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The Who: A Modest Proposal

they looked real tall... entlewhistle actually was real tall

they looked real tall… entlewhistle actually was real tall

If you were here yesterday, you probably read Helen Bach’s blistering commentary about Roger Daltry and the rock and roll fantasy camp at Foxwoods. $6,000 a pop. I guess that’s one way to pay off the mortgage right. Though I kinda think with roger it more be the old Protestant work ethic kicking it into high gear.

The truth is the Quadrophenia tour wasn’t terrible, I got stuck seeing it three times and the third time I was plenty tired but the first time I really liked it. I didn’t like the greatest hit encore any of the times I saw it and the reason is, the Who just overdid it. It is like they went to Leeds and never came back, everything became these gargantuan wall of electricity that might do a lot better (you bet) if there was a whole lot less of it.

The Who don’t need to be so big, they don’t have to prove anything, really they don’t. They can tone it down, get rid f the sythns and the power station and contract to the size of a rock band, just a three piece and rock sing and guess what they could play? The great 1960s hits just the way, maybe even a little faster, they were recorded: get a good rock and roll rhythm section, doesn’t have to be the greatest in the world if they have youth and energy and come on stage and clobber us. You know the form: “Magic Bus”, “I’m A Boy”, “Substitute”, “The Kids Are Alright”: just go back to not the beginning but back to when they were one of the greatest pop bands, in a league with the Kinks, just a hugely clever rock band. Who needs these huge themes and general weirdness.

The problem with the Who is they’ve forgotten how to play their songs the way they used to, they got too big for their britches and now they have one last chance, Townshend has that one last chance, to go back in time through music, to tone it down and speed it up, and cut to the chase.

Now there is a rock and roll fantasy I could live with.

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