The Story of The Who - 1961



The Who continue recording Tommy at IBC Studios.

March 7

‘Pinball Wizard’ is released. It reaches number four in the UK and number five in the US.

May 1

Critics rave over Tommy after it is previewed live before the UK press at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London.

May 25

The Tommy LP is released, reaching number four in the US, staying on the charts for 47 weeks, and number two in the UK.


The Who play Tommy to ecstatic audiences across America. Its success turns the group’s finances around within a year and almost overnight they become, along with The Rolling Stones, the UK’s hottest live rock ticket.


‘Something In The Air’, by Thunderclap Newman, produced by Pete, reaches number one in the UK charts.

July 5

The Who close out a week of Pop Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

August 17

The Who perform at Woodstock. “Fucking awful,” is Pete’s retrospective opinion, but their performance seals their reputation as a the world’s most exciting live rock band.

August 30

Back in the UK, The Who appear at the second Isle Of Wight Festival.


Back to America for a lap of honour.

December 14

The Who’s tour of European opera houses opens at the London Coliseum.