From left, The Who's John Entwistle, Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon and Pete Townshend in 1973. Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
From left, The Who's John Entwistle, Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon and Pete Townshend in 1973. Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

The Who: still volatile and vital after 50 years



It started as an accident. The Who were playing in front of hundreds of frenzied fans at the Railway Hotel in Harrow, west London.

Pete Townshend lifted his guitar high and heard a screeching noise from his instrument. He had pushed the guitar through the ceiling.

In a fit of temper, he again smashed the guitar into the roof and when it was almost destroyed, he held it high above his head – he had performed his first act of what he would call “auto destruction”.

From that moment, in 1964, it was the expected ending of every Who concert – Townshend would smash his guitar, the drummer Keith Moon would kick violently at his drum kit, sending it flying towards the audience, and the singer Roger Daltrey would throw his mic stand across the stage hoping to hit a cymbal or two. Meanwhile, the bass guitarist John Entwistle would just look on, mystified by all the violence taking place.

Just months before Townshend destroyed that first guitar, The Who had changed their name from The Detours. But according to Daltrey, the band weren’t really born until, during a break at a gig, a cheeky little teenager dressed all in ginger walked up to him and said: “I can play drums better than that bloke you have.”

Daltrey decided to let him have a go and after Keith Moon had played so violently – it is said he almost destroyed the drum kit – Daltrey, Townshend and Entwistle knew they had found the final piece in The Who jigsaw. And so the most influential – certainly the loudest, most violent and best live – band in the music world was born.

At the end of 1964 The Who released their first single, I Can't Explain. That was followed by Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere which, like its predecessor, reached the top 20 of the UK music charts.

Next, Townshend wrote My Generation – the song that not only became their most well known, but a number that contained one of the most memorable lines in rock history: "I hope I die before I get old."

The Who in those days were “a blokes’ band”. Unlike The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, who both enjoyed a large female following, The Who’s audience was predominantly male. Testosterone-filled young men crammed into Who concerts and, inevitably, fights would break out. Townshend, Daltrey and Moon, not averse to a bit of fisticuffs themselves, would sometimes join in.

Despite the acclaim, The Who were still financially poor – having to buy new instruments after every gig may have had something to do with that. Then along came the seminal album Tommy, Townshend's rock opera about a deaf, dumb and blind boy, which was released in 1969 and became an instant success, selling millions worldwide.

Six years later, Tommy was made into a successful movie – directed by Ken Russell and starring Daltrey, Jack Nicholson, Elton John, Tina Turner and Oliver Reed – as was their next highly acclaimed rock musical, 1973's Quadrophenia, which arrived on the big screen six years later starring The Police singer Sting, Ray Winstone and Phil Daniels.

Perhaps their most acclaimed album, however, was 1971's Who's Next. It will probably go down as Townshend's most brilliant work, filled with classic tracks, from Baba O'Reily and Behind Blue Eyes to The Song Is Over and Won't Get Fooled Again.

The Who have now celebrated 50 years. They survived the death of Moon in 1978 and the death of Entwistle in 2002 – they are still among us because of Townshend’s songwriting and Daltrey’s sometimes gentle, but more often powerful, and indeed brutal, voice.

They survived because those two did not die before they got old.

cwhebell@thenational.ae

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

Where to donate in the UAE

The Emirates Charity Portal

You can donate to several registered charities through a “donation catalogue”. The use of the donation is quite specific, such as buying a fan for a poor family in Niger for Dh130.

The General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments

The site has an e-donation service accepting debit card, credit card or e-Dirham, an electronic payment tool developed by the Ministry of Finance and First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Al Noor Special Needs Centre

You can donate online or order Smiles n’ Stuff products handcrafted by Al Noor students. The centre publishes a wish list of extras needed, starting at Dh500.

Beit Al Khair Society

Beit Al Khair Society has the motto “From – and to – the UAE,” with donations going towards the neediest in the country. Its website has a list of physical donation sites, but people can also contribute money by SMS, bank transfer and through the hotline 800-22554.

Dar Al Ber Society

Dar Al Ber Society, which has charity projects in 39 countries, accept cash payments, money transfers or SMS donations. Its donation hotline is 800-79.

Dubai Cares

Dubai Cares provides several options for individuals and companies to donate, including online, through banks, at retail outlets, via phone and by purchasing Dubai Cares branded merchandise. It is currently running a campaign called Bookings 2030, which allows people to help change the future of six underprivileged children and young people.

Emirates Airline Foundation

Those who travel on Emirates have undoubtedly seen the little donation envelopes in the seat pockets. But the foundation also accepts donations online and in the form of Skywards Miles. Donated miles are used to sponsor travel for doctors, surgeons, engineers and other professionals volunteering on humanitarian missions around the world.

Emirates Red Crescent

On the Emirates Red Crescent website you can choose between 35 different purposes for your donation, such as providing food for fasters, supporting debtors and contributing to a refugee women fund. It also has a list of bank accounts for each donation type.

Gulf for Good

Gulf for Good raises funds for partner charity projects through challenges, like climbing Kilimanjaro and cycling through Thailand. This year’s projects are in partnership with Street Child Nepal, Larchfield Kids, the Foundation for African Empowerment and SOS Children's Villages. Since 2001, the organisation has raised more than $3.5 million (Dh12.8m) in support of over 50 children’s charities.

Noor Dubai Foundation

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the Noor Dubai Foundation a decade ago with the aim of eliminating all forms of preventable blindness globally. You can donate Dh50 to support mobile eye camps by texting the word “Noor” to 4565 (Etisalat) or 4849 (du).

Bharatanatyam

A ancient classical dance from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Intricate footwork and expressions are used to denote spiritual stories and ideas.

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Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Some clients also have a higher appetite for risk, given the low interest-rate environment that does not provide enough yield for some institutional investors. These clients are keen to invest in illiquid assets, such as private equity and infrastructure.

“What we have seen is a desire for higher returns in what has been a low-return environment specifically in various fixed income or bonds,” he said.

“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”

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16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side
8 There are eight players per team
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5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls
4 Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

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1. Make sure you make your payments on time;

2. Limit the number of products you borrow on: the more loans and credit cards you have, the more it will affect your credit score;

3. Don't max out all your debts: how much you maximise those credit facilities will have an impact. If you have five credit cards and utilise 90 per cent of that credit, it will negatively affect your score.

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Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

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Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

The biog

Age: 35

Inspiration: Wife and kids 

Favourite book: Changes all the time but my new favourite is Thinking, Fast and Slow  by Daniel Kahneman

Best Travel Destination: Bora Bora , French Polynesia 

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Android Alpha

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Android 12 (Snow Cone*)

Android 13 (Tiramisu*)

Android 14 (Upside Down Cake*)

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Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

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Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

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Engine: 5.2-litre V10

Power: 640hp at 8,000rpm

Torque: 565Nm at 6,500rpm

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Price: From Dh1 million

On sale: Q3 or Q4 2022

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Company name: Fasset
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Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

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ABU DHABI'S KEY TOURISM GOALS: BY THE NUMBERS

By 2030, Abu Dhabi aims to achieve:

• 39.3 million visitors, nearly 64% up from 2023

• Dh90 billion contribution to GDP, about 84% more than Dh49 billion in 2023

• 178,000 new jobs, bringing the total to about 366,000

• 52,000 hotel rooms, up 53% from 34,000 in 2023

• 7.2 million international visitors, almost 90% higher compared to 2023's 3.8 million

• 3.9 international overnight hotel stays, 22% more from 3.2 nights in 2023

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Rating: ★★★★

Quick facts on cancer
  • Cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide, after cardiovascular diseases 
  • About one in five men and one in six women will develop cancer in their lifetime 
  • By 2040, global cancer cases are on track to reach 30 million 
  • 70 per cent of cancer deaths occur in low and middle-income countries 
  • This rate is expected to increase to 75 per cent by 2030 
  • At least one third of common cancers are preventable 
  • Genetic mutations play a role in 5 per cent to 10 per cent of cancers 
  • Up to 3.7 million lives could be saved annually by implementing the right health
    strategies 
  • The total annual economic cost of cancer is $1.16 trillion

 

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Director: Rick Famuyiwa

Stars: Pedro Pascal and Katee Sackhoff

Rating: 4/5 

The specs: 2018 Chevrolet Trailblazer

Price, base / as tested Dh99,000 / Dh132,000

Engine 3.6L V6

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Power 275hp @ 6,000rpm

Torque 350Nm @ 3,700rpm

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