So I guess given the title and where we are you are probably guessing which band this blog is about and that I might just not like this band very much. If you are thinking the Who then you would be right on both accounts. But since I really don’t like them, not quite Zappa level and many of you do then you at least ought to get an explanation.
To be honest, I don’t really owe you an explanation. I have spent a long time bashing Frank Zappa so when we get to the letter Z you can be sure I will lay it all out for you and you can either agree or disagree. The Who is different though. There are lots of bands I don’t like. I have certain rules that I like to keep regarding bands I don’t like. Recently I shared on facebook music from four early albums of Kanye West. You see where I am going? Many people can’t stand him and will tell you so and they won’t listen to his music because they have already judged it. It’s rap music, or eeew Kanye he is a horrible person. I don’t particularly care for his politics for his attention seeking behavior but his early stuff, was sensational. I don’t like the person Ted Nugent is but I don’t throw his albums away which in my teenage years meant so much to me because he is a gun nut and a crazy whack job. That’s a technical term. I don’t generally make pronouncements about bands without listening to their music because that’s all I am judging. I decided I didn’t like the Red Hot Chili Peppers only to find how wrong I was. I always have considered that a lesson learned.
Regarding the Who you must understand that I grew up in their hey day for the most part. When I was a kid My Generation and Behind Blue Eyes and Magic Bus, were songs played frequently on the radio. Just of those songs My Generation is the only song I actually like. They might have four or five songs I could say I really enjoy. Some of my reasons are a bit personal. I don’t care for Roger Daltry including his voice. To me he always seemed to be measuring himself and trying to emulate or outdo Robert Plant. Pete Townsend many consider a tremendous guitarist but to me he seemed to have a huge chip on his shoulder. I can see where it was probably not easy to live in a country the size of England and have guitarists like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour and George Harrison. Townsend is nowhere close to those guys in ability. He also seemed to be in love with the power stance and stage theater and maybe this was because he was in a band with Keith Moon. I think Keith Moon was an amazing drummer like a mad scientist full of uptempo jazz with the heart of mad rock and roller. It’s a shame he died when he was so young. Another big issue I have with Townsend is that he really is a one trick pony. Take David Gilmour for example so I don’t have to use Clapton who I think is a bit overrated. You can put an acoustic guitar in Gilmour’s hands and its magic and he is equally good electric. Townsend limited himself by so much electric that you can’t see him any other way. He probably would be great on acoustic or maybe not.
All those criticisms are style critiques but I have already said that I don’t like their music either. Too many concept albums that I just can’t get into. A quick One, The Who Sell Out, Quadrophenia I think are all horrible, too structured and just not good enough from first to last. There are little gems on each of them but to me a great album ought to have more to it than a concept and one or two good songs. Quite honestly I like the Kinks a lot better.
Now I know I might get pushback. If you like the Who then fine that’s okay with me. I have got at least two days of music for you. I have more than a few albums. I have given them more than a chance and yea Baba O’Riley is a great great song, probably in my top 50 of all time. I know enough that I grimace when someone calls it teenage wasteland. So there. I know at least one person who thinks Townsend hung the moon and not Keith Moon either and the Who is one of their real all time favorite bands. To each their own.