It was 33 years ago tonight (February 8th, 1988) that the Who performed for the last time with drummer Kenney Jones as an official member of the group. The band — Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, and Jones — reunited for a three-song set at London's Royal Albert Hall during the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) awards, after receiving the prestigious lifetime achievement award. The group, who hadn't performed live since 1985's Live Aid concert, tore through their hits “Who Are You,” “My Generation,” and “Substitute,” but were hardly at the top of their game. Talks had already begun about the band reuniting for some type of major project in time for their 25th anniversary in 1989.
Townshend told the band he didn't want to tour, preferring instead to record. He tossed around the idea of having outside writers such as Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen contribute material for the album, but nothing came to pass. Townshend has gone on record saying that the band couldn't raise the proper funds to record a new album, and Daltrey was adamant that he wouldn't carry on as the Who with Jones as a member.
Jones was a longtime friend of the group, and co-founded both the Small Faces and the Faces before playing on Who-related projects like the Tommy and Quadrophenia film soundtracks. He was made a full member of the band in late-1978 after drummer Keith Moon died. Jones also drummed on Townshend's first mainstream solo album, Empty Glass, and was featured on the album's standout track, “Rough Boys.”