Tag Archives: The Who

Roger Daltrey is 70

Also used for Round 15 of ABC Wednesday, W is for The Who.

The Who’s lead singer hits the big seven-oh. The first album I had of the group was Tommy, which is why it dominates my personal chart. While I heard them on the radio, I didn’t own the earlier hits until the collection Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy (MBBB).

The Top 10 are pretty solidly on the list, but some of the second 10 could probably be replaced by others. No live versions with one, probably predictable, exception.

20. Amazing Journey -Tommy. “Sickness will surely take your mind Where minds can’t usually go.”
Continue reading Roger Daltrey is 70

Book Review: Who I Am, by Pete Townsend

I was a fairly big fan of the band The Who. I never bought any of their singles – I wasn’t much into 45s – and the first album I picked up wasn’t until Tommy (1969), but I purchased every studio album since, the earlier The Who Sell Out, as well as Live at Leeds and a couple compilations.

The lead guitarist of The Who, Pete Townsend, has written an extraordinary book, Who I Am. Part of the great strength of the book is based on Townsend’s fortunate habit of keeping journals.

The first part has amazing detail Continue reading Book Review: Who I Am, by Pete Townsend

The Musical Bucket List QUESTIONS

Eddie, in his tribute to Doc Watson, wrote:

“Never, ever pass up a chance to see a true musical legend. Every year we lose a few, and they can never be replaced. A few years ago, a mailing list I belong to started a “bucket list” of acts people want to see before they (the musicians, not the people making the lists) are gone. I’ve been lucky enough to have seen many of mine Continue reading The Musical Bucket List QUESTIONS

Summer Song: Summertimes Blues

I’m not positive, but I believe the first version of Summertime Blues I heard was by The Who from their Live at Leeds album; the single hit the pop charts on July 11, 1970, got to #27, and remained on th charts for nine weeks. THe song had been part of their live show for three years before that.

It was only then that I heard the original by Eddie Cochran, who co-wrote it; the song charted 8/4/1958, stayed for 16 weeks, and got to #8. I really like it, especially this rendition where Eddie giggles a couple times.

Another wonderful version is by Blue Cheer. From the Wikipedia: “The American psychedelic blues-rock band …recorded their version…in 1967…The single peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100…While not as widely played or recognized as The Who version, it certainly is more distorted with a far more intense guitar sound. This version was ranked #73 on the list of ‘The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time’ of Rolling Stone. This version omits the responses and instead has each band member do a quick solo.”

A less-than-great iteration appears on the Beach Boys’ first album, Surfin’ Safari, released October 1962. “Lead vocal on the track was jointly sung by lead guitarist Carl Wilson, not yet 16, and rhythm guitarist Dave Marks, just turned 14. Never released on a single in the US, it gained enough popularity in The Philippines early in 1966 to post no. 7 on that country’s hit parade as listed by Billboard in its weekly ‘Hits of the World’ charts.” This was new to me.

I don’t listen to enough country, evidently, because I was also unfamiliar
with the Alan Jackson rendition, which went to #1 on the country charts in 1994.

MOVIE REVIEW: The Kids Are All Right

After my wife and I had our almost weekly summer date and saw the movie The Kids Are All Right, she noted that it was, in many ways, a very conventional, slice-of-life, film about the travails of family life. And I realized, that, at the core, she was absolutely right.

It’s a story about a long-time committed couple. They deal with the universal rigors of relationship, which was described as a marathon, not a sprint. It also involves their teenage kids, a girl just turning 18, and a boy, 15, dealing with sexuality, bullying, alcohol, and identity, just like many people.

OK, so not every movie involves a lesbian couple who were each artificially inseminated by an anonymous donor, who becomes less than anonymous when the boy gets the girl to find out who their common father is. And gay men’s porn is not always a family talking point.

What makes this an intriguing story was the script and direction of Lisa Cholodenko, creator of High Art and Laurel Canyon. Like those two films, as film critic Mick LaSalle noted, features “somebody from a world a little less structured who seduces someone from a world a little more regimented.”

The film is also blessed by the casting of Annette Bening, as a Type A doctor, and Julianne Moore, as her more bohemian partner. Their “unexotic, unglamorous and totally routine” lives are upended by the bio-dad (Mark Ruffalo); how (and why) he changes the family dynamic is an important part of the tale. A few critics carped that, in the end, conventionality, of a sort, is restored, but I think that’s the point.
Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: The Kids Are All Right