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The Who via The Moody Blues & LSO

> On Tue, 24 Jan 1995 STU_JCTENNAN@VAX1.ACS.JMU.EDU wrote:
> > This is kind of a neat idea that popped into my head.  I would like to
> > hear The Moody Blues with their friends The London Symphony Orchestra
> > cover something off of either Tommy or Quadrophenia.

Let me preface these remarks by stating unequivocally that musical taste 
is a personal, subjective thing, so absolutely no personal flame is 
intended in the following.

That having been said, the idea of putting *anything* by the Who in the hands
of the Moody Blues and/or the LSO positively revolts me!  It seems to me 
that Pete has always produced his best art (whether songwriting or 
performance) when he has approached the matter as a pugnacious, big-nosed 
punk with a chip on his shoulder.  Conversely, his worst excesses--and 
let's admit it, fellow Who fans, there've been plenty--have come about 
precisely when he has allowed his true, street-wise genius to be 
subjugated to an overweening desire to produce "high" art.  If this 
applies to the work of the Who itself, it's gotta go double for others 
attempting to interpret the Who.

At its best, the Who was unparalleled in its ability to resolve the 
central paradox of rock and roll: that, on the one hand, it's a vibrant, 
powerful force worthy of the consuming passion it provokes, and on the 
other, "it's only rock and roll, but we like it"--a silly, essentially 
adolescent obsession.  It's this tension that makes the whole medium 
interesting, IMHO.  But neither the Moodies nor the LSO could possibly 
maintain this tension.  Not since "Go Now" back in--what? 1965?--have 
the Moodies believed that "it's only rock and roll," choosing instead to 
erect these huge edifices of artistic conceit that I, at any rate, have 
found impossible to take seriously.  The LSO, on the other hand, 
doubtless believes precisely that "it's only rock and roll" until they 
can wrap it in their cloak of respectability, at which point it 
magically becomes art.

Give me a half-competent teenage band bashing out a shitty, enthusiastic 
version of "I Can't Explain" in a smoky bar they lied about their ages to 
get into, and I'll call that the truest interpretation of the Who's artistry.

Once again, all apologies to the multitudes I have doubtless offended.  
Anyone agree with me?

					Same as the old boss,
					Craig O'Neill