What they do they do their way or it won’t be done at all. The Who did their thing all over the East Village in New York City just before heading into the studio to record their career-changing rock opera Tommy. Universal Music will finally officially release the maximum R&B The Who unleashed in a two-disc, three-LP set Live at the Fillmore East 1968, on April 20. The live tapes from this show have been available only on bootleg.
The Who made their debut performances at Bill Graham’s legendary Fillmore East on April 5, one month after the club opened and one night after Martin Luther King Jr. was shot in Memphis. It was the first of two nights which their manager Kit Lambert recorded with the intent to release a live follow-up to the band’s 1967 albums The Who Sell Out and A Quick One. Live at the Fillmore East 1968 captures the second show, from April 6.
“Songs from the second night have been restored and mixed by Who sound engineer Bob Pridden (who was there in 1968),” reads the official press release (via Ultimate Classic Rock). “This will enhance The Who’s reputation as the best live act of the time, regarded by fans as something of a ‘holy grail’ in live shows.”
The album includes a 33-minute version of “My Generation,” two songs from early rock and roll pioneer Eddie Cochran, “Summertime Blues” and “C’mon Everybody,” and the debut of the band’s rendition of “Fortune Teller,” and the Pirates’ “Shakin’ All Over.” You can preorder it here.
Formerly known as The Village Theater, The Fillmore East opened on March 8, 1968. The opening night’s headline band was Janis Joplin’s band Big Brother and the Holding Company. The opening acts were Buddy Guy, Free Spirits, and The Who, who had only played New York for the first time a year earlier. The Who broke out, along with many groups, at the Monterey Pop Festival, where guitarist Pete Townshend flipped a coin with Jimi Hendrix to see who’d close out the evening.
The Fillmore East set the stage for classic live recordings of the Allman Brothers Band, Jimi Hendrix, and a Frank Zappa show where John Lennon and Yoko Ono showed up to jam.
The Who Live at the Fillmore East 1968 Track Listing
1. “Summertime Blues”
2. “Fortune Teller”
4. “Little Billy”
5. “I Can’t Explain”
6. “Happy Jack”
1. “I’m a Boy”
2. “A Quick One, While He’s Away”
3. “My Way”
4. “C’mon Everybody”
5. “Shakin’ All Over”
6. “Boris the Spider”
1. “My Generation (Part 1)”
2. “My Generation (Part 2)”
The Who’s Live at the Fillmore East 1968 will be available on April 20.