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Features

Roger Daltrey talks to Rick Wakeman for Inside Out
Roger Daltrey talks to Rick Wakeman

The Who: Live at Leeds

Following the news that The Who are set to play Leeds again, in June 2006, we look at the background to one of rock's most famous albums - Live at Leeds.

The Who

The original Who were: Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, Keith Moon, John Entwhistle.

The band performed at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, Woodstock in 1969, Live Aid in 1985 and Live 8 in 2005.

Firstly the band return to Leeds University, the scene of their iconic recording in 1970, on Saturday 17 June 2006.

Then the O2 Wireless Festival  takes place over the weekend of June 24/25 2006 at Harewood House. It's been confirmed that the Who will headline on the Sunday night.

Consisting of founders Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey - plus Ringo Starr's son Zak Starkey on drums and top session men,  the Who are touring Britain for the first time since the death of  bassist John Entwistle in 2002.

Live in Leeds

Thirty-six years ago Pete Townshend hit the first chord of My Generation at the Leeds University Refectory and that night lives forever in the memories of all who were there, and millions more.

Listen to Liz who was there in 1970...
audio Listen to Liz who was there >
Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer

A bank of tape recorders parked in a van outside the hall recorded the gig – and it became the million-selling album Live at Leeds.

The Who: Live at Leeds album cover

Rock legend Rick Wakeman, a massive Who fan says: "The Who were at the time the loudest band in the world. They had just conquered America,  played at Woodstock and Tommy was being hailed as a work of genius. And what did they do? Arrived at Leeds Uni and recorded what I reckon to be the best live album ever."

Rick had an exclusive interview for BBC Inside Out with The Who frontman Roger Daltrey.

Despite having played thousands of gigs Roger remembers the evening in Leeds clearly: "The students there were a great audience for us it was packed to the rafters, and then some more. I heard there was a thousand fans on the roof!"

See some of Chris McCourt's pictures of the gig:
The Who Live at Leeds >

He also admits that Live at Leeds was very nearly Live at Hull.

"We recorded the next night's gig too – at Hull. To be honest, that was a great gig too – but when we listened back to the tape we hadn't recorded the bass!"

Inside Out also tracked down the official photographer for the gig Chris McCourt. His  photos were planned for the album cover but they were not used and have remained mostly unseen until now.

The album

It's placed in a plain, brown paper, gatefold sleeve and made to look like a bootleg album. The original album includes only six tracks of extended live versions. The tracks are Young Man, Substitute, Summertime Blues, Shakin' All Over, My Generation, and Magic Bus.

Many different versions of the Live in Leeds album have been re-released and re-mixed in the past decades but copies of the original record, complete with paper sleeve and all liner notes still pop-up an online auction sites.

Update

John Standerline writes to say: "Can I correct you on a point of detail about the original concert. "A bank of tape recorders parked in a van outside the hall recorded the gig" is not correct. There was one tape machine that was in the room that in 1970 was a restaurant below the refectory.

"How I am qualified to correct your info - I was one of the three Entertainments Committee members responsible for organising the original concert. I was honoured to be invited back to this year's concert and particularly excited by the way that Andy Kershaw involved the three of us in the day.

"My original LP was signed by Pete Townsend when the cover of the new, yet to be released, Live at Leeds 2, was unveiled and I have wonderful memories now of two brilliant concerts."

last updated: 18/08/06
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