Stuart "Stoo" Pittman
Before the show at the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, NY on November 18, 1996
some of us got together at the Parc V Cafe. Unfortunately most of the photos did
not come out very well.
The next night Stoo headed to New Jersey. He posted the following to the Odds
and Sods mailing list:
"Dear fellow Odds&Soders,
On the 20th of November in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety
six at approximately 12:10am in the Meadowlands, New Jersey, U.S of A...
.....I MET PETE TOWNSHEND
To be continued...
And, during the last tour, Stoo was on TV before the show in Montreal. Here's
the story, in the words of Luke/Godfather (email@example.com):
"...The Who are playing here tonight, fans are already starting to gather,
but first they partied long into the early hours of the morning..."
I've been asked to say a few words on the subject of Stoo's interview. I wasn't
going to, but you don't say no to Stoo. He's one of my best friends and I love
him dearly. (I'd marry him but our kids would be ugly). I'm sure he'll fill in
the gaps and correct my mistakes as soon as he has time.
Right then. I woke up late on Monday (the night of the Montreal concert), we'd
been drinking the night before (Hi Bernd!). Anyway, I was watching "Days Of
Our Lives" and enjoying the comforts of "Stoo Towers", and Stoo
calls the tv station. He made sure they were aware of the significance of the
concert, and told them about the O&S pre-show meeting. They actually wanted
very much to cover the event, and asked to interview Stoo. Cool. They called
back later and said they couldn't get all the equipment into the Peel Pub, and
asked if they could still interview Stoo outside the Molson Centre. Very Cool.
They also asked for some video clips they could show on the air.
So Stoo and I quickly threw together a short tape of Who highlights for them,
from Stoo's *extensive* Who video collection. It included some 60's stuff
(actually some of the rarities seen on Stoo's "Peel Pub pre-show meet"
tape), IOW, Charlton '74, the Quad movie, and Hyde Park. A nice overview. Time
was running out, we sent the tape to the station (at their expense), but alas,
they didn't use it. They said it wasn't up to broadcast standards (what do they
know, they're a tv station in *Montreal* for Christ's sake).
So, Stoo and I arrived drunk and early at the Peel Pub (along with Stoo's
fabulous friend Simon). The only ones that beat us there were Jon Rhein (half in
the bag), and Bernd (inexplicably stone sober ;) ). Stoo of course was wigging
out, the way only he does. BUT, give the man credit, when it came time for the
interview, he was (surprisingly) extremely calm.
He gave a fantastic interview! Unbelievable composure. (For those of you that
think it's no big deal, well, it's more than you fucks ever did).
Contrary to a previous post, they printed his name on the screen. Stuart
Pittman, and underneath it said "Internet fan club member". They asked
what he was, and that's what he came up with (of course he's much more). BTW,
Stoo briefed this joker (the interviewer) about The Who before they taped,
obviously he didn't want to sound like an idiot ie "Mick Jagger and The
Who...etc." They talked about what we do here on O&S (leaving out any
mention of "whofans" :) ), and Stoo was asked why The Who are such an
"enduring attraction", to which he gave a beautiful response.
After the interview, several people came up to Stoo and asked about O&S, he
dutifully directed them to the incomparable "thewho.net".
What an interview. A nice piece of O&S history. So there it is. Put *that*
on your web page Joe!
Stoo was also recognized backstage after the concert, because of the interview,
but he'll have to say more about that. And I'm sure if you make a video trade
with him in the future he'll tack the interview on at the end.
P.S. I realize that Stoo asked me to write a "few" words, and I pulled
an ML by writing this "novel", so forgive me...
This is not a review of the shows (I still plan to do that) but rather
own personal experiences. I have tried to include only WHO related incidents.
At long, long last, Whoheads, to tell the tale of how I met Pete I must start
My plan was to see the Worcester show on Thursday, Nov 14th, hang out
in Boston, soak up some history, head back to Montreal and then nip down to
Albany on Monday and be back for work on Wednesday. However, I bloody well
missed the bus - even WITH a wakeup call from my ex. The first icy roads of
the year caused an accident/traffic jam. I was steamed. Sorry I didn't get
to meet Mason, David, John and John from Vegas :(
Not to be cheated, I decided a Philly/Albany trek would leave me
fulfilled. En route to Philly I spent Sunday morning in N.Y.C. with a
friend and had checked into the Holiday Inn near the Core States Spectrum
An hour later, I went to the bar for the pre-show meet. It was swarming
with Eagles fans - there was green everywhere. I talked to every Who fan I
saw but none were O&Sers. Total drag. (Where the H*LL WAS everybody?) I
bought a floor ticket from some guy in the lobby right before I met Fang's
teenhood chum Bryan. He had been admiring my jacket (which is covered in
WHO paintings I did between the ages of 15-17). So we "geared" up for
event and walked over to the venue - soon to recruit a new O&Ser (Brent)
while having a final brew. Then...showtime.
I saw five Quad shows and this one was THE best. It really rocked. The
whole floor stood and it everyone knew most of the words. I took many photos
and got very close to the stage for the encore. It kills me to find out that
many O&Sers were right up front - just a few rows in front of me.
Met Bryan after the show. He soon headed home so I returned to the hotel
bar to find some O&Sers. A few Who fans WERE there but I never spoke to them
for some gorgeous honey who worked at Spectrum was trying to pick ME up! I
wanted to see how for she was going to get...
The next morning I scored a ride up to Albany with 2 guys named Damon
and Tim who were determined to meet Roger. Meeting Damon White led me to
meet Pete. It would never have happened without him. He had already met many
other celeberties before. At a Psychoderelict show in Berkeley he had given
PT a painting whilst in the audience. This guy was driving around the U.S.
promoting himself and his work. He had written 64 stories to accompany 64 of
his paintings. Tim and Damon were also selling T-shirts of the artwork. These
shirts were the KEY to meeting Pete. Anywho, my personal style intrigued Damon
so he just started talking to me. Both being artists - we clicked. They were
leaving pronto so I missed seeing the Liberty Bell :(
They drove me to the Albany pre-show meet at the Parc V cafe. Found the
gang by instantly spotting Max. Joe (very fit and by no means looking old)
was there in good spirits with his wife Michelle, brothers and Roland. Laura,
all the way from Colorado, was there with friend Todd. I had an amazing time
- short but sweet. (Thank you all)
Later, Damon, Tim and I all bought tickets from scalpers outside the
Knick. I didn't sit with them though because I wanted to be on the floor.
Great show but it didn't beat Philly.
After the concert behind the arena, with his T-shirts and chutzpah, Damon
impressed a video engineer named Hamid while talking to him through a bus
window. He told us he would leave tix and passes for 2 at the arena the next
night in N.J. I was supposed to catch a bus home at 1 A.M. so we didn't ask
for an extra. For the next hour or so I struggled making up my mind in some
Deadhead bar. We were there to meet some waitress from the Parc V Cafe. Home
or Who? I kept asking myself....Damon kept assuring me he would get me in.
"You're GONNA meet PETE, man!" Not one muscle in my body was moving
Passion took over reason and I chose The Who Path. We all got rooms at an
Albany motel some time later.
By the time we drove back down south (blasting Amsterdam '69) and hit the
Meadowlands, showtime was very close. Damon and Tim almost got busted for
their bags of T-shirts in the parking lot. Damon stressed sternly "We are
GOING to GIVE THEM TO the BAND." Plain clothes agents were scrutinizing the
goods on the hood of a car.
At the "will call" wicket inside we were told to go the one for
Cool. There we found 2 tix, NO passes and were unable to negotiate for a 3rd.
Bummer. We called Hamid's pager 3x and guarded 2 pay phones. Showtime was 1/2
hour away. Helen, Roger's mother-in-law tried to help us but she couldn't find
anybody. We talked a little - she's so pleasant!
Damon announced he was going around back to see what he could do. 10 mins
later Hamid called to say "sorry" to passes or an extra ticket. Tim
left to go
find Damon. There I was all alone in N.J. thinking about what I stupid choice
I had made when Damon comes from INSIDE with Paul Townshend and a backstage
pass gleaming off his chest! He mouthed "Pete GAVE this to me..." as
went over to the tix wicket. I was then introduced to Paul and Bob Kowalski
who both shook my hand with such respect. Paul said the passes were "a
hard to get tonight". I was asked to wait while all 3 left.
After Tim returned, Paul came out alone with 2 VIP passes for us! What a
great guy! He was sorry but had no ticket for me. I was NOT going to complain.
At Paul's suggestion (his voice was even just like Pete's) I bought one at the
window for $75 U.S. just before we found Damon. These Whofans were absolutely
beaming! "Guys, guys..."Damon shut his eyes and said calmly, "we
are GOING to
the party IN TOWN after the show." Yesssss. It was all too surreal.
I was sitting to the side of JAE in sec. 110 and must have been close to
Randi. During the show a group was collecting at the bottom of the stairs
very close to the stage and not getting kicked back. I couldn't resist and
went down as soon as I could. Everyman & woman was partying and singing ALL
the words. It was fabulous. A fan on my right kept grabbing me and wanted me
to sing with him. At this point in the show Jimmy's into the gin so the light
show started to let loose. The Who were playing so well. I was having a total
blast until some guy wanted to squeeze by to get to his friend below. I had
my arms in the air somewhat so I "helped" him through with my hand on
shoulder. Bad idea - the guy flipped out! He turned around and actually
started to assault me! How dare he! The crowd around pulled him off but he
kept grabbing my leather coat (and pass!) He repeatedly screamed "DON'T
PEOPLE!" in my face as I kept telling him to just enjoy the show. A cool
lookin' female beside me took over and told the ruffian off. She even PUSHED
him a little later on. Gigi said I looked familiar....I was all set to take
some snaps of Pete wigging out at the end of "The Rock" when the
his Rowdy Buddy became completely out of hand. The whole group was forced,
reluctantly, back to their seats. It was too good to last.
About 20 mins later Pete pulled out the Ricky for "Substitute"....That
was the icing on the tour cake.
In the men's room, after this unbelievable show, I ran into Todd from
the Albany pre-show meet. He had come last minute with Laura but, sadly, I
couldn't stick around to talk. I caught up with my cohorts and a large group
of others near some brown doors at the opposite end of the arena from the
stage. People were being granted access quite selectively. Raphael Rudd made
it in. So did Michael Cerveris. Some people were too primed. We played it
placid. Gigi appeared pissed off.
The anxious crowd began to disperse after about 1/2 hour, realizing it
was hopeless getting in. I even heard people murmuring how strange this was.
A few persons remained hanging about talking or...just waiting...like I was.
It was frustrating to be sooooo close.
Damon was yammering away (as he often did) with another group so Tim and
I scoped the arena area from its doorway. I had originally tried to access the
backstage by going "behind" the stage but the security had told me to
other end. A while later a young couple came out of the arena area. The girl
had a signed styrofoam plate and was saying softly "Go down there - RIGHT
As we tried to break Damon away from his conversation, 5 lucky people scooted
on down to the other end way ahead of us. The only security there, now, was
guarding another set of doors. Someone came out as the brown, double doors
swung open...which revealed Pete standing there in the hallway beyond! Then
the doors shut.
HOLY LORD! He was right there! Right behind that door! A bit later the
doors opened again and the guards gestured inwards. The first 5 walked right
in towards Pete and then a guard extended his hand to halt us. "O.K. guys
that's enough" he ordered as Tim and I were crossing the threshold. The
from this action was absolutely excruciating!! The doors shut again. I could
see through a crack that Pete was talking and signing autographs. I felt
ashamed at this lecherous behaviour but I HAD to seize the moment!
When Bill Curbishley exited, I saw Pete look up straight at me. His
expression was cold and uninviting as he probably saw there was "more at
door". Poor Pete. The doors shut yet again but not before an over-zealous
woman tried to run in - which pissed off the guards. My hopes had dwindled to
all but the tiniest flicker. Was I going to get behind those doors..? When...
Pete came out. Coat on and accompanied by 2 or 3 others, he overwhelmed
as he approached and the few of us there just stood watching him. Suddenly,
the eager woman (who was silly for Simon) began hounding Pete for Simon's web
site address - rambling incessantly. He was being very patient with her while
he wrote it down. It seemed she wasn't going to let up so I had to interrupt.
"Pete" I piped. He immediately looked over (definitely hearing me).
name's Stu, I'm a big fan from Montreal" I said, extending my hand. He gave
it a sincere shake, looked me in the eye and nodded. He appeared extremely
fatigued and for the life of me I cannot remember what his reply was. I am
unsure if he even said anything at all. I was actually quite preoccupied with
a skin blemish on the side of his nose illustrating how real and in the flesh
this experience was. Here was Pete standing right in front of me...and he's
just another guy - shorter, too! I've met celebs before but this was something
in its own league. Pete knows nothing about me but I know so much of him - its
odd. He consented to a photograph so I hope he didn't mind when I posed with
my arm round his shoulder. I thanked him and then it was my turn behind the
Damon and Tim flanked Pete on either side as they all held up some of the
magical shirts. I crouched down to get a nice composition for the shot - an
action which produced mockery from the trio. "Hey - hey, I've taken a
in photography - I know what I'm doing" I defended. Harder laughter came
I said "cheese" only to discover the film needed advancing! Through
I could see Pete in good nature but I felt like we were occupying precious
seconds of his time. I hope the photos turn out well. Both those photos were
on Damon's camera and he has yet to mail them to me! When Damon brought up
his and PT's encounter in Berkeley, Pete nodded and said "Yes, I DO recall
Apparent that he wanted to be on his way, it was time to let him go. As
Peter went to leave I remember thanking him for taking Quad on the road and
for playing so well. I also said something to the effect of "Do what YOU
Mr. Townshend rounded some equipment cases towards the door for Parking
Lot 24. I popped off another photo and then he was gone...The farther he
walked away the stronger a feeling surged within me. An escalating, euphoric
sensation of fulfillment awakened me to the cold, hard fact that I HAD JUST
MET PETE! My pilgramage had acheived its apex but not an end. Now...on to
We found the place in Manhattan without a hitch after galloping right thru
that masonic masterpiece of the Lincoln Tunnel. At first Jody Linscott was the
only Who "member" there. She was already engaged in conversation so
Tim and I
milled about. As I ordered, I was befriended by 4 girls from sunny California
who were in NYC for a health seminar but were looking to party. We were all
having a fab time even before The Who started trickling in. I think Paul was
the first but I remember talking to Jon Carin very early in the night. The
topics were his origin and his involvement with TED/STB. Cool guy. Simon came
in wearing an emerald green kepi on his head. He was surrounded and hounded
I think Jody, in a loose grey top, left quite early (1:30am?) but I did
speak to her while Damon was giving her a T-shirt. Incidentally, Paul came in
WEARING Damon's Ying Yang design. We were all reeling with pride.
Later, I was laughing it up with the California girls when Gigi (from the
scuffle on the stairs) tapped me on the shoulder and pointed behind. I craned
my neck, turned and saw The Ox swamped with people. Upon entering, all Who
alumni (sauf Paul) were making their way to the back. John had THE toughest
time. I knew I'd get the chance to talk later - the night was young! During
the whole party I had 6 or 7 seperate conversations with JAE.
One must try and visualize a crammed joint - 1 bar and a few tables - it
was shoulder to shoulder the entire time. Jon Carin even squeezed by at one
point and said "'Scuse me, Stu". At another point I was telling John
was from "The Internet Fan Club" when the guy behind him whips 'round
exclaims "So am I!" 'Twas our own Alan McKendree! We talked for a bit
met some of his friends - another Alan and a Lisa G?
Pete and Roger never showed but no matter - I was in Who Heaven.
I finally had the chance to talk to John about Montreal. I tried to remind
him of when the JAE band had played this spring at my regular spot "Bourbon
Street" (I otherwise would have N E V E R known about the show). I kept on
requesting "Cell No.7" from 5 ft. away and he never did it. What was
He gave me a reply (don't know if I should post it) ended our talk abruptly
and left his seat! Chr*st! What had I done?!? In concert, after my 2nd request
for C#7 he said "I was IN it but I'm not gonna play it." Sorry, John,
a dicey subject but I just have to get to the bottom of this...
Later, I even spoke to John about other matters. I felt so priveleged to
be where I was that I tried to remain inobtrusive. Posting the content of our
conversations just doesn't feel right as some of them ventured into personal
territory. Throughout the night I had been hitting it off with a young lady
my age named Jeri. She said to John "My boss wouldn't let me off to see the
show tonight." To which The Ox retorted "F*CK your boss!" He was
casually in an open collared blue shirt with an "Aztec" motif of
black covered by a light brown hunting vest. Complimented by a shcnazzy watch
and Boris necklace he sported some super-futuristic sneakers. I got a photo of
myself, JAE, and Cara (Cal girl) and another of JAE and Jeri with Zak in back.
To John's utter surprise, Jeri gave him a big sloppy kiss in exchange. All
night I saw him use a variety of facial expressions that are familiar to me
through his interviews and the like. It was uncanny to be sitting down having
a drink with this man!
Jeri and I eventually spoke to Zak. Some fan in a parka had him pinned to
the wall for nigh on 45 mins. I relayed to him the outpour of admiration for
his playing that's been posted to O&S. I also asked him about his stage
for Quad which I find similar to Moon's and how it had come about. Apparently,
he had the same setup when working with an Alan? Ian? McNabb, although nothing
I was having such an unbelievable time I remember at one point talking to
Billy Nichols! I recall being shocked at his deep voice. Like a true Who geek
I talked to him about "Who Came First". All HE wanted to talk about
Eimiller! (joke) :)
The concept of time had been completely abandoned (I was supposed to be
at work in 6 hrs!) it felt like the night was to last forever. Damon and I
even left once to walk a girl Peggy home and twice (!) to get more film. It's
a lucky thing Peggy returned 1/2 hour later because Billy Idol had arrived
during her abscence.
Billy wore purple tinted sunglasses in the dark of bar. Jeri wanted to
meet him so we went over. He had been talking to a girl with long, curly,
brown locks who looked so danged familiar - it was Emma Townshend. From both
Damon's and our encounter with Billy he gave me a really bad impression so I
won't waste time and energy talking about him. Although he was good as The Ace
Ben Townshend and I were similarily dressed which led us to gabbing for
a bit. Some guy joined in the talk who was oblivious to Ben's identity.
Ben, the drummer. The drummer, for Simon's band..." I had an STB postcard
me which I produced for clarification. Ben was so tickled he promptly signed
it for me. I didn't really get the chance to talk to Simon except a few words
before he left. I DID tell Bob Kowalski that O&S is in LOVE with Among Us
is confident and hopeful for some breakthrough in the market. Bob was very
receptive. I took the opportunity and tried to promote our club that night.
Kim Thayil from Soundgarden was present, too, and truly enthused by my
comments on the "Jesus Christ Pose" video.
Towards the end of the party, I recall sitting at a table with John again
- just the 2 of us bantering. Too strange...I chatted with Alan as the event
wound down, unbeknownst to me that Mason and John Brawley were there on that
night! Last call was at 4:00 and the place was taking forever to clear out.
Up at the front a fatigued Entwistle called numerous times for his girlfriend
Lisa, because he was ready to go. He kept looking at me and rolling his eyes
for she was caught up in so many long "good-byes".
Lastly, I again thanked Paul for his extreme generousity and kindness. He
really is a super person. It was all over at about a quarter to five.
Damon and Tim were planning on coming back up to Montreal with me. Upon
arriving in Albany to retrieve some gear at the motel, it was announced that
it was not to be. My voyage back home is another adventure. Within 5 hours of
saying goodnight to The Ox, I found myself alone. Alone with an incredible
story to tell. I had been abducted by a WHO.F.O! Thank the Lord for the pass
and the photos otherwise I would have had a hard time convincing anyone.
I met SO MANY friendly people on my trip and I want to thank ALL of them for
moments that will remain in my memory forever.
The subsequent congratulations from friends and family solidify the sense
that a milestone in my life has been reached...I have no more material wants
or desires (I purchased a car 2 days later)...I can die now......No! Wait a
minute! I never got to meet Roger!
"Mesmerized by just the sight..."
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