5 Reasons Why “My Generation” Is So Awesome

(via CultureSonar) by ADAM LEADBEATER

“My Generation” by The Who is a quintessential part of British culture and an important component in the evolution of contemporary rock music.

Although recorded nearly sixty years ago, in the midst of ‘love obsessed’ pop tunes, The Who’s debut single sounds as exciting, unique, and fabulously frenzied as the day it first struck the ears of mid-60s teens.

Penned by guitarist Pete Townshend, this classic rock hit immediately became a manifesto for youths tip-toeing through a post-war social minefield whilst desperately scrambling to forge an identity they could be proud of.

“My Generation” is still considered an underclass masterpiece in many quarters. The song defines a moment, both in terms of musical craft and its embodiment of an entire subculture’s spirit. Here are five reasons why it rules…

Read more: https://www.culturesonar.com/5-reasons-why-my-generation-is-so-awesome/?mc_cid=b38df62a86&mc_eid=b43e532c6f

From Failures Come Pop Successes

(via Culture Sonar) by Mark Daponte

One of the more bizarre sayings (and something parents of an infant shouldn’t have to say to the nanny) is “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”  This advice, meaning don’t throw away something good in the course of throwing out something bad, was heeded by a number of rock stars who found gems amongst musical projects they had thrown out.

The most noteworthy salvage job was Pete Townshend’s unfinished sci-fi rock opera film called Lifehouse which started as a story written around several songs.  Pete recalled: “The essence of the storyline was a kind of futuristic scene.  It’s a fantasy set at a time when rock ’n’ roll didn’t exist.  The world was completely collapsing and the only experience that anybody ever had was through test tubes. In a way, they lived as if they were on television. Everything was programmed.  The enemies were people who gave us entertainment intravenously and the heroes were savages who’d kept rock ‘n’ roll as a primitive force and had gone to live with it in the woods.  The story was about these two sides coming together and having a brief battle.”

Read more: From Failures Come Pop Successes – CultureSonar

On This Day in 1970…


(via The College of Rock and Roll Knowledge)

The Who’s drummer, Keith Moon decided to go to the Red Lion Pub in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK on Jan. 4, 1970. Keith went with his wife and some other friends. Keith’s friend and driver Neil Boland, drove them in Keith’s Bentley.

The people in the pub were more working class than Rock Star class (some say it was a skin head crowd). They started giving Keith and his friends trouble so they decided to leave. The crowd moved outside and started throwing rocks at the car and started rocking it. Boland got out of the car to try to cool off the crowd. However, Keith got scared and decided to make a get away by driving the car himself. What he didn’t know was that the crowd had pushed Neil under the car. The car ran over Neil and dragged him for a ways, killing him.

Moon was arrested and charged with a number of crimes. 6 weeks after the incident, Neil’s death was ruled accidental.

Neil’s death continued to bother Keith until his own death.

Video of the Week: The Who on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Recorded 48 years ago tonight on September 15, 1967 (for airing two days later) here is the performance that introduced much of America to the band who had the reputation for smashing their instruments on stage.

Their performance of “I Can See For Miles” and “My Generation” is capped by a pyrotechnic finale that included an explosion so great it caused Pete Townshend permanent hearing loss.

Video of the Week: Folsom Pinball Blues

Bill Kirchen, formerly of Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, cleverly mashing up Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” with The Who’s “Pinball Wizard”.

Keith Moon’s Final Performance with The Who (1978)

(Reprinted from Open Culture)

Last summer, we revisited a memorable moment from the annals of rock ‘ n’ roll — the time when Keith Moon, flying high on PCP, passed out at a 1973 Who concert in California, giving an unsuspecting fan, Scot Halpin, the chance to take over on the drums. (Watch it all happen here:https://edcyphers.com/2012/09/03/keith-moon-passes-out-at-1973-concert-19-year-old-fan-takes-over/  )

It was a glorious moment for Scot. For Keith, it was the middle of the end — another example of the outrageous substance abuse that would kill him five years later.

Fast forward to 1978, and we arrive at Keith Moon’s final live performance with The Who. It took place when the band shot live footage for the rockumentary, The Kids Are Alright. In his recently-published biography, Who Am I?, Pete Townshend writes that, by 1978, Moon’s addictions had caught up to him. His “drumming was getting so uneven that recording was almost impossible, so much so that work on the Who Are You album had ground to a halt…. [The Who] had just about enough tracks for a record, with very little additional material to spare. ‘Music Must Change‘ was completed with footsteps replacing drums.” When it came time to shoot live footage for The Kids Are Alright, Townshend “was terrified that Keith wouldn’t be able to hide his deteriorating condition,” but agreed to give it a try.

The initial shoot was appalling. The band was out of practice, and Keith couldn’t keep up. So they tried a second shoot, filmed at Shepperton Studios on May 25, 1978, where they played a limited number of hit songs before a small audience. (Watch above and below.) “Keith was in a good mood but bloated and unfit,” writes Townshend, “and he found the repeated takes wearying.” Because Moon’s earphones kept falling off, they taped them to his head with thick black gaffers’ tape. In the months that followed, Moon headed to Malibu, California where he tried to kick his alcohol habit and then started abusing medications to relieve the withdrawal symptoms. On September 6, Moon took 32 tablets of clomethiazole, a sedative meant to help him cope with the withdrawal. The next morning Roger Daltrey, The Who’s lead singer, called Pete Townshend and simply said “He’s done it.”

Pete Townshend Discusses His New Bio, Performs Acoustic “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

Pete Townshend sits down with Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone to discuss his new biography, his relationship with Roger, the ghosts of Keith Moon and John Entwistle and his love for his iPod.


Real Life Spinal Tap: Bands Reveal Their Most Tap-Like Moments

spinal tap

(Article reprinted from Guitar World. Orginally printed July 2005)

Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Gibbons, Angus Young and more share their most insane rock-and-roll stories ever!


After watching the “Stonehenge” scene in Spinal Tap, with the midgets, and seeing Alice Cooper incorporate a hanging act into his show, I thought, Why not fake the execution of a midget onstage? The one midget actor who could free himself for an eight-month tour turned out to be an alcoholic. He showed up late; he was drunk… It got to me after a while. So one night when he wanted to get on the tour bus, I threw him into the luggage compartment. Somebody grabbed me and said, “What you’re doing is not only illegal but inhumane!” I lost it. I yelled: “He’s my fuckin’ midget and I’ll fuckin’ do what I want with him!” There was a silence, and then a small voice emerged from the luggage compartment: “He’s right: I’m his midget and he can do what he wants with me.”

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi was a consummate practical joker, though not a very subtle one. One time, he shat in the dip sauce at some record company event. It was interesting standing there and watching the executives indulge.

In my wild years, my wife Sharon used to accompany me on tour to prevent me from committing adultery. Some nights, she waited up for me in our hotel room. One time, I was so drunk I’d forgotten all about her presence, and when a lovely Japanese girl chatted me up, I thought: Fuck me! Sex with a gorgeous Eastern girl is one of my big fantasies, so I’m not letting this one go! When we got into the hotel room, Sharon wasted no time: she decked the Japanese girl with one right hook. In the morning, I woke up alone in the bed, a bunch of Alcoholics Anonymous brochures beside me.


Somehow I got it in my head that it would be a good idea to get a huge stage set and “take Texas to the people.” We had a stage in the shape of the state of Texas, and a number of rattlesnakes, vultures and even a couple of buffalo onstage. It was authentic! It was disastrous. At first, everything went well: the rattlers behaved, the birds seemed to stand the noise and the buffalo grazed quietly—until one night one buffalo decided he’d had enough. He rammed two glass cages containing the snakes. Suddenly we had a dozen rattlers crawling around onstage. Our drummer suggested we play “something quiet, to soothe them”—a stupid idea, ’cause most snakes are deaf. We didn’t even attempt it. We just fled and left the roadies to minimize the damage.


Many years ago, when Bon [Scott] was our singer, our manager had “a brilliant idea” to hire actors who would impersonate police officers and “arrest” us onstage. Unfortunately, this was carried out at a gig in Sydney [Australia], in front of hardcore AC/DC fans that started rioting as soon as “the police” came onstage. Minutes later, the real police force came in to control the riots. Unfortunately, we couldn’t distinguish the real cops from the fake ones. Bon thought he was hitting the fake cops, but he was messing with the real ones. One of the cops gave orders to his “colleagues,” who were, in reality, the actors! I just stood there laughing my head off, which the real cops didn’t appreciate. In short: total chaos ensued.


Our first drummer, Keith Moon, God rest his soul, was Spinal Tap incarnate. Most people know the story of how he drove his Rolls-Royce into a swimming pool. But on another occasion, Keith drove his car through the glass doors of a hotel and all the way up to the reception desk, got out and asked for the key to his room, all without blinking an eyelid. One time, on a plane, he poured the contents of a soup can into a paper bag, pretended to be sick in the bag and then to drink his own “vomit.” All of this in first class. The businessmen didn’t know what hit ’em.

RON WOOD of the Rolling Stones

I have fond memories of the night Mick Jagger and I went to see Marvin Gaye sing in New York. After the gig, we went to Marvin’s hotel suite, and Mick tried to impress him with his knowledge of soul music and the like. At least, that’s what Mick thought he was doing. After about an hour of this, our host said, “That’s great, but why don’t you tell that to Marvin? He’ll be here shortly.” Mick had been talking to Marvin’s brother, who wore the same kind of knitted wool cap Marvin wore.

Another fine moment was in the early Eighties. We were doing drugs in the dressing room when suddenly the tour manager stuck his head around the door and said, “The police are here!” Holy shit! We all panicked and threw our drugs in the toilet. And then Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland walked in.

TOMMY LEE of Mötley Crüe

Mötley Crüe got kicked out of several hotels for rowdy behavior. We usually deserved it, but there was one time I thought we were unjustifiably thrown out of a place. To get back at them, I put a turd on a room-service tray and placed it in a ventilator shaft, then turned the heat up. I imagine it took them a while before they’d discovered the source of that lingering smell.

KEITH RICHARDS of the Rolling Stones

When I recorded Talk Is Cheap [Richards’ 1988 solo debut], we shot a video in Los Angeles. The script called for a couple of tramps with dogs. The director felt a tramp should have a dog that was not only ugly or dirty but also weird or, at the very least, disfigured. His assistant suggested a lame dog. They called up some agency and the word came back: “We can get you a lame dog by noon. Which leg would you want missing?” These people were prepared to maim a dog for the sake of a fuckin’ video. I tell you, man, L.A. is one sick town.


spinal tap

Crappy Jobs I’ve Had

Lead Vocalist in the Ventures

Image de The Ventures

Guitar Tech for The Who

Pete Townshend Smashed Guitar This Guitar Has Seconds To Live

Tour Promoter for George Jones

empty stage Image

Lyricist for Kenny G


Costume Designer for Janet Jackson


 Aretha Franklin’s Personal Trainer

Drummer for Kraftwerk


This Guy’s Roadie

Manzer Medusa Guitar

Shane McGowan’s Dentist

Life Coach to Amy Winehouse

Keith Moon Passes Out at 1973 Concert; 19-Year-Old Fan Takes Over

In November 1973, Scot Halpin, a 19-year-old kid, scalped tickets to The Who concert in San Francisco, California. Little did he know that he’d wind up playing drums for the band that night — that his name would end up etched in the annals of rock ‘n’ roll.

The Who came to California with its album Quadrophenia topping the charts. But despite that, Keith Moon, the band’s drummer, had a case of the nerves. It was, after all, their first show on American soil in two years. When Moon vomited before the concert, he ended up taking some tranquillizers to calm down. The drugs worked all too well, not least because the tranquillizers actually ended up being PCP. During the show, Moon’s drumming became sloppy and slow, writes his biographer Tony Fletcher. Then, halfway through “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” he slumped onto his drums. Moon was out cold. (See it all happen above.) As the roadies tried to bring him back to form, The Who played as a trio. The drummer returned, but only briefly and collapsed again, this time heading off to the hospital to get his stomach pumped.

Scot Halpin watched the action from near the stage. Years later, he told an NPR interviewer, “my friend got real excited when he saw that [Moon was going to pass out again]. And he started telling the security guy, you know, this guy can help out. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere comes Bill Graham,” the great concert promoter. Graham asked Halpin straight up, “Can you do it?,” and Halpin shot back “yes.”
When Pete Townshend asked the crowd, “Can anybody play the drums?” Halpin mounted the stage, settled into Moon’s drum kit, and began confidently playing the blues jam “Smoke Stacked Lighting” that soon segued into “Spoonful.” It was a way of testing the kid out. Then came a nine minute version of “Naked Eye.” By the time it was over, Halpin was physically spent.
The show ended with Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Scot Halpin taking a bow center stage. And, to thank him for his efforts, The Who gave him a concert jacket that was promptly stolen.

As a sad footnote to an otherwise great story, Halpin died in 2008. The cause, a brain tumor. He was only 54 years old.

(Reprinted from Open Culture)


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