The Who (as opposed to “the Half”, as I call them, who are still touring) were one of the great rock bands that helped define the 60s. Pete Townsend has been one of the most innovative and groundbreaking rock music composers. His autobiography, Who I Am, is an entertaining and personable read.
Say goodbye to all that, though.
The Who last put an album out in 2006. In the time since it essentially has been a stadium touring outfit, staging large-scale productions of Townshend’s rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia and giving everyone the chance to sing along to Baba O’Riley, Love, Reign o’er Me and other epics written 40 years previously […]Townshend has now come up with an album, simply titled Who.
And Pete Townsend has got “woke”.
Like leftist students smashing statues, social justice topples another icon.
Ball and Chain is a protest against the continued use of torture at Guantanamo Bay…Then there is Detour. It sounds like an upbeat, stomping R ’n’ B tune in the style of the early Who — the title refers to the band’s former name — but is actually a #MeToo anthem.
“If men of my generation are lucky enough to be alive, they’d better change quick or they’ll keep putting their foot in it,” says Townshend. “Men have to retrospectively pray for forgiveness because they’ve been thinking the wrong way.”
It gets worse.
“I’m a Remainer, [Roger Daltrey’s] a Brexiteer…” Townshend said earlier this year. One also has middle-class roots while the other is staunchly working class, one is teetotal while the other likes a drink, and they have worked out an excellent way of getting on in a convivial fashion — not seeing each other at all.
“What do you need to see each other for? F..k that. I know what he looks like,” says Daltrey.theaustralian.com.au/world/the-times/who-knows-when-its-time-to-fade-out
Roger, the former factory worker (as opposed to Pete, the former art student) frankly sounds like a much more sensible and fun bloke.