Pete Townshend of The Who was the first high profile artist to wear Dr. Martens, when he picked up his first pair in that shop in the north of England, way back in 1967. That dates Townshend earlier than even the first generation of Skinheads in terms of adopting the workwear boot for other uses. So to some extent his decision to buy those boots before the aforementioned concert in 1967 is the brand’s Year Zero in terms of its direct involvement with music. He’s since said the boots, ‘released me from psychedelia and all the nonsense that went with it’.
DR. MARTENS X THE WHO
The Who‘s links with Dr. Martens go past Townshend’s own pivotal preferences. Their superb 1969 Rock opera double album Tommy was described by some critics as ‘the most important and innovative Rock album since Sgt. Pepper’. In 1975, Ken Russell turned the opus into a film, and during the performance of the classic song, ‘Pinball Wizard’, Elton John narrates the story of the deaf, dumb and blind kid standing atop an enormous pair of brown Dr. Martens (designed by Shirley Russell). The boots were made of fibreglass and stood 54 inches tall – Elton’s size four feet were fitted into another pair of shoes which were strapped on top of the towering twelve-holers.
“ 1460 WHO
Legendary frontman Pete Townshend once said ‘With my new ‘Air Soles’, I literally started to fly.’ We took that sentiment and designed it into this long overdue collection. From The Who's target iconography on classic Smooth leather, to red Dr. Martens heel loop and red welt stitching.
“ ADRIAN WHO TASSEL LOAFER
A mod staple. Our Adrian tassell loafer gets The Who treatment with target iconography on our classic Smooth leather and red welt stitch.
“ 1461 WHO
The Who’s emblem, the tri-colour target, is one of the most iconic graphics in rock music history. So we’ve not held back on it in the collection. Seen here on our 1461 style, and throughout the collection.