For more information on Who's Who, please visit their website: thewhotribute.com
Peter 'Dougal' Butler
For ten years Peter 'Dougal' Butler was Keith Moon's personal assistant, bodyguard, minder, chauffeur, aide de camp, gentleman's companion, occasional armourer and constant partner in many misdeeds. His adventures with Keith have been chronicled in his acclaimed book "Full Moon: The Amazing Rock and Roll Life of Keith Moon".
Here are a few words from Dougal about his upcoming Q&A and book signing appearance at the convention.
"Well, I've been invited to The Who Convention in September in Shepherds Bush for a Question and Answer/Book Signing [Full Moon - Faber Finds]. I have to say that I am thrilled to be going and am really looking forward to it! As you are no doubt aware, I started with The Who in 1968. From that moment onwards, there are many fine tales to be told! My first recollection of the band was sitting in the pews in a church hall in late '63 when a band called The Beachcombers came on 'stage'. Little did I know then, that the drummer in that band would change my life completely - Boy, but what a ride it was!! Look forward to seeing you all! Best Dougal"
Watch Karl Howman reading an excerpt from Dougal's book here.
Connect with Dougal on Facebook or Twitter @DougalWho
The Whoo - A Modern Who Tribute
All the classic Who tracks played with all the passion and energy associated with one of the UK's most outstanding bands. From it’s inception in 2008 the show and the set have been based around more recent live Who shows and tours such as the 2000 show at the Albert Hall and the 2002 World Tour. The set is usually broken into sections reflecting the evolution of the band through it's 60's roots, the innovation of Pete Townshend's writing during their "highs" of the 70's and the maturity of the remaining members and the new recruits of latter years. Its 100% live and 100% Who. We guarantee you won't be disappointed!!
For more information on The Whoo, please visit their website: thewhoo.co.uk
Karl is a very talented actor, who performed along side Keith Moon in the films "That'll Be The Day" in 1973, and "Stardust" in 1974. Karl will be most remembered for playing "Jacko", in the brilliant comedy series, "Brush Strokes" (1986). Jacko was a painter and decorator, and very much a "Jack the lad". Karl has also starred in "Babes in the Wood" (1998), "Bad Boys" (1995), and "Mulberry" (1992), and had guest roles in programmes such as "The Bill" (1984), "Blakes 7" (1979), and "The Sweeney" (1976).
Karl's adventures with his friend Keith Moon are featured in Dougal Butler's Keith Moon biography, "Full Moon", which Karl narrates for the audio book that is available on Talking Music.
Who's Next - maximum R&B since 2003
Who's Next are one of the hardest-working tribute bands on the circuit today, notching up an average of eighty shows a year that sees the band traveling thousands of miles in their ‘t/rusty’ tour bus Lily II. They are a regular fixture on the international touring scene, playing shows all over Europe.
2013 is the band’s tenth anniversary year and despite various line-up changes over the last decade, they haven’t yet decayed and remain firm favourites with Who fans everywhere. Their explosive live stage shows have been described as, “as close to the real thing as you’re going to get!” (Time Out Magazine) and won them praise from Tommy director Ken Russell whilst working on his retrospective production of the rock opera.
Who’s Next have rehearsed a very special show for the 2013 Convention and look forward to sharing it with you.
For more information on Who's Next, please visit premierwhotribute.com
"Legs" Larry Smith
"Legs" Larry Smith was the drummer of the comedy satirical rock group the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. He was originally invited by Vivian Stanshall to join the band as a tap dancer and tuba player! As the drummer he was a core member of the band and played on their top 5 hit "I'm The Urban Spaceman", and performed on all subsequent recordings. The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band appeared in the Beatles film "The Magical Mystery Tour" and also in the ground-breaking television series Do Not Adjust Your Set that featured several of the Monty Python team.
As a solo artist Larry also toured with Eric Clapton, Elton John and George Harrison. He was a close friend of Harrison for many years and designed the cover for his Gone Troppo album, and also appeared in and sang the theme song for the Harrison-backed film "Bullshot". Harrison wrote and recorded a song about him called "His Name is Legs (Ladies and Gentlemen)". The recording features the vocal antics of Larry himself, who also tap dances in Elton John's song, "I Think I'm Going To Kill Myself".
In 2006, Larry played a reunion concert with the surviving members of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band at the London Astoria. A countrywide tour followed, which began in Ipswich and ended with two shows at the Shepherds Bush Empire with Ade Edmondson and Phil Jupitus. In 2009, Smug Records released "Legs" Larry Smith's "Call Me, Adolf!", a five track digital EP.
Larry first met Keith Moon at the Speak easy club that they both use to frequent after gigs in the late 60's, when they struck up a close friendship which Larry once described that it was based on lunacy and madness. They had many memorable times together, to which he is more than happy to share! Larry has written a book "It’s not What it Looks Like", and is currently working on a release date. Hopefully it will be out in time for the convention so we can get a book signing arranged!
John Mears was Keith Moon's PA & Driver in 1970 and was fortunate enough to witness some of The Who’s most well known performances, Live at Leeds and the Isle of Wight. John’s parents bought a pub / hotel with Keith called the Crown & Cushion in Chipping Norton, which ended up being a party there most weekends! At the end of that year John was knackered to say the least and a friend of his (Martin Licket), was Ringo's driver at the time, asked if John would like to work at Apple and do some driving for the Beatles, which he did for the following two years. After John left for Apple, Keith hired a guy called Chalky Peter White, but that didn't last long. He was replaced with good old "Dougal" Peter Butler who took the job for the next six years or so. Dougal did the job no one else could do!!!
At Apple John did a lot of work with Ringo, John and George, but Paul at that time kept himself to himself. John saw their break up first hand and even drove Allen Klein to the courts every day, for the battle with Macca. John left Apple at the end of 1972 and moved to Cornwall, were he started his own catering company called Biggles. Back in the heyday of rock, John catered for all the big shows in the South West of England, including Glastonbury, Elephant Fayre, & Penwith, as well as catering for all the bands at the Cornwall Coliseum. Name a band and he's fed them!! John has also worked with bands on the road, including Level 42 in the 80’s.
John has so many great behind the scenes stories to tell from his halcyon days working with the greatest rock bands in the world, so you don’t want to miss his Q&A at the convention!
Mark James is a rising young star from a new batch of up and coming acoustic musicians, travelling far and wide entertaining audiences with classic songs with only an acoustic guitar and a voice. Mark is a self confessed lifelong Who fan, and will perform an unplugged set or two consisting of classic hits and rare material from The Who’s catalogue, but with a different acoustic slant on the originals, and in true Who style, jamming on the ending of the songs. This will be the order of the day from this energetic and talented musician. Mark James has played many big venues and has been a favorite at the Nottingham Beatles Convention for 6 years running, playing his acoustic twist on the occasional Beatles song. We have no doubt he will impress the discerning Who fan with his brand of acoustic musical tribute to The Who!
The Acoustic Who are not so much a tribute band, more a tribute to the songs of Pete Townshend and The Ox, which are re-interpreted with electric and acoustic guitars, bass and drums, while being true to the energetic power and passion of the originals. Over the last 5 years, the Birmingham-based Acoustic Who have been ensuring audiences won't get fooled again by their name! Why ‘Acoustic’ they ask, having been stunned by a memorable ear-ringing 2 hour show? Well, the band originally performed with just a singer and acoustic guitar. Hand percussion and Cajon box were added but the (Not so) Acoustic Who became today's jaw-dropping musical tour-de-force when bass was added. Expect a mix of meaty, beaty, big & bouncy songs from all periods of The Who's amazing journey!
You can join together with this band on Facebook and MySpace.
Gary Shail, or “Spider” as we know him from Quadrophenia, has had a long and varied career. He has appeared in movies, starred in TV children’s sitcoms, and has appeared at the National Theatre and the Old Vic. Gary was also Britain’s youngest stuntman! He has written music for Ken Russell and the BBC, and was nominated for an Ivor Novello award. He had a career in advertising and wrote some well known ad music during the 90s. Gary moved to Dubai to record middle eastern fusion music and ended up living in the desert for a couple of years. When he came back home, he ran the Troubadour music club in London. Gary has recorded with Legendary Motown songwriter Al Cleveland and also worked with Paul McCartney on a film, which lead to Gary dating his daughter Heather! He built his own recording studio and recorded an album there. Gary is a cult hero in the UK, and will be talking about all of the above and more at the convention!
So? This geezer "Irish Jack", is he still alive? Irish Jack has been demoted from tripping over backstage cable whilst holding a can of beer rifled from the backstage fridge i.e. 25-5-78 -to- quaintly nowadays at 69 tripping over coffee dispenser cable in his new quest to poison himself with liquidy roasted beans. All he's done really is exchanged one vice for another whilst admittedly possibly adding another few years to his life.
Born in the war. Birthday punching. Born in 1943; the son of an accomplished classically trained violinist and drinker. Grew up as a child in Shepherd's Bush. Returned to Cork where his father gave up on teaching him the rudiments of the miserable 4-stringed instrument and the saxophone. Re-emigrated to Shepherd's Bush in August 1960 at sixteen and a half years old. Worked at the Centre of The Universe = Shepherd's Bush Green, as an office clerk. Went to his first ever dance in June 1962, Boseleys in Faroe Road, the Bush and met the Detours doing Shadows' dance steps. Mistakenly bought acoustic strings for Pete Townshend and called to his house in Ealing Common where it was politely pointed out to him over a cup of tea.."Jack, thanks for the acoustic set of strings..I play electric guitar.."
Has read his Mod/Quadrophenia/Who memoirs at the Oxford Union, Cambridge University, Trinity in Dublin, New York, Houston, Paris and to 12 people in Edinburgh. Jack cites this as one of the best ever readings.."Twelve of the purest school-going Mods who hung on my every word and had to have a whip around to cover my expenses. After being promised the earth the organiser put me up on his parent's settee. I was introduced to his dad at 7am in the morning as he was leaving for work. He told me he'd seen the Who no more than twice..now THAT was Quadrophenia."
In 1962 mysterious events lead to Doug Sandom meeting Roger and being invited to join his band "The Detours" alongside John & Pete. For the next 2 years Doug gigged around West London clubs and occasionally further afield with them. He was also present in Pete & Barney's flat that fateful day on February 14th 1964 when Barney hit on the name "The Who" and thus their destiny was set. He continued drumming for them until April 1964 when he left. Doug returned to being a bricklayer for the rest of his working life, leading a normal, modest, family life in Greenford.
An interesting fact you may not know about Doug and his role within Who history: Pete Meaden got involved with The Who on the request of Helmut Gordon, who Doug introduced to The Detours in 1963 as manager.
His new book will still be warm off the printing press at the convention and it promises to be a great read. Doug is looking forward to meeting everyone over the weekend and says: "I love it, the conventions are always great. It amazes me that people seem to know who I am and come and say hello, from all over the world! It's marvelous. I am really looking forward to being there both days."
A Who fan since he first saw them on Ready Steady Go! in 1965, Chris Charlesworth was a staff writer on Melody Maker from 1970 until 1977, subsequently becoming editor-in-chief at rock book publishers Omnibus Press, a position he has now held for over 30 years. During his time on MM and in the years that followed Chris wrote extensively about The Who, establishing a close relationship with the group that resulted in Pete Townshend asking him to help compile their 4-CD box set Thirty Years of Maximum R&B (1994) and oversee the wholesale renovation of the group’s back catalogue on remastered CDs. He has also contributed liner notes to Who albums and solo ‘best of’ CDs by John Entwistle and Roger Daltrey.
He is the author of The Who: The Illustrated Biography (Omnibus, 1982), Pete Townshend: A Career Biography (Proteus, 1984), and co-author with Ed Hanel of The Complete Guide to the Music of The Who (Omnibus Press, 1995 & 2004). He commissioned, edited and contributed to The Who: The Concert File by Joe McMichael and ‘Irish’ Jack Lyon (Omnibus, 1997 & 2005), and Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon by Tony Fletcher (Omnibus, 1998 & 2005). Chris was commissioned by webmaster Rob Lee to write most of the text on The Who’s official website, including the individual biographies of Pete, Roger, Keith and John, the ‘Story of The Who’ timeline, the discographies and concert listing. More recently, Chris has been writing about his memories of The Who on his Facebook page.
Photo of Chris with Keith and Bobby Pridden in New York, 1974, © Bob Gruen.
A successful rock and roll scarred author, broadcaster, music journalist, former New Musical Express features editor, and a press agent for 25 years who is credited with giving Jimi Hendrix the idea of setting fire to his guitar, saddling Trogg Reg Presley with his surname and turning Slade into skin heads for publicity purpose in the early Seventies.
Altham worked during the Sixties as a journalist for IPC magazines before joining the NME in 1964 and left as features editor in 1969 after which he freelanced for Melody Maker, Record Mirror, Disc, Sounds, Fusion, Rave The Daily Express, The Sun, The Mirror and The Guardian prior to becoming England’s most successful independent rock music PR of the Seventies and Eighties.
K.A. Publicity which he founded in 1971 represented the cream of British rock music over two decades including The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Beach Boys, Police, The Moody Blues, Slade, Status Quo, The Animals, Van Morrison, Rod Stewart, The Kinks, Scott Walker, Eddy Grant, Genesis, Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, The Jam, The Stranglers, Marc Bolan, The Moody Blues, Steve Marriott, Carole King, Joan Armatrading, Elkie Brooks, and Manfred Mann. On retiring the Press Agency in 1993, BBC Radio 4 made Altham the subject of a tribute programme “The Godfather of Music PR” on which Sting, Roger Daltrey and Jagger testified to his expertise. Altham’s first book “The PR Strikes Back” in the form of open letters to his famous ex- clients revealing his true feelings about them was printed by Blake Publishing and serialised in the Daily Mail in 2002.
Altham made appearances on Granada’s TV series “My Generation” in the Nineties and the subsequent series “The Brit Girls” both in front of the camera and as a researcher. Other recent TV appearances include the Marc Bolan documentary “Dandy in the Underworld” for channel 4, a Mick Jagger feature for The Discovery Channel and a Jimi Hendrix profile for BBC I series “Reputations” plus two guest appearances for Noddy Holder’s Sky/Granada “Pop Quiz".
On radio he was a major contributor as a news reader and interviewer for three years on BBC 2’s “Scene and Heard” which was “the music paper of radio” during the Sixties and early Seventies. More recently he contributed to BBC Radio 2s programme on “The Changing Styles of Music Journalism” “Music Hype” and Virgin FMs’ “Tribute to Hendrix.”
His latest research and on TV contributions include “Pop Panic” last January. “Fame Set and Match” about the Rolling Stones and their old flames was shown in August on ITV. A tribute documentary on Cilla Black and another on “Marc Bolans’ Missing Millions” featuring Altham as a pundit were screened in September plus two more on Ray Davies and Rod Stewart for ITV are in the can for screening later.