Is it just me?

Tom Fency tomfency at
Mon Jun 21 12:49:15 CDT 2004

There's no big deal. It's The Who's life. I mean, they were great once, then 
became legendary, then broken up, then returned, then broken up again, then 
returned one more time, then toured many many times playing the same old 
songs, then launched one more collection, now with two new tunes, and then 
toured one more time and... Is there any band like them? I don't know. Is it 
important? Dunno, ain't to me but maybe it matters to you. They've tarnished 
their reputation? It's already tarnished anyway. And who cares? After all 
they remain the same, a living and breathing and tainted old band touring 
and selling oldies collection... And in the end, what they are saying it's a 
loud "fuck the reputation!" You know, You may leave the boat if you want, 
it's your right. You possibly never wanna buy any other cd, ticket or 
t-shirt,  it's your money. You always may judge and say it's wasted and sold 
out. It's you opinion. But nevertheless they are in the market, touring and 
selling oldies and wasting their reputation. And so what? ;-)

But seriously. Despite the easy merchandising strategy of putting new songs 
in an oldies collection, IMO the two new songs were put in a logical and 
decent way. One to praise 40 years of Elvis and R'n'R and other to  lament 
the death of the best bass player of all times, two legitimate reasons to 
put the songs in a collection, don't you think? But the quality 'per se' of 
the two new songs are totally subjective matter, as you know. And tastes are 


>From: "Paul Paul" <oyster99 at>
>Reply-To: The Who Mailing List <thewho at>
>To: thewho at
>Subject: Is it just me?
>Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 13:16:37 +0000
>Hello there again people
>Thanks for your responses to my "ranting". It's great to see that my 
>personality shines through in these message board thingies. Most of my 
>friends consider me to be a cantankerous old git anyway, which is all fine 
>with me. I'm still not exactly sure how to use this system so I'm posting 
>your replies into one mail and adding my own comments at the end. Is that 
>>So once again I ask, is it just me who feels this way?
>ditto. although I thought "fire" and "old red wine" are good tracks.
>Ranting Pavel:
>Yeah, well the whole question of GOOD or BAD becomes a philosophical and 
>comparitive, not to mention highly subjective issue at this point. True, I 
>would never dare to presume to assert that what is right or good for me 
>should be the same for everybody. That would be nothing short of aesthetic 
>fascism, and even I wouldn't to that far, lol. The old one man's meat is 
>another's poison argument, etc.
>These two tracks (since you single them out) might very well be described 
>fairly accurately as "pretty good rock music", and I wouldn't disagree with 
>this viewpoint either. However, there is a quantitative and more 
>importantly, an objective difference when we wish to use a descriptive 
>phrase such as "good rock music by The Who". There are many great rock 
>records which are truly wonderful but had they been made by The Who they 
>would not have ever cut the proverbial mustard (God, I really miss real 
>mustard - English mustard, that is). I absolutely adore bands like 
>Raspberries, The Creation, The Beach Boys and The Velvet Underground, and 
>all of these bands made great rock music, but I don't think any of these 
>bands could have produced something that was on a par with great Who stylee 
>rock music. These aforementioned tracks might fit into the first category, 
>let's call it GRM,  but I cannot ever see them fitting into the second, 
>GRMBTW. But hey, that's just my feeling, and in the end I guess it doesn't 
>ummmm, so what's next.........
>"Sorry, I really, love RGLB and ORW is a acceptable.
>Ranting Pavel:
>Hello Denise, and please, you don't have to be sorry for saying what you 
>think and feel. Life's too short to be bashful about one's opinions. I 
>guess in the end it's all subjective. I can only see it how I see it. I 
>have to ask you though Denise, does RGLB sound like The Who to you or Roger 
>Daltrey singing a Townshend song (as in "After the fire"). Nothing wrong 
>with that at all - PT's songs and Daltrey's voice, a perfect combination, 
>but there is and was more to The Who than these two elements. It just 
>sounds too polished to me.
>"You know, you sound just like my husband. He said the same things. He 
>think the 2 songs are up to the Who's best efforts. He said for the Who, no
>way, but for a Townshend CD it would work. He said we would be doing our
>bathroom break during one of those songs, in joking. So, I think a lot of 
>feel the same way you do......Sandy"
>Ranting Pavel:
>Cheers Sandy, and yes, exactly!
>Sroundtable writes:
>"You are definitely not the only one who feels this way, and not the only 
>on this list.  However, I disagree with your opinion, regardless of how 
>it might be.  The new songs aren't in The Who's top 20, but I have to 
>about them not being worthy of being Who songs.  I find myself singing RGLB
>or having it in my head quite a bit.  There is a genuine, emotional quality 
>it that makes it endearing.  ORW is not quite as strong atrack, IMHO, but 
>rings true, as well- especially with the end jam. "
>and Jim writes:
>"What about Roger?  I still want to hear Roger sing Pete's new 
>songs...............They still WOW crowds and fans of all ages and continue 
>to garner rave reviews.  AND, it has been reported
>that RGLB holds up really well as a live offering.  When was the last 
>concert you attended? "
>Ranting Pavel:
>Yeah Jim, me too actually. I always prefer hearing Daltrey's 
>interpretations of Pete's songs, always. But we're back to the same 
>argument again - Is it The Who? If they want to form a new band around 
>themselves, then sure, why the hell not, but just please don't call it The 
>Who. How about calling it The Why?, which to my mind would be a far more 
>appropriate moniker (snigger). I'm racking my brains trying to think of 
>some parralels in the history of rock where bands have fractured and one or 
>two of the original members have formed new bands (with new names), doing 
>new stuff along with a few old faves. All I can think of at the moment is 
>Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers, which contained I think 2 members of 
>the New York Dolls. There was also that album Lou Reed made with John Cale 
>back in the nineties, which they could have very cheekily called a Velvets 
>record, but didn't. Oh shit, I'm thinking about the Beach Boys now - is it 
>true that there's a version of this once great band touring with only Mike 
>fucking Love as a founder? That's a truly scary thought, a Beach Boys with 
>no Wilsons, or even a Jardine. At least Brian Wilson has the taste and good 
>sense to make solo records and not try to live off his erstwhile group's 
>Thanks also to Mr Sroundtable for a very enjoyable and intelligent letter, 
>but once again it's chacon a son gout, as the French say.
>Last concert I attended? Watford Coliseum, January 2002, with Entwistle. 
>Fucking wonderful show it was, in a theatre with 1,400 capacity. Very 
>intimate! And THAT'S the way I want to remember them - an absolutely 
>blinding gig, replete with performances of YMB, Summertime Blues and Don't 
>Know Myself. I'm still pinching myself to this day that I managed to see 
>the Greatest Band of All Time in a small theatre like this. Now, why the 
>hell don't they release THIS gig as a live album instead of the ten million 
>CDs they have released from the post-Ox period tours???? If anyone out 
>there has a CD or DAT recording of this concert I would be more than 
>Anna Mormack writes:
>"I haven't heard the two new songs yet (don't feel
>right about downloading songs from the internet; even
>for a cheap price, it just smacks of piracy and
>cheating the artists of money they worked hard for to
>produce their art, and amn't interested in getting
>'Then and Now'), so I can't comment on if I find them
>good or not or up to earlier Who standards."
>Ranting Pavel:
>Dobry den, and thank you for making an interesting point Anna. Yes, 
>downloading trackd from the net IS piracy and it IS theft. But.........and 
>this is a BIG BUT........putting out yet another bloody hits package in 
>order to make us buy the new songs or to put it another way, filling out a 
>CD with 2 new songs with "filler" which everybody on this list already owns 
>many times over is what I would describe as ripping off the fans. And I 
>feel the same way about the new 2-CD versions of Tommy, WN and LAL. I mean, 
>for heaven's sake, in 1995 they tell us that here are the definitive albume 
>and then 5 years later they're at it again! How many more times do we all 
>have to buy WN before we have in our hands the genuine article? Not that I 
>have any complaints about the new bunus material, but why didn't they put 
>it on the 1995 series the first time round? God, this really pisses me off. 
>As far as I'm concerned Astley and co. still have not got it right and AQO 
>and SO could have been so much better. I wrote a letter to Astley at the 
>time asking him why he didn't think the single version of "Substitute" 
>worth of inclusion on AQO. This track was not even on the "30 Years" box 
>set, and I for one find this highly baffling and annoying. Baffling because 
>it is (IMHO) the greatest 3'50" in the history of The Who and (maybe even 
>in rock's history) and annoying because it means we have to buy some other 
>stupid compilation CD (like "The Best of The Who") in order to have 
>"Substitute" on CD. This is patently NOT RIGHT. "Substitute", "I'm a boy" 
>and "Happy Jack" belong on AQO, and there is plenty of playing time free on 
>the CD to allow their inclusion..............Oh, and don't even get me 
>started on "Circles", which seems to have evaded the entire 
>remaster/reissue program completely!!! But never mind, I mean, it's only 
>"Circles" by The Who, nothing important really. "Barbra Ann" is obviously a 
>far better track to represent the Ready, Steady, Who! EP. Who needs 
>"Circles" when we can have Moonie singing falsetto?
>Anna continues:
>"Though I
>disagree with you about the Kenney Jones-era material;
>I happen to love IH, and while FD isn't a great album,
>it's what I consider to be a solid 4-star effort, and
>could have been a lot worse considering what the band
>were going through in that era.  (I've written a lot
>more about this on the Who albums reviews and
>anniversaries section of my website.)"
>Fair enough, and I too like FD, but it doesn't excite me, I merely find it 
>I'd like to check out your website some time. Please send me a link or you 
>are very welcome to write to me at my private e-mail address 
>(oyster99 at
>"I once was a huge fan of Frankie Valli and The
>Four Seasons .........but now I just roll my eyes at how
>the man is still going out on tours with more than
>just three other ever-changing people, with only an
>occasionaly presence by Bob Gaudio, the songwriter and
>one of the original Seasons (and Four Lovers, their
>earlier incarnation), yet still calling it The Four
>Seasons.  How can he still claim that name when it's
>only himself and way more than three people supporting
>him? "
>"Where are you from in the Czech Republic, btw?  Part
>of my ancestry comes from Slovakia, and I know a bit
>of Czech, enough to read and speak a little and to
>talk to my grandpap whose first language is Slovakian."
>I live in a small town in Eastern Bohemia called Nachod, right on the 
>border with Poland. This region of Chechia is really gorgeous, all 
>mountains, hills, lakes and thick pine forests, not to mention fairy tale 
>castles and some lovely architecture. Nachod recently celebrated it's 750th 
>anniversary as a town, and boy were those fireworks in the main square 
>cool! I will live here forever.
>However, I have to confess, I'm not actually a Czech, but an Englishman 
>living here and working as an English language teacher in various high 
>schools and language schools. Yes, I'm a lousy Brit, and my real name is 
>Paul Wallace, although I have recently started calling myself Pavel 
>Valasek, which my Czech friends find very funny.......not as funny as their 
>weather though, or their bland and tasteless food, come to that! I actually 
>live in a country without Cheddar cheese, which for an Englishman is sheer 
>The other thing that keeps me here is my band Parafina, which formed 
>completely by accident last October and has been going from strength to 
>strength ever since. We played a gig in Kudowa, Poland 2 nights ago and my 
>head is still reeling from the reception we were given by the people of 
>that town. We have been invited to play at a prestigious club in Krakow in 
>a few weeks time too, so I'm as excited as anything. We made a four track 
>EP back in January, which was okay for the time, but we're better now. If 
>you or anyone else on this list is curious to hear Ranting Pavel's group 
>and songs, then it's yours for a couple of quid plus postage.
>As far as speaking Czech goes, oh my god, these people have the most 
>difficult language on Earth to speak and understand. But I'm trying, I 
>really am. Most shopkeepers and waitressesd laugh at me or give me puzzled 
>looks when I try to speak to them in Czech. Jeez, it's not my fault they 
>insist on having hacek accents over their "r"s, and I can't help it if I 
>spit at people when I try to make this sound, but I'll show them all one 
>day! Let's just say for now that rozumim Cesky, ale nemluvim. Mam sto Cesky 
>slov - nic moc. Do prdele!
>Keets writes:
>"As usual, Whofans are full of complaints about the two tracks.  I've heard
>some comments like yours, Paul.  Some others have complained specifically
>about the production and at least one about digital recording instead of
>analog.  Some have said the lyrics are weak and some think the lyrics are
>fine and the music is weak.  At least one fan complained because the tracks
>didn't include The Who's trademark synthesizers and prog rock effects.  The
>moral of this story is that you can't please everybody, so you just have to
>please yourself.  ;)"
>Hmmm, this is interesting too and raises another philosophical point. Plato 
>(or was it Socrates?) or some dead Greek dude had this idea that a thing 
>was composed of certain key elements and had to have a certain amount of 
>these elements in order for it to be, er, a thing. Let's call it a car, for 
>the sake of simplicity. So we could have the following argument: A car is 
>anything that consists of at least three of the following elements - a 
>steering wheel, four wheels, a gearbox, chairs, a stereo, electric windows, 
>a windscreen, a sunroof. The question is, which of these elements are the 
>essential parts without which we would not really be said to have a car?
>So what is The Who? is it Roger's voice and Pete's writing? Is it Pete's 
>guitar and Rabbit's synthesiser noodlings? Is it the search for "the self" 
>and songs about masturbation? Is it Moonie's drumming and The Ox's bass 
>playing? See where I'm going with this?
>I think I can just about forgive The Beatles for those two tracks they cut 
>with Jeff Lynne in the nineties. At least they had they good sense and 
>taste to base the recordings around an original John Lennon demo and build 
>it up from there. However, neither of these tracks is anywhere near as good 
>as anyuthing they cut between June 1962 and July 1969. So they were being a 
>bit cheeky calling it The Beatles..........but not as cheeky as you know 
>Okay, I have ranted enough for one day.
>Laters y'all (and hezky den, Anna)
>thewho mailing list
>thewho at

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