The Who were formed in 1964, and were formerly known as The Detours and The High Numbers until settling on their somewhat ubiquitous moniker. Their first hit I Can't Explain was released in 1965 and set them on a path to superstardom. Along the way they invented the concept album (Tommy, Quadrophenia), dabbled with conceptual performance art (the Lifehouse project, that spawned the classic album Who's Next), played to millions live, and sold an estimated 100 million records.
Their very long and extensive bio can be read here.
Today founders Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey keep The Who alive, after losing drummer Keith Moon and bass guitarist John Entwistle to death in 1978 and 2002 respectively. The duo released the album Endless Wire in 2006, and they are currently touring, and will appear in New Zealand and Australia beginning in March, 2009.
Long live rock!!!!!!
Below, the classic lineup from the 1970's, performing Baba O'Riley.