Behind Blue Eyes - another artist's take on The Who

L. Bird pkeets at
Mon Jul 5 22:55:17 CDT 2004

Really cool entry, Simon.  Thanks for posting this.

>Of the two frontmen, Roger Daltrey seemed to be struggling more, straining
on certain notes, and also he’s a bit heavier now than he was, not quite the
golden boy he has been. Townsend fares better in that respect -- having
never been a beauty he has lost little in that department.

When do you suppose is the last time she saw Roger?  Maybe in the 1970 IOW 
pictures?  ;)

>From the IOW pictures, Roger still looks great, and though he IS 
heavier, he's apparently bulked up rather than just added weight--though I 
guess that's hard to tell with his shirt buttoned up.

I'm sure the gals are disappointed that he's not unbuttoning all the way any 
more, he's more in the mainstream now.  The Darkness has got some 
retro-sex-god costumes, but other than that, everybody turns out in regular 
shirts and jeans.  Roger was buttoned up a little TOO high for a couple of 
shows there, but the open collar look at IOW was terrific.

Interestingly, I think Matt caught Roger in a very classic pose in photo #9 
here.  Doesn't this look suspiciously like IOW 1970?  Yeah, I know Roger 
looks different, but isn't that a familiar pose?  :)

>I was more and more drawn in by Townsend as the show went on, by his dark
charisma, and the language of his body with the guitar. Although I have seen
the pictures so many times, when he did the first windmill, I was struck by
the absolute defiance of the gesture, not only in his arm. But especially
his eyes. And then down through every sinew of his body.

Dark?  Hmm.  From the pictures, I thought Pete was in a great mood for this 
show.  Maybe it's the clothes she's talking about.   ;)

>I began to love Townsend in his black Nehru suit, for his lean austerity,
his body twisting with power, and the way he became one animal with the
guitar, one minute bashing on it in a kind of abusive fury and the next
caressing sweet unexpected notes into the air.

>I am curious to know more about Townsend the man. Remembering everything in
the press about him from last year, you don’t want to get too close,
however. I can’t imagine leaning against a bar and having a drink with him
somewhere. Although one senses self loathing and personal unhappiness, the
way he tranforms it onstage is pure dark alchemy. I love the way he plays
acoustic guitar especially, he opens up all new possibilities of how to play
it. I came away completely inspired. He did a runner afterward so we will
never know about him.

So here is the answer to my question of the other day, about whether The Who 
is still menacing.  The answer is yes, and not only that, they're still 
strongly attractive.  The woman has gotten highly poetic about it:  
charisma, dark alchemy, self-loathing, personal unhappiness, defiance, 
language of his body, animal power.  All the bad press of last year and then 
the redemption has left Pete in a dark, mysterious cloud that, combined with 
his obvious talent, is a strong lure for the romantic at heart.  She's 
curious and inspired, she says.  ;)

>I was glad to see them at this stage of the game rather than at their
height. It’s more difficult now, and they rose to it. We were curious -- how
would they play the line “Hope I die before I get old?” Would they wink at
it? They did not. They played it straight and went on with the show. They
could have been a cliche, but they weren’t.

No cliches there.  It's the real thing.  And don't they rise to it well?


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