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Magical History Tour 4

After Jim Morrison’s section of pictures in Linda McCartney’s book, we move to the Who, photographed at a hotel in New York, and the Filmore East. Linda states they were one of her favorite bands, but had not taken off in America. They were touring in support of the Herman and the Hermits, which had been having number one hits in America since 1965.

This reminds me of the Jimi Hendrix opening for the Monkees tour, or Led Zeppelin opening for Grand Funk Railroad, it only made sense to promoters balancing who the people really came to see against the real talents. Talent is a matter of opinion, but history really sorts out the best.

Linda said the first time she met Pete Townsend was at the Americana Hotel in New York, where she had gone to take pictures of Herman and the Hermits. She was with Danny Fields, who was a Who fan also, and they spotted Pete “skulking” in the corner, who was bewildered why the Who were not more popular in a America. She took pictures of Pete, but the lighting was so bad she could not use them.

There is a picture below that text that is not labeled, but it shows someone who looks exactly like Mick Jagger wearing round black sunglasses, and it’s not clear who it is. I did not see the Pete Townsend nose under the shades, kind of a mystery.

McCartney says the first time she photographed the Who live was in 1967 at “Murray the K’s Fifth Dimension” shows at the RKO Theatre in in New York. You may remember Murray as the DJ that championed the Beatles when they first came to America and called himself the “Fifth Beatle,” though Stu Sutcliffe really should have that title.

The shows were a real watershed in American rock history, five concerts a day for 9 days, featuring Cream, the Who (this really was the making of those bands in America), and many others, Wilson Pickett, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, the Blues Magoos, and others, according to McCartney.

There is a really cool picture of Pete backstage at the show sitting under a Marx Brothers poster, and he’s playing a sunburst Stratocaster, and it really shows in stark black and white the famous Townsend look.

Next are photographs of the Who playing the Filmore East in 1968, and there is a wonderful closeup of the band standing behind the Filmore after the sound check. Roger Daltry is laughing and looking away, Pete is looking down, somber as usual, Entwhistle has his arms folded, the typical Anglo Saxon medieval knight-yeoman with a bowl haircut look, and Moon on the far right has a happy smile, leaning into the photo.

Next are five shots of the band by McCartnery doing a sound check at the Filmore, but it sure looks like Pete is smashing a guitar, maybe he did that at sound checks also! All five are circular images because of the spotlight, and are dim and fuzzy, and you can see Moon’s double bass drum, the drum on the left only says “THE.”

The next couple of pages feature shots of Keith Moon, one has him in a room at the Drake Hotel wearing a Snoopy sweatshirt, and holding a book that says “Tales of Horror,” probably a Poe edition. The next shot is a portrait of Moon wearing a nice jacket and lace cravet, sitting with his ankle on his knee in a chair, and wearing a reflective look on his face. This was one of two shots Brian Epstein bought from McCartney on her first trip to England, the other being the one of Brian Jones on the boat during the Stones press party.

The Filmore East opened with a bang on March 8th with a concert featuring Big Brother, Albert King, and Tim Buckley. Though Buckley never really got the recognition he deserved, and had a very uneven career, finally dying of a heroin overdose, the Washington D.C. native was highly respected by no less than Robert Plant, and many others. There are a couple of great Tim Buckley shots at this link:


The Who played the Filmore East a month after it opened, smashing guitars and drums during a blistering set. Linda McCartney says that the Who’s biographer heard the unreleased tapes and stated that “The Who- Live at Filmore East” would have proven to the world that the Who was the greatest live group in the world.” Maybe in the top five, when you consider the Beatles in Hamburg, Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, etc., but up there nonetheless.

The next shots are five images of Keith Moon behind his Premier drums, making great facial expressions, in closeup shots. McCartney says she got to know Moon and Townsend the best, and that Pete was very deep and intelligent, and Moon a lot of fun, and always a complete gentleman, despite his wild-man antics.

She said once Moon turned up at their house with “two brand new boiler suits, a red one for Paul, and a white one for me.” Linda related that she and Paul were with Moon the night he died, he was partying at the annual Buddy Holly evening tribute show, and was excited about an idea of Paul’s, the Rockestra orchestra.

There are several shots James Fortune took of Paul McCartney with Keith Moon and Linda, they can be seen at


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