In 1967, The Who performed on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
At the end of their second song, “My Generation,” the band begins destroying their instruments, as they were wont to do. Amid this destruction, drummer Keith Moon set off an explosive that destroyed his kick drum. He had done this before, but because he wanted the explosion to be impressive for the TV audience, he packed his drum with three times the usual amount of TNT.
It was like a cannon went off. Townshend later said that the explosion set his hair on fire, and in the video, you can see him patting down his hair as if it had just been burning. Moon was hit with shrapnel from his kick drum and a cymbal that exploded against the floor.
After the explosion, Daltrey stepped off camera to check on Moon while Townshend continued to smash up pieces of the set.
Specifically Tommy Smothers’ acoustic guitar.
Pete Townshend later claimed that his hearing was permanently impaired following this explosion, though The Who famously played so loud that it’s possible his hearing was already failing him.
Needless to say, it’s worth viewing.
It’s an odd and unbelievable television moment I had not known until this week.