The Who Tour 1968

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The Who Tour 1968
Tour by The Who
Associated album"The Who Sell Out"
Start date1 January 1968
End date21 December 1968
No. of shows157 (approximately)
The Who concert chronology

The Who Tour 1968 was a series of performances and tours by The Who, supporting releases such as The Who Sell Out album and the "Magic Bus" single.


The group began the year continuing to support The Who Sell Out, which had been released in late 1967. A short tour of Australia and New Zealand along with Small Faces and former Manfred Mann vocalist Paul Jones was marred with bad press and poor sound, leading Pete Townshend to vow the group would never return (they eventually relented, but not until a 2004 stop in Australia and another in both countries in 2009). The year also saw two long stints in North America, the first of which included two dates at the Fillmore East in New York City that the band recorded in hopes of releasing a live album. The plan was eventually scrapped when they weren't satisfied with the quality of the performances, but a bootleg album called Live at the Fillmore East made use of the soundboard tapes and provided fans with one of the earliest glimpses of the group's live act. An official release of the tapes, remixed, was released on 20 April 2018. The second North American tour featured performances of the newly recorded "Magic Bus", which was released in July and quickly became a fan favourite; it was also during this time that Townshend began giving interviews related to his visions of the concept album that would become Tommy, which the band would begin recording in September and complete the following March. The last three months of the year were spent performing in England around recording dates for Tommy, including a short theatre tour in November with such artists as Small Faces, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Free, Mindbenders, Joe Cocker and Yes. The final show at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool included a long version of "Magic Bus" with members of other acts who had appeared on the tour joining the band on stage – ironically Keith Moon shared the stage with Small Faces' Kenney Jones, the man who would replace him in The Who upon his death in 1978.

One of the group's final appearances of the year occurred at The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, a circus-themed rock and roll special intended to air on the BBC. Although The Rolling Stones were dissatisfied with their performance and the special did not see a release of any kind until 1996, The Who's performance of "A Quick One, While He's Away" was seen as a highlight, resulting in its appearance in The Kids Are Alright biographical film and its soundtrack in 1979.

Live releases[edit]

Up until 2018, live material from 1968 (excluding TV appearances where the band mimed to pre-recorded material) that has seen release all came from the group's performance on The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus on 11 December and has appeared on the following:

In February 2018, The Who were reported to have announced the release of an official live album of their appearances at the Fillmore East on 5 and 6 April 1968 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the venue's opening; the recording of the 6 April show was only available as a bootleg release. The sets were recorded for a supposed live album but it was scrapped after it was found that the first night had not been completely recorded. Newly remixed by their sound engineer Bob Pridden, it was released on 20 April 2018. [1][2]

Despite the title, the album Magic Bus: The Who on Tour does not contain any live material.

Tour band[edit]

Typical set lists[edit]

England, Australia, and New Zealand[edit]

The band's shows in January–February featured a mixture of early hits, material from The Who Sell Out, and covers such as "Shakin' All Over" and "Summertime Blues", which had been part of their act since 1967. Shows continued to close with "My Generation", usually culminating in the group's requisite instrument destruction. The following songs have been documented as being played at this stage (all songs written by Pete Townshend unless otherwise specified):

  1. "Substitute"
  2. "Pictures of Lily"
  3. "Summertime Blues" (Eddie Cochran, Jerry Capehart)
  4. "Tattoo"
  5. "Relax"
  6. "My Way" (Eddie Cochran)
  7. "Happy Jack"
  8. "I'm a Boy"
  9. "A Quick One, While He's Away"
  10. "Boris the Spider" (John Entwistle)
  11. "Shakin' All Over" (Johnny Kidd)
  12. "My Generation"

First North American Tour[edit]

A six-week North American tour began on 21 February at the San Jose Civic Auditorium. (An audience recording from this date exists with set list as below with slight variations and several song omissions.) The set was roughly the same as earlier in the year, but the band also added the popular cover "Fortune Teller" to the act, segueing it into "Tattoo". Additionally, the tour included a few performances of "Little Billy", an anti-smoking song Townshend had written for the American Cancer Society which later appeared on the Odds and Sods compilation album. "I Can't Explain", the group's first single as The Who, began appearing at virtually every show around this time, whereas it had been performed more sporadically prior to this point; it has remained a staple in their act ever since. It was also on this tour that the group began expanding "My Generation" to include long jams, although this didn't occur at every show. According to some sources, other material from The Who Sell Out such as "Silas Stingy" and "Mary Anne with the Shaky Hand" was played live during this period, but no recordings of either song have surfaced.

Songs typically played on this tour are as follows (all songs written by Pete Townshend unless otherwise specified):

  1. "Substitute"
  2. "Pictures of Lily"
  3. "Summertime Blues" (Eddie Cochran, Jerry Capehart)
  4. "Fortune Teller" (Naomi Neville)
  5. "Tattoo"
  6. "I Can't Explain"
  7. "Happy Jack"
  8. "Relax"
  9. "I'm a Boy"
  10. "A Quick One, While He's Away"
  11. "My Way" (Cochran)
  12. "Shakin' All Over" (Johnny Kidd)
  13. "Boris the Spider" (John Entwistle)
  14. "My Generation"

Also occasionally played were:

The group's management tried to capture the band's live performance for an intended live album. Two shows at the Fillmore East in New York City were recorded on 5 and 6 April, but the result was never officially released. A bootleg recording from these shows is one of the most circulated unofficial live records of the band ever, and this recording from all sources from both nights therefore represents a typical example of The Who's performance during that period. An official release of the Fillmore tapes finally reached the public in 2018 simply entitled Live at the Fillmore East 1968.[3]

Spring UK Dates and Second North American Tour[edit]

The group played a number of shows in the UK in the spring, followed by another tour of North America that ran from late June through late August. The band added John Entwistle's "Heaven and Hell" to the act at this point, and it would be the group's exclusive show opener throughout the Tommy period in 19691970; they also reintroduced Mose Allison's "Young Man Blues", now in a heavier arrangement than when it had been played in 1964 and often including long jams. Starting around the time of the North American tour, the new single "Magic Bus" began featuring in the act, usually with sound engineer Bob Pridden playing the song's signature claves, although Keith Moon would eventually begin playing these himself. Instrument smash-ups still occurred at the end of shows, but with less frequency.

Songs typically played at this stage are as follows (all songs written by Pete Townshend unless otherwise specified):

  1. "Substitute"
  2. "I Can't Explain"
  3. "Heaven and Hell" (John Entwistle) (also opened a number of shows)
  4. "Fortune Teller" (Naomi Neville)
  5. "Tattoo"
  6. "Pictures Of Lily"
  7. "Summertime Blues" (Eddie Cochran, Jerry Capehart)
  8. "Young Man Blues" (Mose Allison)
  9. "Boris the Spider" (John Entwistle)
  10. "Relax"
  11. "A Quick One, While He's Away"
  12. "Happy Jack"
  13. "I'm a Boy"
  14. "Magic Bus"
  15. "Shakin' All Over" (Johnny Kidd)
  16. "My Generation"

Also occasionally played were:

October through December[edit]

The group played exclusively in the United Kingdom for the rest of the year in between recording dates for Tommy. They also appeared at The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, recording their performances on 11 December. No other recordings from this period have surfaced, but their act was likely the same as on the second North American tour, although "Pictures of Lily" and "Relax" were probably excluded.

Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
1 January 1968 Bromley England Bal Tabarin Club
6 January 1968 Nantwich Civic Hall
8 January 1968 Bristol Silver Blades Ice Rink
9 January 1968 Portsmouth Brave New World Club
11 January 1968 Worthing Assembly Hall
12 January 1968 Tottenham Royal Ballroom
13 January 1968 Margate Dreamland Ballroom
20 January 1968 Brisbane Australia Brisbane Festival Hall (2 shows)
22 January 1968 Sydney Sydney Stadium (2 shows)
23 January 1968 Sydney Stadium (2 shows)
25 January 1968 Melbourne Festival Hall (2 shows)
26 January 1968 Festival Hall (2 shows)
27 January 1968 Adelaide Centennial Hall (2 shows)
29 January 1968 Auckland New Zealand Auckland Town Hall (2 shows)
31 January 1968 Wellington Wellington Town Hall (2 shows)
10 February 1968 Colchester England Essex University
11 February 1968 Crawley Starlite Ballroom
16 February 1968 Sheffield Sheffield University
17 February 1968 Manchester Faculty of Technology Union
North America
21 February 1968 San Jose United States San Jose Civic Auditorium
22 February 1968 San Francisco The Fillmore
23 February 1968 Winterland Ballroom
24 February 1968
1 March 1968 Vancouver Canada Agrodome
2 March 1968 Edmonton Edmonton Gardens
8 March 1968 Bloomington United States Metropolitan Sports Center
9 March 1968 Detroit Grande Ballroom
10 March 1968 Aurora, Illinois Opera House
10 March 1968 Peoria Exposition Gardens
15 March 1968 San Antonio Municipal Auditorium
16 March 1968 Beaumont City Auditorium (2 shows)
17 March 1968 Houston Music Hall (2 shows)
22 March 1968 Tampa Curtis Hixon Hall
23 March 1968 Fort Lauderdale Code 1
24 March 1968 Orlando Orlando Coliseum
27 March 1968 Montreal Canada Montreal Forum
29 March 1968 Madison United States Baldwin Gymnasium, Drew University
30 March 1968 Westbury Westbury Music Fair
31 March 1968 Washington, D.C. DAR Constitution Hall
4 April 1968 (did not happen) New York City Fillmore East
5 April 1968 (proven by period posters)
6 April 1968 (proven by period posters)
7 April 1968 Toronto Canada CNE Coliseum
15 April 1968 London England Marquee Club
23 April 1968
27 April 1968 Montreux Golden Rose Festival, Montreux Casino (unconfirmed)
29 April 1968 Watford Top Rank Suite
3 May 1968 Kingston upon Hull Hull University
4 May 1968 Liverpool Liverpool University
11 May 1968 Glasgow Scotland Strathclyde University
24 May 1968 Islington England City University London
31 May 1968 Manchester Manchester University
14 June 1968 Leicester Leicester University
15 June 1968 Elephant and Castle London College of Printing
21 June 1968 Durham Durham University
North America
28 June 1968 Los Angeles United States Shrine Auditorium
29 June 1968
8 July 1968 Sacramento Memorial Auditorium
9 July 1968 Regina Canada Exhibition Hall (unconfirmed)
10 July 1968 Calgary Stampede Corral (2 shows)
11 July 1968 Saskatoon Saskatoon Arena
12 July 1968 Monticello United States Indiana Beach Ballroom (2 shows)
13 July 1968 Detroit Grande Ballroom (2 shows)
14 July 1968 Warrensville Heights Musicarnival
15 July 1968 Kingston Canada Memorial Centre
16 July 1968 Ottawa Ottawa Civic Centre
17 July 1968 Montreal Autostade
18 July 1968 Providence United States Rhode Island Auditorium
20 July 1968 Virginia Beach Civic Center (2 shows)
21 July 1968 Wallingford Oakdale Music Theater
23 July 1968 Richmond The Mosque (2 shows)
24 July 1968 Philadelphia Philadelphia Music Festival, JFK Stadium (the band's set may have been wiped out by rain)
26 July 1968 Chalmette St. Bernard Civic Auditorium
27 July 1968 Orlando Orlando Sports Stadium
28 July 1968 Miami Miami Marine Stadium
29 July 1968 Ellenville Tamarack Lodge
31 July 1968 Algonquin New Place
1 August 1968 Chicago Electric Theater
2 August 1968 New York City Singer Bowl
3 August 1968 Lake Geneva Majestic Hills Theater
4 August 1968 North Tonawanda Melody Fair, Wurlitzer Park
5 August 1968 Chicago International Amphitheatre
6 August 1968 Boston Music Hall (2 shows)
7 August 1968 New York City Schaefer Music Festival, Wollman Skating RinkCentral Park (2 shows)
9 August 1968 Springfield Illinois State Fairgrounds
10 August 1968 St. Charles Jaguar Club
13 August 1968 San Francisco Fillmore West
14 August 1968
15 August 1968
16 August 1968 Fresno Selland Arena
17 August 1968 Tempe Tempe Diablo Stadium
18 August 1968 Colorado Springs Kelker Junction Concert Hall
20 August 1968 Albuquerque Albuquerque Civic Auditorium
22 August 1968 Kansas City Municipal Auditorium Music Hall
23 August 1968 Oklahoma City Wedgewood Village Amusement Park
24 August 1968 Wedgewood Village Amusement Park (2 shows)
26 August 1968 San Jose San Jose Civic Auditorium
27 August 1968 San Diego Community Concourse
28 August 1968 Santa Monica Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
29 August 1968 Santa Barbara Earl Warren Showgrounds
30 August 1968 Tucson Hi-Corbett Field
5 October 1968 London England Roundhouse
11 October 1968 York York University
12 October 1968 Sheffield Sheffield University
18 October 1968 London Lyceum
19 October 1968 Dunstable California Ballroom
25 October 1968 Leicester Granby Halls
30 October 1968 Twickenham Eel Pie Island
8 November 1968 Walthamstow Granada Cinema (2 shows)
9 November 1968 Slough Adelphi Cinema (2 shows)
10 November 1968 Bristol Colston Hall (2 shows)
12 November 1968 Nottingham Sherwood Rooms
15 November 1968 London The Roundhouse (2 shows)
16 November 1968 The Roundhouse (2 shows)
17 November 1968 Birmingham Birmingham Theatre (2 shows)
18 November 1968 Newcastle upon Tyne Newcastle City Hall (2 shows)
19 November 1968 Paisley Scotland Paisley Ice Rink
20 November 1968 Liverpool England Liverpool Empire Theatre (2 shows)
22 November 1968 St Albans City Hall
23 November 1968 Devizes Corn Exchange
26 November 1968 Southampton Southampton University
30 November 1968 Manchester Manchester University
6 December 1968 Salford University
7 December 1968 Bristol Bristol University
9 December 1968 Bath Bath Pavilion
11 December 1968 London Stonebridge Home Studios
12 December 1968 Reading Reading University
14 December 1968 Brentwood Bubbles Club
17 December 1968 London Marquee Club
19 December 1968 Worthing Pavilion Ballroom
21 December 1968 Ramsey Gaiety Ballroom

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Who Live at the Fillmore East 1968 | superdeluxeedition". Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  2. ^ Live At The Fillmore East, MCA, 20 April 2018, retrieved 20 April 2018
  3. ^ "The Who Live at the Fillmore East 1968 - The Who". 20 February 2018. Retrieved 6 July 2019.

External links[edit]