The High Numbers at the Railway Hotel, 1964

In 1961 a band called The Detours was formed by Pete Townsend with John Entwhistle on bass, joined by Doug Sandom on drums and Colin Dawson as lead singer in 1962, replaced by Rogers in 1963. The Detours became a rock and roll and R&B band performing in pubs and clubs around West London.

In 1964 they changed their name to The Who and were managed by a doorknob manufacturer from Shepherd’s Bush called Helmut Gorden.  Keith Moon joined the band in the same year following an audition at the Oldfield Hotel in Greenford and Peter Meaden, a mod fanatic, becomes the group’s publicist changing their name to The High Numbers, shaping them into a mod band and releasing their first single on Fontana Records; “I’m The Face / Zoot Suit”.

Meaden was like a mentor to Townsend who adored his mod ethos and knowlegede of music and fashion. Though Townsend always felt awkward in his physique, it wasn’t until Meaden dressed the High Numbers up that he discovered his own identity as a mod.  Entwhistle notoriously hated the look that Meaden gave The High Numbers especially the haircut he was forced into.  Daltry was never certain of Meaden’s capabilities either and only looked on him as a publicist, whilst Moon loved him.

Film makers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp took over from Meaden as the band’s manager after spotting them performing in the Railway Hotel in Wealdstone, London.

This is rare footage of The High Numbers, filmed by Stamp and Lambert at the Railway Hotel, lost for 40 years and is all that remains of their uncompleted film that were making about the Mod scene at time.

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