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Original Who Drummer Dies at 89

The Detours
John Entwistle, Doug Sandom, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend as The Detours.

Doug Sandom, original drummer for The Who, died Wednesday at the age of 89. The news was revealed by Pete Townshend in a post on The Who’s official website.

Sandom was hired by Townshend, John Entwistle and Roger Daltrey in 1962 to play in their band The Detours. He only lasted two years, leaving in 1964, shortly after the band changed their name to The Who. The group had auditioned for Fontana Records and a label producer was unimpressed with Sandom. He was replaced with Keith Moon.

Though Sandom’s firing caused a rift between him and Pete Townshend, the two later reconciled. Townshend wrote the following, announcing the news of Sandom’s death:

“Just heard from his son that Doug, drummer with the early Who, passed away yesterday at the age of 89. If you have read my book Who I Am you will know how kind Doug was to me, and how clumsily I dealt with his leaving the band to be replaced eventually by Keith Moon. A bricklayer by trade, Doug was an excellent drummer but was considered by our first record label to be too old for us. It was his age and his wisdom that made him important to me. He never sneered at my aspirations the way some of my peers tended to do (I was a bit of an egoistic handful sometimes). He encouraged me – as did my best friend in those days Richard Barnes. Doug took a while to forgive me, but did so in the end, and although I didn’t see much of him we remained friends. He would almost certainly have tried to visit with Roger and me at Wembley Stadium this year, and we will both miss seeing him.”

Douglas Sandom was born February 26, 1930 in Greenford England. He passed away February 27, 2019, just one day after his 89th birthday.

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