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Pete In Uncut
Choice extracts from the Uncut magazine interview with Pete
(Uncut, Issue 83, April 2004):
Pete on working on the 5.1 audio mix for the TOMMY SACD:
"I did it because I got arrested last year & I had nothing else
Pete on Ray Davies & The Kinks:
"If you look at Who history it's easy to forget we started with
'I Can't Explain,' which was a *desperate* copy of The Kinks.
I obviously worship -- well, actually, worship isn't the word,
I *exalt* -- Ray Davies, but also Dave Davies. The Kinks were
just spectacularly brilliant. People in America talk about 'The
Beatle, the Stones, The Who.' For me it's 'The Beatles, the
Stones, The Kinks.' *They* were the ones."
On The Kinks album, VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION
SOCIETY,& Paul McCartney:
"It's his (Ray Davies) SGT. PEPPER, it's what makes him the
definitive pop poet laureate in a way that Paul McCartney would
like to be but could never be. He's never really been able to
properly observe British life with the cynical poetic detachment
of somebody like Ray."
Pete on presenting his song ideas to the others:
"I'm not very good at selling my ideas in advance. That's why
I've always done demos, because when I talk I always tend to
talk too much, I tend to roll over the subject & end up on the
other side of it."
On listening to the TOMMY studio outtakes for the SACD
"It wasn't until I played the tapes again & heard the chit chat
between takes that I suddenly realized what a really great Who
session it was, despite the fact that we knew this was a des-
perate last-ditch attempt."
On the criticisms of TOMMY's plot:
"It didn't matter. It didn't have one that much. The plot's never
really mattered. What has mattered has been the geography
of TOMMY. That it's post-war, it's all about where rock has
On his possible molestation as a child:
"I can't remember particularly clearly, but I know it was very, very
unpleasant. I got involved with weird shit which involved some
erotic & sexual stuff, that's all I know."
Again, on listening to the TOMMY tapes for the SACD re-
"When I heard these tracks again last year, for the first time in
years, I thought, 'Fuck! This was a *band,* a really *good*
band.' TOMMY is probably Keith at the height of his studio
powers & John, too, before he got into [impersonates frantic
bass scales] -- all that. It was good, straight-forward, powerful,
innovative bass playing. And Keith, too, serving the song & not
serving his ego, which is what happened later on."
On what TOMMY did for Roger:
"It made Roger a singer, it made Roger an icon, it made Roger
like Jim Morrison or like Robert Plant, or like The Lead Singer.
It gave him the right to grow his hair & wear the tassel jacket
& swing his mic around instead of just posing & looking angry
&, like, 'Don't fuck with me,' which isn't who he is by any means."
On Entwistle's comment that TOMMY turned The Who into
"I think John was in the wrong band. John wanted to be in, I
dunno, Whitesnake. Really. But he loved me & he loved my
writing & he loved playing the music but I think he wanted there
to be lines of coke in the dressing room & groupies on the end
of his knob all the time. And when he was left to his own devices,
that's what he did & that's how he died."
On "heavy metal:"
"The Who are not Led Zeppelin & we're not Deep Purple &
we weren't responsible for heavy metal but a lot of people kind
of draw that kind of line from LIVE AT LEEDS onwards. He
(Ritchie Blackmore) invented heavy metal. I didn't. He was
doing it years before us & probably invented power chords
as well. So I dunno why he's such a sullen, dark, evil mother-
On being asked to do film scores after working on the TOMMY
movie's film score:
"I could go & do a film score tomorrow. I won't. I've been
offered many. I turned down Blade Runner because I thought,
'Fuck, I'm not going to go there again.'"
On TOMMY's enduring legacy:
"TOMMY's not going to go away, & as an artist what you get
used to is things in your life that won't go away. Like my arrest
last year, that's not going to go away. It doesn't matter what
people think, it'll just never go away. And TOMMY won't go
away. I don't know if I've ever really wanted it to."
There's a sample. Now, go out there & buy this magazine!!!!
What are you waiting for??!!
- SCHRADE in Akron
The Council For Secular Humanism