A Pair of Legends, Day by Day

A Pair of Legends, Day by Day
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Judy Garland:
The Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Legend
448 pages
August 25, 2006
ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:

Definitive chronicle of remarkable icon Judy Garland.

Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle of The Who, 1958-1978 and Judy Garland: The Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Legend are two entries for the shelf of day-by-day data books. (Is it just me, or does everyone like to look up their birthdays to see what a particular artist was doing then?) Seeing as these two hefty tomes arrived nearly simultaneously I took the next logical step from this serendipitous occurrence and decided to see how they intersected. I found that there were quite a few times when Judy Garland and The Who were all in London at the same time, but they just never met (curiously, one of the last photos of Garland has her looking quite a bit like Keith Moon in loopy choice of apparel). But when they weren’t even on the same continent, that these were simultaneous events gives one pause. Here follow my findings:

On January 18, 1963 was the earliest date of confluence. The Detours (for those who don’t know, before they were named The Who, they were The Detours and then The High Numbers) played at Grand Ballroom in Broadstairs while Judy made an appearance at the White House for Kennedy and Johnson’s inaugural anniversary salute. A month later, on February 17 the band played an afternoon gig in West London followed by an evening show in Acton. Meanwhile Judy and then-hubby Sid Luft went to Las Vegas for two days. On March 4, The Detours were back in Acton on the same day that Judy flew to London. On the tenth she made a television appearance on *Sunday Night at the London Palladium* while the band played at the Douglas House in Bayswater. Back in NYC on March 14 Judy took an overdose of sleeping pills in her suite at the St. Regis Hotel (her hairdresser, Orval Paine, found her in time and summoned a doctor), the same night that The Detours were rocking the Oldfield House in Greenford. The next time they played that venue, June 8, Judy and Sid were giving a combination housewarming and birthday (her 41st) party at their new home in Brentwood.

Jumping ahead to August 20, 1964, now dubbed the High Numbers, the band played at the Majestic Ballroom in Luton while Judy was attending a premiere of the show Maggie May in Liverpool. She also attended the London premiere of the same show on September 23, after which she experience stomach pains and was rushed to the hospital, all while the band was playing nearby at the Town Hall in South East London. They were to play at the Ealing Club, West London on November 21 on the same night Judy was seen as a member of the panel on the British television program Juke Box Jury.

Finally named The Who, 1965 gets gets really interesting on May 26. The band was at a television studio in Bristol to prerecord their appearance for the show Discs A Go-Go, but following a dispute with the producer about lip synching, the group walked out. Back in the USA, Judy visited the Playboy club in Cincinnati, but began feeling ill after leaving, getting worse over next few days. Half a year later, on January 14, 1966, The Who played Municipal Hall in Pontypridd, Wales while Judy attended Phyllis Diller’s performance at the Coconut Grove in LA.

The first date which pinpoints them all on US soil is September 1, 1967. The Who played the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis while Judy visited about eighty veterans at the VA Hospital in Boston, singing them a few numbers, including of course “Over the Rainbow.” A month later they were all nearly in England at the same time, as the band spent October 11 recording some of the fake ads which were to link together The Who Sell Out album. Judy flew to London that day for a brief vacation, but immediately flew back to NYC after a disagreement with the wife of the owner of the production company for whom she was working.

On December 7, 1968 Judy spent a quiet day in Boston with John Meyer, cooking them a dinner of baked beans, sausages and brussel sprouts. Back across the Atlantic, The Who performed at
the university in Bristol, perhaps eating similar dinners themselves. Two days later they played in Bath, after an afternoon cast rehearsal for The Rolling Stones’ Rock & Roll Circus. Back at her Boston apartment, Judy received an eviction notice, due to noise. It gave her six days to vacate. December 30 found Judy in concert at the Talk of the Town in London. However, the band had flown to Paris to tape three songs for a new year’s eve television special.

Judy Garland died in London on June 22, 1969. The Who spent the week of June 20-27 in NYC, during which time the terms for their Woodstock appearance were hammered out.