Pete as reluctant spiritual leader

L. Bird pkeets at
Sat Aug 7 10:59:39 CDT 2004

>It's not a game to me. I hold The Who up for the world
as the example of the greatest Rock band who ever
walked the face of the earth. Quite a standard, I
agree, but they lived up to it.

For a short time, though, right?  Aren't you trying to preserve this 
particular period of their career, unchanged in any way?

>Now they're doing what every little meaningless old
band has done: issued "best of" after "best of,"
reunion tour without all the members, even given up
naming their own product (Then and Now? I ask ya).
As for "pleasing me," I don't know what you mean. I
agree with Pete when he said he wanted to end the band
in 1983. Good decision. He was thinking a lot clearer

What would you think of 1979 and ending up with WAY?  That would have made 
Roger 35 and Pete 34.  Still pushing it?

>Maybe...just's more like you have something
great and don't want to see it degraded! How about
THAT for a concept, huh? You know, like when they take
a great movie like Stargate and make it into a TV
show, having to come up with more and more material so
they get farther away from the original greatness
until, in the end, none of it has any meaning or even

This is a good point.  I agree that anything great followed up by poor 
material is disappointing, but it happens all the time, and I don't think it 
changes the greatness of the original material.  I've also seen it work the 
other way, where another team takes a faint spark of life in a project and 
produces something better than the original.  It seems to have to do with 
the factors that surround the project, including someone who's really 
involved in the quality of the result.

>So, let's evaluate what we have here: Pete is playing
better than ever. Definitely. A bass player no one can
hear, and when they can they are NOT impressed. A
drummer who has been able to capture the fire, but not
the imagination or skill of the original.

Yet to be seen.  In may ways Zak is a better drummer than Keith.  He lacks 
the flair, but he makes up for it with steadiness and the ability to show 
up.  He's holds the music together and makes it sound right, while still 
pacing himself well enough to hold the drummer's chair for the long haul.  
Keith flamed out for a reason--and he was younger than Zak when he did it.  
He  gave all he had for fifteen years and then couldn't do it any more.

Here's an interesting Keith quote aboout his own limitation from another 
list, BTW:

Keith himself said, in the midst of his difficulties during the 'Who Are 
You' sessions,
"Well I'm just me, I hope you're not expecting me to play great stuff like
Charlie Watts or something." Funny thing about that is that is exactly what
Pete was looking for.

>Well, that works when the other two musicians are on overtime,
but we know that one is not. OK. Roger is singing
worse than he has during his entire career. Sad but
true. The other band members don't really help or
hurt, so I'll leave them out of this equation.
Net result: A band going downhill, as Rog's voice
degrades even further.

You like that reckless, rock and roll lifestyle, don't you?  ;)  Your heroes 
should life hard and burn out young?

>>against Pete's.  This is a  strange and mystifying tendency, as they've 
>>got the
>wrong guy.  ;)

>This is nonsense. If someone was looking for a "macho"
band, surely they'd go for one of the more neanderthal Lynyrd Skynyrd or Manowar.

Wannabes.  The Who has got the real thing.

>You're a LITTLE closer here. Except it isn't "scared
to death" but merely saddened and dismayed. Led
Zeppelin wasn't glorious even when they DID hang it
up...there were a good 5 years from it!

But maybe the remaining members are scared to try to live up to the ideal?  
You can't accuse Pete and Roger of this.

>>But this isn't the lesson.  It's only what Pete
>predicts will happen, because Tommy is a fake.

>It isn't the lesson, but it's not because Tommy's a
fake. He's genuine. In fact, the lesson is "it's all
within ourselves."

I agree with this.  Tommy isn't a real messiah is what I mean.   His 
followers proclaim that he is, and Tommy gets sucked into it for a while, 
but because he's not what his fans think and he can't give them what they 
want, they eventually reject him.

Aren't you rejecting Pete with your insistence that The Who should hang it 
up?  You think he shouldn't go on with the spiritual seeking that he does 
within The Who?

>>So there was some kind of implied contract

>The contract is to be the best, and remain the best.
SOMEONE has to live up to a standard, or what good is
a standard. If everyone gives in and gives up, what's
the point? Why do people set goals if they KNOW they
don't plan to get there?
It would have been nice. They were the only ones who
could have pulled it off. Although the Beatles came

Standards are quickly broken if you're not out there looking after your 
record.  There are all these young music fans who never saw the Who and 
don't recognize the music.  They're not going to vote for The Who as the 
best unless they've seen it for themselves.  I agree that there's a lot to 
lose if you can't hack it, but so far Roger and Pete are doing fine.  
Reviewers, musicians and fans are all still looking at them with awe.

You have a problem here with the standard, too.  How do you define "the 
best?"  I sort of think that their skill and musicianship has increased 
since 1983.  There's less wild abandon since then, but
you see the results of that lifestyle.  Or is it about playing huge 
stadiums?  How do you define it?

>I guess, since "Davey Jones and the Monkees" are
playing in MB soon, I should buy tickets, huh? Not
that I particularly like The Monkees, but it's the
same as going to see a Who show, right?

No, it's not.  Actually I think the Monkees are doing fairly well among the 
same crowd they always attracted.  I can't comment, though, because I 
haven't seen them play recently.

"We tried it their way for 12 years. We tried it our
way for eight years. Then we tried it their way for
four more. But the only test that matters is whether
people were better off when we finished than when we
started. Our way works better."
                  Bill Clinton

Hey, nice quote.  ;)


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