The Who's reputation

L. Bird pkeets at
Tue Jul 20 22:20:51 CDT 2004

>>Why should Pete put a song about partying on an anti-war album?

>I can't say. He wrote what he wrote. I don't think every song has to be 
>about anti-war. Athena, for instance, isn't.

Athena's that Greek war goddess, right?  And isn't she a bomb?  The one he 
holds close in peace time and feeds? Then he looks at children and wonders 
how long they'll remain?  Sound like he's talking about war to me.

Besides this, I gather "Athena" is very much about a girl named Theresa.

>>Where in the song does it say it's about giving yourself to God?  How do 
>know this?  Because Pete said so?

>It's the period where most of Pete's "love" songs are really about Baba or 
>God. And, once you listen, you see it.

Aha, but if you're going on just the time period in which "Bargain" was 
written, then how do you know when he's writing about spiritual things and 
when not?

>>What I'm saying is that EF is deeper than Mark suggests.

>Well, we can rule that out right here and now!

Ha.  Because you say so, right?  ;)

>>later songs.  My point of view is that Pete has become increasingly 
>>cynical in the years when he was disenchanted with The Who,

>That would support my contention. But, he was a heroin addict...he was 
>clearly disenchanted with life.

But cynicism doesn't preclude spirituality.  Like I said, he continued 
writing about it, only he's writing about spiritual failure.  After all, if 
he's in the habit of writng about spirituality, why should he suddenly stop? 
  His viewpoint just changes from time to time.

>>After all, Pete has said that ALL his songs are about God.  That includes 
>>"Eminence Front" and RGLB as well as "Bargain."

>Well, Do The Strip sure as Hell isn't about God! For one. Neither is How 
>Can You Do It Alone, unless we're talking about a radically different God 
>than I've ever heard of!

With eyes full of shame
For he knew that I knew
He slumped to the wall with a moan
I said "I know there's no name
For what you go through
But how, how can you do it alone".

Do it alone, how can you do it alone.
I need your help, so I can do it by myself.
Do it alone, don't have to breathe down the phone
I ain't got a clue, 'bout the things that you do
But how...can you do it alone.

He needs who's help?  Could this be "How can you do it without God?"

>>and it could be taken as just a random thought with no particular meaning.

>What about: "I'd rather lose me to find you?" If THAT ain't a compass 
>needle pointing to spirituality, I don't know what is!

Actually I don't see anything especially spiritual about it.  This one is 
extremely subtle, and David's right that the setting is the best clue.

Remember that Pete's songs are always multilayered.  There are at least two 
interpretations, and mostly three.  The idea has also been advanced that 
"Bargain" is about Pete's connection with his audience.

>>off like WGFA or "Who Are You."

>Two MORE songs not about God!

A while back Pete spent a whole diary page explaining how "Who Are You" 
incorporated his throughts about God.

>>window in these later songs?  I haven't read anything here yet that tells 
>>me Mark is justified in saying this.

>I never said ALL his early songs were spiritual! Only that none of the new 
>ones are.

But I think a bunch of the new ones are.  I can identify the same types of 
clues to spirituality in the later songs as in the earlier ones.   If you 
only see one interpretation to the songs, then remember that there are 
likely two more hiding in there somewhere.

Pete's themes tend to repeat, one about masturbation, one about God and one 
about his audience.  Now and then something else creeps in, but this is 
mostly it.     ;)


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