Time Magazine on Carnegie Hall

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at yahoo.com
Thu May 20 14:22:47 CDT 2004


CBS: The World Looks Just the Same, and History Ain't
A nice, conservative schedule from the Tiffany network

...Two hours later, the upfront that began with a fake
Beatles ended with a surprise performance by The Who.
The actual Who — surviving members Roger Daltrey and
Pete Townshend — playing their songs that have been
adapted as "CSI" themes (for "CSI: NY," it's "Baba
O'Reilly"), for what amounts to a sales conference of
ad men, brand managers and TV affiliate executives. It
was one of the sadder things I've ever seen, and yet
it was somehow appropriate. They closed with "Won't
Get Fooled Again" — the "CSI: Miami" theme — which,
for its time (1971), was an unusually conservative
anthem, in that its message was, like CBS's, that
revolutionary change isn't necessarily good. ("Meet
the new boss/ Same as the old boss.") 

Townshend and Daltrey barreled through the songs —
Pete windmilling on the guitar, Roger unleashing his
trademark screams — as if they were in front of any
other audience, say, one composed of people with
souls. That, I guess, is what great entertainers do,
in popular music or popular TV: they forget, for a
while, about the compromises and cynical dealing that
keep their business afloat, and occasionally manage to
create something wonderful and transcendent. Maybe one
of the shows we see this week will do that, maybe not,
but it was good to get a reminder that it could
happen, before the TV people and the advertising
people left to drink and schmooze at Tavern on the
Green, beginning their negotiations over dollars per
air second and demographic delivery, each side
silently promising itself it would not get fooled

-Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!

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