Advertisement

From the Archives: The Who returns to Los Angeles

From the Archives: The Who returns to Los Angeles
June 24, 1980: Singer Roger Daltrey, left, drummer Kenney Jones and guitarist Pete Townshend of the Who perform at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. (George Rose / Los Angeles Times)

After a four-year absence, the Who returned to Los Angeles in 1980 with seven live concerts. The 110,000 tickets quickly sold out. On June 20 and 21, 1980, the Who performed at the Forum in Inglewood. The next five performances, June 23-28, where at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

In the June 23, 1980, Los Angeles Times, pop music critic Robert Hilburn reported:

Advertisement

The Who, relegated in recent years to chasing the ghost of its own early greatness, caught up with that greatness Friday night at the Inglewood Forum with a masterful display of energy and commitment.

The veteran rock band still relies too much on old material, but the power of its performance surely convinced both the curious and the cultists in the audience that the Who deserves its ranking as one of the half-dozen best bands ever in rock. …

To veteran fans, mentioning the classic Who and commonplace Kansas in the same breath is rock ’n’ roll heresy. Along with Elvis Presley, Little Richard, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, the Who define rock.

It’s hard to go through a week of shows without seeing evidence of the Who’s impact, from the band’s uplifting themes about youthful self-affirmation to such visual trademarks as lead singer Roger Daltrey’s stallion-like poses and Pete Townshend’s windmill guitar strumming. …

I’ve located these three images by George Rose from the June 24, 1980, Who concert at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

June 24, 1980: Roger Daltrey, left, drummer Kenney Jones and Pete Townshend of the Who perform at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
June 24, 1980: Roger Daltrey, left, drummer Kenney Jones and Pete Townshend of the Who perform at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. (George Rose / Los Angeles Times)
June 24, 1980: The Who's Roger Daltrey, left, and Pete Townshend.
June 24, 1980: The Who's Roger Daltrey, left, and Pete Townshend. (George Rose / Los Angeles Times)
Advertisement
Advertisement