Rock Hall's "Night School" Who Lecture

Frate, Chris (EM, PTL) chris.frate at
Fri Apr 29 09:46:26 CDT 2005

I went too, but I had a lesser impression of the proceedings. For the most part, it seemd like a bunch of guys trying to one-up each other with their Who knowledge (of which I was guilty myself). The only thing I learned that I didn't know before was when Scott corrected the stuttering myth. I had always heard that Roger stuttered because he had trouble reading the lyrics the first time and they liked it and kept it. Since it was raining, I kept looking for a guy in the audience wearing a war-time coat with a big Who symbol on the back, so I could see if Scott was there since I don't know what he looks like. Scott, do you have a goatee and were you sitting in the back? I was the guy who told everyone they should get the TKAA DVD just to watch the "John" channel on Baba and WGFA.

It was fun none-the-less, but since it is hard for me to get out on weeknights and I have the records and videos, I could have skipped this one. On the other hand, it actually might be fun to hear a lecture on a band that I have an interest in, but do not know so well. I'm not going to the Murray Lerner, but am going to try real hard to get to the Marsh, Stamp, and Stein lectures. I'm going to see the exhibit Monday afternoon, so I'll report back on whether or not they did a good job with it.

-Chris in Cleveland

-----Original Message-----
From: thewho-bounces at [mailto:thewho-bounces at]On Behalf
Of Scott Schrade
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2005 7:40 PM
To: Relayers; IGTC
Subject: Rock Hall's "Night School" Who Lecture

Hi, all!

I attended the second of The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Who events
last night in Cleveland.  It was part of their monthly "Rock & Roll
Night School" series & featured a college-type lecture on The Who's
early career (pre-TOMMY) called THE WHO BLOWS THINGS UP - 

The event took place in the Rock Hall's small, intimate theater on
the fourth level.  I'd say the place only sat about 100 & was attended
by around 80 people in the 25 - 60 age range (mostly older).

The lecture was given by a Rock Hall employee (didn't get his name)
who gives similar talks on various Rock & Roll history topics. 

He opened the lecture by plugging in a guitar & playing the opening
chords to ICE (somewhat poorly!).  That got our attention!

To give some background, he spoke about the state of music in the 
1950s & early '60s.  I started to get nervous after about 15 minutes
because The Who hadn't even been mentioned yet!

Finally, he began touching on The Who's early career, mentioning
the Scorpions, trad-jazz, Pete's musical family, & Doug "Sandon" (sic!)

He spent time discussing the interplay of the band members:  Pete as
a rhythm player primarily, Entwistle's virtuosity, Daltrey's control, &
Moon's penchant for playing the drums with his arms held "high" rather 
than "low" like most other drummers.

Then, a new speaker was introduced - a girl named Donna - who
provided some insight on Mod culture & what it meant to The Who.

I liked how audience participation was encouraged & after "Donna"
had disturbingly regurgitated the myth that Daltrey stuttered on "My 
Generation" because it was cold in the studio I promptly spoke up &
set the audience straight.  But, for the most part, this lecture was error-

The original speaker returned to the lectern & the role of Lambert &
Stamp was discussed leading into the Maximum R&B era.

Then, the lyrics for ICE were projected on the theater screen & the
song was discussed & then played at a surprisingly high volume.  And
while still on the subject of ICE & Pete's growing voice as a songwriter,
the ICE clip from the TKAA movie was played, again, nice & loud.
This was starting to get fun!  Who college!

The next topic was the MG album with emphasis on the title track
with the lyrics again on the screen & the song played loudly in the
theater, followed by discussion on Entwistle's technique.  Then, the
MG clip from the Smothers Bros. show (TKAA) was played.

Next up was AQO & a discussion of the further progression of Pete's
songwriting skills with AQO's (the song's) core segments listed on the 
screen followed by the playing of a portion of the song (studio version).

Time was running out so they quickly moved on to SELL OUT with
emphasis on "Armenia" which, the lecturer admitted, was a personal
favorite of his.

Finally, ICSFM was discussed with more lyric examination & a portion
of the song played.

The lecture came to an end with some of the group visiting the Rock
Hall proper to examine a few Who-related products.  I didn't take part
in this as I was dying for a drink & decided I would visit the entire
Rock Hall in the future at my own leisure.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by the event.  It *was* like a college
lecture - but on The Who!  I liked the clips they showed, & the examin-
ation of song lyrics with pauses in the lecture to listen to the songs.

And the encouraged audience participation was nice, too, because
other people got to share info & opinions (I spoke up several times!).
One gentleman talked about seeing The Who in Cleveland around 1970.
And one brave lady had the gumption to state that she thought The Who's
vocals in the early days were always sub-par compared to the music!

Next month's Night School topics will be the various incarnations of
TOMMY & the rest of The Who's career.

For those of you coming to future Who Rock Hall events there is a
neat drinking establishment within walking distance of the Rock Hall.
It's called Hornblowers (nice name huh?) & sits right on Lake Erie
(S. Marginal Rd.) incorporating an old passenger boat motif.  

Unfortunately they were closing about 9:00 PM (that's Cleveland for 
ya') but the dude let me & my buddy in for two rounds of Dortmunder
on draft.  There is a restaurant section, too, on the first level.

This would be the best place for any pre-event meet-and-greets, as it's
only a 5-minute walk from the Rock Hall.

The lecture was fun, Lake Erie looked beautiful, Cleveland looked im-
pressive, the Dortmunder tasted great, & I was filled with the spirit of
The Who.  I'm anxiously looking forward to the next event (Director 
of The Who's Isle of Wight film, Murray Lerner, on May 4th).

- SCHRADE in Akron

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