How Local Drummer Scott Devours Scored a Gig With the Who With Four Hours to Learn 'Quadrophenia'

Categories: hooray!
The Who Scott-2.jpg
Brett Bixby
Scott Devours living every rock drummer's wet dream

Scott Devours' friends nearly dashed his dreams. Long Beach's 46-year-old drummer extraordinaire got a call February 5 from The Who--yes, that Who!--to ask if he could fill in THAT night for their drummer who pulled a tendon, Ringo Starr's son Zak Starkey. Devours' buddies surrounding him at home advised him in no uncertain terms to politely decline.

They're not saboteurs. On the contrary, Devours' friends, fellow musicians, were terrified for him and adamantly said he should refuse because The Who--obviously one of the most famous rock bands evah--was going to hit the stage at San Diego's Valley View Casino Center in front of more than 10,000 people in merely seven hours. Impossible.

Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and crew were to play the full version of the band's challenging 17-song rock opera Quadrophenia. And Devours, until that day, had only played one song from Quadrophenia live evah. He said yes.

"For all practical purposes, it could have been the worse moment of my career," Devours admitted days after the career-changing performance. "Instead it was the greatest thrill ever."

The next morning, nearly every concert review led with the substitute's miraculous feat. In hindsight, Devours' friends did him a huge favor. "It made me fight them," he said, instead of caving to self-doubt.

Townshend introduced Devours to the crowd fittingly on stage, rehashing the famous Cow Palace night in 1973 when infinitely inebriated drummer Keith Moon famously passed out on his kit. They plucked a young drummer from the audience and obscurity to save the show.

"His name was Scott," Townshend told the audience. "As in the man who came in like the fuckin' cavalry and saved us [tonight]!" The crowd went wild.

Reliving the phone call, Devours rehashed what made him agree to the show despite his well-wishers' urging. "What became crystal clear at that second was that they were right," said Devours, who grew up idolizing Moon's bombastic chops. He also knew he couldn't refuse. "That is the call I've wanted my whole life."

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