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........But the spot that really rocks - one of two featuring Townshend -
has yet to make its debut. Filmed in a pub in London, it shows the Who's
major-domo, surrounded by friends and barflies, reminiscing about seeing the
Rolling Stones in the early '60's. The guitarist casually recalls his gut
reaction to watching Jagger dance backstage: "It was the first time I
realized that I wanted to f--- a man."
Of course, rock stars' talking boldly about their sexuality is nothing new.
Nonetheless, Townshend's revelation caught the spot's director, Jon Kane,
off guard. "When he said it, there was this sort of uncomfortable silence,
and then everyone started laughing," says Kane. "I think I may have said,
'Okay, good, we're done here, and I'm going home now.'"
Kane subsequently edited the commercial, with the randy quote intact, and
Townshend approved the finished cut with no problem. Not surprisingly, the
guitarist's candor presented something of a dilemma to the powers that be at
VH1. "We weren't expecting it," says VH1 prexy John Sykes, laughing. "my
first reaction was, wow, 30 years later, he's still catching us off guard.
He really is the consummate rebel. He just laid it on the line, as if to say
'Let's see you get that one on the air.'".
After much discussion, the station has decided to rise to Townshend's
challenge, and VH1 will begin airing the spot soon - but with the offending
verb bleeped out.
There's also a silly charicature of Pete and Mr. Jagger with Pete's nose
screaming red. Also in the same edition, VH1 has an ad featuring a photo
of Pete from the spots and it says "Bloke. Wizzard. Composer. Destroyer."