Sad week in Whoville

The Who family has lost three important friends this week, with the passing of Chris Stamp, Mike Shaw and Frank Barselona.

Pete has posted lovely tributes for each up on website.

A few major publications have also posted tributes for Chris Stamp, including Rolling Stone, Billboard, and The Guardian.

Irish Jack, a long time friend of The Who since the early days of the Goldhawk Club, has posted a couple excerpts from his stories as a tribute to Chris and Mike on his Facebook page. Jack was kind enough to allow these excerpts to be posted here.

A Tribute from Irish Jack

For Chris Stamp.

An excerpt from my web site story 'Let's Have Dinner'

Some time later in early November 1964 I contacted my Mod friend Martin Gaish. He told me that Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp were moving out of the apartment they shared at 113 Ivor Court and moving to a bigger place at 84 Eaton Place. I wondered how they could afford to live in such opulence when they appeared to have very little money and the band were practically playing for bottle-tops. I met Gaish as arranged at Hammersmith and we got the tube to Sloane Square. The Who's "office" turned out to be the drawing room of this big apartment. It was a class and artistocratic area with a plaque outside one house saying that was where the composer Chopin had performed his last piece. I don't think that Lambert and Stamp had any plans on a plaque to The High Numbers. There were three steps and two pillars to the front door. Inside the walls and doors were painted white and the numbers on the apartment doors were brass fitted. I said to Gaish, "There's enough brass here to keep us in pills for a month."  Gaish whispered back, "Jack, don't nick nuffink for God's sake."  Lambert opened the door and led us through. It was the biggest room I'd ever been in. Expensive furniture and oil paintings filled the room. Resting on one of the settees was a long row of blues and Tamla Motown albums, many of them rarities. Gaish ran an eye over the collection and enquired, "Pete moved in yet?"  Lambert looked at him, "Yes, well, almost you could say."  Lambert had a clipped way of speaking and sounded like someone from the BBC. He was about five maybe six years older than me. I was about to ask if Chris Stamp was around whom I still hadn't met when the drawing room doors opened from the bedroom and this tall, aristocratic, good looking guy with film star looks, entered. It was Stamp. He took a light from Lambert's lighter, sat down and began to study myself and Gaish. He looked so cool, the kind of guy you could never impress with flash carry-on. He looked about the same age as Lambert but was tall, wiry and thin boned with a parting in the middle of his lank hair. I have to say I was very impressed when Lambert had told me a couple of weeks earlier that his business partner Stamp was working in Dublin on the film 'Young Cassidy'  -  but when Stamp opened his mouth I couldn't believe it. He looked aristocratic alright but with a Cockney accent. He was the complete opposite to Lambert. Chris Stamp, brother of Terence the actor, was from Plaistow in east London and he wanted people to know it. Lambert spoke : "What we'd like you and Jack to do Martin is try and get as many of your friends to come along to our opening night at the Marquee next Tuesday." Gaish was quick off the mark, "Are we gettin' paid for this, Kit?"  "Whaaatt", Stamp laughed. Then we all laughed. Stamp moved to the window and gazed out at the traffic. He spoke without looking back, "What we need Kit is some kind of club."  "Yes, a Mod grapevine?" retorted Lambert. They were like two college professors discussing philosophy and chain smoking at the same time. These guys were light years ahead of the likes of me and Martin Gaish. They were cooler than cool, if you know what I mean. Stamp remained at the window - "Some kind of Mods society that could put the word around...."  Lambert had an idea, "We could start up something like an exclusive club. How many Mods do you know at the Goldhawk, Martin?"  "Bloody hundreds," Gaish replied. Nobody spoke for a couple of minutes. Then Stamp suggested, "How about the One Hundred Mods? The Faces?"  He turned, stubbed his cigarette into a large ashtray and had a final stab, "How about the One Hundred Faces?"  Lambert looked excited but still cool. Then Chris Stamp said, "No - The Hundred Faces !"  I looked across at Martin Gaish, he looked back at me and smiled. We still didn't dare interrupt. Then Kit Lambert spitfired five words with well targeted Oxford eloquence...."It's perfect. Let's have dinner."  -So thank you Chris Stamp, I'll never forget you.

For Mike Shaw.

An excerpt from 'Life On The Line' from my story-tape 'The Pure Beach Boy'

On Keith Moon's death..

Having heard the awful unbelievable news on Radio Luxembourg on that evening September 7th 1978, I realised there was only one place I had to be, needed to be. I used up my return air ticket and went straight to the Trinifold office at 114 Wardour Street. I found Bill and Jackie Curbishley in tears and worn out having had to stay up all night taking transatlantic calls. Chris Chappel was unable to work at his desk and refused to go home. Preferring instead to sit alone in his office numbed and surrounded by Who paraphernalia. In fact, the only person who was capable of talking and telling me about what had happened to Keith was Mike Shaw, the Who's one-time lighting man and who had a scooter permanently and delicately parked outside Lambert and Stamp's old office at Eaton Place. Indeed, Mike himself was no stranger to showing a brave face under adversity. He had lost the use of both legs as a result of falling asleep behind the wheel of his Mini-Cooper whilst driving to Liverpool to promote a charity event to keep the Cavern club open in The Who's early days. And after a long spell at Stoke Manderville hospital Mike had returned to work for The Who from behind a desk at Trinifold. An admirable and very brave paraplegic. I looked around the office that afternoon and saw it in a way I had never seen it before. It seemed like a million miles from the gold album decorated reception of just a week earlier when Moon drank cognac and had the hysterical telephone conversation with recently appointed Who publicist Tony Prior. And as I watched the various Who personnel arrive and depart with whatever task they had been entrusted to perform, it occurred to me that we were all members of a family called WHO; only we were usually too taken up with something or other to stop and realise it. It was Mike Shaw's calm that talked me through it that day and it is to him that I shall be eternally grateful. Mike's office had a glass partition separating it from reception allowing him to look out at passing activity from his wheel-chair. As I sat with him part of the day began to slowly drift by in a kind of haze and we two hadn't been closer in the fourteen, fifteen years I had known Mike. He was telling me some of his own special memories of Keith Moon, each one seemed so outrageously funny and typical of the born comic which Moon surely was. Anecdote after anecdote until it occurred to me that Mike was deliberately slowing me down, keeping me occupied, realising that if I were left to my own devices I would be across the little courtyard in the Ship Bar drinking myself into oblivion. So thank you Mike Shaw, I'll never forget you.

Chris Stamp, Mike Shaw, Irish Jack
Roger's 50th Carnegie Hall NY Feb 23 1994