DFW Music News

Turns Out, There Is a Cure for the Summertime, Blog-Crashing Blues: The Who Reunion Show at the Cotton Bowl on September 3, 1989

Things I've learned today: "Two hours" can, on occasion, mean "10 hours." That's the way baseball go. And: You can live without Unfair Park, but I, clearly, cannot. So, yes, after an eight-hour break, much of which I wasted on a "refresh" button and half this bottle of Balcones Baby Blue (and it was so nice out), we return at this late hour, missing a couple of comments lost to the ether but in altogether decent shape considering the extent of whatever it was that knocked us offline. (Data was corrupted, I am told. It demanded 15 percent equity in Unfair Park.)

We return, of course, in the a.m. Till then, my late-night offering for your midweek listening pleasure, a something-special I came across earlier tonight (when first I'd been told we were back online, ahem). It's a show I covered from a rooftop seat atop the Cotton Bowl press box: The Who on September 3, 1989. It was part of the Miller Lite Biggest Party in History Texas tour, with a touring-behind-In Step Stevie Ray Vaughan as opening act.

I recall then and am reminded now of how this wasn't really The Who, at least not the '69-era protopunks I'd grown up worshiping. This was the late '80s version, a 25th-anniversary ATM with a largely acoustic Pete Townshend trying not to go deaf or get lost beneath the army of backup singers and musicians marched on the road to augment the surviving trio. (There's ample video evidence proving this was, indeed, The New Who Revue Coming Right at You.)

Nevertheless, that Sunday night in September, broadcast on Westwood One, was my second but far from final Who show -- a sweltering night at Fair Park (Roger Daltrey has much to say on the subject) filled with most of the hits (from "I Can't Explain" to Townshend solo singles) and a handful of interesting covers (among them "Hey Joe" by one-time opening act Jimi Hendrix) and a beautiful skyline and "Love, Reign o'er Me" and a TRS-80 Model 100. Those were great days.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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