Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Who

The first time I took notice of the Who, it was via a pinball machine in my local bowling alley. I had no idea what "Tommy" was, and frankly it looked a little tacky.

I remember exactly where I was when I first heard Tommy. I was fed up with not knowing what it was, and I knew there was a (more digestable) movie version available. I was sitting in front of a computer, and had accidentally downloaded the complete MP3 album instead of the musical version. My computer was on a coffee table, and I was wearing headphones. It was 3 AM. I was in the living room of a single-wide trailer in Key Largo, Florida. Then I heard the lines, "It's a boy, Mrs. Walker, it's a boy." I had no idea what was going on, or anything about the story, and yet I was enthralled. Some might say that I immediately fell in love, but I think that when I got to "Sparks" or "Underture" is when it happened. In 1969, the Who made an album, and a work of art. ...And it would not be their last. See? MP3 downloads do lead to record sales.

One band is unique to rock 'n roll: the greatest drummer ever and greatest bass guitarist ever, and the greatest guitar innovator of all time. I'm talking about Keith Moon, John Entwistle and Pete Townshend.

We're talking about a band here that invented the Guitar Windmill and innovated trashing instruments onstage. The Slide, before Springsteen slid. Pete Townshend almost killed Abbie Hoffman onstage at Woodstock! They were way ahead of their time. And even though they haven't had a great album in decades (what old band has?), they still rock.

Here's to staying sober until the Super Bowl Halftime Show!

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