Co-Manager and Producer for The Who, Chris Stamp, Passes Away
Billboard reports that Chris Stamp, co-manager of The Who with the late Kit Lambert and also co-founder of the group’s Track Records label and executive producer of most of their albums, died from Cancer on Saturday at age 70 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Stamp also helped jump start the career of Jimi Hendrix.
On stage at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena on Saturday night, Roger Daltrey of The Who saluted Chris Stamp and said, he was a man “without whom we wouldn’t be the band we were.” Daltrey also said that Stamp: “flew into the universe on a pair of rainbow wings. Chris, we can never thank you enough — well, I can’t, for what you brought to my life.” Daltrey and Peter Townshend then performed a duo rendition of “Tea & Theatre” which came off as a quiet tribute to Stamp.
Stamp was born and raised in London’s East End. He started as a filmmaker at Shepperton Film Studios where he met Kit Lambert, the other co-manager of The Who. They decided to join the British rock scene in the 1960’s and met The Who who were then known as the High Numbers when the group started playing at the Railway Hotel.
Daltrey referred to Stamp and Lambert as “the fifth and sixth members of The Who,” with Stamp “the expert in cool, menace and scams.” Stamp and Lambert then bought out the High Numbers from their previous manager Peter Meaden and persuaded the group to re-adopt The Who Moniker which they had used previously to build on the popularity of Britain’s Mod scene.
The two started Track Records in 1966 and they started with releases of Jimi Hendricx’s “Purple Haze” and the album Are You Experienced? and also The Who’s albums Magic Bus in 1968 and later Tommy, Who’s Next, and Quadrophenia.
The band’s relationship with Stamp and Lambert started to dissolve in the mid-70’s. Townshend last year told Billboard, “They lived like rock stars, too, and they really stopped functioning as managers — or the type of managers they had been, and that we still needed.”
Lambert and Stamp parted ways with The Who in 1975. They later moved to New York to continue with Track Records. Lambert died from a brain hemorrhage in 1981. Stamp went into rehab in 1987, and actually later became a therapist in psychodrama treatment and addiction counseling in New York. Stamp also re-established and maintained a connection with The Who and also appeared in documentaries and writing liner notes fro the re-release for the A Quick One album in 1995.
The Who released a message on their official website saying the passing of Stamp is “hard to bear” and promised a tribute would follow. Stamp is survived by Calixte, his wife of 22 years, his two married daughters and several grandchildren.