Why Pete Townshend Hair Ended Up On Fire In One Of Their Iconic Performance
Pete Townshend - Beat-Club / Youtube
Perhaps everyone in the audience kind of expected The Who’s performance in The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour as fantastic, given that they’re one of the most popular bands in the 60s; yet, nobody expected that it would be explosive.
The Who, a British rock band, was scheduled to come on the famous CBS show in September 1967 during the height of the 1960s counterculture. They performed in front of millions of American viewers during this period, following in the footsteps of other notable British bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. This was their chance to establish themselves as a forerunner in the “British Invasion” phenomena in America.
The band opened with “I Can See For Miles,” their most recent single, before playing “My Generation,” their hallmark song. Shortly after everyone could grip the ending, the band started smashing their instruments and setting off an enormous explosion within the drum equipment that briefly knocked the earth off the ground.
After emerging from the haze, guitarist Pete Townshend appeared, visibly shaken by the blast. He held his buzzing ear and then attempted to fix his warped hair, which was still smoking. Tommy Smothers attempted to regain control by appearing on the screen and playing an acoustic guitar, but the chaos continued. Townshend can be seen taking Smothers’ guitar with his bare hands after stealing it from him. Because of the blast, Townshend admitted to eventually developing hearing loss in his later years.
The culprit of this incident? It was none other than the ever-chaotic Who drummer, Keith Moon. Talk about unforgettable first impressions!
Check out their blasting performance here.