The Who – Live at The London Students Carnival – Empire Pools, Wembley – London – November 19, 1965 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
The Who – live at the London Students Carnival, Empire Pools, Wembley November 19,1965 to kick off the week.
I keep forgetting that there was a time getting five minutes of national exposure via Radio or TV was a very big deal and how many artists in the 1950s and 60s did just that.
This five minute slot featuring The Who performing My Generation (which was the new single) was typical of so many shows of the time. A band or single artist would perform one or two songs as part of an advertised extravaganza featuring a whole host of other bands and artists; putting in 5-10 minutes just to get the exposure. It was hugely popular in the U.S., first with Alan Freed’s Stage shows and later with Murray The K as well as others throughout the country.
Seems like a lot of work and effort for so little time, but that was the deal. Of course, if you were in the audience, you were in heaven because it meant you got to see all your favorite (or most of your favorite) groups in one place at one time. And it was prevalent all the way to the tip-end of the mid-sixties when it morphed into Festivals extending over days and allowing artists an hour or more to do a full set.
But this was 1965 and The Who were sandwiched in between Donovan, The Three Bells, Frankie Vaughan and Ted Heath with his Orchestra. All crammed into an hour and reasonably schizo if your taste in music ran to one genre. A priceless education if you were just getting your feet wet with music in general.
Bear in mind that this was one of the primary means of exposure for an artist before the era of MTV or Streaming. Your choices were limited and your options were few. Also bear in mind that even the BBC didn’t give itself over to Rock music until around 1967. Prior to that, limiting pop artists like The Who to weekend programs or one or two hours during the week.
All that said – here is five minutes worth of The Who, as they performed their set at The London Students Carnival, held at the Empire Pool in Wembley on November 19, 1965 and broadcast by Granada TV.