Brizzad has alluded to this incident before, but with my next Who concert in Hamilton less than forty-eight hours away it’s time for a quick history lesson. On November 20, 1973 the band opened their Quadrophenia tour at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA. Before the show, a fan allegedly offered Keith Moon a bunch of tranquilizers; Moon, being Moon, promptly swallowed them, and then seventy minutes into the concert, during “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” he collapsed onto his drum kit. The crew managed to revive him–but then it happened again, and this time Moon was carried off stage for good. But instead of ending the concert early, Townshend turned to the audience and asked, “Can anybody play the drums?”
Enter Scott Halpin.
A nineteen year-old Iowan who’d recently moved out west, Halpin and his friend Mike Danese had a staked out a place near the front of the stage. When Townshend asked his question, Danese volunteered his friend…and to the surprise of everyone (not least of all the Who themselves), the promoter Bill Graham (remember him?) ushered Halpin up on stage. Thus, Scott Halpin played three songs with the greatest band of all-time–including “Naked Eye,” probably my favourite Who song of all-time:
Needless to say I’m lobbying for the gig on Wednesday if Zak Starkey can’t finish the show. Failing that, I’ll happily accept hearing “Naked Eye” as compensation.