In introducing them at the Monterey Pop Festival 3 months earlier, Eric Burdon of the Animals had supplied higher praise for the up-and-coming British rock-band the Who, promising the crowd “A group that will destroy you in more ways than one.” A substandard audio setup that day prevented the Who from unleashing the entire sonic assault that they are already becoming popular, but their higher-energy, instrument-destroying antics inspired the next act, Jimi Hendrix, to burn his guitar and announced to the thousands of Festival-goers the arrival of a robust new force in stone. The rest of America would get its introduction on September 17, 1967, if the Who ended an already explosive, nationally televised performance of “My Generation” with a literal bang that singed Pete Townshend’s hair, left shrapnel in Keith Moon’s arm and momentarily knocked The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour off the air.
As buttoned-down as its hosts were, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour came as close as any network plan could in 1967 to becoming culturally and politically subversive. Tommy and Dick Smothers fought a running fight with CBS throughout their show’s three-year go beyond scripts that subtly tweaked “the Establishment” and guests whose off-air politics have been deemed controversial by network censors. Though there is nothing at all overtly political concerning the Who, it had been much more than simply lyrics like “Hope I die before I get old” that marked the group as happy warriors in the generational battle being waged in the late 1960s. It was also, among other factors, the sheer volume where they preferred to play and their penchant for leaving each and every stage they played on looking as though a bomb had just gone off. On today in 1967, one particular did actually.
Keith Moon had been in the habit of putting an explosive charge within a his two bass drums to detonate throughout Pete Townshend’s guitar-smashing by the end of each and every Who efficiency. But because of their Smothers Brothers look, Moon packed many instances the normal level of explosives into his drum kit, so when it had been set by him off, a gigantic explosion rocked the set as a cloud of white smoke engulfed Townshend and singer Roger Daltrey. Though bassist John Entwistle in no way lost his cool, Daltrey practically flew downstage so when Townshend emerged from the smoke, his hair was actually blown to 1 particular side of his head virtually. Though the outstanding explosion has been rumored to possess triggered Pete Townshend’s eventual close to-deafness, credit for that has to probably go instead to the Who’s pioneering usage of stacked Marshall amplifiers as a way of achieving maximum volume throughout their live performances.