Who – Young Man Blues

Young Man Blues was written by jazz artist Mose Allison in 1957. Mose’s version is jazzy and smooth. The Who took the song and set it afire with an explosive charge. Mose Allison called The Who’s version The “Command Performance” of his song. That’s a great compliment from the author. Pete was a big fan of Mose Allison. He has said that if he never heard this song he would not have written My Generation.

The Who version has great dynamics. The bass and drums are all over the place and yet perfect. The Who sound like they are driving near a cliff and you know the song is going to fall off but they save it at the last moment time after time. The song was on the Live At Leeds album released in 1970.

The key to this song and most Who songs was the rhythm section. Keith Moon and John Entwistle pushed each other to greatness. The frenetic chaotic bass and drums made it exciting. You had the lead guitar player punching in licks between the lead bass and drums. Later on, when Keith passed away and Kenney Jones took his place…they were not the same. That is nothing against Jones…he was one of the best British drummers at that time but that touch of insanity was gone permanently.

A year or so before John Entwistle died, Roger Daltrey was complaining about John’s volume on stage to Pete. Pete replied that without that volume and John’s style…they are not the Who. That was a true statement. I saw the Who with John and later on without him. It wasn’t the same. Was it a great show without him? Yes, the songs were great but that element of danger was gone. That is what both Keith and John added to the Who.

So I’ll take this note for myself… February 14, 1970… I’ll buy a ticket for Leeds University when I get my time machine working…I’ll take some cotton balls though.

Young Man Blues

Oh well a young man ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days
I said a young man ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days

You know in the old days
When a young man was a strong man
All the people they’d step back
When a young man walked by

But you know nowadays
It’s the old man,
He’s got all the money
And a young man ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days
I said nothing

Everybody knows that a young man ain’t got nothin’
Everybody!
Everybody knows that a young man ain’t got nothin’
He got nothin’
Nothin’

Take it easy on the young man
They ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days
I said they ain’t got nothin’!
They got sweet fuck-all!

….

Who – Summertime Blues

Eddie Cochran wrote this song and released it in 1958.

Cochran wrote this with Jerry Capehart, a songwriter who was good friends with Cochran and helped him get a record deal. Capehart said: “There had been a lot of songs about summer, but none about the hardships of summer.” With that idea and a guitar lick from Cochran, they wrote the song in 45 minutes.”

I like the Cochran version…and the Who version…they are completely different. I’ve always loved the way the Who covered it. If I had a time machine The Who would be a stop to see live at this time.

This song was on their great live album Live At Leeds. The song peaked at #27 in the Billboard 100, #8 in Canada, and #38 in the UK in 1970.

Live at Leeds would be my pick for best rock live album ever. The album peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100, #2 in Canada, and #3 in the UK.

Summertime Blues

I’m gonna raise a fuss, I’m gonna raise a holler
About a-workin’ all summer just to try to earn a dollar
Well, I went to the boss, get a girl for a date
But the boss says, “no dice son, you gotta work late”
Sometimes I wonder what I’m a-gonna do
But there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues

Well, my mama and papa told me, “son, you gotta make some money”
If you want to use the car to go ridin’ next Sunday
Well, I didn’t go to work, I told the boss I was sick
“Well, you can’t use the car ’cause you didn’t work a lick”
Sometimes I wonder what I’m a gonna do
But there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues

I’m gonna take two weeks, gonna have a fine vacation
I’m gonna take my problem to the United Nations
Well, I went to my congressman and he said, quote:
“I’d like to help you, son, but you’re too young to vote”
Sometimes I wonder what I’m a gonna do
But there ain’t no cure for the summertime Blues