Summer Music Special: The Who at Jones Beach

Live 2000: One of 25 reports from the summer's hottest tours

August 17, 2000

WANTAGH, New York, July 9th — "I wish the wind would stop," Roger Daltrey murmured into his microphone near the end of the Who's sold-out Sunday-night set at the Jones Beach Amphitheater. "It's blowing our sound out to sea." The humid gusts might have whipped away some of the band's own bluster but not enough to keep Pete Townshend from pulling out an old bit of shtick – the ritual guitar smashing, which came at the end of "Won't Get Fooled Again." It took a few blows to break, and the instant after it lay in pieces on the stage, his face changed from the bemused smirk he'd had throughout the two-hour set to a regretful scowl.

But the audience members, who had endured the occasional heavy downpour of rain and had shelled out up to $162 for tickets (the shows have grossed as much as $1 million a night), were elated by Townshend's nostalgic act of destruction, and they thundered applause from the moment his white-and-red Fender Stratocaster cracked until the band returned to the stage for an encore that included "My Generation" and "The Kids Are Alright."

The eighth show of the Who's twenty-two-city tour (currently scheduled to wrap on October 2nd but rumored to include late-October gigs at New York's Madison Square Garden), was as packed with hits as the band had promised it would be. Playing without the kind of elaborate backing ensembles they'd brought on previous reunion tours, the Who rolled out early mod gems like "Can't Explain" and "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere," as well as arena rockers like "Baba O'Riley" and "Who Are You." The ever-analytical Townshend often took time to explain the origins of the songs, but he was never so articulate with his words as he was with his fingers when he wanged away on extended jams during "Magic Bus" and "5:15."

This story is from the August 17th, 2000 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »