Sensational rock band THE WHO was feted at the Saturday taping of the third annual VH1 ROCK HONORS, which will air Thursday on the cable channel.

WHO guitarist PETE TOWNSHEND and lead singer ROGER DALTREY finshed the special concert at UCLA’S PAULEY PAVILION with a performance of some of the band’s greatest hits. Original drummer KEITH MOON died in London in 1978. Original bassist JOHN ENTWISTLE died in Las Vegas in 2002. They were both remembered in pretaped retrospectives during the two hour plus show.

“I have had a life of absolute privilege and wonder,” ROGER DALTREY told AP Television News on the red carpet before the concert.

“How could it ever be bittersweet? I miss old friends but they are with me. When we start playing our music, John and Keith echo with us all the time, so it’s kind of like they never left.”

THE FLAMING LIPS performed a medley of songs from TOMMY, the band’s groundbreaking rock opera.

“It’s an honour to honour what I consider to be the greatest band of all time,” actor and TENACIOUS D lead singer JACK BLACK told the crowd before acoustically performing the song SQUEEZE BOX.

“Want to know why they were the greatest? They were the first ones to really rock hard.”

SEAN PENN introduced Pearl Jam, who were joined for LOVE REIGN O’ER ME with an orchestra and THE REAL ME with horn players. “We know that we’re here tonight because The Who never did sell out, unlike certain music channels,” SEAN PENN told the crowd.

THE WHO wowed the packed audience with such tunes as BABA O’REILLY, THE SEEKER, MY GENERATION, TWO THOUSAND YEARS and WHO ARE YOU. PETE TOWNSHEND stopped the band in the middle of performing YOU BETTER, YOU BET because of an issue with his speaker and started the song over from the beginning.

He and ROGER DALTREY closed the show with TEA & THEATRE.

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