Who – A Legal Matter

The early Who singles were first heard in the UK much more than America. They were really exciting and raw and different from anyone else. I first heard this song on the great compilation album Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy. The album was made up of singles and many of them were not heard in America much at all when they were originally released.

It was released both as the B-side to “The Kids Are Alright” in the U.S., and as the A-side of a single that peaked at #32 in the UK in 1965. Both singles were released by Shel Talmy without the permission of the Who and were a result of a legal dispute between Talmy and the band at the time and an attempt to sabotage the release of the band’s chosen single “Substitute”.

This was the first song that Pete Townshend took the lead vocal on.

Pete Townshend on the song: “is about a guy on the run from a chick about to pin him down for breach of contract. What this song was screaming from behind lines like ‘It’s a legal matter, baby, marrying’s no fun/It’s a legal matter, baby, you got me on the run’ was, “I’m lonely, I’m hungry, the bed needs making.’ I wanted a maid, I suppose.”

A Legal Matter

I told you why I changed my mind
I got bored by playing with time
I know you thought you had me nailed
But I’ve freed my head from your garden rails

Now it’s a legal matter, baby
You got me on the run
It’s a legal matter, baby
A legal matter from now on

My mind’s lost in a household fog
Wedding gowns and catalogs
Kitchen furnishings and houses
Maternity clothes and baby’s trousers

Now it’s a legal matter, baby
Marryin’s no fun
It’s a legal matter, baby
A legal matter from now on

I told you why I changed my mind
I got bored by playing with time
I know you thought you had me nailed
Well, I’ve freed my head from your garden rails

Now it’s a legal matter, baby
You got me on the run
It’s a legal matter, baby
A legal matter from now on

You ain’t the first and you ain’t the last
I gain and lose my women fast
I never want to make them cry
I just get bored, don’t ask me why

Just wanna keep doing all the dirty little things I do
And not work all day in an office just to bring my money back to you
Sorry, baby

Who – The Quiet One…Sunday Album Cut

I posted a song from Face Dances a little while ago and Deke brought up a song on that album called The Quiet One. I really like that song also. It was written by who I think was the best bass player in rock ever…John Entwistle.

When I bought the album this is one of the songs I zeroed in on. I’ve always liked John’s writing that got overshadowed by Pete. John had had some black humor and wit in his songs.

This song was the B side to the hit You Better You Bet released in 1981. On their farewell tour in 1982 he replaced his older song “My Wife” with this one on stage.  In the later tours, this song was never played again… “My Wife” was brought back.

John Entwistle: “It’s me trying to explain that I’m not really quiet. I started off being quiet and that’s the pigeon hole I’ve been stuck in all these years. It started when I heard Kenney playing a drum riff and I thought ‘that would be really great for a song and give Kenney a chance to play that on stage.’ So I got Kenney to put down about three minutes of that and I worked along with it and came up with the chorus of ‘The Quiet One.’ I wrote ‘Quiet One’ especially to replace ‘My Wife’ onstage. I had gotten tired of singing that and ‘Boris the Spider.'”

The Quiet One

Everybody calls me the quiet one
You can see but you can’t hear me
Everybody calls me the quiet one
You can try but you can’t get near me
I ain’t never had the gift of gab
But I can’t talk with my eyes
When words fail me you won’t nail me
My eyes can tell you lies

Still waters run deep so be careful I don’t drown you
You’ve got nothing to hear I’ve got nothing to say
Sticks and stones may break your bones
But names can never down you
It only takes two words to blow you away

Everybody calls me the quiet one
But you just don’t understand
You can’t listen you won’t hear me
With your head stuck in the sand
I ain’t never had time for words that don’t rhyme
My headd is in a cloud
I ain’t quiet – everybody else is too loud

Still waters run deep so be careful I don’t drown you
You’ve got nothing to hear I’ve got nothing to say
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But names can never down you
It only takes two words to blow you away.

Who – Another Tricky Day

This was the first album the Who made without Keith Moon called Face Dances. Kenney Jones was playing drums and the album had a substantial hit with You Better You Bet. It was also the first new Who album I ever bought. The other ones had been collections of their older hits. I can’t say that I don’t the Moon version of the Who but the album did have some good songs on it.

This song is one of the best songs off of Face Dances. To my surprise it was not released as a single.

The album peaked at #4 in the Billboard Album Charts, #2 in the UK, and #1 in Canada in 1981.

Roger Daltrey: “Pete’s a very complicated bunch of people… And you never know which one of him you’re going to get. There’s one that’s so wonderful, so caring, so spiritual. But there are others that are horrendous-and I mean horrendous…. That’s the madness of genius, so I accept it. I don’t judge him. I love him. I love all of hims.”

Another Tricky Day

You can’t always get it
When you really want it
You can’t always get it at all
Just because there’s space
In your life it’s a waste
To spend your time why don’t you wait for the call

(Just gotta get used to it)
We all get it in the end
(Just gotta get used to it)
We go down and we come up again
(Just gotta get used to it)
You irritate me my friend
(This is no social crisis)
This is you having fun
(No crisis)
Getting burned by the sun
(This is true)
This is no social crisis
Just another tricky day for you

You can always get higher
Just because you aspire
You could expire even knowing.
Don’t push the hands
Just hang on to the band
You can dance while your knowledge is growing

(It could happen anytime)
You can’t expect to never cry
(Patience is priceless)
Not when you try to fly so high
(Just stay on that line)
Rock and roll will never die
(This is no social crisis)
[etc.]

Another tricky day
Another gently nagging pain
What the papers say
Just seems to bring down heavier rain
The world seems in a spiral
Life seems such a worthless title
But break out and start a fire y’all
It’s all here on the vinyl
(No crisis)
[etc.]

[Repeat verse 1.]

(Just gotta get used to it)
Gotta get used to waiting
(Just gotta get used to it)
You know how the ice is
(Just gotta get used to it)
It’s thin where you’re skating
(This is no social crisis)
[etc.]

Just another tricky day for you fellah

Who – Circles (Instant Party)

This song is for Song Lyric Sunday for Jim Adams’s blog. This week’s prompt is  Circle/Polygon/Square/Triangle…

The Who are my second favorite band…right behind the Beatles. This song is early Who at the time of My Generation. The song was known as “Circles (Instant Party)”, “Instant Party (Circles)” and “Instant Party”…the song has a complicated history. It was recorded during a time they were trying to leave their producer. The song was written by Pete Townshend and released in 1966.

Circles is an early example of what would become Power Pop. Pete Townshend was trying to write a song with a different sound. Pete found out that bassist John Entwistle could play trumpet, the band’s manager, Kit Lambert, decided to allow the band to try creating a song featuring Entwistle’s horns.

John Entwistle: When we recorded our first LP and wanted a bit of a different sound, Pete told our manager, Kit Lambert, that I could play trumpet. He thought Pete was joking at first but then said he’d give it a try. I showed him I could play the trumpet and in the end we used French horn.

The song was to be the follow up to the anthem My Generation…but the band was not happy with their producer Shel Talmy and secretly broke their contract with him and re-recorded Circles as the B-side to their new UK single “Substitute”.

Talmy sued the Who and a legal battle began.

Pete Townshend: We did two versions of “Circles”, which were both identical because they were both copies of my demo. Shel [Talmy] put in a High Court injunction, saying there was copyright in the recording. In other words, if you’re a record producer and you produce a song with a group, and you make a creative contribution, then you own that sound….He took it to the high-court judge and he said things like ‘And then on bar thirty-six I suggested to the lead guitarist that he play a diminuendo, forget the adagio, and play thirty-six bars modulating to the key of E flat,’ which was all total bullshit — he used to fall asleep at the desk…

They did get away from Talmy but it cost them dearly. It was agreed that Talmy would receive a percentage of each album going forward until the early seventies. So Talmy made a huge amount of money off of their best known albums that he had nothing at all to do with…like Tommy, Live At Leeds, and  Who’s Next.

Circles (Instant Party)

Circles, my head is going round in circles
My mind is caught up in a whirlpool
Dragging me down

Time will tell if I’ll take the homeward track
Dizziness will make my feet walk back
Walk right back to you

[chorus:]
Everything I do, I think of you
No matter how I try, I can’t get by
These circles, leading me back to you

Round and around and around and around and around
and around and around and around and around

And round and round like a fool I go
Down and down in the pool I go
Dragging me down

[chorus]

There one thing could kill the pain of losing you
But it gets me so dizzy then I’m walking right back again
Back to you

Time will tell if these dreams are nearly fact
Don’t know why I left, I’m coming back
Coming on back to you

The Kids Are Alright Documentary…Desert Island Music Films

We wrapped up Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days. We are going into extra innings and extending three more picks from these categories… favorite Soundtracks, Greatest Hits, and a music related movie. This is my pick for a music related movie: The Who in The Kids Are Alright.

2020 ALBUM DRAFT- ROUND 13 PICK 5- BADFINGER20 SELECTS- THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

I acquired a VHS copy of this in the mid-eighties. It wasn’t a great copy but my friends and I wore it out. One of them worked at a small cable station. The station was in a small county that usually aired farm reports and advertisements. Basically, it was a very small building in the middle of nowhere. All they would do there is broadcast videos.

We had the tape in hand and wanted to see it so we went there one afternoon. He popped it in the VHS player and played it. He had no idea but it was going out live all over the region. Near the end of the film, he took a phone call from his boss. I didn’t think anyone ever watched that station…but it turns out they did and they were not fans of The Who. He didn’t get fired but they took his key for the door for a little while. It was a big subject the next day at school as some teenagers loved it but their parents didn’t appreciate their farm reports being interrupted by My Generation and Keith Moon in bondage.

I’ve seen this film so many times I can almost quote it while it’s playing. The Who albums made me a huge fan of their music…this film made me a huge fan of band.

This film covers the original Who and being such a Who fan I’m glad Jeff Stein (director) was so persistent in doing this because many of the tapes he was able to borrow probably would have been erased and used again by the BBC as was their policy.

Jeff was a fan of the band and pestered them until they let him do this. He had no prior experience in filmmaking but this was the 1970s and he got the gig. His timing was eerily perfect. He caught the original band at the very end of their tenure with Keith Moon.

He searched high and low for clips of the band in earlier years. Stein keeps the appearance mostly in order. There is sadness in this. You see the band through the years from 1964 to 1978… you see all of them gradually age of course but Keith Moon ages faster than any of them. I’ve read where it hit him hard while watching the rough cut right before he died. His lifestyle had taken its toll on him. He saw himself as a young energetic kid that looked like Paul McCartney’s younger brother to a man who was 32 and looked like he was in his 40s at least.

This may be the first or one of the first film bios on a major rock band. Led Zeppelin had The Song Remains the Same but it focused on one concert in New York… The Beatles had Let It Be but those films didn’t show their history like The Kids Are Alright.

The Who - Wikipedia

In this film you see a band that is fun… unlike their peers Zeppelin and Sabbath the Who were more open to their audience and didn’t have a dark mystique hanging over them. They would crack jokes from the stage…Moon and Townshend treated it like a High School talent show until they started to play…then they got serious.

You see film segments that were fun like the video of Happy Jack, the interview on the Russell Harty Show, Keith with Ringo, and Keith and Pete sharing a joke that only they could understand. One of my favorite segments is The Who playing Barbara Ann with Keith singing and the band having a good time. They also played I Saw Her Standing There but it didn’t make the final cut…you can watch it in the outtakes. I can’t imagine the big bands of that time doing Barbara Ann and goofing for the camera.

The Who did a couple of live shows for the film besides being interviewed. Stein mostly used old clips but he convinced the band to do a couple of free concerts in May of 1978 where he could get a definitive version of Won’t Get Fooled Again… which personally I think is the greatest live performance song live you will ever hear. You see Keith’s last performance as he is looking pudgy, older, and slower but still pulls it off. Pete wasn’t too thrilled about doing the concerts for the film but it turned out good. They ended up only using a version Won’t Get Fooled Again and Baba O’Riley from the 78 live show.

Keith died a few months before The Kids Are Alright debuted on June 15, 1979. The film showed The Who at it’s best. Kenney Jones from the Faces replaced him but it was never the same. You cannot replace Moon…he was the engine that drove the Who. Later on in the 90s Zak Starkey…who was Ringo’s son and Keith’s God son played drums for the Who and still does.

If you haven’t watched the film…stop what you are doing and watch it. It still holds up as one of the best music documentaries that rock has produced.

Zak Starkey and Keith Moon

Pin på Drums & Drummers

The Who – Acid Queen

I’ve always liked when Pete would take the lead vocals in songs. This song is on the album Tommy…In the movie Tommy, Tina Turner plays the part and sings it like only Tina can.

In the story the Acid Queen tries to cure Tommy the deaf, dumb, and blind kid but fails. The Acid Queen fails to heal Tommy, just as the way of excess and indulgence never brings lasting spiritual transformation. Pete wanted it known it was a dead end.

Pete followed the teachings of Meher Baba…an Indian guru that Townshend had been studying under since 1968. Meher Baba believe that acid and the like were unproductive for spirituality, he felt they were immensely detrimental and destructive.

Tina Turner also released a cover of this song as the third single from her The Acid Queen album.

Tina Turner - Acid Queen (single).jpg

The Tommy album peaked at #4 in the Billboard Album Charts, #6 in Canada, and #2 in the UK in 1969.

From Songfacts

“The Acid Queen” is an important song in the Who’s rock opera Tommy. In that album, the title character is “deaf, dumb, and blind,” with “dumb” being an archaic (and, in modern times, offensive) way of saying “mute.” Tommy eventually becomes a master at the game of pinball, as summarized in the album’s signature song “Pinball Wizard.”

In their quest to cure their son, Tommy’s parents take him to see a character called the Acid Queen. She’s an outsider figure who offers to liberate Tommy’s mind with drugs and sex.

The word “acid” is almost universal slang for the psychedelic drug LSD, which was the biggest shaping force of the ’60s counterculture. In the ’60s, rightfully or wrongfully (probably wrongfully), acid wasn’t looked at as a recreational drug so much as a way to elevate consciousness and “free” one’s mind.

The Acid Queen, as with the Tommy story as a whole, seem almost ridiculous until you understand what Who guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend was doing with them.

The character Tommy is meant to represent the average human being who is spiritually and psychologically deaf, blind, and mute in the sense that we are clouded by petty ambitions and lusts and are unable to see the full depth and breadth of reality.

The Acid Queen, meanwhile, represents one method for escaping those limitations – the way of drugs and excess, or “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” as a popular slogan of the era went.

This isn’t the only Who song Baba influenced. His name is even right there in the title of “Baba O’Riley.”

Townshend sings lead vocals on this one. That arrangement wasn’t entirely unheard of for The Who, but Roger Daltrey was the official lead singer of the band and is the voice of most of their songs.

The Acid Queen

If your child ain’t all he should be now
This girl will put him right
I’ll show him what he could be now
Just give me one night

I’m the gypsy, the acid queen
Pay me before I start
I’m the gypsy and I’m guaranteed
To mend his aching heart

Give us a room, close the door
Leave us for a while
You won’t be a boy no more
Young, but not a child

I’m the gypsy, the acid queen
Pay me before I start
I’m the gypsy, I’m guaranteed

To tear your soul apart

Gather your wits and hold them fast
Your mind must learn to roam
Just as the gypsy queen must do
You’re gonna hit the road

My work’s been done, now look at him
He’s never been more alive
His head it shakes, his fingers clutch
Watch his body writhe

I’m the gypsy, the acid queen
Pay me before I start
I’m the gypsy, I’m guaranteed

To break your little heart

If your child ain’t all he should be now
This girl will put him right
I’ll show him what he could be now
Just give me one more night

I’m the gypsy, the acid queen
Pay me before I start
I’m the gypsy, I’m guaranteed

To tear your soul apart

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

Who – Bell Boy

Keith would sometimes call out for this song in Who concerts. The reason for that would be because he sings parts of the song along with Roger. Keith lays on the cockney voice well in this song and talks/sings it.

The song was on Quadrophenia released in 1973. The album peaked at #2 in the Billboard Album Charts, #2 in the UK, and #2 in Canada.

After the song was dropped from the set…either Keith or the crowd would request it much to Townshend’s chagrin at times.

The album was a concept album about the mod culture in the UK in the early 60s that features a character named Jimmy.

Pete Townshend: He meets an old Ace Face who’s now a bellhop at the very hotel the Mods tore up. And he looks on Jimmy with a mixture of pity and contempt, really, and tells him, in effect, ‘Look, my job is shit and my life is a tragedy. But you – look at you, you’re dead!’

From Songfacts

This is Keith Moon’s song on Quadrophenia, which centers on a character with four personalities, each one representing a different member of The Who. “Bell Boy” is about the main character Jimmy meeting an old mod “Ace Face,” or leader. However, he finds out that the Ace Face has given up music, and now he works at a hotel (as a bell boy) that a mod gang happened to destroy a few years back. Keith Moon does some of the vocals on the song. 

Keith Moon’s drumming is prominent on this track. Ron Nevison, the engineer on Quadrophenia, told Songfacts what it was like recording him. “The biggest problem with Keith on the drums was finding a place to put the microphones,” he said. “He had so many drums – two hi-hats, two kick drums, six or eight tom-toms – it was challenging just to get in there to get the snare drum covered.”

Bell Boy

The beach is a place where a man can feel
He’s the only soul in the world that’s real
Well I see a face coming through the haze
I remember him from those crazy days
Crazy days, crazy days

Ain’t you the guy who used to set the paces
Riding up in front of a hundred faces
I don’t suppose you would remember me
But I used to follow you back in sixty-three

I’ve got a good job, and I’m newly born
You should see me dressed up in my uniform
I work in hotel, all gilt and flash
Remember the place where the doors were smashed?

Bell Boy, I got to get running now
Bell Boy, keep my lip buttoned down
Bell Boy, carry this baggage out
Bell Boy, always running at someone’s pleading heel
You know how I feel
Always running at someone’s heel

Some nights I still sleep on the beach
Remember when stars were in reach
I wander in early to work
Spend my day licking boots for my perks

A beach is a place where a man can feel
He’s the only soul in the world that’s real

Well I see a face coming through the haze
I remember him from those crazy days (crazy days, crazy days, crazy days, crazy days)

Ain’t you the guy who used to set the paces
Riding up in front of a hundred faces
I don’t suppose you would remember me
But I used to follow you back in sixty-three

People often change
But when I look in your eyes
You could learn a lot from
A job like mine
The secret to me
It ain’t flown on a flag
I carry it behind
This pretty little badge
What says

Bell Boy I got to get running now
Bell Boy, keep my lip buttoned down
Bell Boy, carry the bloody baggage out
Bell Boy, always running at someone’s heel
You know how I feel
Always running at someone’s heel

Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again… Epic Rock Songs Week

This week I will cover some songs that I have avoided because everyone has heard them so many times but…they are considered some of the best ever…

Meet The New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

As rock songs go…it doesn’t get any better than this one. 

This is one of my favorite rock songs of all time. I wrote a review of Who’s Next and I included this with it about Won’t Get Fooled Again: This is the best concert song I’ve witnessed on film or live in person. It has drama, action, suspense, and aggression… just as much as any movie. Every member of the band is at the top of their game. You have Pete’s thick power chords, John Entwistle’s rolling bass lines, Keith Moon’s controlled chaos, and Roger holding it down and keeping it grounded.

The song is always exciting to hear and out of all the songs in this week’s posts…this is one I never get tired of…

Roger Daltrey’s scream is considered one of the best on any rock song. It was quite convincing…so convincing that the rest of the band, lunching nearby, thought Daltrey was brawling with the engineer.

Pete Townshend: “It is not precisely a song that decries revolution – it suggests that we will indeed fight in the streets – but that revolution, like all action can have results we cannot predict. Don’t expect to see what you expect to see. Expect nothing and you might gain everything.” Townsend then goes on to explain that the song was simply ”Meant to let politicians and revolutionaries alike know that what lay in the center of my life was not for sale, and could not be co-opted into any obvious cause.” 

The song peaked at #15 in the Billboard 100, #9 in the UK, and #7 in Canada in 1971.

Pete Townshend wrote this as part of his “Lifehouse” project. He wanted to release a film about a futuristic world where the people are enslaved… but saved by a rock concert. Pete couldn’t get enough support to finish the project, but most of the songs he wrote were used on the Who’s Next album.

From Songfacts

Pete Townshend wrote this song about a revolution. In the first verse, there is an uprising. In the middle, they overthrow those in power, but in the end, the new regime becomes just like the old one (“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”). Townshend felt revolution was pointless because whoever takes over is destined to become corrupt. In Townshend: A Career Biography, Pete explained that the song was antiestablishment, but that “revolution is not going to change anything in the long run, and people are going to get hurt.”

The synthesizer represents the revolution. It builds at the beginning when the uprising starts, and comes back at the end when a new revolution is brewing.

The title never appears in the lyric, which goes:

I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again

The album version runs 8:30. The single was shortened to 3:35 so radio stations would play it.

Daltrey was unhappy about the editing. He recalled to Uncut magazine: “I hated it when they chopped it down. I used to say ‘F–k it, put it out as eight minutes’, but there’d always be some excuse about not fitting it on or some technical thing at the pressing plant.”

“After that we started to lose interest in singles because they’d cut them to bits,” Daltrey added. “We thought, ‘What’s the point? Our music’s evolved past the three-minute barrier and if they can’t accommodate that we’re just gonna have to live on albums.'”

In a 1985 “My Generation” radio special, Pete Townshend said he wrote the song as a message to the supposedly “new breed” of politicians who came around in the early ’70s.

This is the last song on the album. It was also the last song they played at their concerts for many years.

This was one of the first times a synthesizer was used in the rhythm track. When they played this live, they had to play the synthesizer part off tape.

Townshend (from Rolling Stone magazine): “It’s interesting it’s been taken up in an anthemic sense when in fact it’s such a cautionary piece.” 

Pete Townshend lived on Eel Pie Island in Richmond, London, when he wrote this song. There was an active commune on the Island at the time situated in what used to be a hotel. According to Townshend, this commune was an influence on the song. “There was like a love affair going on between me an them,” he said. “They dug me because I was like a figurehead in a group, and I dug them because I could see what was going on over there. At one point there was an amazing scene where the commune was really working, but then the acid started flowing and I got on the end of some psychotic conversations.”

The Woodstock festival was an influence on this song. Most songs inspired by Woodstock follow the peace and love narrative, but Pete Townshend had a very different take.

The Who played Day 2 of Woodstock, going on at the ludicrous hour of 5 a.m. During their set, the activist Abbie Hoffman came on stage unannounced and commandeered the microphone. Townshend may or may not have belted him with his guitar, but he certainly did not want to provide a platform for any cause. “I wrote ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ as a reaction to all that – ‘Leave me out of it: I don’t think you lot would be any better than the other lot!,'” he explained to Creem in 1982.

In the same interview, he shared his thoughts on the festival crowd: “All those hippies wandering about thinking the world was going to be different from that day. As a cynical English arsehole I walked through it all and felt like spitting on the lot of them, and shaking them and trying to make them realize that nothing had changed and nothing was going to change.”

This song was played by the remaining members of the band at “The Concert for New York City,” a fundraising concert in the wake of the devastating attacks on September 11, 2001. Daltrey omitted the last line of the song: “Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss.” 

Part of this song is used in the opening sequence of the CBS TV series CSI: Miami, which launched in 2002. This was the first spin-off from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which went on the air in 2000 with “Who Are You?” as the theme song. Every subsequent CSI featured a song by The Who: CSI: NY used “Baba O’Riley,” and CSI: Cyber went with “I Can See For Miles.”

Roger Daltrey could sing “My Generation” for five decades without complaint, but not this one. “That’s the only song I’m bloody bored s–tless with,” he told Rolling Stone in 2018.

In The Simpsons episode “A Tale of Two Springfields,” Homer forms “New Springfield” and gets The Who to play there. Pete Townshend blasts the wall between old and new Springfield by blasting the guitar riff from this song. >>

Pete Townshend refused Michael Moore permission to use this song in his 2004 anti-George W. Bush documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, citing the left wing filmaker as a “bully.”

This was used in commercials for the 2000 Nissan Maxima. Some people considered this the biggest sellout in rock, but The Who made lots of money in the deal. The same year, Nissan used The Who’s “Baba O’Reily” in an ad for their Pathfinder.

DJs like to play this as their last song before leaving a particular radio station because of the line “meet the new boss, same as the old boss” – a snub directed at station management because they might not be leaving on the friendliest terms. 

This was played in Super Bowl XLI (2007) as the Indianapolis Colts came out of the locker room. The Colts won the game.

Won’t Get Fooled Again

We’ll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgment of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again

The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fold, that’s all
And the world looks just the same
And history ain’t changed
Cause the banners, they are flown in the next war

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
No, no!

I’ll move myself and my family aside
If we happen to be left half alive
I’ll get all my papers and smile at the sky
Though I know that the hypnotized never lie
Do ya?

There’s nothing in the streets
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Are now parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again
No, no!

Yeah!

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

Big Star – #1 Record…Desert Island Albums

This is my third round choice from Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days.
2020 ALBUM DRAFT-ROUND 3 PICK 6- BADFINGER20 SELECTS- BIG STAR- #1 RECORD

“Big Star is like a letter that was mailed in 1971 but didn’t arrive until 1985.”
Musician Robyn Hitchcock 

I never travel far, without a little Big Star
The Replacements

“We’ve sort of flirted with greatness, but we’ve yet to make a record as good as Revolver or Highway 61 Revisited or Exile on Main Street or Big Star’s Third.”
Peter Buck

The band didn’t chart a record when they were active. I still hold their music up along with The Who, Beatles. and Kinks…they never had the sales but they did have a giant influence. They released this album as their debut in August of 1972.  I had to stop myself from writing an open love letter (I may have failed) about this band. Was it the mystique of them? Was it the coolness factor of liking a band that not many people knew? No and no. It’s about the music. Mystique and coolness wear off and all you are left with is the music…We are fortunate to have 3 albums by Big Star to enjoy.

In the early eighties, I heard stories from an older brother of a friend about Big Star out of Memphis…but their records were hard to come by.  I loved what little I heard and it got lost in the shuffle but it planted a seed for later. 

By the mid-80s I heard more of their songs. In 1986 The Bangles released “September Gurls” and I knew it sounded familiar…and the DJ said it was a Big Star song…then came the song, Alex Chilton, by The Replacements and  I’m ashamed to say it wasn’t until the early nineties, I finally had Big Star’s music along with the Raspberries and Badfinger. My power-pop fandom kicked into high gear and I have never left that genre.

Big Star was the best band never heard. Such a great band but a long frustrating story. They made three albums that were among the best of the decade that were not heard until much later. They signed with Ardent which was a subsidiary of Stax Records.

A power-pop band on the soul Stax label doesn’t sound like a good idea now and it wasn’t then. Stax was failing at that time and could not distribute the records to the stores. Kids loved the music on the radio only to go to a record store with no Big Star records. Rolling Stone gave them rave reviews…but that doesn’t help if the album is not out there to purchase. They were through by 1974 after recording their 3rd album.

When their albums were finally discovered by eighties bands, they influenced many artists such as REM, The Replacements, Cars, Cheap Trick, Sloan, Matthew Sweet, KISS, Wilco, Gin Blossoms, and many more. They influenced alternative rock of the 80s and 90s and continue to this day.

Listening to this album with each song you think…Oh, that could have been a single. Alex Chilton and Chris Bell wrote most of the songs and wanted to emulate Lennon/McCartney and they did a great job but with an obvious American slant to make it their own. After the commercial failure of this album, Chris Bell quit but the other three continued for one more album and then bass player Andy Hummel quit after the second album, and Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens recorded the third.

I could have gone with ANY three of their albums. I picked this one because of Chris Bell. The songs are a bit more polished on this one than the other two but it fits the songs they present. Chris Bell added a lot to Big Star and after hearing his solo song I Am The Cosmos you see how much. Radio City, their second album, with Chilton in charge many consider their best and their third album, Third/Sister Lovers is not as commercially accessible but I still love it. All three are in Rolling Stone’s top 500 albums of all time.

I’ll go over four songs.

The Ballad Of El Goodo  A song about Vietnam conscientious objector…but it is much more than that. It is one of the most perfect pop/rock songs recorded to my ears. This would make it in my own top 10 songs of all time. The tone of the guitars, harmonies and the perfectly constructed chorus keeps calling me back listen after listen. This is when pop music becomes more.

In The Street is a song that everyone will know. It was used as the theme of That Seventies Show. Cheap Trick covered it for the show. I was not a teenager in the early seventies but with this song, I am there front and center. Steal your car and bring it down, Pick me up, we’ll drive around, Wish we had, A joint so bad.

Thirteen is a song that Chilton finds that spot between the innocence of childhood and the first teenage year where they meet and intertwine with confusion. Won’t you tell your dad, “get off my back” Tell him what we said ’bout “Paint It Black”

When My Baby’s Beside Me has a great guitar riff to open it up. This is power pop at it’s best. A nice rocker that should have been blaring out of AM radios in the 70’s.

I’m not going over every song (but I could easily) because reading this won’t do it…you have to listen if you haven’t already. You will not regret it. Not just these songs but the complete album.

It’s a mixture of songs on the album…rockers, mid-tempo songs, and ballads. Even the weaker song called The India Song is very listenable. My favorites besides the ones I listed are  Watch the Sunrise, Don’t Lie To Me, Feel, and Give Me Another Chance.

I now have rounded out my albums on my island. The variety of The White Album, The rock of Who’s Next, and the ringing power-pop beauty of Big Star…swim or use a boat and come over to my island and we will listen…the Pina Coladas and High Tides (hey it’s an island) are flowing… let’s drink to BIG STAR.

On a side note. If you want to learn more there is a good documentary out about them called: Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me.

Feel
The Ballad Of El Goodo
In The Street
Thirteen
Don’t Lie To Me
The India Song
When My Baby’s Beside Me
My Life Is Right
Give Me Another Chance
Try Again
Watch The Sunrise
ST 100/6

  • Chris Bell – guitar, vocals
  • Alex Chilton – guitar, vocals
  • Andy Hummel – bass guitar, vocals
  • Jody Stephens – drums

 

 

 

The Who – Who’s Next…..Desert Island Albums

https://slicethelife.com/2020/07/20/37604/

This is my second round choice from Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days.

I bought this album when I was 14. I had a few albums by The Who…Face Dances, Big Meaty Big and Bouncy,  and a greatest hits package called Hooligans. Hooligans was a 4 album set and had four songs from Who’s Next and that sample was enough to know I wanted the complete album.

With headphones on, I placed needle to vinyl and could not get over the sound…the sonic boom. The biggest sound I have ever heard before on record. I listened to every song three times through in the first sitting. I knew I finally found a band that moved me like no other except The Beatles. After this came Tommy, Quadrophenia, and The Who Sell Out…but this album left me speechless. Before this record. I liked the Who…after the album they were THE WHO.

It was 1981 and this album had been out for 10 years but that made no difference. As with the Beatles, I was late to the fan party but when I arrived… I arrived in style with Who’s Next under my arm.

There is not one clinker on the album. Forty-three minutes and thirty-eight seconds of pure bliss.

I have a Glyn Johns quote on recording the album to start this off.

I have a residing memory of sitting in the truck, my hair being parted by what was coming out of the speakers, a massive amount of adrenaline coursing through my veins. There have been a few occasions over the years when I have been completely blown away, believing without a doubt that what I was listening to would become much more than just commercially successful but also a marker in the evolution of popular music, and this was one of those moments.

Won’t Get Fooled Again… this is the best concert song I’ve witnessed on film or live in person. It has drama, action, suspense, and aggression… just as much as any movie. Every member of the band is at the top of their game. You have Pete’s thick power chords, John Entwistle’s rolling basslines, Keith Moon’s controlled chaos, and Roger holding it down and keeping it grounded.

When your bookends on an album are Baba O’Riley and Won’t Get Fooled Again you have a great album.

My favorite song on the album is Bargain. Moon’s drumming on this song alone makes it worth a listen. Pete Townshend has said the subject of the song is God…as one critic put it… it may be the angriest message God ever received.

Goin’ Mobile is a great vehicle for Townshend’s voice…and how could you not like the line..Play the tape machine, make the toast and tea, When I’m mobile.

Behind Blue Eyes is a song that lulls you with a beautiful melody with sparse accompaniment (probably the longest Moon ever sat on his hands while recording) and then it happens…all hell breaks loose and Roger sings…no correction…he doesn’t sing…he demands When my fist clenches, crack it open, Before I use it and lose my cool… it’s like getting hit by a bus that you didn’t see coming…and then it’s over.

My Wife is a song John Entwistle wrote for the album and one of his best songs. A rocking and hilarious look at marriage by a desperate man. Love Aint For Keeping is a song that gets a lot of play at my home and car. It has a great message. Getting In Tune…this song starts off as a slow ballad and then The Who kicks it up a notch as usual.

The Song Is Over is a beautiful song with Pete and Roger taking turns singing.

Baba O’Riley…One of the most well-known intros in rock ever. Not much else to say about this song except dynamic and exhilarating…that about sums it up.

Who’s Next was released on August 14, 1971. It started off as a rock opera called Lifehouse. The problem was that Pete could not get the idea across to other band members, journalists, or even his producer Glyn Johns. It was suggested to dump the story and make a great standalone album of the songs. The Who did just that.

This album kicked down the door to the seventies and future. The mixture of synthesizers and guitars are perfect. The synthesizers still sound fresh and vibrant today. 1971 was an extraordinary year for great albums…this one helped lead the way.

So far on Max’s Desert Island, I have the White Album and Who’s Next. Life is good…I think I will pick up my guitar and play…just like yesterday.

  1. Baba O’Riley
  2. Bargain
  3. Love Ain’t For Keeping
  4. My Wife
  5. The Song Is Over
  6. Getting In Tune
  7. Going Mobile
  8. Behind Blue Eyes
  9. Won’t Get Fooled Again

 

Rock and Roll Escapades – #1 The Who in Montreal

In the next few weeks, I’m going to hunt for some rock star stories. Fair warning…Keith Moon will be involved more than once.

On December 2, 1973, the Who were nearing the end of their Quadrophenia tour in Montreal Canada at the Bonaventure Hotel.

This scene started when Keith Moon smashed a ketchup bottle on the hotel wall. Pete Townshend said: I thought it looked aesthetically pleasing. Someone should frame it,…Pete had cut his hand with a steak knife so he added his blood to the ketchup “art” on the wall.

Keith Moon then grabbed a hotel painting and kicked it out of its frame and used the frame to frame his and Pete’s masterpiece. Ok…not good but funny…not a big deal so far.

Then Pete and Keith pitched a TV in the pool in the old rock and roll fashion. The two then pitched a sofa through the window to the nice courtyard below. Not finished yet they used a large marble table as a battering ram and went through a wall.

The Hotel staff looked at them and they looked at the hotel staff…both sides had a look of horror at the damage. One witness described the scene with one word: “Hiroshima”

Now the fun had begun…The police… or mounties came and rounded all the boys up. 14 of the Who crew including Mike Shaw a paraplegic that worked for the Who…they were arrested and went to jail. They woke Roger Daltrey who was sleeping in his bed when this went on and took him also.

When the police took the band to jail. Keith Moon declared to the officer in charge when they got there… “I believe I booked a suite.”

They ended up spending 7 hours in jail and missed their scheduled flight to Boston for a concert. They did end up getting there just on time that night to play the show.

Keith Moon would sometimes alter one of the songs he sang called “Bellboy” to say  “Remember the place in Canada that we smashed?”

John Entwistle later wrote a song called “Cell Number Seven” about the event.

Cell Number 7

 

Six thirty in the morning, I’d just got to sleep
I felt so tired didn’t even count sheep
I woke up with six policemen standing by the bed
The voice of doom was ringing in my head
Get up fella, and don’t make no fuss
Put your clothes on, you gotta come with us.

To cell number seven
Cell number seven
Cell number seven
Cell number seven ain’t exactly Heaven.

Bill the con said, I think it appears
I’ve only been dreaming the last four years
Wiggy said, I’m having so much fun
Cell number one has something for everyone
Meanwhile in Boston the kids were queuing
Back in Montreal we were just stewing.

In cell number seven
Cell number seven
Cell number seven
Cell number seven’s a long way from Heaven.

Micky boy was busy banging his cell
While the admiral was trying to talk his way outta Hell
Well Bobby needs a change of seed and sand
The promoter’s tearing out his hair screaming where’s the band?

(Guitar Solo)

The chicks were in the chicken shack eating bread and honey
The hotel manager was adding up the money
Come on froggies let us pay
We got a show to do
We gotta get away.

In cell number two was the singer of The Who
Pacing up and down like a tiger in a zoo
Cousin Graham didn’t even know what he’d done
To make them take away his, Nikon
Meanwhile in Boston the kids were waiting
While back in Montreal we were just speculating.

In cell number seven
Cell number seven
Cell number seven
Cell number seven ain’t nothing like Heaven.

The Birdman was sleeping in cage number three
Waiting for the sound of a turning key
While Dougal the Dane leant against the wall
Frightened to sleep in case he should fall
And meanwhile in Boston the kids never knew
That in cell numbers two, three, and seven were The Who.

Cell number seven
Me and Moonie were in cell number seven
He dribbled on my jacket in cell number seven
Oo hoo
Snored like a goat
Ruined my coat.

 

Who – Athena

I felt like a pickled priest
Who was being flambed

No one writes like Pete Townshend…bless him. I’ve come to really like Eminence Front but when this album came out, this is the song that I drawn to at first.

The song was written about actress Theresa Russell who Pete had a crush on that the time. He did a demo at the time called “Teresa for the Face Dances Album. She was then going with Nic Roeg. By the time The Who came to record the song for It’s Hard, Teresa Russell had wed Nic Roeg. The guitarist was nervous about publicly naming his crush so he renamed it “Athena.” What Pete’s then-wife Karen Astley felt about this we don’t know.

The song reached #28 in the Billboard 100, #5 in Canada, and #40 in the UK in 1982.

Roger Daltrey felt that concealing the subject of the song’s true identity was a mistake. “Pete was talking to me about Nick Roeg’s girlfriend and how he fancied her, and that song was written about her – but then it changed into ‘She’s a bomb’.

Roger Daltrey:  I’ve got a psychological problem with it,” “It’s a great record; there’s so much energy on that thing, but I still don’t think there’s a center to that song. The fact that he changed the title in that and didn’t stick to what it was supposed to be lost its center to me.”

Pete Townshend: The song was written after I had been to see The Wall with my friend Bill Minkin and the actress Theresa Russell who was about to marry the film director Nic Roeg with whom I hoped to work on a new version of Lifehouse. I got drunk as usual, but I had taken my first line of cocaine that very evening before meeting her and decided I was in love. When I came to do the vocal on the following day I was really out of my mind with frustration and grief because she didn’t reciprocate

From Songfacts

Pete Townshend wrote this song the day after he was knocked back by American actress Theresa Russell.

The guitarist told TheWho.net how he went to see The Wall with his friend Bill Minkin and Russell. (The actress was engaged to the film director Nic Roeg with whom he was planning to work on a new version of Lifehouse.) “I got drunk as usual, but I had taken my first line of cocaine that very evening before meeting her and decided I was in love,” Townshend explained. “When I came to do the vocal on the following day [February 15, 1980] I was really out of my mind with frustration and grief because she didn’t reciprocate.”

Teresa Demo

Athena

I had no idea how much I need her
In peaceful times I hold her close and I feed her
My heart starts palpitating
When I think my guess was wrong
But I think I’ll get alone
She’s just a girl
She’s a bomb

Athena
All I ever want to do is please her
My life has been so settled
And she’s the reason
Just one word from her
And my troubles are long gone
But I think I’ll get along
She’s just a girl
She’s a bomb
She’s a bomb
Just a girl, just a girl
Just a girl, just a girl
Just a girl, just a girl
She’s just a girl

Athena
My heart felt like a shattered glass in an acid bath
I felt like one of those flattened ants
You find on a crazy path
I’d have stopped myself to give her time
She didn’t need to ask
Was I a suicidal psychopath
She’s just a girl
She’s a bomb
She’s just a girl
She’s a bomb
Consumed
There was a beautiful white horse
I saw on a dream stage
He had a snake the size of a sewer pipe
Livin’ in his rib cage

I felt like a pickled priest
Who was being flambed
You’ve got me requisitioned blondie
She’s just a girl
She’s a bomb
I’m happy
She’s a bomb
I’m ecstatic
Just a girl, just a girl
Just a girl, just a girl
Just a girl, just a girl
Just a girl

Look into the face of a child
Measure how long you smiled
Before the mem’ry claimed
How long would children remain
How long could children remain

Athena
You picked me up by my lapels
And screamed “leave her”
I felt like waking up in heaven
On an empty meter
And now you’re stuck
With a castrated leader
And I hate the creep
I didn’t mean that
She’s a bomb
I just said it
She’s a bomb
Please She’s a bomb

Athena
I had no idea how much I need her
My life has been so settled
And she’s the reason
Just one word from her
And my troubles are long gone
Ooh but I get along
She’s just a girl
She’s a bomb
She’s just a girl
She’s a bomb

My 10 Favorite Powerpop Songs

As you may have guessed by now I’m an extreme fan of power pop. This list was hard to write…I kept changing most of it… but I knew the top choice and worked from there.

I just gave my self ten choices or I would have gone on and on. A lot of artists and their songs were left off…such as Todd Rundgren, The Cars, Sloan, The Lemon Twigs, The Flamin’ Groovies, The Shivvers, The Jayhawks,  and too many more to mention.

10. The Ride – Twisterella– 1992 – I found this a few months back and have been listening to it ever since.

9. The Records – Starry Eyes– 1979 – Great song. Starry Eyes would end up being The Record’s best-known song. Robert John “Mutt” Lange produced their debut album for The Records.

8. The La’s – There She Goes– 1990 – A very good power pop song that has no verses…It just repeats the chorus four different ways four different times…but that doesn’t matter.

7. Cheap Trick – Voices– 1980 – One of my top Cheap Trick songs. Robin Zanders voice sounds great in this Beatlesque song.

6. The Who –Pictures of Lily– 1967 –  When this song came out Pete Townshend coined the name “power pop” and this song is about the childhood…lusts…of a boy.

5. Raspberries – Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)– 1974 – An epic song by the Raspberries. Not their most popular…that would be “Go All The Way” but this encapsulates everything power pop is about. Bruce Springsteen on Overnight Sensation: It’s one of the best little pop symphonies you’ll ever hear.

4. Big Star – The Ballad of El Goodo – 1972 – The tone of the guitars, harmonies and the perfect constructed chorus keeps me coming back listen after listen.

3. Badfinger –No Matter What– 1971 – The only band to make this list twice. Why? because this song defines the crunchy power pop of bands like Cheap Trick to come.

 2. Tom Petty – American Girl– 1977 – The Rickenbacker, the hook, and a Byrds sounding track.

 

********************************************************************

  1. Badfinger – Baby Blue – 1972 – The number one song was the easiest decision of the list. The rest were changed a few times…this one for me is a no-brainer. This song is the perfect power pop song…strong vocals, Crunchy Brit  guitar, great hook,  and great melody

Who – I’m Free

After reading the John Entwistle biography I’ve been listening to the Who for the past week and a half. Tommy is not my favorite Who album…but the album does contain a lot of good songs. Tommy did make a huge mark in pop culture…a movie and Broadway play has been made from the story.

The riff is simple and powerful. A very good song that adds to Tommy. Like some of the other songs…I’m Free was written before Tommy was thought of but Pete fit what songs he had with the new ones to make the story.

Tommy was the breakthrough album for the Who in America. A concept album about a deaf, dumb, and blind boy who…you guessed it…loves pinball. On the album the Who’s sound is subdued but on tour, they presented it loud and aggressive as only the Who could be.

The album peaked at #4 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1970. I’m Free peaked at #37 in the Billboard 100 in 1969.

Pete Townshend: ‘I’m Free’ came from ‘Street Fighting Man.’ This has a weird time/shape and when I finally discovered how it went, I thought ‘well blimey, it can’t be that simple,’ but it was and it was a gas and I wanted to do it myself.

The guitar sound in this version sends shivers down my spine. Compare it to the album version below this one.

I’m Free

I’m free
I’m free
And freedom tastes of reality
I’m free
I’m free
An’ I’m waiting for you to follow me

If I told you what it takes
To reach the highest high
You’d laugh and say ‘nothing’s that simple’
But you’ve been told many times before
Messiahs pointed to the door
And no one had the guts to leave the temple!

I’m free
I’m free
And freedom tastes of reality

I’m free
I’m free
An’ I’m waiting for you to follow me

How can we follow?
How can we follow?