Back in 1979, Pete Townshend gave some unforgettable acoustic performances at Amnesty International's Secret Policeman's Ball.  It was released as a benefit show that inspired Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, Sting, Bob Geldof, Phil Collins and many others to perform for Amnesty. It also helped inspire the unplugged of the 90s, and brought together a generation of musicians that became involved in social and political causes: the usual suspects Sting, Peter Gabriel, Bob Geldof (who later founded Live Aid) and Bono all cite the show as the inspiration for their activism. Plus, Townshend's performances were very very cool.  Hear one of them on today's Vinyl Vault, 5:20pm.  Out of town?  Listen live on-line.

A highlight collection is now on DVD, shown here.