Monday Night Feels: The Who Edition

Oh hi. It's been a minute, hasn't it?

Sorry for the lack of posts on here. I'm happy to say it's because I've been doing a lot of writing elsewhere, although I certainly don't want this blog to die. Where else can I blab about my favorite classic rock bands, silent movies, and TV shows?

Speaking of which, I have some thoughts about The Who that I want to share.

Continue reading “Monday Night Feels: The Who Edition”

Lovable Loon

It’s Keith Moon’s birthday! Celebrate with some adorably mod Who:

I honestly think my favorite drumming of Keith’s is at the very beginning of The Who’s career. Later on, he had his 20-piece kits with double bass drums and toms for days, but in early videos like this he produces practically the same sound with just a 5-piece kit!

One more video. Happy birthday, you crazy loon.

Top Fives: John Entwistle Edition

Top 5 Who Songs Sung by John:
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (I love this one so much, don’t judge)
Boris the Spider (obvi)
The Quiet One
Trick of the Light
-I know it’s kind of a stretch, but A Quick One because John’s falsetto at the end is too. much.
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Nikki’s Top 5 Favorite Johnfacts:
-He had a thing for Irish wolfhounds (bonus pics).
-He played the trumpet & french horn – all of the brass parts you hear in The Who’s songs were arranged/played by John.
-He was blonde but dyed his hair black throughout the 60s-70s.
-He and Keith were BFFs (more bonus pics).
-He did the cover art for The Who By Numbers. More of his drawings are here, along with a funny autobio that he wrote just days before he died. :(

Top 5 “John DGAF” Moments:

– The skeleton suit, an excellent example of “John does whatever the f@*& he wants”:

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– The entire Smothers Brothers performance, but especially around this part:

john2
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– His bass-playing on The Real Me (UNREAL):

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– The rogue lick at 0:23, and also the 2:40 mark of this video, when the rest of the band has finished and John just thunders away:

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– And finally, this little montage:

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Conclusion: John Entwistle is my favorite.
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Of Mods and Rockers

Tonight I’m remembering that one time I saw The Who in concert and how flipping awesome it was. Seriously one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen and probably ever will see. I’ll never listen to Quadrophenia the same way again.

I’m also remembering the first time I listened to The Who. It was the summer of 2002 and I was sitting in the garage (because that’s where we kept the record player), thumbing through my dad’s records and discovering The Kids Are Alright, the soundtrack album to the documentary made in the 70s.

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The vast online Beatles fandom (which probably had a lot to do with my early Internet obsession) had made me familiar with the British Invasion, and I knew this was a band I should listen to. So I put the record on and got my first taste of The Who. And literally the next day (as recorded in my spiral bound journal), I read about John Entwistle’s death in the newspaper.

The Legend. The Ox.
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At the time I wasn’t a big enough fan to be super upset, but I did realize the ironic timing, and made it a point to listen to as much of The Who as I could get my hands on (pre-Youtube = actually finding physical records/CDs to listen to). The result? It took me a while, but by the summer of 2005 I was a full-fledged Who Fanatic. I spent that summer making Mod collages and learning Pinball Wizard on guitar and trying to perfect my windmill. And since then, I’ve never looked back. :)

So it’s no surprise that my recommended film/documentary of the moment is….*ta-da!*: The Kids Are Alright, chronicling The Who’s career up until Keith Moon’s death in 1978. I will never, ever get tired of watching it. Action-packed and full of guitar smashing, all the way to the ending credits.

And the video of the night is one I’d never seen before (I have now, of course). It is proof of not only The Who’s awesome stage presence, but their sense of humor too. This is perhaps the silliest guitar smash (not actually a smash) I’ve ever seen Pete do, followed by John not giving a single f*ck about how loud his bass is, followed by lots of Keith antics and hugging as they exit the venue. Ahhhh, so much love for these guys:
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A night in Oakland, with The Who

Sooooooo, on Friday night one of my lifelong dreams came true and I saw The Who in concert.

It. was. incredible.

To be quite honest, I don’t know how Pete and Roger can still do it – after almost 50 years of playing and touring, you’d think they’d have fizzled out by now. Not the case. They rocked harder than any other band I’ve ever seen live. Although, at one point, the amount of weed being smoked in the venue was so much that Roger had to ask that everyone “eat the rest” because the smoke was making his throat tighten up. Aww Roger, his voice is getting pretty shot but he did his best.

And Pete. Pete is a beast. Everything he did was spot on. The windmilling, the singing, the guitar solos. I am so amazed by him. I also thought it was cute that he wore his glasses for the whole concert (which at one point magically changed to sunglasses), making him look like a grandpa who just happens to be a guitar god.

 

As part of the band’s 2013 Quadrophenia tour, they played through the entire Quadrophenia album without stopping, followed by a handful of greatest hits (favorites: “Pinball Wizard” and “Baba O’Riley,” yeeee). It was so cool to hear the entire album live, even down to the ocean waves and the tea kettles whistling. The band was incredible too: Zak Starkey (son of Ringo and godson of Keith Moon) on drums, Pino Palladino on bass (let’s be real, who could replace John? but Pino is definitely the next best thing), and Simon Townshend (Pete’s brother) on guitar. So much win. So much awesome.

Some favorites from the setlist:

I’m One. I’ll be honest, there are a lot of songs on Quadrophenia that I never really listened to. This, regrettably, was one of them, and I have no idea why. It’s amazing. (1973 version with John and Keith here).

5:15. This song rocked so hard. They also incorporated John’s bass solo flawlessly, which I thought was a really nice homage. The crowd was going crazy, and it wasn’t until the end of the solo that I realized we were all cheering and screaming for someone who wasn’t actually there.

Tea and Theatre. I’m sure this is not how Pete and Roger would want themselves described, nevertheless, this song was adorable. It was the last song of the night. Watch the last 30 seconds of this video and tell me you don’t go “AWWWWWW”:

Conclusion: I LOVE THE WHO AND I LOVED THIS SHOW AND I HOPE ROGER’S VOICE CAN LAST THE REST OF THE TOUR, GOODNIGHT.

Amazing Journey, indeed

Last week I finished Pete Townshend’s autobiography “Who I Am,” which was a long and entertaining read. While I was reading the book, I kept thinking how much great material there was for a Pete-themed drinking game (ironic, given a lot of the subject matter). For example,

Take a drink:
*Every time you come across the words “auto-destruction”, “Impressionism”, or “visaging”
*Any time Pete goes on a tangent about his childhood
*Whenever Roger wants to get The Who back together and Pete isn’t interested
*For every groupie that John has
*Whenever Keith does something ridiculous (“While I made progress with my search for meaning, Keith was causing havoc with a birthday cake, a car, a swimming pool, a lamp and a young fan’s bloody head”)
*Whenever Pete cheats on his wife but he has such nice things to say about the girl he cheated on her with that somehow it seems ok
*Every time you turn the page during the “Acknowledgements” section

Take two drinks:
*Every time Pete drinks Remy Martin
*Every time Pete “quits drinking”
*Any time you think for a second that you understand Lifehouse
*Any time Pete agrees to do something, then backs out, then agrees again

In all seriousness though, this was a great read. I’ve always wanted to get a glimpse into Pete’s head, since he’s such an unconventional rockstar, and this was probably the closest I’ll ever get.

I’ll leave you with a quote from the Coda:

Play to the gods, or – if you prefer – to a small basket full of stuffed toys, or sing into the mouth of a hot-water bottle, or turn the knobs on a chest of drawers and pretend to be 20,000 leagues under the sea.  

It’s all the same thing. If in doubt, just play.

Last Who post, I promise

…Just kidding. I can’t make any promises like that. But I do have some other topics I’ve been meaning to write about, it just depends on whether or not I have the attention span to finish the posts. :P

So anyway, Cool Thing of the Day about The Who: each member of the band was basically a soloist. They didn’t bother with rhythm guitar, boring basslines, or a “backbeat” (not that there’s anything wrong with that…but they just had a completely different – and awesome – sound). Everyone in The Who was front and center, all the time. You can isolate any one of the four of them, and the result is totally listenable on its own. As musicians, they had a lot of guts, and that’s what made them great, especially as a live band.

And now a video from the Isle of Wight, because it is my personal opinion that they were all looking their finest at this concert (also, the post-song banter is pretty amusing). Is it weird that I’m attracted to Pete’s big nose and jumper? I have such a strange obsession with that man. Also, gotta admit…Keith steals the show in this video. He’s just so fun to watch. :)

BTW, nice screen cap, YouTube. Roger Daltrey = best abdomen of the 60s??

Crashing by Design

It’s Pete Townshend’s birthday! How appropriate, because I’ve been on a crazy Who high for the past week. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PETE!

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That last one makes me smile. Crazy old Pete, he’s close to 70 and can still jump like he’s 25.

Also, apparently Pete has a book coming out this October??? Is it possible that I didn’t know this before today??? I need to stay more on top of these things.

There once was a note…

So last night I watched Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who on Netflix (which, according to this post, I’d already seen before??), and once again reaffirmed my devout, undying love for The Who. I really need to include them more often in this blog. They were/are a huge part of my rock & roll nerdiness.

I also reaffirmed one of my favorite albums in the process. Like a lot of bands that started in the 60s, The Who have a pretty colorful discography, from mod rock to huge concept albums to semi-embarrassing 80s pop. While I appreciate the quirkiness/innovation of The Who Sells Out, love the fact that Tommy and Quadrophenia are freaking ROCK OPERAS, I must say, without a doubt, that my favorite Who album of all time is…

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I mean, seriously, is it even up for debate? Watching that documentary, it kind of felt like the whole thing was leading up to Who’s Next, and then once you hear the intro to Baba O’Riley, it’s like…BAM. Epic.

Pete’s spastic dancing is the best. Also, DAT BASS. Can’t get enough.

I know, I’m not being very original…Baba O’Riley is probably the most well-known Who song out there, but hey, there’s a reason. It’s just that. great.

you are forgiiiiiiiiven

I watched Amazing Journey tonight, and it was exactly that: AMAAAAZING. It covers the entire career of The Who, from their childhood to 2007 (1973-1974 era Who is my favorite). I also went on The Who website and read that Pete’s writing a new rock opera…Floss?? Not so sure about the title, Pete, but I trust that you will make it cool.

The following video – much like my experience with AHDN and The Beatles – is what made me first fall in love with The Who. Not sure what did it…John’s falsetto at the end? Pete’s sequined vest? Keith’s crazy antics or Roger’s fringe?…or maybe just the whole late-60s vibe that made all of those things ok. Previously, it was rare for a pop song to exceed 3 or 4 minutes. But Pete decided that he didn’t care and wrote a 7-minute rock opera and THAT is why I love him. YAY for bands that are innovative!

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xhwie_the-who-a-quick-one_music