Back in the ’80s I was still adding to my Who vinyl collection and on holiday in Spain I checked out a record shop in Marbella where I came across this LP – Lo Mejor De The Who – which I guess translates as The Best Of The Who. What intrigued me was the band on the front cover was not The Who but Golden Earring, their Dutch Track labelmates who had a hit with ‘Radar Love’ in 1973. So I bought it and stashed it away with all my other Who records.
Fast forward to 1994 and I’m on the team assembling The Who’s box set ‘30 Years Of Maximum R&B’. In the course of meetings with their manager Bill Curbishley, I mention this album and he’s pretty pissed off about it. A few weeks later, Bill, Roger and myself are about to attend a meeting with Polygram suits at Hammersmith. “Bring that Spanish LP along,” says Bill.
During the meeting the Polygram execs insist on becoming involved in the production of the set but we resist this, saying we want to do it all ourselves and deliver to them the music and artwork which they will simply manufacture and distribute.
“We have a lot of experience with The Who,” says a Polygram bloke. “We can make a significant contribution to it.”
Bill gives me the nod and I place the Spanish LP on the table. “Significant contribution,” he laughs. “Ya’ don’t even know what they fucking look like.”
Game, set and match to us.