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The Who Concert: 30 Years Later

Originally aired Sunday, November 29, 2009 at 8:00 PM
December 3, 1979 became an infamous night in Cincinnati history as the deaths of eleven concertgoers forever changed crowd control and emergency preparedness. The Who concert has never been forgotten, and there has never been such a complete look at that tragedy and its aftermath as The Who Concert: 30 Years Later.

Leading in to the 8:00 p.m. special is an extended interview on Around Cincinnati as Brian O’Donnell talks with Cal Levy, the on-site promoter at Riverfront Coliseum that night for Electric Factory Concerts. This is the first interview he has given since the night of the tragedy. There will be excerpts of this interview included during Cincinnati Edition Sunday morning, between 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. and during The Who Concert: 30 Years Later special.

The complete interview with Cal Levy

The guests appearing in The Who Concert: 30 Years Later represent concert-goers, police, lawyers, first-responders, reporters and others directly impacted by the event.

Included in the program are:

  • Cliff Radel will talk about the concert from his viewpoint as a writer and pop music critic. He describes the crowd and how he covered the concert for the Cincinnati Enquirer.
  • Karol Brown and Jay Patterson talk about being pushed by the crowd towards the doors and how terrifying the experience was.
  • Jay Aronoff discusses being at the concert and his friend, Peter Bowes, who passed away that night.
  • Michael Ladd talks about being at the concert with his wife, Teva Ladd, (who was one of the victims) and getting separated from her.
  • Gary Miller talks about the response by the Red Cross that evening and how the event changed disaster responses for future events.
  • Craig Kopp remembers his role that night covering the tragedy for WEBN and his contacts with news organizations around the world.
  • Johnny Schott reviews some of the safety techniques now in place since the concert.
  • Cal Levy opens up about his memories of an evening which impacted him for years after the concert.
  • Dennis Miller (lawyer for The Who) discusses The Who's visit to Cincinnati in 1980 to give depositions in the lawsuits which had been filed.
  • Dale Menkhaus reviews the police response to the tragedy that evening.
  • Paul Wertheimer talks about the Task Force report to the City of Cincinnati which he worked on, the positive impact of this report on other crowd management issues around the world even today, and the need for a memorial marker for the victims at US Bank Arena.

The special will also incorporate songs played by The Who during that night’s concert. The audio from that evening is only available as a bootleg called "Stampede." So, the music for the special will come from various The Who cd releases.  Technical support for this special from Jim Nolan, Brian Powers, Kevin Rowinski, and Shake It Records.

Cincinnati Enquirer Blog

Crowd Management Strategies Task Force Report

Crowd Management Strategies: A Trust Betrayed

Time Magazine, Monday, Dec. 17, 1979:

TV Guide: WKRP in Cincinnati Who concert episode

Cincinnati Enquirer, Tuesday, December 4, 1979 
Part 1
Part 2

Larry Nager’s award-winning Cincinnati Enquirer 20th Anniversary article:

The XPN "All About the Music" Blog

In the News  (

The Who, Buffalo, NY: Tuesday, December 4, 1979 (

The Who Concert Setlist for December 3, 1979:

  1. Substitute
  2. I Can't Explain
  3. Baba O'Riley
  4. The Punk and the Godfather
  5. My Wife
  6. Sister Disco
  7. Behind Blue Eyes
  8. Music Must Change
  9. Drowned
  10. Who Are You
  11. 5:15
  12. Pinball Wizard
  13. See Me, Feel Me
  14. Long Live Rock
  15. My Generation
  16. I Can See for Miles
  17. Sparks
  18. Won't Get Fooled Again
  19. Encore:
  20. Summertime Blues
  21. The Real Me