The Who were in New York wrapping up a tiring tour on the same day Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, on April 4, 1968.
It was turmoil in the U.S., as there were frequent anti-Vietnam demonstrations, as well as student and militant protests. It was during this time — on April 5th and 6th in 1968 — that The Who played the Fillmore East.
The place had been known as the Village Theatre and the band had played there a few years before, but it was getting new lease on life courtesy of Bill Graham, who refurbished the Fillmore East. It was the first time a UK band would play the venue.
The Who were supposed to play four shows in two nights but it was cut to one show each night because of all the unrest. But the band caused its own kind of unrest as well, with Keith Moon’s cherry bomb fireworks getting them kicked out of hotels. He went on to blow a door off the hinges at the Waldorf Astoria and the band had to move hotels again.
Legend has it that on the morning of the Fillmore East rehearsals, the band was so tired they fell asleep under a Union Jack flag in Morningside Park. This is where the photo was taken for The Kids Are Alright.
The music was recorded by The Who manager Kit Lambert, who believed he was recording two nights but instead only one was captured because of equipment failure.
The second night was recorded and has been fully restored and mixed by engineer Bob Pridden who worked with The Who.
50th Anniversary of Fillmore East Shows
For the 50th anniversary of these legendary shows, the unreleased recordings are to being released on double CD and triple vinyl.
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!
CD; 2 x CD deluxe edition 6-panel digipak 12-page booklet including new liner notes and rare photos.
Vinyl; Deluxe 3 x LP heavyweight vinyl, gatefold sleeve, three printed inner bags & new liner notes and rare photos.
The Who Live At The Fillmore East 1968: