Monday, September 24, 2007


I've heard about an upcoming documentary on The Who that's coming out soon called Amazing Journey. The Who aren't short on DVDs, and of course The Kids Are Alright is a pretty cool film, but I'm looking forward to this one. Basically, it tells the story of the relationship between Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, and it has footage of The Who back when they were called The High Numbers, and it finishes with a performance of "Tea And Theatre" from their latest album, Endless Wire.

Lots of people have been cynical about every Who reunion since they originally split in 1982 or 1983, whenever it was. I saw them for the first time on their first reunion tour in 1989. In retrospect, I realize that the real reason for the tour wasn't just the anniversary of their classic album Tommy, but that John Entwistle needed the money. And, in retropspect, the whole idea of them touring with a horn section and backing singers seems a bit over the top - Pete even called it "The Who On Ice" at the time, if I remember correctly. All I knew at the time was that I was getting to see The Who, a band I never thought I'd have the opportunity to see. I loved it. All the same, I didn't go to the next tour, which celebrated the anniversary of Quadrophenia, an album I wasn't a huge fan of. (That was also probably for John, too.)

But a few years later, a friend who worked at their label offered me a pair of tickets to see the band at The House Of Blues in Chicago. The Who in a club! And, if that wasn't enough, Eddie Vedder was opening! Financially, I had no business going, but I went anyway. It was unbelievable. Actually the most moving part of the night was when they performed Roger's solo hit, written for him by Pete, "After The Fire." But the whole thing was great. They still had it. But one of the reasons why they are still so great, it must be said, is drummer Zak Starkey.

I've seen them once since then - the summer that John Entwistle passed away. They were way better than I hoped they'd be. It was really exciting that they finally released a new album last year, even though I didn't love it, and I haven't seen them on tour for it. But, they're still The Who, and to paraphrase Neil Young, long may they run.

No comments: