I wrote a track-by-track breakdown of Quadrophenia on Billboard.com for its 40th anniversary this month.
I am generally not a fan of festivals, mega-concerts, or gimmicky guest appearances. I try to stay away from these things. However, the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief was a confluence of too many artists I cared about for me to avoid it, and we were lucky with tickets.
Pete Townshend with Jann Wenner, Barnes & Noble Union Square, 10/9/12
As part of the promotional go-round for Townshend’s biography, Who I Am, he made a stop at Barnes & Noble this evening for a Q&A, with Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner in the interrogator’s seat. Pete could have been crabby or it could have been the two of them congratulating each other on how great they are, but it was a genuinely thoughtful, solid 45 minutes of conversation–followed by two songs performed solo acoustic, and then Pete sat and signed books for everyone (including the people who didn’t get into the Q&A and were standing outside for hours. I would not have done that).
I called her Miami, because she (like me) had a thing for Steve Van Zandt, back when he was Miami Steve, back when this was a band that wore hats! She wore hats, too. We all had nicknames for each other, stupid, dumb, nicknames – I quite honestly cannot remember any of mine – because we wanted to be a gang, an exclusive club with nicknames and handshakes and secret rituals and inside jokes.
Michael Dorf presents
The Music of the Who
Carnegie Hall, March 2, 2010
The tribute show is an odd duck in some ways; who’s the audience supposed to be? Is it fans of the artists performing, or fans of the artist being feted? Fans of the artists performing don’t automatically have context or even knowledge of the music being played, while fans of the celebrated artist can be a tough audience. They can be terribly critical. And they can be outright demanding sons of bitches.
The latter statement would accurately describe your average Who fan. We were ridiculously demanding OF THE ACTUAL BAND. There was no way anyone coming on the Carnegie Hall stage was getting off easy tonight, not in front of this crowd.
The official Caryn L. Rose line on the Super Bowl performance is this: I do not think it was terrible.
Let’s get this out of the way: It didn’t top Bruce. It didn’t top Prince. It didn’t top U2. But it did make me cry, just a little. I cried because I love/d them. I cried because they are old. I cried because I am old. I cried because the music of my youth is dying. I cried because Roger can’t go onstage shirtless anymore. I cried because John is dead, because I never got to see Keith, because there is no one else like them, no one who comes close to them.
I know I am not objective. I know I am emotional and irrational and have a stormy history with this band. But they were the first band I loved insanely. I do not have to be objective.
I was writing a post about concerts I have seen at Shea Stadium, and my paragraph on the Who prompted me to dig around on the hard drive for this masterpiece. Tweet Enjoyed this post? Consider signing up for my monthly newsletter.