Trivia: The Who

  • Breakthrough Hit: "My Generation", "I Can See for Miles" in the U.S.
  • Creator Backlash: Pete Townshend's Scoop liner notes include a rather bitter comment of "It's the silly songs they like, daft punters." after mentioning how their concerts always included shouted requests for "Magic Bus" and "Boris the Spider".
    • John Entwistle himself wrote "The Quiet One", from Face Dances, specifically because he was sick of having to play "My Wife" and "Boris the Spider" onstage. He also hated playing "Magic Bus" in concert because he had to suffer through inordinately long verses of playing a one-note Bo Diddley Beat on the bass.
    • The band as a whole did not have a good opinion of Face Dances, John being dissatisfied with the increasing use of keyboards and synthesizers crowding out the guitars (he commented that the only "strong guitar songs" on the album were his), and Roger commenting that Pete's material was strong but "the band failed him for the first time". Roger Daltrey has also been vocally displeased about It's Hard, deriding it as a poor-quality contractual obligation album, and saying in 1994 that it "should have never been released".
    • Roger also claimed that John Entwistle's "Trick of the Light", which he sung, was the one track he didn't want on Who Are You, saying "It just goes on and on and on and on and I think the lyrics are very witty but it just becomes musically bland to me."
  • Creator Breakdown: Lifehouse, The Who By Numbers.
    • Pete Townshend claimed in his 2013 memoir, Who I Am, that The Who By Numbers turned out the way it did almost by accident, as a result of Roger Daltrey handpicking the tracks which were released on the album:
    [Roger] called the next day, very positive about what he heard. I had come up with a broad sweep of material, some upbeat, some R&B influenced, some reggae, some very light in tone, and some introspective and angry. I was surprised by the songs he liked best - the angry, cynical, depressive ones. The music was only partly complete, though; what I lacked on this collection, once again, was a defining context, a theme or concept. The songs Roger selected may have been the ones he liked best, but as a group they were later described as a kind of "suicide note" from me, and better suited to a solo album. I wasn't feeling suicidal at all, but I was terribly tired.
  • Fan Community Nickname: Wholigans.
  • Fan Nickname: Some band member nicknames are sometimes used by the group as well (usually onstage).
    • John Entwistle: The Ox, Thunderfingers, The Eye of the Hurricane.
    • Moon: Moonie, Moon the Loon.
    • The 1989 Tommy anniversary tour: "The Who on Ice".
  • Flip Flop of God: Pete Townshend is the master of this trope. He might write a song with one meaning in mind, but over the years his views have evolved. For example, there's "Behind Blue Eyes," a song written from the viewpoint of the villain of the failed project Lifehouse, was originally about betraying your ideals. Townshend has also described it as a song about European men and fascism. It Makes Sense in Context when you see the introduction of the song from VH1 Storytellers.
  • Life Imitates Art: The Who Sell Out? Rock stars doing commercials? Hilarious in 1967. Now de rigeur for every musician, including The Who themselves.
  • One of Us: Pete Townshend is a big animation fan. He produced The Iron Giant and based on his positive review of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded The U.S. he loves anime, as the book heavily covers the subject as well as anime porn, and cosplay among other things.
  • The Other Darrin: Zak Starkey and Pino Palladino.
    • Also, when the Who made a guest appearance on The Simpsons, Pete Townshend had lost his voice and was unable to read his parts. His brother Paul recorded them instead.
    • In Roger Daltrey's solo band, Simon Townshend is the other Darrin to his brother Pete, playing electric guitar and singing the vocals that Pete would otherwise do.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Scot Halpin.
  • Reality Subtext: Supposedly, the reason Pete Townshend sang "A Legal Matter" was that Roger Daltrey was divorcing his wife at the time.
    • The first verse of "Who Are You" describes an actual incident. Pete, depressed from having just reached a settlement in a dispute with the band's management, got very drunk at the Speakeasy club with Steve Jones and Paul Cook, tried to leave and passed out in a doorway not far from the club. He was recognised by a policeman, who woke him up and told him he could go free if he was able to walk away by himself. Pete managed to get himself together long enough to walk into a nearby tube station and catch a train home.
    • A band whose image was largely built around their at-the-time-shocking and revolutionary act of wrecking their equipment onstage and for wrecking hotel rooms and causing havoc on tournote  had the misfortune of being in constant debt for much of that decade, until Tommy became a success in 1969. This, and whatever "legal matters" the band went through over this behavior became a constant source of pressure for the band, and the group was very close to breaking up many times. It can easily be said, then, that any attempts by the band of, erm, "sell(ing) out", affixing a quirky pop song like "Pinball Wizard" onto Tommy to help sales, or playing Woodstock for the money would be very well justified and understandable. The inside fold out of Live At Leeds shows bills sent to the band for their antics and instrument destruction
  • Throw It In: Several ad-libs and bits of studio chatter made their way into the recordings.
    • At the end of "Happy Jack," Pete Townshend shouts, "I saw ya!" to Keith Moon. Moon was banned from the studio during vocal recordings because he'd always crack the others up and wreck takes, so he would always try to sneak in, and Pete had just noticed him that one time. It became a part of the song, even when performed live.
    • And at the end of "Pure and Easy" Pete says "Put away your girly magazines!" with Keith replying "Sorry!"
    • Both of the Precision F Strikes in "Who Are You" were supposedly ad-libbed by Daltrey but left in anyway.
  • Troubled Production/What Could Have Been: Lifehouse, the project that started out as an idea for another Rock Opera but failed and became Who's Next partially due to Townshend's inability to explain the idea and make anyone understand it.