Saturday, September 27, 2008
If it's not politics, it has to be The Who
Last week, I posted a thought about my favorite band in the whole of human history -- The Who. The above video takes about an hour to make my case for me.
Keith Moon was in the very early stages of his decline as The Best Fucking Drummer Ever, losing his place from time-to-time but still incredibly powerful and able work brilliantly off Pete Townshend. John Entwistle's bass rig takes up half the stage as he ably carries the rhythm duties whilst Moon and Townshend have some fun.
Roger Daltrey often gets neglected in discussions about vintage Who. He was able to fill the room with very strong voice in the midst of the very loud and powerful work of his bandmates, all of whom rank at, or very near, the top of live rock musicians. His voice asserts itself well and properly without getting in the way of the energy of his backing band.
The Who were like a lot of British bands that came in the wake of the Beatles, with just one properly trained musician (Entwistle) and incredibly varied influences like Eddie Cochran, Mose Allison, Stax and Motown, and too many more to list here. The Who were on the crest of the developments such things as using feedback and distortion and the Marshall stack, which made it possible to play over huge crowds in basketball arenas and football stadiums. In fact, Entwistle and Townshend bought their gear from Jim Marshall's shop and commissioned the first big cabinet amplifiers. Clapton, Hendrix and others quickly caught on and the big rock and roll concert sound was born.
Anyway, by the mid-70s, The Who was generally considered without peer on stage (sorry Zepplin fans; it's true). Hit the video and tell me later if you don't agree.