For their first concert in Rhode Island in 37 years, the Who are honoring tickets to a canceled show from 1979 following the stampede death of 11 fans on December 3rd, 1979 at Cincinnati's Riverfront Coliseum. The band was originally scheduled to perform on December 17th, 1979 at the Providence Civic Center -- now the Dunkin' Donuts Center -- when then-Mayor Buddy Cianci canceled the show following a city council vote in the aftermath of the Cincinnati debacle. The band instead returned to Largo, Maryland's Capitol Centre for a second Washington, D.C.-area stop to fill-in the spot of the canceled gig.
Now, Who fans that have clung to those $14 tickets can either hold on to their keepsakes, or trade them in for a ticket to the band's February 26th "Quadrophenia And More" tour closing gig at "The Dunk," as it's affectionately known. The Boston Globe reported that redeemed tickets will benefit the Special Olympics of Rhode Island. Dunkin' Donuts Center General Manager Lawrence Lepore says 1979 ticket holders can call his office to exchange their 33-year-old tickets for seats to the 2013 show.
- Pete Townshend revealed to us how the Who and its entourage dealt with the news of the Cincinnati tragedy following their show at Riverfront Coliseum: "That incident alone, was just appalling to me, absolutely appalling -- I can't tell you. But what actually happened was I dealt with it, and the pain that it cause me, I think we all did, Bill Curbishley, me -- our manager -- y'know, a couple of the guys involved in the promotion of the concert, y'know, certainly all of us in the band and the women that were traveling with us at the time, whoever it was, y'know, by sitting there and getting drunk! There seemed to be nothing else that we could do, y'know, otherwise none of us were ever going to sleep. Y'know, we didn't know if we were responsible or not. We had no way or knowing what our role in it was."
- The Who North American tour dates (subject to change):
November 1 - Sunrise, FL - BankAtlantic Center
November 3 - Orlando, FL - Amway Center
November 5 - Duluth, GA - The Arena At Gwinnett Center
November 8 - Greenville, SC - Bi-Lo Center
November 9 - Greensboro, NC - Greensboro Coliseum
November 11 - Pittsburgh, PA - Consol Energy Center
November 13 - Washington, DC - Verizon Center
November 14 - Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center
November 16 - Boston, MA - TD Garden
November 20 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
November 21 - Ottawa, ON - Scotiabank Place
November 23 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
November 24 - Detroit, MI - Joe Louis Arena
November 27 - Minneapolis, MN - Target Center
November 29 - Rosemont, IL - Allstate Arena
December 2 - Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena
December 5 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden Arena
December 6 - Newark, NJ - Prudential Center
December 8 - Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center
December 9 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
January 28 - Anaheim, CA - Honda Center
January 30 - Los Angeles, CA - Staples Center
February 1 - Oakland, CA - Oracle Arena
February 2 - Reno, NV - Reno Events Center
February 5 - San Diego, CA - Valley View Casino Center
February 6 - Glendale, AZ - Jobing.com Arena
February 8 - Las Vegas, NV - The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel / Casino
February 12 - Denver, CO - Pepsi Center
February 14 - Tulsa, OK - BOK Center
February 16 - Louisville, KY - KFC Yum! Center
February 17 - Columbus, OH - Schottenstein Center
February 19 - Hamilton, ON - Copps Coliseum
February 21 - Uniondale, NY - Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
February 22 - Atlantic City, NJ - Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall
February 24 - Manchester, NH - Verizon Wireless Arena
February 26 - Providence, RI - Dunkin' Donuts Center
- Although the investigation had placed the blame for the Cincinnati tragedy on poor planning on the part of the venue, which only opened a small number of entrances for thousands of general admission fans, the Who have lived with the stigma of the 11 deaths since the tour. The band's career-spanning DVD Amazing Journey: The Story Of The Who, includes a featurette dealing with the Cincinnati tragedy.
- In 2007 Pete Townshend spoke about the importance about finally addressing the Cincinnati deaths, telling Billboard, "At last we can admit we should have stayed there after the Cincinnati tragedy. This didn't happen to us, it happened to those who died and were injured and their families. We were so frightened and shaken by the tragedy that we got drunk after the show and cried a lot. But that wasn't really what we needed to do. We needed to accept that this was not our fault, not our doing, not the fault of rock 'n' roll. But nonetheless (it was) something that we were a part of and we needed to be counted, and counted on. What happened was we ran away, went on tour, the show must go on."
DID YOU KNOW???
- Roger Daltrey has played one solo show in Rhode Island over the years, with John Entwistle returning a total of four times on his own. Pete Townshend has never performed solo in Rhode Island.
- Interestingly, despite such a die-hard legion of New England fans, the Who have only performed twice in the state of Rhode Island -- on July 18th, 1968 at the Rhode Island Auditorium and on December 13th, 1975 at the Providence Civic Center.
CHECK IT OUT: The Who on December 28th, 1979 performing "The Real Me" live at London's Hammersmith Odeon during The Concerts For The People Of Kampuchea:
Pete Townshend on the Who concert tragedy in Cincinatti
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