Director Jeff Stein, who had worked with the band as a teenager, wanted to create a collection of visual history for fans and approached Pete Townsend. The film comprises live performances, promotional videos, and recorded interviews with the band.
As has been done with beloved television shows, Stein wasted no expense to scrounge old broadcasting sheds in over eight countries (eight that you could name, though) over the next two years to rescue any film reel with a hint of the band in order to make this masterpiece that would never hit major popularity and would be completed overshadowed by an indie drama in 2010. Stein also proved not very good at his scavenger hunt and so new material had to be filmed at Shepperton Studios and at Keith Moon's California beach home, as well as recording some of the band's big hits during tours that couldn't be recovered elsewhere.
The group in some places had to re-dub some of their own musical performances on tape and soundtrack, either because the recording proved bad or they weren't pleased with how they had sounded. Apologies to everyone in the 1969 Woodstock crowd. Moon also died during the sound editing, and the band decided to not change anything further once he had.
- Audience Participation: In an interview featured, Keith Moon tells how he was picked up to be a stand-in drummer from an audience.
- The Cameo:
- Clothing Damage: In a Russel Harty Plus segment: Townshend has his shirt torn by Moon, the former gets his revenge.
- Rivals Team Up: Ringo Starr is seen interviewing Keith Moon throughout the film. The Beatles were one of the bands constantly in rivalry with The Who.
- Rockers Smash Guitars: Their infamous Smothers Brothers appearance opens up the film and instrumental destruction is prevalent throughout the rest of the film.
- Rockumentary: A mixture of archival footage (some of it previously unseen) with new interviews and performances recorded for the film.
- Shooting Gallery: John Entwistle shoots up his gold records with a hunting rifle before moving on to a Tommy Gun.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Keith Moon's drum kit during the opening sequence.