Shedding Light in the Darkness

Lambert & Stamp & The Who


Any fan of The Who is going to love the new documentary “Lambert & Stamp,” out now on DVD. Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp were the masterminds behind The Who’s rise to fame. Just like Brian Epstein helped shape the Beatles, Lambert and Stamp were the magicians behind the scenes guiding one of the world’s greatest rock bands.

With ample interview time devoted to The Who’s Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, and Stamp (Lambert died in the ‘80s), the doc is rich with archival footage, much of it courtesy of the managing duo who had dreamed of making movies.

They had initially come up with the idea of a sort art project/documentary movie, tracing the rise of a rock band – a group they would manage and film as it evolved. And the young band they found in a London nightclub was the High Numbers, who were renamed The Who.

Part of the film’s fascination is discovering how two very different, creative people (one posh upper class, one working class) who had no idea how to manage, made it up as they went along, helping the band tap into the Mod subculture of London, and eventually create epic, landmark recordings like “Tommy.”

Early in the film, Pete Townshend says, “I fell in love with both of them immediately, they totally changed my life.” And Roger Daltrey reveals: “Kit was the only posh guy I’d ever spoken to that was actually interested in me and wasn’t talking down to me.” Later in the film, Daltrey acknowledges there would never have been a Who without them.

Like any compelling drama, “Lambert & Stamp,” has it all from cons and lawsuits, to addiction, madness and early death. And of course there’s great music.


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