The Who

Fri, 29 March 1968:

Madison, NJ, Baldwin Gymnasium, Drew University

Setlist

No known setlist

Note

Confirmed David Goessling. He attended the show!

Fanreports

Greg Granquist

If you're interested in any more facts about this show, I recall it well. I was Drew University's newly elected Social Chairman, and the Who concert was the first rock concert of many I organized over the next two years. I booked the show through Premier Talent Agency in NYC. The agent's name was Sean LaRoche. The Who was paid $4000 for a 45 minute show. An opening act, Orpheus, received $500 (Orpheus was a Boston group with a psychedelic sound characteristic of a number of groups from that city). With other costs, the concert's budget ran to $5500. This was a lot from Drew's perspective, considering that the University's entire yearly allotment for weekly dances, films, and four or so pop concerts, was $15,000.

Believe it or not, the show lost money, about $1500. The Who were relatively unknown, even in Northern N.J., despite the radio play of "Happy Jack", the prior year. This was the pre-Tommy era, and "the Who?" was no joke to a fledgling promoter. The picture of a can of baked beans on the group's newest album wasn't particularly inspiring promotional material either. The venue, the Baldwin Gym, had a capacity of 1500 seats, but only about 900 tickets were sold, at $4.50 per seat. The price was considered moderately high at the time, when most concert tickets cost about $3.50.

Choosing the group was not a no-brainer. At the time, the average Drew student's taste ran more to the likes of The Letterman and The 5th Dimension. Only two pop groups had appeared at Drew in prior years - The Lovin Spoonful and The Young Rascals. Hardly The Who, who were obscure and far too "hard rock" to all but about 10% of the student body - even in those "psychedelic '60s".

The concert, however, was absolutely an artistic success. I saw only a part of the show, due to backstages duties, but I do recall the energy of the group's performance, in particular, Keith Moon, as well as their harmonies. I remember the group having white Sgt.Pepper type outfits and I believe Townsend smashed a guitar at the close. In later years, I saw the group again, twice at the Fillmore, and once at Forest Hills. The Drew concert, I think, being pre-Tommy, was more interesting, and also "faster, harder, louder", a definite pre-cursor of Punk. Drew was fortunate to have the group. It was like getting in on shares of Microsoft in 1985.

Over the next two years, Jefferson Airplane, Frank Zappa and the Mothers, Jethro Tull, Canned Heat, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Iron Butterfly, Chuck Berry, Richie Havens, John Mayall, Eric Andersen performed at Drew. It was a great time to be young, a music fan, and be in the position to promote concerts. I graduated in 1971, two years behind my class, kicking, screaming, and (as per the lyrics of "The Circle Game") dragging my feet to slow the circles down.

Line Up

More Info

The Who in Madison, NJ

Gallery

Promo Add, Baldwin Gymnasium 1968