John Entwistle

Tue, 30 June 1987:

Chicago, IL, McCormick Place


Summertime Blues, My Generation, See Me Feel Me, Higher, Sparks, Pinball Wizard, Won't Get Fooled Again


North American Music Merchandisers trade show. I changed the venue from McCormick Place to Vic Theatre.


Jon Hammond

I happened to see you have a timeline of John's gigs in '87 beginning with the NAMM show. What you don't know is what happened before that and how John came to play with Rat Race Choir at NAMM. By the way, it was not at McCormick it happened in the Vic Theatre. I was filming it for my tv show here in NY.

Prior to that event, Joe Berger and I were in Germany with John at Musikmesse in Frankfurt and we did the Soundcheck Party at Dorian Gray club at Frankfurt Flughafen with Norbert Hilbich of Sennheiser handling John's electronics. We filmed Joe Berger jamming together with John and his godson Zak Starkey playing drums. Also Jack Bruce and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd. I remember it well and have shown it several times on my tv show here in NY.

Joe convinced John to come to Chicago to do a set of Who material with Rat Race Choir. It came off so perfect that he couldn't believe it himself until Joe and I flew to London to meet him with the film for him to review. On the basis of that he agreed to come back to USA to do a Fall '87 tour with members of Rat Race Choir. In the beginning it was with Mark Hitt on guitar, Steve Luongo drums, Jack Hotop keyboards, Dave the singer from Rat Race Choir, Joe Berger mixing and I was the cameraman/videographer.

Leslie West opened up the first shows and he also played just before them on the Vic Theatre show in Chicago along with TM Stevens on bass and Steve Luongo backed up Leslie also. The day of the Bottomline show we did the Howard Stern Show to promote the concert which was a Blood Drive, to attend the concert everybody had to donate blood. The Who's managers attended that night. I could see them as I was filming. Tears were running down their faces. (It sounded so good) They reported back to Peter Townshend who then in turn sent a terse telegram to John expressing his displeasure with John for playing the Who music with the American blokes.

2 weeks later The Who began rehearsels for a reunion tour. Prior to that Peter and John were not on speaking terms, so let it be known that Joe Berger is the man (and myself in part) responsible for getting the Who back together in 1987. Joe and Steve continued working with John in various formations for 15 years until John unfortunately passed away.

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John Entwistle in Chicago, IL