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© Amalie R. Rothschild, 1969
"The Who’s performance of “Tommy” was a shining moment for me since I played a major role in pulling together the theater’s technical staff and getting them to convince Bill Graham to put up the money for a special production budget. It seemed absurd to me that The Who would stand on stage and simply play “Tommy” as if it was just any other concert when there was a libretto to work with for putting together the light show. We persuaded Bill that here was an opportunity to give the public a real theatrical experience, and even though he didn’t have to do it since all the performances were already sold out, he came up with $5000. So the Joshua Light Show worked out an entire scenario to accompany the opera with special effects and appropriate imagery. We built a new 60 foot wide curved light show screen, flying mattes and scrims. I got a $500 budget all to myself to create special effects film sequences and did an elaborate job for the “Acid Queen” number. Tom Shoesmith, the light show’s lumia artist, created a break away mirror effect that was very successful night after night, as seen in this photograph. And the regular F.E. weekly printed program was expanded to include the whole text of the rock opera."
SUSAN BRANDT BLACHLEY STAFF PICK:
Oh to have been at that show! The Who performing Tommy at the Fillmore East would be the ultimate show. To read about how Ebet Roberts was a major part of the light production is fascinating and makes me even more in awe. The whole band looks incredible and I try to imagine where that moment finds them in Tommy.
The Who Perform Tommy at Fillmore East, October 24, 1969 by Amalie R. Rothschild
Color: Black and White
Type: Silver Gelatin
Edition: Limited Edition
Morrison Hotel Gallery Prints
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