When Pete Meaden was introduced to The Who by their original manager he set about transforming them to appeal to the burgeoning mod scene. Changing their name, providing lyrics, proposing haircuts, planning their wardrobe and introducing them to a world of “faces” and “tickets”.
Here’s a bunch of shots of the (at the time) newly fashioned Who (they never looked better than this period for my money) and a few words from Who front man Roger Daltrey on the enigma that is Pete Meaden.
“Our Mod look was engineered by our first manager, a very bright boy named Peter Meaden. At that time in England, 90 percent of the bands resembled either the Rolling Stones or the Beatles. If anything, we were similar to the Stones. We had long hair, and we played a scruffy kind of blues music. It was Peter who made us aware that the whole thing was more than just music. It was about image, too.
He said, “Everybody had long hair. Get yours cut.” That was an incredibly dangerous thing to do because kids with long hair over their collars were dying to get thrown out of school. To walk in with short hair was taking a very big chance, but it worked.
The Mod look was very clean-cut, Ivy League, fashion conscious, which was exactly opposite from the Stones. Peter told us to do it, and he was right. Our personalities didn’t change, we were still a bunch of rotten, dirty-boy rock’n’rollers, but kids began identifying with our short hair and Ivy League clothes, and it just took off from there.”