Those ubiquitous but excellent "Schlitz Brings the Who to America" ads on television were shot at the Capital Centre on the eve of that supergroup's farewell tour. It was made by British filmmaker Nigel Noble, whose "Close Harmony" won an Academy Award last year for best documentary short.
"I had done a lot of rock 'n' roll before," Noble points out, "starting with 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen' with Joe Cocker and 'The Last Days of the Fillmore' both as a sound engineer . So I know the milieu of rock 'n' roll bands, how they go about their business, what backstage life is." According to Noble, the Who were "incredibly professional, punctual and cooperative in everything that I asked of them."
Which was quite a bit for three 30-second commercials (the third, shot in concert at Shea Stadium, started airing last week)."I organized the rehearsal. It was totally for me so I had complete control of the stage. We did 'Eminence Front' and 'It's Hard' twice each, shooting with three cameras so that I had essentially six angles on one song . . . I insisted that the feeling be one of being right there live with them on the stage."
There's even a progressive theme to the spots: setup, rehearsal, performance. The final spot, all performance, has 28 cuts in 30 seconds, all to "Who Are You."