Pete Townshend - guitar, vocals; David Gilmour - guitar, vocals; John "Rabbit" Bundrick - keyboards; Chucho Merchan - bass; Simon Philips - drums; Peter Hope-Evans - harmonica; Jody Linscott - percussion; Gina Foster - backing vocals; Coral Gordon - backing vocals; Billy Nicholls - backing vocals; Ian Ellis - backing vocals; Chris Staines - backing vocals; "The Kickhorns":; Simon Clarke; Tim Saunders; Peter Thoms; Roddy Lorimer; Dave Plews
When Townshend staged this charity concert in 1985, he had been off the road with The Who for three years. That pivotal British Rock band had done a "farewell" tour in 1982, but had reared its head again and roared a few months earlier in a one-off appearance at Live Aid. And despite pleas from both Daltrey and Entwistle to reform and tour again, the next proper Who reunion would have to wait until four years later, in 1989. In the meantime, Townshend was determined to keep his solo career on track, which had been propelled by the success of radio hits like "Rough Boys," "Let My Love Open the Door," and "Slit Skirts."
This show features Townshend's legendary "Deep End" band, featuring Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, a crack rhythm section and The Kickhorns five-piece brass section. They make a perfect compliment to Townshend's passionate vocals and manic guitar runs.
At the time of the show, Townshend released a long form video in Japan on laser disc of the entire show. An abbreviated version was issued globally on album as Pete Townshend's Deep End Live, and an expanded CD version with additional songs was issued in 2006, when Universal re-mastered and re-released the Townshend solo catalog. This show, which also aired on the King Biscuit Flower Hour in 1985, contains all 27 tracks played that night, including a few featuring Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, and keyboardist John "Rabbit" Bundrick.
Opening with a rare-Who B side (from the band's 1967 Sell Out LP), Townshend kicks off with "Mary Anne With the Shaky Hands" a song that was banned on many radio stations when it was first released because it deals with the joys of young girlfriends willing to please their boyfriends with the use of a single hand. After the shock of hearing such a rarity, the audience is overjoyed when Townshend gets right to business with "Won't Get Fooled Again." From there, he balances unplugged and electric versions of solo and Who classics included "A Little Is Enough," "Behind Blue Eyes," "Second Hand Love," "Give Blood," and "I Am One," with early rock and R&B standards including Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's "That's Alright Mama;" Screaming Jay Hawkins' "I Put Spell on You;" and Robert Parker's "Barefootin'."
His remake of the R&B classic, "Harlem Shuffle" blows away the version issued around the same time by The Rolling Stones. He also offers his own version of the new (at the time) Who song, "After the Fire," which the group was suppose to play at Live Aid, but never did. (Daltrey recorded it for a solo album and can be heard singing it on the solo shows featured here at Wolfgang's Vault).
Townshend then goes on to feature David Gilmour on two songs, "Love On The Air," and "Blue Light," and John "Rabbit" Bundrick on "Midnight Lover." In the end, it is two Who classics which steal the show: "Magic Bus," and "Pinball Wizard."