The Who Mailing List Digest, V11 #152

David Huntington huntington at
Tue Jun 15 08:08:42 CDT 2004

On 6/14/04 6:44 PM, "The Who Mailing List Digest" <thewho-request at>

>> I always felt that as soon as he started laying down
>> the dogma, Tommy was, in
>> a sense taking control over what others should and
>> should not do and ruined
>> it all.
> Really? I've never heard that intepretation. I thought
> Tommy was the innocent in it all. I've heard Townshend
> say that it was the followers who were too impatient
> to get the message. The movie lays fault at his dad's
> feet.

To me, the gig does fall apart when Tommy starts laying down the dogma. But
that's because he an accidental messiah, he's not prepared for the roll. All
he had done was complete a personal journey yet people wanted to know why he
was a pinball wizard (read that rock star).

When he told his "followers" to take the road he took, of course they
rejected it, it was silly. I always saw them as pinball fans who really
weren't interested in the personal journey. Just the sensationalism of the
deaf, dumb and blind champion. It was also the last element of the story
added by Pete, was it not, and in a way the most prophetic and

In the end, the moral of the story is that every path to enlightenment is
personal. Even those that attain it, should not make the mistake of telling
others, you have to do it the way I did. That is the delicate roll to be
played only by the mentor, the teacher, the guide who understands the subtle
difference between opening doors and closing them. 

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