Who – Slip Kid

I have a bootleg concert of The Who in 1976 in Houston. This song is very dynamic and powerful live. This was released in August 1976 in Canada and the US with “Dreaming From The Waist” as its B side. It was on the album The Who By Numbers and it peaked at #8 in the Billboard Album charts, #7 in the UK, #9 in Canada and #29 in New Zealand in 1976.

The Who played this song in 1976 but after they didn’t play it much at all until the 50h anniversary tour.

Pete Townshend wrote this song, which uses imagery as metaphor for life in the music business. Much of the album deals with his frustrations with the industry, of being obsolete as a 30-year-old rock star. Oh, how times have changed now.

Pete usually wrote a lot of songs for the band to pick from for an album. This time they recorded everything he wrote because he was going through writer’s block at the time.

It’s one of my favorite Who album covers. They usually took turns on who would think of the album cover. It was John Entwistle’s turn and he drew the album cover along with numbers.

John Entwistle on the cover

“The first piece of artwork released is The Who by Numbers cover, which I never got paid for, so now I’m going to get paid. We were taking it in turns to do the covers. It was Pete’s turn before me and we did the Quadrophenia cover, which cost about the same as a small house back then, about £16,000. My cover cost £32

The Who By Numbers': An Album Of 'Group Unity And Love' | uDiscover

Pete Townshend: “‘Slip Kid’ came across as a warning to young kids getting into music that it would hurt them – it was almost parental in its assumed wisdom.”

Pete Townshend on The Who By Numbers: I felt partly responsible because the Who recording schedule had, as usual, dragged on and on, sweeping all individuals and their needs aside. Glyn worked harder on The Who by Numbers than I’ve ever seen him. He had to, not because the tracks were weak or the music poor but because the group was so useless. We played cricket between takes or went to the pub. I personally had never done that before. I felt detached from my own songs, from the whole record. Recording the album seemed to take me nowhere. Roger [Daltrey] was angry with the world at the time. Keith [Moon] seemed as impetuous as ever, on the wagon one minute, off the next. John [Entwistle] was obviously gathering strength throughout the whole period; the great thing about it was he seemed to know we were going to need him more than ever before in the coming year

Slip Kid

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight …

I’ve got my clipboard, text books
Lead me to the station
Yeah, I’m off to the civil war
I’ve got my kit bag, my heavy boots
I’m runnin’ in the rain
Gonna run till my feet are raw

Slip kid, slip kid, second generation
And I’m a soldier at thirteen
Slip kid, slip kid, realization
There’s no easy way to be free
No easy way to be free

It’s a hard, hard world

I left my doctor’s prescription bungalow behind me
I left the door ajar
I left my vacuum flask
Full of hot tea and sugar
Left the keys right in my car

Slip kid, slip kid, second generation
Only half way up the tree
Slip kid, slip kid, I’m a relation
I’m a soldier at sixty-three
No easy way to be free

Slip kid, slip kid

Keep away old man, you won’t fool me
You and your history won’t rule me
You might have been a fighter, but admit you failed
I’m not affected by your blackmail
You won’t blackmail me

I’ve got my clipboard, text books
Lead me to the station
Yeah, I’m off to the civil war
I’ve got my kit bag, my heavy boots
I’m runnin’ in the rain
Gonna run till my feet are raw

Slip kid, slip kid, slip out of trouble
Slip over here and set me free
Slip kid, slip kid, second generation
You’re slidin’ down the hill like me
No easy way to be free
No easy way to be free
No easy way to be free

Keith Moon Stories

Here are a few short Keith Moon stories. If you want an entertaining book…get Full Moon by Keith Moon’s assistant. Peter “Dougal” Butler.

I didn’t get all the Keith Moon posts out yesterday so I wanted to post this today…I made sure all of these were short so it would not take too much time.

Helen Mirren’s Keith Moon Story

Alice Cooper “If you could live with him…he was the best drummer of all time”

Alice again

Pete Townshend’s Story

Graham Chapman

Roger talks about Keith

A very drunk Keith and Ringo

Keith…on Keith

The Who – Squeeze Box

You go and see Pete Townshend to watch him windmill his guitar and jump about. Not on this song…you hear Pete happily playing on a banjo…and that is a great thing. He also slips in the accordion for good measure. This is not The Who’s best song but it’s happy and catchy. It’s also the first Who song I remember hearing without knowing much about them. My sister surprisingly had this single…a bright spot among the many bad ones she owned.

This song was on the album The Who By Numbers released in 1975 and peaked at #8. Squeeze Box made it to #16 in the Billboard 100 in 1976.

Townshend wrote all of the songs and they were deeply personal. He had just turned 30 and he was beginning to question his place in Rock and Roll. A question he would wrestle with a few more years.

Squeeze Box was originally intended for a Who television special planned in 1974. In the planned performance of the song, the members of the band were to be surrounded by 100 topless women playing accordions

Pete Townsend: “It’s not about a woman’s breasts, vaginal walls, or anything else of the ilk.”

Roger Daltrey: “What’s great about ‘Squeeze Box’ is that it’s so refreshingly simple, an incredible catchy song. A good jolly. I’ve never had a problem with that song because it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is and I love it for that. Live audiences love it. Nothing wrong with a bit of ‘in-and-out’, mate!”  

From Songfacts

Squeeze Box” is a slang term for an accordion, but it is also slang for the vagina. The band just wanted to see if they could get away with singing about the joys of explicit sex. 

In the liner notes to Pete Townshend’s compilation album Scoop, he wrote that he recorded the song for fun one day when he had bought himself an accordion. The accordion gave the song a polka-esque rhythm and the lyrics were “intended as a poorly aimed dirty joke.” Townshend had no thought of it ever becoming a hit.

The song is about an accordion (sort of), but there is hardly any of the instrument in the song. You can hear some in the section about 90 seconds in that goes, “squeeze me, come on and squeeze me,” but the subsequent instrumental section is mostly banjo. Pete Townshend played both instruments.

 

Squeeze Box

Mama’s got a squeeze box
She wears on her chest
And when daddy comes home
He never gets no rest
‘Cause she’s playing all night
And the music’s all right
Mama’s got a squeeze box
Daddy never sleeps at night

Well the kids don’t eat
And the dog can’t sleep
There’s no escape from the music
In the whole damn street
‘Cause she’s playing all night
And the music’s all right
Mama’s got a squeeze box
Daddy never sleeps at night

She goes in and out and in
And out and in and out and in and out
She’s playing all night
And the music’s all right
Mama’s got a squeeze box
Daddy never sleeps at night

She goes, squeeze me, come on and squeeze me
Come on and tease me like you do
I’m so in love with you
Mama’s got a squeeze box
Daddy never sleeps at night

She goes in and out and in and out
And in and out and in and out
‘Cause she’s playing all night
And the music’s all right
Mama’s got a squeeze box
Daddy never sleeps at night