Pete Townshend Remembers Mike Shaw

Mike Shaw worked with The Who for just a few years, from 1964 to 1967, when he had a car crash that rendered him paraplegic, wheelchair bound with limited use of his upper body.


In his time with us before the accident, he ran everywhere in Soho where Track offices were based, like a jinn. A definitive Mod, he was fastidious about his clothing, and good to look at. He had the most peculiar sense of humour, clipped and self-deprecating. Our early Goldhawk Mod fans remembered him with great affection. He went on to work at Track Records for many years, supervising several major Who repackages, and much more.


A childhood friend of our present manager Bill Curbishly, and our first manager Chris Stamp, he grew up in the East End, but seemed a little posh somehow. He was certainly discriminating. He acted as the first Production Manager in the rock business, dealing with band movements, hotels, equipment transport, dealing with the tough promoters of the day, and operating the first serious lighting rig ever used by a small band in the early ’60s. The Beatles never even had their own P.A. system let alone lights – though they did have a couple of great roadies of course in Neil (Aspinal) and Mal (Evans).


Eventually, in the ’80s, he found work too tricky and needed daily nursing, and moved to live in St Austell in Cornwall in a modest house, but one that had the most inspiring  view of the sea between the Fowey River over to Megavissy. That kept his soul alive, and although often lonely, he never lost heart. We all tried to see him as often as we could.


He and Chris Stamp passed away within weeks of each other. They were boyhood buddies.


Pete Townshend

November 28th, 2012




6 thoughts on “Pete Townshend Remembers Mike Shaw”

  1. One thing I have to say about you all. Despite your fame and fortunes, you know how lucky you are to have survived all that hyperkinetic booze and drug addled 60s 70s 80s R&R lifestyle. And you never seem to forget the childhood friends who helped make you who you are, or who were special gifts along the way.

    I’d like to think that I am so lucky with my 25 or so childhood friends I am still hanging out with 50 years on, here by the seashore south of Boston – we be fortunate ones. Booze and drug addled 60s, 70s and 80s and R&R lifestyles regardless… Haha…

    Have as much fun as you possibly can on the tour gents.

    Cause… nothing is planned by the sea and the sand..

    Jorge Newman

  2. Alan says:

    It was great when Mike was introduced to the audience at the 2006 gig at Ashton Gate Bristol. In fact watching a DVD of that concert as I type this.

    Rest In Peace Mike.

  3. It’s been a long time since I was around the Who Family but I still remember all three people now gone. I was around in 1965-1966 and remember Mike when he did the Bands Lighting, sadly I heard of his accident, but I had moved on and lost touch with him, now I remember what a great Guy he was. Then there was Chris. I spoke to Pete about him at the Barclay Center Nov. 14th. and was trying to find out where he was in the City only to find I was to late and missed him, I have dozens of memories of Chris having been under his “command” in the early years, I will never forget him. Then I heard about Frank a few days later, I saw frank only a couple of years ago ( I think ) and he seemed O.K. and was very friendly. Well that’s three more of an ever decreasing circle, It’s chilling, but I still have the Memories. Rock On Everyone, Rock On.
    Big Love,

  4. john mears says:

    I remember Mike with a lot of fond memories ,he was the first person i meet on my first day driving for moon in 1970 , we went to track office in old compton street and he was the first guy i meet ,we chatted while keith did his thing , he told me just what i had got myself into, when ever i went to the office mke was my first port of call,
    years after when i moved to cornwall i found out that he lived only a mile away from me in st austell and we rekindled our friendship we went to see Daltry together one summer at powder ham castle and went back stage after to see him ,roger alway looked after Mike like his own , i miss him xx

  5. Some years ago I lived at St Austell Cornwall and as a carpenter I installed new windows and doors for a local company back between 1985 – 1997
    One morning me and my fellow installer Hugh went to a bungalow at Carclaze Road, knocked on the door and a guy in a wheelchair opened it and asked us in.

    As I walked into the house, on the walls all around were gold record discs by The Who! The guys name as Pete says was Mike Shaw and he told us of his connections with The Who. You could have knocked me down with a feather, I was in awe and total shock! This was a bloke who was a sound engineer for my favourite band since growing up in the 60s, The Who have always been for me the best band ever! I bought VIP tickets for a tour in 2013 I believe at £325 but could not get time off which was gutting!

    Anyway I didn’t realise Mike had passed away, he was a lovely guy and spent hours talking to me about his time at The Who, made my day it did.

    Roger was sat in Costa at Austell one day about 4-5 yrs ago as I entered but I didn’t have the balls to disturb him, he was sat enjoying his drink, I’ve always regretted that decision.. I have recently bought “Thanks a lot Mr Kibblewhite” on Audio books .. it’s such a great read / listen. RIP Mike Shaw great guy very talented, kind generous man.

    1. The Who says:

      Thanks for sharing your memories of Mike Shaw, Stephen. Mike was a really great guy and was much loved by all of us in The Who camp. So glad you got the opportunity to meet him.

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