Impromptu Performance, Pete Townsend, Quadraphenia, Rock&Roll, San Francisco, Scot Halpin, The who
“Can anybody play the drums? Can anybody play the drums? I mean somebody good.”
These aren’t the words one would expect to hear at a major rock concert, but that is exactly what Pete Townsend asked the crowd at The Cow Palace in San Francisco on November 20th, 1973.
It was the opening date for the start of the Quadraphenia tour, which is to say that this was one of the biggest bands out there at the peak of their popularity. Drummer Keith Moon had just passed out for the second time that evening, and apparently there was no reviving him. So, in what has to be one of the greatest rock&roll moments in all of history, Townsend turned to the audience and asked for a volunteer. What they got was Scot Halpin, a recent high school graduate who hadn’t played the drums in a year.
Halpin played three songs with The Who that night and closed the show.
(Short version, skips the songs)