Who – Magic Bus

A band called The Pudding heard this song from a Pete Townshend demo that was circulated. The Pudding recorded the first version (see video below), which came and went without much fanfare in 1967…they could have picked a little better name. Their version was a little too smooth for me.

I’ve always liked this song with it’s Bo Diddley rhythm.

The Who’s version came out in the next year in 1968 and peaked at #25 in the Billboard 100, #26 in the UK, #6 in Canada, and #13 in New Zealand.

The song was included on the American album Magic Bus: The Who on Tour although no tracks were live…they were all studio tracks. In the UK it was just released as a single. It would later be included on the great compilation album Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy in 1971.

Pete Townsend: “When I wrote ‘Magic Bus,’ LSD wasn’t even invented as far as I knew. Drug songs and veiled references to drugs were not part of The Who image. If you were in The Who and took drugs, you said, ‘I take drugs,’ and waited for the fuzz to come. We said it but they never came. We very soon got bored with drugs. No publicity value. Buses, however! Just take another look at Decca’s answer to an overdue Tommy; The Who, Magic Bus, On Tour. Great title, swinging presentation. Also a swindle as far as insinuating that the record was live. Bastards. This record is what that record should have been. It’s The Who at their early best. Merely nippers with big noses and small genitals trying to make the front page of The Daily News.”

 

Magic Bus

Every day I get in the queue (too much, Magic Bus)
To get on the bus that takes me to you (too much, Magic Bus)
I’m so nervous, I just sit and smile (too much, Magic Bus)
You house is only another mile (too much, Magic Bus)

Thank you, driver, for getting me here (too much, Magic Bus)
You’ll be an inspector, have no fear (too much, Magic Bus)
I don’t want to cause no fuss (too much, Magic Bus)
But can I buy your Magic Bus? (too much, Magic Bus)

(No)

I don’t care how much I pay (too much, Magic Bus)
I want to drive my bus to my baby each day (too much, Magic Bus)

I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it (you can’t have it)
Thruppence and sixpence every day
Just to drive to my baby
Thruppence and sixpence each day
‘Cause I drive my baby every way

Magic bus, Magic Bus, Magic Bus
Magic bus, Magic Bus, Magic Bus
Magic bus, Magic Bus, Magic Bus
Magic bus, Magic Bus, Magic Bus

I said, now I’ve got my Magic Bus (too much, Magic Bus)
I said, now I’ve got my Magic Bus (too much, Magic Bus)
I drive my baby every way (too much, Magic Bus)
Each time I go a different way (too much, Magic Bus)

I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it
I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it

Every day you’ll see the dust (too much, Magic Bus)
As I drive my baby in my Magic Bus (too much, Magic Bus)

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

21 thoughts on “Who – Magic Bus”

  1. There was definitely a ‘magic bus’ theme going on during that time, so maybe it wasn’t specifically drugs, but it was a trend or a sort of movement. There was Ken Kesey’s bus trip across the US, and the Beatles did Magical Mystery Tour around that time also.

    I listened to a bit of the Pudding version. I definitely like The Who’s version better, but it’s the only one I’m used to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Pudding version is too smooth…it needs the rough edges that the Who give it…to me anyway.
      You are right about the buses. Did you see the buses they had for the Who’s 2019 tour? I didn’t know anything about it… I’ll send you a link in the next comment. When I first saw it…I ithought it was the 60s until I really looked at it.

      Like

    1. I know! The Pudding…they could have come out with Stairway To Heaven with Hey Jude as a B side and I’m not sure if people would have cared.
      I never heard of The Pudding…I can’t type it without cringing.

      Off Topic but have you seen 1917? Not a thriller but the way it was filmed is something to remember.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the Who’s better singles – I never knew it wasn’t an original. But then listening to that Pudding orginal, it’s easy to hear why The Who’s version was first that radio played!

    Liked by 1 person

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