Tag Archive: pete townshend


The-Who-Larry-Busacca

Roger Harry DaltreyCBE (born 1 March 1944), is an English singer, musician, songwriter and actor, best known as the founder and lead singer of English rock bandThe Who. He has maintained a musical career as a solo artist and has also worked in the film industry, acting in films, theatre and television roles and also producing films. In 2008 he was ranked number 61 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 greatest singers of all time.
The Who, along with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, changed music and started a rock and roll revolution. The band broke through the local scene in the 1960s and began to gain a huge following, producing many classic rock hits and performing at many famous festivals, such as Isle of Wight and Woodstock. These concerts, and incredible studio albums in the early 1970s (including Tommy, Who’s Next, and Quadrophenia) moved the band into elite status. The legendary band has sold 100 million records and charted 27 top 40 singles in the UK and US, in addition to producing 17 top ten albums. The Who‘s surviving members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey continue to tour and were recently honored at the Grammys for a lifetime achievement award and at the Kennedy Center Honors. As rated by AOL Radio listeners, here are the top 10 songs from the band that many consider to be the greatest rock band of all time.
Read more here: http://aol.it/15oPFPS
10
One of the earliest singles from the Who, was written by Townshend in 1967 and was titled ‘Pictures of Lily.’ One of Townshend’s narrative songs, this tune includes the singer beating insomnia due to a ‘picture of Lily,’ although he later finds out later that Lily is dead. Townshend has admitted that the song is merely “about masturbation.” Regardless of its meaning, the song became a top 5 hit in the UK and remains one of the Who’s most popular songs from the 1960s.
Track
09
‘The Kids Are Alright’
The debut album from The Who, ‘My Generation,’ was released in 1965 and included this track, which was later released as a single. The song was written by Townshend as a tribute to the Mod Movement in England, specifically targeting the rebellious British youth. The song is still a radio favorite, and has been covered by many modern rock bands, including Pearl Jam and Green Day.
Decca
08
‘Happy Jack’
Happy Jack was the first single to make the top 40 in America and was a top 5 UK hit. The song is rare, in that bass player John Entwistle joins Daltrey on the lead vocals for the song. Townshend reportedly wrote the song about a man he saw on the beach, who didn’t mind the fact that children were laughing at him. The unique music video is still a treat to watch; It features the Who attempting to rob a safe before they get distracted by a cake, which leads to a lot of wacky behavior from the members of the band.
Decca
One of the more pop sounding rock songs from the Who was their 1981 single ‘You Better You Bet,’ written by Townshend for the album ‘Face Dances.’ The song, which contains references to T.Rex. and their own album ‘Who’s Next,’ was the last single by the Who to reach the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and their last top 10 single in the UK. Daltrey has the lead vocals in this one, with Entwistle and Townshend both providing backing vocals.
Warner Brothers
06
‘Magic Bus’
Magic Bus was originally written by Townshend in 1965, but wasn’t officially released until 3 years later. It was one of the Who’s most popular songs and it became a live staple at concerts. The song is another simple one, telling the tale of a man who wants to buy a bus so he can visit his girlfriend, but the driver does not want to sell it. The musical arrangement was unique for containing Latin percussion instruments, known as claves.
Decca
When one thinks of ‘classic rock,’ it is hard not to think of this song, one of the most successful Who songs of all time. Included on the famous album Who’s Next, ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again,’ was a rebellious song written by Townshend about a revolution. The song is well known for Daltrey’s scream and for including one of the Who’s best instrumentals ever. The hit, which remains a concert staple, was the last song the original lineup ever performed together; It was played in 1978, four months prior to the death of drummer Keith Moon. The song charted in the UK and America, and has been covered multiple times, most notably from Van Halen.
MCA
04
‘Behind Blue Eyes’
‘Behind Blue Eyes’ is one of the softest ballads from the Who, but became an international hit for the band. Also released off of ‘Who’s Next,’ the song was originally written by Townshend as a character for his ‘Lifehouse’ project, a film that would have been similar to ‘Tommy.’ Townshend said he wrote this song, which is sung by Daltrey, to show “how lonely it is to be powerful.” The song begins acoustically, but turns into a rock anthem, with another strong guitar riff. The tune remains a favorite on radio stations and is played at nearly every Who concert.
MCA
03
‘Pinball Wizard’
As the most popular single off ‘Tommy,’ Pinball Wizard strongly connects the audience to the character of Tommy, who in the song becomes a pinball champion, despite being ‘deaf, dumb, and blind.’ This was the last song written for Tommy, and wasn’t originally going to be included. Although Townshend once said it was “the most clumsy piece of writing, [he’d] ever done,’ the song became a commercial success, peaking at Number 4 in the UK and charting in America. The song is a live favorite, and has been covered many times, most notably by Elton John, who sung it in the film version of ‘Tommy.’
Decca
02
‘Baba O’Riley’
Often mistaken for the title of ‘Teenage Wasteland,’ ‘Baba O’riley’ is one of the most recognized and most popular rock songs of all time, although it was never released as a single. ‘Baba Oriley’ was also written for Townshend’s Lifehouse project, and found its way onto ‘Who’s Next’ as the opening track. Daltrey sings most of this tune, although perhaps Townshend sings the most reconizable middle eight: “Don’t cry, don’t raise your eye, it’s only teenage wasteland.” Townshend claimed that the song in part was about what he witnessed during their performance at Woodstock. Part of his message was that, despite the fact many teenagers were on a lot of drugs and experiencing brain damage, they were celebrating. .
Decca
01
‘My Generation’
Arguably the band’s biggest hit, ‘My Generation’ was written by Townshend in 1965 about rebellious British youths and the message that older people “just don’t get it.” It was their highest charting song in their home country, reaching #2 in the UK and became a very influential rock track in America and all over the world. The famous lead vocals of Daltrey, contain a stutter, which is quite unique and was requested by their manager. ‘My Generation’ was Number 11 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and is mentioned more often than any other Who song as one that helped shape rock and roll.
Decca

 

The-Who-Larry-Busacca

The 12-12-12 concert might have been seen and heard all over the world, and the devastation might have hit New York and New Jersey hard, but Wednesday night’s concert in Madison Square Garden to raise money in aid of the victims of hurricane Sandy was Brit night. More specifically, it was Old Brit night. With a lineup of the Rolling Stones, the Who, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters and Chris Martin, all of whom came in to help the cause, the event was a reminder of the good old days of the special relationship between England and theUnited States.

The show opened with dramatic pictures of the hurricane’s winds, rain and waves attacking and drastically altering the landscape around New York City. It’s hard to remember it was only six weeks ago; the spectacle of it already seemed unreal.

It made sense that the opening act was New Jersey’s greatest star, Bruce Springsteen, who began with Land of Hope and Dreams as the camera panned forward over the mainly white, mainly middle-aged, affluent crowd on the stadium floor. Everyone was standing, but there was a general lack of focus as the concert began. Many audience members seemed to be chatting to each other rather than watching the stage.

“You probably can’t tell at home but they’ve definitely turned the speakers up to 11 tonight,” tweeted Springsteen as he performed.

He was right, we couldn’t tell. There were audio bugs throughout Springsteen’s half-hour set and when Bon Jovi came on stage to join him he was carrying a microphone that didn’t work and he could hardly be heard on Born to Run.

The Brits took over when Roger Waters strolled on stage for The Wall. Waters only performed Pink Floyd numbers, and the absence of his former partner Dave Gilmour was noted during guitar solos on Money and Comfortably Numb. But Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder filled the gap beautifully as he sang the main vocal part on the song.

This was always going to be a long show. The longer it ran, the more money it could raise. And with a download of the event available for presale on iTunes heavily promoted throughout the event (another revenue stream) the organizers were maximizing on every opportunity to raise dollars.

So it was a shame when halfway through the website crashed and the phone lines were so overwhelmed they couldn’t connect. Who knows how many dollars waiting to be pledged didn’t get through.

Waters was followed by Eric Clapton, and it was at this point that remarks about the age of performers began to flood the internet.

“Have to respect the passion Bruce brings to the stage!” said one. “Especially for being in his 60s. Sweet vest too.”

“Eric Clapton: the only 67-year-old who can rock the hipster glasses just as much as he rocks his guitar.”

Of course when the Stones came on to play a brisk two songs: You Got Me Rockin and Jumping Jack Flash (Opening line – “I was born in a crossfire hurricane”) Mick immediately joined in on the joke.

“This has to be the largest collection of old British musicians ever at Madison Square Garden,” he said.

“And if it rains in London you’ve got to come and help us out.”

The first AND ONLY woman to perform as a headliner – Alicia Keys – didn’t come on stage till almost three hours into the concert. She played for about 15 minutes, before things returned to normal with the advent of the Who’s Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend (or Keith Moon as Brian Williams called him).

It’s a good thing neither Pete Townshend nor Roger Daltrey died before they got old, or else they would not have been able to rock Madison Square Garden tonight (Dec. 12). The Who put on a master class while rocking for a good cause, raising money for the Robin Hood Relief Fund to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Opening with ‘Who Are You,’ the Who then gave the crowd a dose of their current ‘Quadrophenia + More‘ tour with ‘Bell Boy,’ a lesser known track from their classic 1973 album. The band paid tribute to the late Keith Moon by including a video projection of him singing his rare vocal part on that song.

From there came ‘Pinball Wizard,’ with Townshend’s familiar opening power chords still thrilling after 43 years and showing no signs of age. They finished off a mini-set from ‘Tommy’ with the rock opera’s finale, ‘Listening to You.’

Two other classics followed, ‘Baba O’Riley’ and the showstopper, ‘Love Reign O’er Me,’ with Daltrey giving his most powerful vocal of the night and Townshend delivering a solo that summed up everything that makes him such a brilliant guitarist. They ended their set, surprisingly, not with one of their hits, but with ‘Tea and Theatre,’ the lovely acoustic closer of the ‘Wine & Glass’ mini-opera found on their 2006 album, ‘Endless Wire.’

If there was an issue one could have, it was that during their set, Daltrey’s began shedding layers of clothing to the point where his shirt was open. While the 68-year old remains in great shape for any age, some people were starting to miss the black turtleneck worn by Jon Bon Jovi earlier in the evening.

There followed the evening’s highlight for some and lowlight for others, as Daltrey bared his tan, very buff, hairless chest and kept it exposed as he sang. For a very long time.

The Who led into Kanye West dressed in a leather kilt who led to Long Island’s Billy Joel performing his iconic New York State of Mind as well as a bunch of his other greatest hits.

Then the Brits returned in the person of Chris Martin who sang an unplugged version of Viva La Vida before bringing Michael Stipe of R.E.M “out of retirement” to sing a low-key and moving Losing My Religion.

It was left to Sir. Paul. McCartney. (as Quentin Tarantino introduced him) to close the show. By the time he came onstage in extremely high-waisted jeans, we were on day two and it was well after midnight on 12-13-12.

“Thank you for STAYING,” said McCartney gratefully.

He sang Helter Skelter then Let Me Roll It followed by a song from his Wings portfolio before finally, at 12.50am, two hours and 35 minutes after the last one left, another woman came onstage. Diana Krall – an amazing talent. Not that you’d have known. Krall didn’t even get to sing. She briefly accompanied Macca on the piano for My Valentine before silently disappearing into the wings to be noisily replaced onstage by Nirvana.

Before I end I should mention that there was a healthy representation of comic talent punctuating the night. From Billy Crystal to Adam Sandler to Chris Rock to the cast of Saturday Night Live, they were there. But again, no female comedians took the stage. (Where were you, New York residents Tina Fey and Lena Dunham?) And the comedy was underwhelming and unfunny.

McCartney brought the house to its tearful feet with Live and Let Die as the tired audience looked around for their coats and bags. Around the world, other audiences got ready for bed or for work. A solitary firework exploded and rescue workers, police and firemen came on stage for their bows. Alicia Keys returned and surrounded by the real stars of hurricane Sandy sang Empire State of Mind.

It was the perfect finish.

reviewed by:

Emma Keller from guardian.co.uk & dave lifton from ultimateclassicrock.com

photo by: Larry Busacca, Getty Images

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