Who’s Covering The Who?

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

VH1’s “Rock Honors” special, celebrating generation-spanning English rockers the Who, premieres July 17th, with performances by Pearl Jam, the Foo Fighters, the Flaming Lips, and Incubus. VH1’s annual “Rock Honors” special has saluted rock heroes like Queen, KISS, ZZ Top, and other cherished rock and rollers over the past two years, but this marks the first time they’ve chosen to focus on just one band—the Who.




VH1’s “Rock Honors” special, celebrating generation-spanning English rockers the Who, premieres July 17th, with performances by Pearl Jam, the Foo Fighters, the Flaming Lips, and Incubus. VH1’s annual “Rock Honors” special has saluted rock heroes like Queen, KISS, ZZ Top, and other cherished rock and rollers over the past two years, but this marks the first time they’ve chosen to focus on just one band—the Who. 

The tribute’s participants seem appreciative of the chance to perform songs written by beloved guitarist Pete Townshend and vocalist Roger Daltrey. Various artists performing for this year’s “Rock Honors” divulged details of the Who’s influence on their musicianship.

“The Who were the ones for me,” Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne told Billboard. “I had seen this slew of bands in high school, like Led Zeppelin and the bands that are now the pillars of classic rock. But the Who were the most religious. I walked around for years after wondering why all bands didn’t play like the Who. The more I found out about music, art and intensity, the Who always remained true.”

Filmed Saturday, July 12 at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion, the tribute show was just one event in an entire weekend devoted to the Who. Los Angeles fans spent the weekend worshiping the rock gods by attending events like guitar sessions at L.A.’s Guitar Center, karaoke night at the Blue Goose Lounge, rock honors night at Whisky A Go-Go, and a special art exhibit at Gallery 319 featuring original paintings—one of which is a portrait of Pete Townshend—by Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane/Starship.


This Thursday, the show will air at 9/8 central for those who have a hankering for some rock and roll and a performance by the honorees themselves—yes, the Who ends the show with a bang—and leaves tribute performer Brandon Boyd of Incubus satisfied. Boyd told Billboard he’d never seen the Who live, but had stolen plenty of vocal tricks from Roger Daltrey. 


To find out more about VH1’s “Rock Honors” tribute special, what you may have missed the past two years, and what you should expect to come, visit VH1’S SITE.


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