Who the F*ck Are You Not to Love the Who

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 17 06:39:21 CDT 2008

>From Huffington Post:


Who the F*ck Are You Not to Love the Who
by David Wild  
Posted July 16, 2008 | 05:58 PM (EST)

"Long Live Rock"

The above song has never even made my personal Top Forty pantheon of
truly great Who numbers -- its title sentiment blending in with too
many lesser, self-conscious anthems to the power of rock that I've
heard on FM radio in my day. But now it's sunrise on a new morning and
I'm sitting in a hammock on the Kona Coast of Hawaii, listening to this
song on my iPod over and over while my wife and kids sleep inside. And
somehow "Long Live Rock" is moving me as never before.

I've just finished working as co-producer and co-writer on the VH1
Rock Honors tribute to the Who that premieres Thursday night, and being
around the Who and so many other people who love them reminded me why
rock actually deserves to live still, and why "classic rock" should not
be considered merely as the kind of easy insult that confines one to
the dustbin of history.

It was incredibly inspiring to see bands like Pearl Jam, Foo
Fighters, Flaming Lips, Incubus and Tenacious D -- and, yes, Adam
Sandler -- pay their musical respects to the Who's illustrious past.
Yet ultimately what moved me most was watching the band's two surviving
members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey -- two men now well into their
sixties -- somehow breath new life into the music that made many of us
love rock & roll in the first place.

That Townshend and Daltrey are managing to do so at this point in
history -- and at their ages -- is remarkable. After all, this is a
band that understandably seemed to lose the plot after Keith Moon's
death in 1978 and arguably should have faced the fact that the song was
permanently over after the loss of John Entwistle in Las Vegas in 2002.
I happen to review the Who's first appearance following Entwistle's
death for Rolling Stone and walked into the Hollywood Bowl that night a
cynic and walked out a believer in the Who again.

A good deal of the credit must go to drummer Zak Starkey and bassist
Pino Palladino who somehow fully honored the legacies of the
irreplaceable men they replaced and brought their own passion to the
playing as well. Yet in the end, what's most impressive is that rather
than dying before they got old, Pete and Roger have found a way to get
old and stay connected to whatever it is in rock & roll that
remains forever young and full of meaning and power and a kind of human

"Rock is dead they say
"Long live rock."
David Wild is an Emmy-nominated television writer, a best-selling author and a longtime Rolling Stone writer. But what he really wants to do is write for free on Huffington Post.

-Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!


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