(CBS News) Pete Townshend revisits what he calls the last great album The Who ever made in a new film, hitting theaters today. It's a one-night-only event, taking place in select movie theaters nationwide.
The rock opera album, "Quadrophenia," released in 1973, arrived four years after the English band's critically-acclaimed double set, "Tommy."
Using unheard studio recordings and in-depth interviews with Townshend, Roger Daltrey and Who insiders, the new film tells the story behind "Quadrophenia" - from the struggles leading up to its release to the inner-workings of the recording sessions. There's both new and old footage, including late Who drummer Keith Moon's onstage collapse and concert performances of "Love Reign O'er Me."
The documentary, dubbed "The Who: Quadrophenia - Can You See the Real Me? The Story Behind the Album," also traces the influences of what's now considered by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the top 500 albums of all time.
The album's title, a variation on the term schizophrenia, represents the four varying personalities of the members of The Who. The film begins with Townshend, using a chart, describing the different personalities and follows him as he recalls the album's creation.
"I talked to Pete [Townshend] about the idea of taking him back to places that meant something to him in the making of the album," the film's director Matt O'Casey told CBSNews.com. "He suggested going back to Shepherd's Bush [the West London neighborhood that was the epicenter of mod culture] with two guys who he'd lived through the mod era with: Irish Jack and Richard [Barnes], who was his flatmate. They were real witnesses to the way it unfolded. Pete was keen to do that - to not just have him telling it, but to hear from other people and throw it into a wider space."
What O'Casey found most fascinating was the mod culture theme that surrounded the band at the time.
"This was quite a unique youth culture in that it was built around cool jazz and bluebeat," he explained. "It wasn't built around rock 'n' roll. And also that it was very feminized in terms of how men behaved. And gay. It was men checking other men out. It was a fairly thinly-veiled gay culture as part of that youth culture. It was extraordinary to then see that, very clearly, very evidently in the archive footage we found and used in the film."
The new film comes a week after The Who announced an extensive North American tour, which kicks off in November and continues through 2013. While on the road, The Who will perform "Quadrophenia" in its entirety, along with other classics.
To check out theater and movie times, go here.