March 18, 2013

Concert #120 - Pete Townshend at the Wiltern Theatre (July 29, 1993)

Pete Townshend. One of the truly great ones. Someone I have been following for a life time, thanks to the fact that neither of us has died before getting old. I went to the concert with my good friend Jim F, who showed up wearing his nicest jump suit, the kind he thought was in order for nicer venues located in the heart of LA. Twenty years on, I still tease him about his exceedingly sporty appearance that night.

Concert poster
We caught the first of Pete's two sold-out shows at the Wiltern. He had just released "Psychoderelict", an ambitious concept album that, by the way, went nowhere, so we knew from the get-go that we'd be treated to many of the songs of the new album. Well, he did the entire album and there was nothing particularly memorable there. But there were plenty of other great songs, some from Pete's solo output, others from the catalog of the Who. As a huge fan of "Tommy", I certainly enjoyed hearing a couple of songs from Pete's masterpiece.

The Set List

Tommy Can You Hear Me?
Cobwebs And Strange (band introduction)
Save It For Later
Eyesight To The Blind
Face The Face
Heart To Hang Onto
I'm A Boy (fragment)
Eminence Front
English Boy
Meher Baba M3
Let's Get Pretentious
Meher Baba M4
Early Morning Dreams
I Want That Thing
Outlive The Dinosaur
Meher Baba M4
Now And Then
I Am Afraid
Electronic Wizardry
Don't Try To Make Me Real
Meher Baba M5
Fake It
Now And Then (Reprise)
Baba O'Riley
English Boy

Let My Love Open The Door
Corrine, Corrina
A Little Is Enough
You Better You Bet
Rough Boys
Girl From The North Country (Bob Dylan)
Pinball Wizard
Naked Eye

Magic Bus (with John Entwistle)
Let's See Action (with John Entwistle)
Won't Get Fooled Again (with John Entwistle)

Pete came out with a band consisting of top-notch musicians, among them guitarist and singer Andy Fairweather-Low of Amen Corner fame, bassist Pino Palladino and Katie Kissoon, a well-known British back-up singer. Late in the show, the place erupted when Pete brought out John Entwistle, who helped wrap up the evening.

The concert went on for a stunning three full hours. Pete was in good vocal shape and his spirits were high. At one point during the show, Pete and his entire band stood for a few seconds on one leg, in a humorous attempt to prove that they were all sober.

The highlight of the show? My vote goes to the forty-eight year old Pete Townsend doing his trademark windmill guitar strokes. Unforgettable.


  1. Do you remember Pete Townshend playing earlier that morning in the KLOS parking lot to attempt a world record for people playing Pinball Wizard? Well anyway on the way in everyone filled out entries for a drawing for backstage passes, front row tickets and autographed stuff. Well Pete pulled my name out of the hat so I won that stuff! One of the greatest days of my life; hanging out with Pete Townshend all day then a killer show!!

    1. i was there too. i took some nice video of the occasion. He signed autographs till everyone was satisfied. Very cool.

  2. I was there that night, too. Also was at his Pinball Wizard event by KLOS. I have a question for you: I've seen an interview in recent years with him saying something emotional had happened backstage before the show, so he drank a big amount of Vodka after many years sober. Watching the show, he did seem drunk and was saying some outrageous things here and there. He said something to the audience before he sang "The Girl from the North Country"...something about, "There's the wife, and then there's the 'other' one....this song goes out to her...". Do you know what he was talking about?

  3. I have no idea what Pete meant when he said "There's the wife, and then there's the other one....this song goes out to her".