The Who – Happy Jack

It took me a few listens to warm up to this song…after that, I’ve been hooked. Roger Daltrey on Happy Jack. “I remember when I first heard ‘Happy Jack’, I thought, ‘What the f–k do I do with this? It’s like a German oompah song!’ I had a picture in my head that this was the kind of song that Burl Ives would sing, so ‘Happy Jack’ was my imitation of Burl Ives!”

The song peaked at #24 in the Billboard 100 and #3 in the UK in 1967.

 

From Songfacts

Pete Townshend based the “Happy Jack” character on the strange and not-too-intelligent guys who used to hang around English beaches and play with the kids. Townshend would play on the Isle Of Man beach as a kid.

This was featured on The Who’s second album, A Quick One. In the US, the album title was changed to “Happy Jack” due to record company fears that the original title was a reference to sex.

In 1966 The Who were slotted to film a television series in much the same vein as the Monkees series. For the pilot episode, the band filmed a clip to go along with this song. It featured the 4 of them as robbers attempting to rob a safe. They get distracted, however, by a cake sitting close by and wackiness ensues as The Who smear themselves from head to foot with frosting. Finally a cop busts in and foils their plan, chasing them out of the room. The show never aired, but the clip can now be found in the Kids Are Alright DVD. The clip is light years ahead of its time for what other bands of the ’60s were doing.

A live version can be found on the expanded Live at Leeds album.

At the tail end of the song, you can hear Townshend yelling the phrase “I saw yer!” to Who drummer Keith Moon. Apparently, Moon had been banished from the studio and was trying to sneak back in. 

This song was used in an ad campaign for the Hummer H2 in 2004. The commercial featured a boy in a wooden car rolling straight down a hill to win a soap box derby instead of taking the winding road down like everyone else. 

Happy Jack

Happy Jack wasn’t old, but he was a man
He lived in the sand at the Isle of Man
The kids would all sing, he would take the wrong key
So they rode on his head on their furry donkey

The kids couldn’t hurt Jack
They tried and tried and tried
They dropped things on his back
And lied and lied and lied and lied and lied

But they couldn’t stop Jack, or the waters lapping
And they couldn’t prevent Jack from feeling happy

But they couldn’t stop Jack, or the waters lapping
And they couldn’t prevent Jack from feeling happy

The kids couldn’t hurt Jack
They tried and tried and tried
They dropped things on his back
And lied and lied and lied and lied and lied

But they couldn’t stop Jack, or the waters lapping
And they couldn’t prevent Jack from feeling happy

I saw ya!

The Who – The Real Me

One of the most exciting songs of The Who. It was off of the Mod concept album Quadrophenia. Roger and Pete are excellent in this song but John and Keith really stand out. The song peaked at #92 in 1974.

I have sat hours with a bass in my hand trying to get the runs right to this. One of John’s best bass parts.

John Entwistle on The Real Me…  “The Real Me” was the first take. I was joking when I did that bass part. The band said, “Wow, that’s great, that’s great!” And I was just messing around. They just loved the song. I was sitting on top of my speaker cabinet playing a silly bass part and that’s the one they liked. 

From Songfacts.

This is about how a Mod can’t see who he really is. “Mods” were British youth who kept up with the latest music and fashion trends. Pete Townshend was a champion of Mod culture, and the rock opera Quadrophenia told the story of a Mod named Jimmy.

John Entwistle gave what many consider one of his greatest bass performances on this song. In a 1996 interview with Goldmine magazine, Entwistle explained that he recorded it in one take. He was just “joking around” when he played it, but the band thought it was great and used it in the final version.

The Real Me

I went back to the doctor
To get another shrink
I sit and tell him ’bout my weekend
But he never betrays what he thinks

Woo
Can you see the real me, doctor?
Doctor?
Can you see the real me, doctor?
Woah, doctor

I went back to my mother
I said I’m crazy ma, help me
She said I know how it feels son
‘Cause it runs in the family

Can you see the real me, mama?
Mama?
Can you see the real me, mama?
Woah, mama

Can you see
Can you see the real me?
Can you see
Can you see the real me
The real me
The real me

The cracks between the paving stones
Look like rivers of flowing veins
Strange people who know me
Peeping from behind every window pane
The girl I used to love
Lives in this yellow house
Yesterday she passed me by
She doesn’t want to know me now

Can you see the real me?
Can ya?
Can ya?
Can you see the real me?
Can ya?
Woah, yeah

I ended up with a preacher
Full of lies and hate
I seemed to scare him a little
So he showed me to the golden gate

Can you see the real me, preacher?
Preacher?
Can you see the real me, preacher?

Can you see
Can you see
Can you see
Woah

Can you see the real me, doctor?

Can you see the real me, ma?

Can you see the real me (me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me)?

The Who – Who Are You

Great song by The Who on their last album with Keith Moon. Keith was not in the best shape by this time but his drumming on this is still fantastic. The song is about real events that happened to Pete Townshend down to being passed out drunk at night and asking a policeman that knew Pete’s name, Who the F**k are you? You can still hear Daltrey sing the expletive on classic radio stations.

The song peaked at #14 in the Billboard 100 and #18 in the UK in 1978.

From Songfacts.

This song is based on a day in the life of Pete Townshend. It began with a very long meeting dealing with royalties for his songs: “Eleven hours in the Tin Pan, God, there’s got to be another way.” The “Tin Pan” he is referring to is “Tin Pan Alley” which is the name given to the collection of New York City-centered music publishers and songwriters who dominated the popular music of the United States. After this excruciating meeting he received a large check for royalties, left and went to a bar and got completely drunk. In that bar he encountered Paul Cook and Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols, who thought very highly of Pete for paving the way for Punk rock music. Townshend was conflicted because he feared The Who had sold out, and seeing The Sex Pistols, who were icons of rebellion, exasperated him even more. Pete left that bar and passed out in a random doorway in Soho (a part of New York). A policeman recognized him (“A policeman knew my name”) and being kind, woke him and and told him, “You can go sleep at home tonight (instead of a jail cell), if you can get up and walk away.” Pete’s response: “Who the f–k are you?”

According to the 1985 Pete Townshend “My Generation” radio special, the song came out different than intended when Roger Daltrey sang it. Townshend said the song became a prayer from a destitute man. The man is on the street, looking up to the sky and asking God, “Who are you?”

The cover picture on the album features the band with drummer Keith Moon sitting on a chair that has the words “Not to be taken away” on the back of it. Moon passed away weeks after the photo was taken, and this was his last album. >>

Daltrey says the F-word twice in this song: “Who the f–k are you.” It can still be heard today with the expletive in it on many Classic Rock stations. >>

This is the theme song for the CBS TV series CSI, which went on the air in 2000 (although when the huge “YEAAAHHH!!!!” is heard it’s actually from “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” also by the Who, which was is spliced in). The song is an appropriate choice, as the crime scene investigators try to determine “who” the victims are and “who” killed them. Fans of the The Who also fit the demographics of the show, which is targeted to baby boomers.

The Who and CBS have gotten along quite well, as the shows enjoyed stellar ratings and the group has profited from the use of the songs.

The documentary The Kids Are Alright shows The Who in a studio recording this song. John, Keith, and Pete do the clapping part, but John comes in early, which leads the rest of the group to laugh hysterically. John also amuses Keith by twirling his hands between claps. Pete mocks Keith fixing his hair, and at the end holds his hand out for a high five, and you can hear a smack and him screaming, “OW!”

Townshend has only vague memories of writing this song, as he composed it with a hangover. He explained: “I’d like to think that where the song came from wasn’t the feet that I was drunk when I did the demo, but the fact that I was f–king angry with [manager] Allen Klein, and that the song was an outlet for that anger.”

Roger Daltrey recalled to Uncut magazine: “We were getting incredible accolades from some of the new Punk bands. They were saying how much they loved The Who, that we were the only band they’d leave alive after they’d taken out the rest of the establishment! But I felt very threatened by the Punk thing at first. To me it was like, ‘Well, they think they’re f—ing tough, but we’re f—ing tougher.’ It unsettled me in my vocals. When I listen back to ‘Who Are You?’ I can hear that it made me incredibly aggressive. But that’s what that song was about. Being pissed and aggressive and a c—!”

Who Are You

Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?
Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?
Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?
Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?

I woke up in a Soho doorway
A policeman knew my name
He said “You can go sleep at home tonight
If you can get up and walk away”

I staggered back to the underground
And the breeze blew back my hair
I remember throwin’ punches around
And preachin’ from my chair

Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
I really want to know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
‘Cause I really want to know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

I took the tube back out of town
Back to the Rollin’ Pin
I felt a little like a dying clown
With a streak of Rin Tin Tin

I stretched back and I hiccupped
And looked back on my busy day
Eleven hours in the Tin Pan
God, there’s got to be another way

Who are you?
Ooh wa ooh wa ooh wa ooh wa

Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?
Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?
Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?
Who are you?
Who, who, who, who?

Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
I really want to know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
‘Cause I really want to know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

I know there’s a place you walked
Where love falls from the trees
My heart is like a broken cup
I only feel right on my knees

I spit out like a sewer hole
Yet still receive your kiss
How can I measure up to anyone now
After such a love as this?

Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
I really want to know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Tell me, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
‘Cause I really want to know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

 

The Who – The Seeker

Good Who song that was not as well known as some of their others. In 1999 it was featured in the movie “The Limey”. This was The Who’s first single released after Tommy. This was also featured on their compilation album Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy.

In 1970 The Seeker peaked at #44 in the Billboard 100, #19 in the UK and #21 in Canada.

From Songfacts

Pete Townshend wrote part of the song in a swamp in Florida, drunk out of his mind. The swamp was covered in cockleburs that attached themselves to his hair and clothes, and stumbling along filled with frustration and pain he came up with “I’m looking for me, you’re looking for you, we’re looking at each other and we don’t know what to do.” Later on he denounced the song as not being one of his favourites, and said that “It sounded great in the mosquito-ridden swamp I made it up in – Florida at three in the morning, drunk out of my mind. But that’s where the trouble always starts, in the swamp.” >>
Roger Daltrey was not a fan of the song. He admitted to Uncut magazine: “I was never ever fond of ‘The Seeker.’ To sing that song, to me, was like trying to push an elephant up the stairs. I found it cumbersome, the first song we’d ever done where I thought, ‘Nah, this is pretentious.

 

“The Seeker”

I’ve looked under chairs
I’ve looked under tables
I’ve tried to find the key
To fifty million fables

They call me The Seeker
I’ve been searchin’ low and high
I won’t get to get what I’m after
Till the day I die

I asked Bobby Dylan
I asked the Beatles
I asked Timothy Leary
But he couldn’t help me either

They call me The Seeker
I’ve been searchin’ low and high
I won’t get to get what I’m after
Till the day I die

People tend to hate me
Coz I never smile
As I ransack their homes
They wanna’ shake my hand

Focusing on nowhere
Investigating miles
I’m a seeker
I’m a really desperate man

I wont get to get what I’m after
Till the day I die

I learned how to raise my voice in anger
Yeah but look at my face ain’t this a smile

I’m happy when life’s good and when its bad I cry
I got values but I don’t know how or why

I’m lookin’ for me
You’re lookin’ for you
Were lookin’ at each other and we don’t know what to do

They call me The Seeker
I been searchin’ low and high
I wont get to get what I’m after
Till the day I die

The Who – Pictures of Lily

Describing the Who’s next new single…Pete Townshend coined the term “Power Pop” to describe this song before it was released. It made it to #60 in the Billboard 100 and #4 in the UK Charts. The song tells the story of a father giving his son risque pictures of a woman taken the 1920s…and after a while, the son finds out that she had died many years ago.

It is a song about the lust of a teenage boy…we will keep it at that.

“Pictures Of Lily”

I used to wake up in the morning
I used to feel so bad
I got so sick of having sleepless nights
I went and told my dad
He said “son now here’s some little something”
And stuck them on my wall
And now my nights seem quite so lonely
In fact I, I don’t feel bad at all
I don’t feel bad at allPictures of Lily
Made my life so wonderful
Pictures of Lily
Helped me sleep at night
Pictures of Lily
Solved my childhood problem
Pictures of Lily
Helped me feel alright

Pictures of Lily
Lily, Oh Lily
Lily, Oh Lily
Pictures of Lily

And then one day things weren’t quite so fine
I fell in love with Lily
I asked my dad where Lily I could find
He said “son now don’t be silly
She’s been dead since 1929″
Oh how I cried that night
If only I’d been born in Lily’s time
It would have been alright

Pictures of Lily
Made my life so wonderful
Pictures of Lily
Helped me sleep at night
Pictures of Lily
But me and Lily are together in my dreams
And I ask ya, “Hey mister have ya ever seen?”
Pictures of Lily!

Favorite Lines from Songs

Sometimes lyrics will hook you into a song more than even the melody…here are a few I like.

I wasn’t looking too good but I was feeling real well… Rolling Stones

Meet the new Boss/same as the old boss…The Who

The sunshine bores the daylights out of me… Rolling Stones

We learned more from a three-minute record, baby/Than we ever learned in school…Bruce Springsteen

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together… Beatles

She knows there’s no success like failure and that failure’s no success at all… Bob Dylan

The silence of a falling star lights up a purple sky… Hank Williams SR

Because celluloid heroes never feel any pain and celluloid heroes never really die… Kinks

Yes, I wish that for just one time/You could stand inside my shoes/You’d know what a drag it is to see you… Bob Dylan

But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die… Johnny Cash

I hid in the mother breast of the crowd,/when they said “pull down” I pulled up… Bruce Springsteen

We always did feel the same/We just saw it from a different point of view…Bob Dylan

In Jersey, anything’s legal, as long as you don’t get caught… The Traveling Wilburys

Shake the hand that shook the hand of P.T. Barnum and Charlie Chan… Grateful Dead

Shammy cleaning all the windows singing songs about Edith Piaf’s soul… Van Morrison

I shouted out,”Who killed the Kennedys?” when after all It was you and me…Rolling Stones

Measuring a summer’s day/ I only finds it slips away to grey/ The hours, they bring me pain…Led Zeppelin

I just spent 60 days in the jailhouse/for the crime of having no dough…The Band

You see, ya can’t please everyone, so ya got to please yourself…Ricky Nelson

Hello darkness, my old friend I’ve come to talk with you again…Paul Simon

I drank enough whiskey to float a battleship around… Lynyrd Skynyrd

I blew out my flip-flop stepped on a pop-top/cut my heel had to cruise on back home… Jimmy Buffet

And in the end,the love you take is equal to the love you make…The Beatles

 

 

 

 

You traveled into a worm hole through space and time and all you brought back was Keith Moon?

I awoke from a dream. I dreamed I was at an opening of some club and I was in the parking lot and here comes Keith Moon. He was laughing madly and asked me if I was enjoying myself…I was amazed and happy…. Someone in the background of this dream asked the above long question that is the title. I didn’t answer but if I did it would have been a resounding YES…who else? If I could have met any rock star…I would have picked Keith Moon. He was the ultimate definition of a rock star. Some people would pick Jimmy Page or Robert Plant…but to me Led Zeppelin always had a dark cloud around them. They were not the most inviting band. The Who on the other hand seemed open and at least trying to connect with the audience. The concert footage I have of them with Moon they would act silly between songs and be human and light…until they played…when they played in their prime…no one could touch them live. Plus musically I just liked them much better…I brought Zeppelin up because they  covered some of the same ground at the same time as the Who. I don’t care if I hear Stairway anymore in my life…but when Won’t Get Fooled Again comes on….I still turn it up. But this is about Keith Moon and me dragging him to the current age. He would not have survived now because he had fun and lots of it. Excess yes and too much. He was arguably the best drummer in rock ever….he usually comes in 1st or 2nd in polls to John Bonham. He had an ability and a rare ability….it doesn’t seem he could be embarrassed. I use to really want that trait…but it was his undoing also. With all of his mad escapades it has been said by many that he never wanted to hurt anyone. He once got a hotel clerk fired by stealing chicken from the kitchen…the next day he got the mans job back. The only person he ended up hurting was himself. He wrecked plenty of hotel rooms but he did it with style…one time nailing the furniture to the ceiling at the same location it had been on the floor.

I feel guilty sometimes enjoying reading about Keith…yes he had drinking problems and some mental problems that went undetected in the seventies. You will see these old jaded rock stars start smiling when talking about him now. A smile that says that they don’t have the time or the memory to tell you all the stories. He had energy to burn and finally did just that…burn out. He wore people out that tried to hang with him.

Keith’s stories have entertained generations after his lifetime….he paid the price. He was trying to clean up before he died and died on an overdose of a drug to wean him off of alcohol.

Check youtube out for Keith Moon and you will find some great videos….If you want a quick read find a copy of Full Moon I had a copy when I was 13 and I wish I would have kept it when I saw the price…you can get the audio version pretty cheap. If you really want to know about Keith get this one.  Better price and it covers his entire career. Yes I would bring him back just to see the reaction of today’s PC world. Their heads would explode. He would give this boring corporate world a hot foot….which it needs desperately. If only I could Keith….you would be here but I would rather go back to your world when the rules were broken and you could have a bit more fun. To this day I’ve never seen nor heard a drummer that could match him.