Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pete Townshend; hero with a lot to say

A hero. Hurt, angry and open. Told to audiences widely around the world in lyrical touching sounds. Understood by many, ignored by too many others. He's liked or disliked. That doesn't stop the reaching out he does. He has done so for over forty nearly fifty years. At seventy he still rages out his life on stage like a twenty year old. Pete Townshend sings meaningful out of heart and passion that listening to him and what he says in his songs is like a million people enjoying a creative style of someone thoughts. Not like other rockers, Pete has an ability to touch. Something deep comes out in almost every song he wrote. An artist that has demonstrated his anger, sang about his anger, jealousy and life's terrors. After reading his bio Who I Am, doesn't express the person who musically shows Who He Is. There are no secret languages or reversing the record to hear secret words, he sings them right out at you. Some don't catch on as I do, but his life is recorded and performed that when you listen you can relate in your own way. I get hooked in the personal and reality. I don't have any permission to quote any examples but can refer songs, Pure and Easy, song journeys to the sound he hears a lot of, million people cheering. Many years of performing to packed out places of thousands of people for many nights one after the other, the note he plays he hears a million people cheering back. Jealousy is an obvious in Somebody Saved Me as Pete and another man fought for the same girl that was only just taken away from both of them while they watched in dismay. I could go on for every song but I'm not writing a book. Hopefully enough to get my understanding out of a person I have never met but admired and inspired to try my own expressions someway. He understood other people too and the albums such as Quadrophenia and Psychoderelict gets inside someone's mind and the story's from those albums are full in depth of what he can relate to. Real Me from Quadrophenia belts out a series of a persons mind that we all have seen or heard about. Psychoderelict captures the life of a fallen rock star then brought back to the stardom saved by being reminded who he was. Pete had seen so much of the fallen hero that have either died or recovered by his persistence of resurrecting their lives. Brave; surely there must of been times while playing and singing into a microphone that he didn't want to fall into a heap of emotions that touches many of us. That's strength to hold and continue on after the loss of Keith Moon and John Entwistle. Roger Daltrey keeps him strong and knows how to keep Pete's songs together. There's no need to understand the instruments until you understands the words. Ignorance thrown away because he played an off key, he's not that lead guitarist like Jimmy Hendrix, but there is a lot of power and energy there. Won't Get Fooled Again is quite ordinary until you hear the acoustic versions, the version played for Maryville Academy and many other live versions. The performance through The Who and guest at the Royal Albert Hall in 2000 and how those three minute 60's Can't Explain, Kids are Alright belted out of the, well, 60 year olds at that time, they transformed those tracks into a moving swing rocking outburst of anger and frustration that hit us like the WOW factor and you just wanted it to go on. I wasn't there but got the DVD of it now in my iTunes playlist. Pete cries out a verse through The Kids are Alright then Roger comes in strumming an acoustic guitar cheering Pete up that then explodes into eruption of thunderous sound that is a slap at anyone who cannot relate to Pete's anger demonstrated by the sound. One of many Who concerts that they didn't get paid for but donated the funds to Kids with Cancer. Pete Townshend is a man. Honest man. Friendly, generous and a broken survivor. He's made mistakes and faced consequences. He's suffered, been through it all or a lot anyhow. He's loved, he loves and knows it. We all have our story's, Pete tells his in lyrics adjoined by musical notes to complement the voice he lets out. andjoh

Dec 2012

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