Once upon a time there was a boy called Alex, and it was probably around 1966 when he saw and heard, while watching German TV’s “Beat Club”, an all new and exciting sound for the first time in his life – “Happy Jack” by The Who. See this Video
From that moment on he became obsessed with the band. Having a weakness for collecting things that are important to him, he consequentially accumulated piles of newspaper articles, posters, self-shot photographs and all kinds of memorabilia, years of Who worshipping later.
By the mid 1990’s, another boy called Roger thought he was the only (at least the only young) Who fan in Switzerland (remember, there was no Facebook etc. yet). Still, the Internet was growing, and by 1997 Roger set up a Who Website at www.thewho.ch on which he collected all the Who news from around the world. (see the original version 1 from 2001 and version 2 from 2003 on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine).
It didn’t take long until a bunch of Who fans from Switzerland, but also Germany and Austria got in touch with Roger by mail or forum, and for all of us it was good to see that there are other Who fans out there. One of them was Alex who liked the website and the fact that even young kids were aware of The Who. On the other hand, Roger was most impressed by Alex’ enthusiasm for the band and by his astonishing stories he could tell, such as visiting Pete Townshend in the early 1970’s at his home in Twickenham, or his experience in meeting the band at their first Swiss concert in 1972 in Wetzikon.
It was about time to gather all together. In 2000, the two and Dino (another die-hard Who fan who lived in the greater Zurich area) rented a simple conference room in Thalwil near Zurich and organized the first official Swiss The Who meeting, spreading the word through Roger’s Website. About 15 lads and lassies showed up, some of them knowing each other from the great old days when The Who were big and seeing each other for the first time again after many years. About 3 or 4 other such meetings followed, until like 2006 or so. Besides socializing and listening to Who music in all shapes and sizes, the main attraction was Alex’ unique und huge Who collection.
It has always been Roger’s vision to share Alex’ Who collection with everyone. In 2015, it has finally appeared on the internet as “The Swiss Who Archive”. It is the result of hours of hard work: Alex has kept his eyes open and scraped it all together through the years, including making photos at concerts, making photocopies and cutting articles, collecting magazines et cetera. Roger has digitised the material, added relevant metadata including category tags, and set up the website. After receiving a Bachelor's degree in Information Science, Roger is currently working at Docuteam, swiss specialists in information management and archiving. It was there that he learned about AtoM (Access to Memory), a web-based, open source application for standards-based archival description. Since 2021, the Swiss Who Archive is now presented on this framework, which allows administration and presenting the archival descriptions in a much more sophisticated way.
What you see on these pages is just a part of the whole physical collection. Check back every now and then to see what’s new.
Roger's favourite Who album? Sell Out
And Alex's? Wait, gonna ask him...
Alex & Roger