The Who by Stewart Hellman

The first time I saw The Who in Concert was at the Woodstock Music Festival on August 16, 1969. The Performance was so spectacular that I was totally mesmerised by what I saw and heard that morning. My attempt to photograph The Who that morning did not work out at all.

I had just been given a great 35mm Single Lens Reflex Camera by my Parents prior to the Woodstock Festival.My knowledge of the Camera and film speeds was basically zero. The pictures that resulted were nothing but blurry coloured visions. Like the Light Show on the Screen behind The Who as they played. Bad for photos though.

By the time the Tanglewood Music Shed Performance on July 7 1970 was to happen i had learned all about my Camera, Film and how to use it. Also i had mastered the skills of developing the film into negatives as well as creating Prints from them with an Enlarger. All the photos you see here i have personally shot and created in a Home Darkroom myself.

The Tanglewood Performance I shot from Front Row Orchestra seats directly in front of Pete Townshend. What i loved most about seeing The Who was their ability to REALLY look directly at you. Eye contact with me was the norm with Roger Daltrey & Keith Moon as I took these photos.

My energy level was boosted by the Music and incredible Theatrics onstage. I literally took photos all the way through the Concert. Only stopped to change lenses,film and applaud between numbers.

Fast forward to July 29th & 31st 1971 when The Who performed at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. On the 29th it was pouring Rain all day and into the night. The Show was delayed while they prepared The Who and the Stage so as not to be killed by electrocution.

The Performance The Who did was flawless, perfect and absolutely amazing! In pouring Rain only covered by an awning above them. My photos somehow do not show a sign it was raining at the time.

Someone must have held an umbrella over me. I have no memory of that happening though.

Again the interaction between me (behind my camera) and Keith Moon & Roger Daltrey was even BETTER than at the Tanglewood gig. The photos you see here prove it!

The July 31st Concert took place on a typical NYC Summer night with humidity about 90%. You could literally cut it with a knife, it was  so bad! In this weather The Who came onstage and had to deal with electrical problems on and off.

I took less photographs this night, but what I did capture on film shows how these four Legendary Musicians Keith Moon, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwisle played together like no one before or after them.

As different as they were as individuals, when they got onstage to create the Music, they did it like no one else could!

I loved taking these photos and then creating the Prints in my Home Darkroom. What you see here is THE WHO!!!!!


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