Mr. Pop History – After the Beatles proved to the world that stadium’s could be filled – a la Shea Stadium in 1965, the game was on.
But, could it happen again? With the Beatles, no. Their second Shea Stadium concert in 1966 did not sell out.
Later, Grand Funk Railroad became a supergroup – and sold out outdoor venues most everywhere. They set the 1970′s pace for groups such as Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones and others. Album sales and concerts went well together. FM rock stations helped drive the demand. The money got bigger and bigger.
The Who’s biggest U.S. draw came in March 1976 – this time at Anaheim Stadium when 55,000 attended.
Remember, “The Who” started out in the U.S. pretty weak, resorting in breaking guitars onstage to get attention. Their U.S. record company, Decca, had no idea had to promote them. Potential hits such as “Happy Jack” and “The Kids Are Alright” didn’t do well on top-40 radio stations.
The Who began hitting their stride after their appearance at Woodstock and the rock opera “Tommy,”" – and through the 1970′s, just got bigger and bigger. Like all the super rock groups, they became top album best-sellers including “Quadrophenia.”
Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon – one of the best rock drummers ever. Moon died of a drug overdose in 1978.
A year later, a Cincinnati a “Who” concert turned to tragedy, when 11 died after fans tried to surge-in after believing a sound check was the actual beginning of a concert. It was the largest U.S. rock tragedy in pop music history.