Monday, February 8, 2010

Who' First?

Arguably the most famous line The Who's Pete Townshend ever wrote was "Hope I die before I get old" on the angry young anthem of 1965, "My Generation". The world seems to have forgotten just how great The Who once were. They have long had to settle for third place in the pantheon of Sixties rock giants behind The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Many, though, would argue that they were the greatest live band of all time, ahead not only of The Beatles and the Stones, but also of Led Zeppelin, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Nirvana and all the other legends. When Townshend and singer Roger Daltrey – the other surviving original member of the group after the deaths of drummer Keith Moon and bass guitarist John Entwistle – played the post-9/11 Concert for New York City, their passionate performance had traumatised firemen on their feet with tears in their eyes.


  1. Rock around the clock, that was the first title I played in my school´s jazzband on piano. Besides, at that time we thought it was Jazz! Anyway, Bill Haley is my number One in Rock.

  2. Here we touch a question which concerns our personal subjectivity, disposition, character and intimate essence of being.

    I personally love only ONE composition of the Pink Floyd (Grantchester Meadows), one of Led Zeppelin (Whole Lotta Love), two of The Nice (Hang on to a Dream and Azrael Revisited), two of The Who (See me, Feel me, Touch me, Heal me and Behind Blue Eyes), five of the Bee Gees, several of Earth, Wind & Fire!, some of Frank Zappa's, some of the Yes. None of Jimmy Hendrix (thou I admire him), none of the Rolling Stones (and I even do not admire them). And uncountable pieces of the Beatles. Uncountable pieces of the Beatles.

    But I always was sorry that I didn't consider enough The Who! Like with Haydn, I sometimes thaught, I would one day probably start to pay them more attention. I am sure, their "message" has a little bit more philosophical wear than all those busy messages promoted by other messengers.

    I do not think that taste is something not worth to discuss on!! I think the proverb which affirms, taste cannot be discussed, is one of the most stupid.
    Taste is never only taste. One could even affirm, only questions of taste a worth while being discussed, and only mathematics and other precisely definable questions are too obviously about objectifiable facts to be questionable.

    Taste is a function of our ratiomorph perceptions of reality and can tell us something about how someone experiences the world he is living in.

    But there is always a point where we shall stop discussing, because one should not question the intimate essence of a human being, his derivated convictions, sincere attitudes and personal conventions. In THIS sense the antique admonition De gustibus non est disputandum (One SHALL not discuss taste) remains always valid.

    To say The Who are greater than The Beatles is like saying Brahms is greater than Johann Strauss jr.

    It is a choice between the fulfillment of two different needs: our longing for deeper significance and our longing for innocence.

  3. I just can´t stop wondering about the high level brought in to this blog by epitimaios. All my credit is due to Mr. Knowitall.