Pete Townshend and I encountered one another during the production of our film, "The Kids are Alright". We never really inter acted with anything approaching warmth and although we were working on the same film for a couple of years I can't pretend to either understand or warm to him. Talent wise he is clearly a musical genius, a giant of the era but as a person, to me, he was pretty much a vacuum.
When we wanted to film a live concert it had been a couple of years since The Who had performed and they didn't want to do so. We managed to convince them that we could do a little mini concert just for super fans to fill up the first few rows for a private filming. They agreed and as ever it was Pete who was the most reluctant. Someone, I don't know who, telephoned the various London radio stations that morning to inform them that there was going to be a free Who concert that afternoon at the Kilburn State Odeon.
Within just minutes cars were hurtling towards the venue without the knowledge or concert of the band. They knew nothing of the thousands of people fighting to get into the restricted space. The dye was cast, the cameras were set and we were ready to go when the band were summoned to appear. The first they knew of the packed crowd was when they got on stage. Pete raised his guitar to hit someone with it as he shouted something along the lines of, "Who the f...k set this up?" But it was too late and the mini show was great.
The big crowd being their set the right mood and the place was electric.