You And I guitarist on Who history
brianinatlanta2001 at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 22 10:05:04 CDT 2004
>From the Sydney Morning Herald at:
(good pictures, too)
For Who the bell tolls
The Who once hoped they'd die before they got old, but
Pete Townshend's arms are still flailing, the fans are
still keen and Tim Rogers can't wait to meet Pete.
Bernard Zuel reports on the second coming of the group
we once ran out of the country.
THE WHO with YOU AM I
Sydney Entertainment Centre
Wednesday and Thursday, 8pm
Bookings 136 100
People try to put us down/
Just because we get around
The Rolling Stones get it every time they hit the
road: "Get off, you old bastards."; "Rock's supposed
to be for young people." Et cetera.
Why should anyone else decide when you've had enough
Also, hasn't anyone noticed that rock is where the
money is, and the money is in the deep pockets of the
thirty-, forty- and fiftysomethings?
And guess what, kids? Thirty-, forty- and
fiftysomethings like to hear the music they grew up
with. Get used to it.
Of course, the gags get a bit more pointed with the
Who because people can throw back at them the line
Roger Daltrey spat out in 1965: "I hope I die before I
get old." But what the hell? Forty years after their
first single, when they were briefly called the High
Numbers, the Who are touring Australia again for the
first time in 36 years.
There's no use pretending they're the same band who
came here in 1968 (see PM's POQ). For a start, two of
them did die before they got (too) old. But with the
help of Who aficionado Tim Rogers, whose band You Am I
will be the support act on the tour, we can give you a
Who primer that will help you impress your friends
over the next few weeks.
Who are You?
Guitarist Roger Daltrey formed the Detours in 1961,
adding bass player John Entwhistle and guitarist Pete
Townshend the next year, with Colin Dawson on vocals
and Doug Sandom on drums. The Detours, now with
Daltrey on vocals, replaced Sandom with then
16-year-old Keith Moon and changed their name to the
Who in early 1964.
That year, Pete Meaden, a leading light in London's
mod scene of young men with sharp suits, short hair
and big appetites for speed tablets, took control of
the band. He changed their name to the High Numbers,
pushing their single I'm the Face/Zoot Suit and
helping them become mod favourites before being booted
by the band.
New managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp didn't secure
them an EMI contract, but the band reverted to the
name the Who and started a residency at London's
Marquee club with the promise of "maximum R&B".
Townshend wrote I Can't Explain, which impressed
producer Shel Talmy, then brought a typical mod
pill-popper's stutter to their first hit, My
What marked the Who out in the mid-'60s?
"Extreme thuggery mixed with a beautiful ponciness,"
Rogers says. "Aggression, but done with a flick of the
wrist rather than screaming into the camera. Instead
of an all-out assault, there were delicate elements,
The Kids are Alright
Moon's alcohol and drug consumption was beyond heroic
by the mid-'70s. Townshend's alcohol and drug problems
were similarly spiralling out of control and Daltrey
was barely talking to him. Entwhistle wasn't exactly a
choirboy, either. Still, they were one of the biggest
crowd-pullers in the US.
Were the Who in '75 different from the Who in '65?
"Absolutely," Rogers says. "Like a lot of bands that
spread over that period, there was a lot of doubt and
concern about their place in the world ... which comes
from a lot of coke, really.
"Anyone who does a fair whack of coke knows you wake
up after a couple of days thinking you're the worst
person in the world, and a lot of bands got caught up
with that in the '70s. They had coke hangovers and
were asking, 'Is it all worth it?'
Of course it's f---ing worth it - just strap on a
guitar and do it.
"That's what Pete Townshend found fascinating about
punk: that it had no self-doubt. There was a lot of
self-doubt and self-examination in Pete's work, but he
did it beautifully."
I'm a Boy
>From the Union Jack flag draped over their sleeping
bodies to the RAF roundel symbol, from the windmill
arms over a Rickenbacker guitar to the kicks, swinging
microphones and flailing drumsticks, the Who always
"And they always had good trousers," Rogers says.
"Davey [Lane, You Am I guitarist] and I played a show
together last night and we were still talking about
the jacket Pete wore at that Shepperton Studios gig in
"Davey and I are still on the hunt for a jacket like
that. Apart from the energy and fire and great songs,
they had a bit of flair."
The Who are fronted on this tour by Daltrey on vocals
and Townshend on guitar and vocals, as they have been
since 1962. Playing bass in the absence of the
recently departed John Entwhistle is session king Pino
On drums is Zak "son of Ringo" Starkey, who has been
playing with the band since 1996, when he replaced
Kenney Jones. Jones replaced Keith Moon, who has been
destroying hotel rooms in the afterlife since 1978.
Also a regular since 1996 is Pete's brother Simon on
vocals and rhythm guitar. Simon was to have played
guitar in his brother's place on a subsequently
aborted 1995 Australian tour that Daltrey and
Entwhistle organised under the name Greatest Hits of
the Who. Pianist John Bundrick, a touring member since
1978, completes the line-up.
"People are saying it's not the band with just Roger
and Pete," Rogers says, "but f---it, the band really
was Roger and Pete.
"The first clip I ever saw of them was them doing
Won't Get Fooled Again in '78, Keith's last televised
gig. What really got me was the physicality of Pete.
He's such a physical player and it gave people like
me, who had awkward bodies, something to do with it.
"It was really, 'Ah ... that's what I'm supposed to
"I loved Roger, too, because he was always in the
middle of it, saying, 'What's the problem? Let's get
out there and play.'
"I love that ... not ignorance, but he was like the
kid in the corner with the energy.
"That informed a lot of what I do, even now at 34."
Rogers has never met Pete Townshend.
"I'm stacking my dacks. I'm just really proud. I was
always more a Stones fan, but I've only just realised,
thinking about it being a week or two away, how much I
f---ing love [the Who] and I can't wait to share a
stage with them.
"It's what it's all about, sharing the stage with
different people: Dallas Crane one week, Davey last
night, and the Who next week."
-Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!
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