One of the most successful rock bands of all time will perform at the International Volkswagen Minibus Meeting to be held at the Hanover Exhibition Centre from 5 to 7 October 2007.

The spirit of the untamed 1960s and 70s will be revived amidst Volkswagen Buses of all generations when Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey take to the stage. Five generations of Transporter will meet their idols when “The Who” takes to the stage on Saturday, October 6, as part of the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the Volkswagen Bus.

“When legend meets legend – that’s the ideal dimension for a Volkswagen Bus meeting. Rock legend, The Who, is tailor-made for the Volkswagen Bus and the relationship between the two is mirrored in several of their songs. We are thrilled that we, as Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, can perform together with this super rock-group,” comments Harald Schomburg, member of the brand board of management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has entered co-operation with The Who and is planning other joint activities with the band. “We look forward to being part of a real cult event that is right up our alley, and we intend to rock Hanover,” says Pete Townshend, the band’s creative mastermind.

“I own a Volkswagen Bus together with my partner Rachel Fuller. And we used Volkswagen Buses as transport in our very early days as a band. It was the cool thing to do,” the artist reminisced. “In fact, I even wrote about it in ´Going Mobile´. The Volkswagen Bus was the only true choice at the time, and everyone loved it. It was a mobile hippy home, cult on wheels, and today, still, the Multivan is a great automobile.”

That’s exactly what the song ‘Going Mobile’ is about: “Well I'm gonna find a home on wheels, see how it feels, / Goin' mobile/ Keep me moving/ I can pull up by the curb, /I can make it on the road, /Goin' mobile
I can stop in any street/ And talk with people that we meet”.

The Who vocalist Roger Daltrey is a Volkswagen Bus enthusiast too and says he is looking forward to the event. “All of us in the band are Volkswagen fans. I’ll give my vocal chords an oiling and then give it all I’ve got, until everyone is singing along … ´f-f-fade away´,“ Daltrey promises.

Volkswagen Bus owners who register their vehicles for the event can look forward to the evening’s live gig, when The Who performs hits like ‘My Generation’, ‘Magic Bus’, ‘Who are you’, ‘Can’t explain’ and ‘Going Mobile’.

Set to take the audience back to the days of mods and rockers

The band will take its audience on a trip back to the days of Mods in green parkas versus leather-clad Rockers who in Great Britain of the 1960s were such fierce rivals and whose subculture became an integral part of the historic youth movement immortalised by the cult film ‘Quadrophenia’ produced by The Who’s manager Bill Curbishley. This band appealed to the spirit of an entire generation. The Who’s ‘My Generation’ was a loud signature tune that screamed of rebellion against prevailing rules and norms, and against the whole stuffy establishment. The Who was the living and thumping mouthpiece of English youths who by day went about their obligatory chores in a conservative society but in their spare time called for a revolution.

As an icon of the Mod movement, The Who was an influential force in the British invasion of the international music scene, initially only making a name for itself through the smashing of instruments to smithereens. In the starting years, its music and its image saw The Who, along with the Rolling Stones, representing a more aggressive type of British rock than that of the Beatles. The concept albums ‘Tommy’ and ‘Quadrophenia’ then turned the band into a legend.

It was these ambitious rock operas that helped the English band to achieve international fame. ‘Tommy’, the album, was launched in 1969 – the era of the T2 series Volkswagen Bus first introduced in 1967 – and tells the story of deaf, dumb and blind Tommy Walker. In 1974, a celluloid version of the rock opera was produced, with Roger Daltrey in the role of Tommy.

In contrast, ‘Quadrophenia’, an album produced in 1973, is a retrospective on the roots of the band, focusing back on the rivalry between Mods and Rockers. The film of the same name came to the screen in 1979. This story describes the life of Jimmy, a lonely young Mod, and the turmoil he experiences during his transition to adulthood. ‘Quadrophenia’ is considered to aptly portray the situation of English youths growing up in the mid-60s and severely lacking direction. It was on the back of the reverberating success of both these projects that The Who secured its reputation as one of the most influential rock bands of all time.

2006/2007 European tour regarded as a comeback

The band officially broke up in 1983, later only coming together for an occasional joint performance (such as Live Aid in London in 1985 and a successful concert tour in 1989). Its songs, however, continue to be chart material on radio and television, with the US nu-metal band Limp Bizkit in 2004 producing a highly successful cover version of The Who’s 1971 hit ‘Behind Blue Eyes’. In 2007, ‘My Generation’ was covered, among others, by The Zimmers (a band made up of senior citizens) for a BBC documentary. The Who singles ‘Who Are You’, ‘Won't Get Fooled Again’ and ‘Baba O'Riley’ have likewise enjoyed renewed popularity through their use as theme songs for the American TV crime series ‘CSI’.

In the summer of 2006, The Who embarked on a world comeback tour. The deaths of Keith Moon in 1978 and John Entwistle in 2002 mean the band today only comprises two members from the original line-up: guitarist Pete Townshend and vocalist Roger Daltrey. The tour band nowadays features Zak Starkey, son of Richard Starkey (a.k.a. Beatles drummer Ringo Starr), Pino Palladino, Simon Townshend and John Bundrick. This formation recently gave five concert performances in Germany as part of a European tour this summer.

The Who will be on stage at the Hanover Exhibition Centre at 8pm on Saturday, October 6. Indeed, Volkswagen Bus enthusiasts and other visitors to the International Meeting organised by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles can look forward to an exciting overall programme on each of the three days of the event. The programme will be kicked off on 5 October by a historic automobile convoy through Hanover, followed by an open-air screening of ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, a film in which the classic Volkswagen Bus gets to display its star qualities.

The programme for visitors on Saturday, October 6, will feature an array of show items spanning the entire day and hosted by Germany’s much acclaimed Barbara Schöneberger. Renowned as a quick-witted entertainer, Schöneberger is due to embark on her first-ever concert tour as vocalist with the band The Berlin Pops Orchestra this September.

Hermesplatz in front of Hall 27 of the Exhibition Centre will host a display and contest of the historically most stunning and most original vehicles, the best of which will be up for prizes. The spectacle will get underway around midday and run over the course of the day. The daytime musical highlight will be a performance by Sasha, a winner of Germany’s coveted Echo Award in the category of Best Artist for his alter ego Dick Brave. Sasha will entertain the crowds in the afternoon hours, performing chart hits such as ‘Lucky Day’ and ‘Coming Home’ as well as songs from his recently launched Greatest Hits CD. The supporting act for The Who in the early hours of the evening will be Sweety Glitter and the Sweethearts, a cover band renowned for its garish outfits, who will perform our favourite evergreens from the era of love and peace and rock ’n’ roll. Visitors not participating in the event as Volkswagen Bus exhibitors will be able to watch The Who’s performance on a big screen. No tickets for the concert have been issued to retailers, since the gig was arranged exclusively for active participants of the Meeting. A number of tickets will, however, be distributed by magazines and radio stations. The performance by Sasha will be a free-admission event open to all.

Published : 04/09/07 Author : Melanie Carter

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