Doug Sandom

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Doug Sandom
Birth name Douglas Sandom
Born (1930-02-26) 26 February 1930 (age 85)
Genres Rock, pop
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Drums
Years active 1962–1964
Associated acts The Detours (later The Who)

Douglas Sandom (often misspelled Sanden; born 26 February 1930) is a British drummer who was the original drummer for the English rock band The Who. During the infancy of the band's career, while they were playing as The Detours (around mid-1962), Sandom, a bricklayer, joined as drummer. However, while the other members of the group were in their late teens, Sandom was already in his early thirties, and the difference in age eventually made him something of an outcast in the group. His wife also objected to him staying out at all hours of the night.[1]

In February 1964, it was discovered that another band was also called The Detours. On Valentine's Day 1964, they changed their name to The Who.[2]

When the band secured, but failed, an audition with Fontana Records in early 1964, the label's producer, Chris Parmeinter, didn't like Sandom's drumming (encouraged by then manager Helmut Gordon). The band's guitarist, Pete Townshend, voiced a similar opinion and suggested to the other members of the band, John Entwistle and Roger Daltrey, that Sandom leave the group. Sandom gave a month's notice, and left in April.[3]

Within a month of Sandom's departure, Keith Moon was hired after he had approached the band at one of their gigs and told them he could play better than the session drummer they had hired to fill the vacancy left by Sandom. Moon smashed the session player's drum kit to pieces during his "interview" in the interval that night. No recordings are in circulation with Sandom playing with the band; however, there was a recording made in Barry Grey's flat featuring two Townshend original songs and a cover. The whereabouts of this tape are currently unknown.

On his departure from the group, Sandom said, "I wasn't so ambitious as the rest of them. I'd done it longer than what they had. Of course, I loved it. It was very nice to be part of a band that people followed, it was great. But I didn't get on well with Peter Townshend. I was a few years older than he was, and he thought I should pack it in more or less because of that. I thought I was doing all right with the band, we never got slung out of nowhere, we always passed our auditions."[4] Sandom was hurt by Townshend's comments that he should leave. A few months earlier The Who had failed an audition because Pete Townshend was "gangly, noisy, and ugly", and it was Sandom who had defended Townshend, according to Townshend's book Who I Am. Nevertheless, Sandom did step down. Since learning of what Sandom did for him, Townshend has said that he regrets the whole incident, and that he looked upon Sandom as a mentor and friend.


  1. ^ Fletcher, Tony. Moon: Life and Death of a Rock Legend. 1. New York, NY: HarperEntertainment, 2000. pp76
  2. ^ Townshend, Pete. Who I Am: A Memoir, 2012.
  3. ^ Unterberger, Richie (2010). "Doug Sandom Biography". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  4. ^ Fletcher, Tony. Moon: Life and Death of a Rock Legend. 1. New York, NY: HarperEntertainment, 2000. pp77

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