The Who made their reputation on the live stage. From turning professional in 1964 up to the end of 1966 they were pretty much permanently on the road, snatching recording time whenever the opportunity arose. In these years alone they played more gigs than Led Zeppelin, for example, did in their entire career. Touring was more sporadic after 1971 but there were occasions, notably in 1975/6, between 1979 and 1982, 1989, 1996/7 and more recently in 2004 and 2006/7, when The Who toured with something approaching the same intensity of old.
Acknowledgements for this concert listing are due to several researchers. These include Joe McMichael & “Irish” Jack Lyons, whose book THE WHO CONCERT FILE (Omnibus Press, 1997; updated 2004), which I commissioned, edited and contributed to, was the first serious attempt at cataloguing The Who’s live appearances. Subsequent research by Andy Neill & Matt Kent for their comprehensive book ANYWAY ANYHOW ANYWHERE: THE COMPLETE CHRONICLES OF THE WHO 1958-78 (Barnes & Noble/Virgin, 2002; updated 2005) corrected certain errors in, and added much new information to THE WHO CONCERT FILE but stopped at Keith Moon’s death.
Much of their research for the very early years came courtesy of Bob Druce, The Who’s first booking agent, whose original notebooks proved to be invaluable. Various websites, notably THE WHO CONCERT GUIDE on www.thewholive.de, cover more recent years and offer set listings. In all of these sources the researchers admit discrepancies in the early years. Aside from Druce, no-one thought to keep a record of the gigs The Detours, The (early) Who and The High Numbers played between 1962 and 1965. So the gigs listed for this early period, especially 1962, represent only a sampling of the actual number of shows during those years. They are, however, the only dates that have been confirmed by documentation. On many occasions during this period, by the way, The Detours/High Numbers/Who played two shows a night.
The names of countries appear in all concerts outside of the UK and US (where recognised state postal abbreviations are used).