'The Who FAQ': Notes and Errata

Hey, we all make mistakes, which is why I love writing on Psychobabble. Anytime I screw up, it can be easily corrected. When writing an old-fashioned paper book like The Who FAQ: All That's Left to Know About Fifty Years of Maximum R&B, those typos, poor choices of words, sloppy errors, and outright blunders are tougher to fix. As I've gone back over The Who FAQ, I've noticed quite a few things that make me crazy. I'll be using this page to clarify and correct such missteps.
  • On pages 31 and 76, I mark "I'm the Face" as the A-side of The Who's first single (as The High Numbers). This may be an error but I've had trouble confirming that. According to Who expert Chris Charlesworth in both his book The Who, "I'm the Face" was indeed originally the A-side of this single and "Zoot Suit" was the B-side but the sides were reversed when re-issued in late '64 or early '65 (Charlesworth and Ed Hanel's notes in the Thirty Years of Maximum R&B box set also place "I'm the Face" on the A-side and "Zoot Suit" on the back). Other authors of Who books, such as Richard Barnes, Dave Marsh, John Atkins, and Richie Unterberger, also single out "I'm the Face" as the original and rightful A-side. However, major Who fan Brian Cady writes that it was only the band's intention to put "I'm the Face" on the A-side and the Fontana label mistakenly placed "Zoot Suit"on the A-side from the very beginning. The idea that "Zoot Suit" is the actual A-side is the one most present on the Internet today and this track was the one selected to represent the debut single on the new compilation The Who Hits 50. This may be because all images of the Fontana label on the Internet depict "Zoot Suit" as the A-side, but if these images are all from the late '64/early '65 re-issue of which Charlesworth wrote, then that writer's (and my) version of the story may be the correct one. 
  • In the last complete paragraph on page 93, the word "combining" should be "combing."
  • On page 96, I refer to an element of the Union Jack as "Ireland's St. Andrew's saltire." In fact,  St. Andrew's saltire was pulled from the Scottish flag, while St. Patrick's red saltire represents Ireland.
  • On page 161, I made a big mistake when I referred to A Quick One as The Who's first partial-stereo LP. In fact, A Quick One was initially released in mono only. That album's US version, Happy Jack, was The Who's first part-stereo/part-fake stereo LP.
  • On page 164, the phrase "In the three decades..." that appears in the final paragraph should read "In the four decades..."
  • On page 189, I quoted the notoriously unreliable Shel Talmy, who once claimed that Jimmy Page played rhythm guitar on The Kinks' "You Really Got Me". Although I indicated this was a "claim" and not a fact, I think I could have been much clearer. So to be very clear, Page played nothing on "You Really Got Me" and Talmy's claim was a false one that he later retracted. This will be corrected in the second edition of The Who FAQ.
  • On page 202, I flippantly refer to Prefab Sprout as "limp synth-poppers" when I should have merely referred to their track "Hey Manhattan" as "limp synth-pop." In fact, Prefab Sprout put out some genuinely fab stuff. Sorry, Prefab!
  • On page 220, the phrase "Burrell's sweet fingerpicking" at the end of the first complete paragraph should read "Montgomery's sweet fingerpicking..."
  • On page 236, I wrote that a review of "I Can See for Miles" inspired Paul McCartney to write "Helter Skelter". In fact, it was not a review but a quote from Pete Townshend himself.
  • On page 251, I botched the order of the banished bands in The Clash's "1977" as "No Beatles, Elvis, or The Rolling Stones in 1977". Joe Strummer actually sings "No Elvis, Beatles, or The Rolling Stones in 1977."
  • On page 297, the first sentence of the second complete paragraph should begin "Unlike Entwistle and Moon..." not "Unlike Townshend and Moon..."
  • In the last full sentence of page 336, the word "draught" should be "drought".
  • I refer to Townshend as "religious" several times in the book when I think "spiritual" would have been a much better choice of words.
  • A few times I refer to Tommy Walker as a messiah. In fact, he is not a messiah even though his followers believe he is before they abandon him.


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