Billboard on VH1 Honors

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Sun Jul 13 19:56:37 CDT 2008

Star-Studded Crew Leads VH1's Who Tribute

Brian Cohen, L.A.

Some of the biggest names in rock saluted the Who last night (July 12) with performances during a taping for VH1's "Rock
Honors" at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, but the biggest thrills were
delivered by the honorees themselves. The event will air July 17.

The Who, which now comprises lone surviving original members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey,
tore through classics like "You Better, You Bet" (which was stopped and
then re-started due to sound issues), "Baba O'Riley," "Behind Blue
Eyes," "Won't Get Fooled Again," "The Seeker," "Who Are You" and "My

The band also tapped into
new material from the 2006 album "Endless Wire," such as "Two Thousand
Years" and the stripped-down "Tea & Theatre."

and Daltrey's at times caustic relationship was in evidence during one
exchange when Townshend said, "Thanks for giving us this night instead
of a crappy piece of plastic," to which Daltrey answered, "I don't have
any pieces of plastic!" Townshend's playful rejoinder: "You should try
writing a song sometime."

by Sean Penn and backed by strings and horn section, Pearl Jam pulled
off a stunning rendition of the Who's "Love, Reign O'er Me," which the
band recorded for the 2007 Adam Sandler film "Reign Over Me." The group
also debuted a cover of "The Real Me," which Jeff Ament's virtuous bass
work echoing that of the Who's late John Entwistle.

Although comedy rock duo Tenacious D played "Squeeze Box" with two
acoustic guitars, group member Kyle Gass payed tribute to the Who's
trademark power. "Wanna know why they were the greatest? Because they
were the first ones to really rock hard," he said.

making what is planned to be its last live performance for some time,
offered straight-ahead versions of the Who's "I Can See for Miles" and
"I Can't Explain," while the Flaming Lips delivered its trademark
showmanship by having frontman Wayne Coyne float into the audience
inside a clear plastic bubble.

they'd done 20 years ago while playing punk clubs at the dawn of their
career, the Lips unveiled a medley of songs from the Who's famed rock
opera "Tommy," including "Pinball Wizard," "I'm Free" and "See Me, Feel
Me." The group kicked over its drum kit at the end, in tribute to one
of late Who drummer Keith Moon's favorite moves.

Foo Fighters began the proceedings with a nod to the Who's own cover of
Mose Allison's "Young Man Blues," popularized on its "Live At the Isle
of Wight" album. Sueprgrass frontman Gaz Coombes, whose band is touring
with the Foos, joined Dave Grohl and company to sing "Bargain," which
featured an extended jam.

The taping
also included comedian Adam Sandler's version of "My Generation," plus
bits from "The Office" star Rainn Wilson, who impersonated Elton John's
character Local Lad from "Tommy."

 -Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!


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