Up to this point I don’t think I was ever given a backstage pass for any Who shows even though I definitely was backstage on many occasions. Security didn’t seem to exist in those days which wasn’t to say that anyone could wander into their dressing room, you just needed to look like you belonged and in you went. It helped if a few people in the entourage recognised your face, of course, which they did after I’d been on Melody Maker for about six months.
In the days before laminated backstage passes acts on the road issued either stick-on passes, sometimes with your name written on, which you peeled off from backing paper and stuck to your clothes, or buttons like this one below that tour manager Pete Rudge gave me when I went down the East Coast of America with The Who in November of 1971. This was the first time I’d ever visited America – and what better way to go than with The Who touring party.
When The Who opened the Rainbow Theatre in London with three straight nights at the beginning of November 1971 its manager John Morris gave me this Rainbow pass which enabled to walk in free to every show there, backstage too. Who aside, this was the bet pass I ever had, and John, an American, became a good friend of mine while he lived in London and ran the Rainbow.