The Who haven’t been on the road or produced a new album for over five years but their cult status is alive and kicking, not just in the hearts of the baby boom generation, for whom the band has always symbolised the angst and rebelliousness of teenage wasteland, but also for a whole new generation of fans.
This is supported by the ‘Insight’ statistics on The Who’s Facebook page. Since April 2010, when thewho.com, in conjunction with Universal Records, activated the official Who page on Facebook, the fan presence on the site has grown to 2.54 million ‘likes’. 34% are aged between 18 and 24 years and 67% are male.
The most active presences over the last few months, according to Facebook, have been:
927,542 United States of America
284,640 United Kingdom
(There are no Japanese statistics published on the Facebook Insights page.)
Lead singer of The Who Roger Daltrey has been carrying the Who flame this last year with his tour of ‘Tommy, Who Classics and More’ in the US, UK, Italy and Paris/France. During this time, Who legend Pete Townshend has been busy focusing on writing his autobiography, which is due to be published by Harper Collins in October.
It was interesting to see that the teen spirit of The Who surged by 15% and more on Facebook during last week’s sell out concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, London in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust of which Daltrey is a patron and which over the years The Who – Roger and Pete – have so actively supported. In addition to this, there has been a lot of interest around the release of ‘Quadrophenia: The Director’s Cut Special Edition’.
The band’s traditional Baby Boomer audience has been active and vociferous on all Who-related web sites and social media, including both the thewho.com, the Who’s Facebook and Twitter pages and also on unofficial Who sites and FB pages, where they have access to material unauthorised for official use.
The most popular posts on The Who’s Facebook page have been the classic videos of the band in action with the original line up which brought them fame – Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon. Most popular videos seem to be, according to the Facebook statistics, ‘Young Man Blues’, ‘Who Are You’, ‘The Seeker’ and ‘Substitute’.
It’s great to know that the Who are being embraced and appreciated not just among the traditional ‘baby boomers’ but also among so many young music fans.