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The Who’s Early Manager Dies

The Who
(Spencer Kaufman/Ultimate Classic Rock)

Chris Stamp, the former co-manager of the Who, died of cancer on Saturday (November 24th) in New York City at age 70. Stamp, who was the younger brother of actor Terrence Stamp, played a pivotal role in the band’s early career, helping dictate their style and encourage their bombastic stage performance. Whereas his partner, the late Kit Lambert, focused more on the musical and theatrical angles of the band, Stamp’s forte was the business side of the things, the art of the deal — along with having a taste for fashion. He and Lambert launched their own Track Records in 1966, which included the Who, Jimi Hendrix, the Wild World Of Arthur Brown, and others. Stamp served as an executive producer of the Who’s 1975 film version of Tommy.

Lambert and Stamp were officially ousted in 1975 and replaced by their assistant Bill Curbishley, who still manages the group. Stamp remained close to the band and participated in a number of Who projects and documentaries over the years. Stamp also sat on the board of the John Entwistle Foundation started in memory of the Who’s late bassist.

On Saturday night, prior to the Who’s show-closing number, “Tea & Theatre,” Roger Daltrey told the crowd:

“We got some sad news today. Our manager. . . one of our first managers, without whom we wouldn’t have been the band that we were, he was part of a partnership with a guy called Kit Lambert, it’s Chris Stamp and sadly he’s lost his battle with concert early this morning. He flew into the universe on a pair of rainbow wings. Chris, we can never, ever thank you enough — well I can’t, for what you brought to my life.”

Roger Daltrey told us that he was glad that both ousted drummer Kenney Jones and Chris Stamp chose to participate in the Who’s recent retrospective, Amazing Journey: The Story Of The Who, to shed light on the band’s career: “It took a lot of courage for Kenney to do that, and indeed for people like Chris Stamp. Y’know, it’s a painful part of their past. I’m sure it’s still painful for him to have to revisit. The great thing is we’re still all friends out of all this and we respect each other and we love each other.”

Stamp’s family released an obituary, which touched upon the last 25 years of Stamp’s life: “Chris was ‘reborn’ to a higher conscious life in 1987 when he sought treatment for his addictions. He started a journey of transformation to a higher consciousness. Recovery was the platform for an ongoing growing spiritual life in which he dedicated himself to helping others live a conscious life. He trained and used advance psychodramatic bodywork in the USA and England. He went to college for the first time in his fifties, graduated with degrees and licenses. He became a NY State Credentialed addiction counselor, a psychodramatist, a Certified Experiential Therapist, a NY State Licensed Mental Health Practitioner, a Reiki Master, a trauma specialist, in other words, a Healer.”
Stamp is survived by his wife, daughters, and grandchildren.

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