The heart of The Who speaks!

L. Bird pkeets at
Tue Jun 29 23:36:20 CDT 2004

>>Do you believe in the One Note?

>How can I?  It's so obscure.  What does it mean?  Really?  The secret,
or meaning, of the universe leads back to "one note?"  Sounds quaint,
but what does it really mean?

>Taken out of its string theory context, what does it mean?  Sound?  Sound
is the key to everything?  Sound propagates in a medium.  What then is
the medium that the "one note" propagates in?  The ether?  Boo!  Hiss!

"Ether" is back in as a theory, BTW.  They're calling it "dark matter" these 
days.  ;)

>What causes the note?  We can't just have a note sitting there by itself.
What is the instrument (without resorting to an equally ambiguous answer
such as "the spirit," or, "the energy of the universe")?

>>Why are you hanging around The Who if you don't hear it?  ;)

>What I hear in The Who is the most wonderfully exciting sounds pro-
duced by the best rock group I've ever listened to.

>When the band reaches that zone, say, during a live YMB from '69, I
hear them creating  the most glorious cacophony of noise I've ever
experienced in my life.

>But,......I know how they do it.  True, I haven't heard anyone *reproduce*
it....  But I know how they do it.

>And sure it's special 'cause it's *them* doing it.  Sure it's inspiringly 
But, I don't have to assign it a place in the nether regions of occurrences, 
some spiritual or mythological realm.

But like Tom says, why is it addictive?  Why do you keep going back for more 
year after year?

>And, no, that doesn't mean it's any less enjoyable to me as it is to you.
That I listen with a cold unimaginative ear, scoffing all the while because 
think I'm so goddamned smart to have it all figured out.

>I listen to it with my jaw on the floor & shivers racing up my spine.

Aha.  And why is this?

>Now, you may call that evidence of "the note" or of some "higher plane..."
I call it The Fucking Who.  And they amaze me no less than they amaze

>But many of you get off on the spiritual side of Pete's writing.  
I think you place too high an emphasis on it, & I savor the humanistic, the
nitty-grittiness, the realism of Pete's writing.  "My fried eggs make me
sick first thing in the morning."

This is nitty-gritty realism.

>"I was sewn up like a coat."  "I spill out like a sewer hole."  "There's a 
>man going through your dustbin."  "Black ice from the foundry hangs like 

This is not.  This is similie, metaphor and symbolism.  This is poetic mode, 
and here Pete evokes resonances beyond the words.   He can layer on several 
meanings with these choices of words, and here is where we're hearing those 
"universal truths" that Jung tried so hard to explain.

Maybe some folks are more receptive to these than others are, but for me 
Pete's writing makes shadows move behind the words.  I read the lyrics and 
it engages some part of my brain way down deep that turns over with an 
almost physical clunk of recognition.  I have read some discussion to the 
effect that he overdoes it and that it's heavy handed, but for the millieu 
where he's working (the concert stage), I think it's just about right.

>I've got plenty of reasons to hang around here, missy.

Don't we all.


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