The Who Mailing List Digest, V11 #180

David Huntington huntington at
Mon Jul 12 19:10:55 CDT 2004

On 7/12/04 9:54 AM, "The Who Mailing List Digest" <thewho-request at>


>> I don't think the band is a laughing stock.
> David:
> Ah, but it is. Many, many jokes have been made about
> them.
To be totally honest, I really haven't heard them. I've heard a few comedian
digs at Pete about last years flap, but they haven't appeared to stick. So
you may be having a different experience to mine.

> Do you consider
> The Who to be common?
That is an emphatic no. My presence on this list is a testament to that, at
least to me. 

> You know, consider being
> more than just a Rock band, the things Pete talked
> about in interviews before the first break-up. He had
> the vision then. What happened?

It's funny. The interviews I remember are the ones where he derides The Who
as some sort of smash and swagger act. I never bought into this way of
seeing them mind you, but it informed some of my opinion of what The Who
means to Pete. To me Pete is a brilliant songwriter. And when the original
line up of the Who got a hold of his music, something special happened
indeed. Almost as if by accident, as if the band were trying to sound as
unorthodox as possible and by pure inspiration, created that amazing sound.
I don't know if Pete ever really appreciated what these guys did with his
songs. He's never acted as if he did. I'm not convinced that Pete has ever
taken The Who seriously. When it seemed possible that he may record again
with Roger and other musicians, I am thrilled at having something new to
listen to by the latest iteration of The Who. It's not like Keith and John
left the band. They died. No one else on earth can take that mantle like the
voice and the mind behind the original.

You mentioned the decisions made by the remaining members of Led Zepplin.
Great. It's killed their later endeavors together.

> Aren't The Who more than just music to you?

> Perhaps the difference between us here is how much
> regard we have for the band.

Maybe. My regard is for the music first. The Who's music, and performance of
it are The Who to me. Beyond the music they produced and performed, they
never really were a very cohesive unit. Did they really stand for something
besides turning incredible songs into Rock and Roll sensationalism and
blowing the both of us away in the process?

What did they stand for to you? To anyone? Wasn't it about the music first
and foremost? I'm not talking about Pete here either. His stand is apart
from the band. What banners were they flying. Those aren't meant to be
rhetorical questions or a challenge. I want your answer.

> Are you going to lump The Who in with "a lot of
> bands?" I think they stand above that. Or...used to,
> anyway. Now they're more like Spinal Tap or The
> Darkness.

No I was thinking more like Dylan, Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Byrds, the
Beatles, Beach Boys (Pet Sounds) and others that were innovators, or spoke
for the times. They are the ones that channeled such emotion from the fans.
The Who is very special to me. But to someone who wants to tell me that Bob
Dylan is a more meaningful artist, who am I to argue. I can only disagree.
(Although I don't)

> I have the right to be
> saddened by the lessening of their stature.
You sure do, brother. No argument there.

> The Who had the opportunity to stand above
> them all, to one day be considered as people now
> consider Beethoven or Mozart.

I still believe this is where Pete will take his rightful place.
As for the whole Southern thing, I don't sense any real divergent opinion
here. I'm a Sandlapper too. It'll all work out in time. 

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