September 17, 1967 – The Who Literally Spark Explosion on National Television

In introducing them at the Monterey Pop Festival three months earlier, Eric Burdon of the Animals had offered high 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 full sonic assault for which they were already becoming famous, but their high-energy, instrument-destroying antics inspired the next act, Jimi Hendrix, to burn his guitar and announced to the tens of thousands of Festival-goers the arrival of a powerful new force in rock and roll. The rest of America would get its introduction on September 17, 1967, when 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.

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