“I’m not trying to cause a big sensation, I’m just talkin’ ‘bout my generation”
When the brains trust sat to select the first recipient on the Music Walk Of Fame, the criteria was simple: the act had to have their roots in London, their career had to have spanned multiple decades, they must have sold millions of records worldwide, topped the charts and gained a following of global proportions. And, perhaps most importantly, they had to have changed the face of popular music forever. Subsequently, one name rose to the top of the shortlist…
They are a band whose rebellious and restless sound was forged from hard graft and art school bravura. A band whose original line-up featured four lead instrumentalists whose barely-contained disparate styles found sweet harmony in union. A band who were figureheads to the mods and godfathers to the punks, all while pioneering the innovation of the conceptual rock opera as their music was covered by everyone from David Bowie to Iron Maiden, The Jam, Sex Pistols, Green Day and Oasis. Who else, but The Who.
From inauspicious beginnings in the bombed-out suburbs of West London, The Who rose to prominence with an uncompromising, grittier take on the swinging sixties. Their seemingly self-destructive path laid waste to countless guitars, amps and drums. However, their heart-on-sleeve lyrics blossomed into a confessional and honest style of songwriting.
Although the excesses of rock ‘n’ roll claimed two of their founding members (drummer Keith Moon in 1978 and bassist John Entwistle in 2002) guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend and singer Roger Daltrey have continued to tour the world, reinventing their back catalogue with the help of a 48-piece orchestra, while continuing to take risks and push the creative boundary. The band also released their self-titled twelfth studio album in 2019, their first since 2006.
So, it is for all of this, and six decades of much, much more, that we are honoured to award the inaugural the Music Walk Of Fame stone to The Who.