Although already a big act in the UK, and now gaining some attention in the US after playing some New York dates two months earlier, The Who were propelled into the American mainstream at Monterey. The band used rented Vox amps for their set, which were not as powerful as their regular Sound City amps which they had left in England to save shipping costs. At the end of their frenetic performance of "My Generation", the audience was stunned as guitarist Pete Townshend smashed his guitar, smoke bombs exploded behind the amps and frightened concert staff rushed onstage to retrieve expensive microphones. At the end of the mayhem, drummer Keith Moon kicked over his drum kit as the band exited the stage. The Who, after winning a coin toss, performed before Jimi Hendrix, as Townshend and Hendrix each refused to go on after the other, both having planned instrument-demolishing conclusions to their respective sets.
"A Quick One, While He's Away", the title track of The Who,s second album, is a nine-minute suite of song snippets telling a story of infidelity and reconciliation, a first foray into extended form that led to the so-called "rock operas" Tommy and Quadrophenia.