Music

Reasons to Remain Deaf, Dumb, and Blind to Pete Townshend

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I noted , with regret, how Pete Townshend, rock's first wise man, was left out of Rolling Stone's 40th anniversary interview package. Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune offers reasons to reject him three times and more: the absurd overuse of his epigram "meet the new boss/same as the old boss" in news headlines.

And yes, I've used it myself, though not, I think, in a headline. Suggestion for new Townshend line to try–I dare ya!–to turn into an abused cliche: "There comes a time in every little punk's life/When he has to write a song for his common-law wife" from "Mike Post Theme" on the Who's "it kinda grows on you" reunion LP Endless Wire.

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  1. I would prefer to overuse “Who the fuck are you?”

  2. Writing something that becomes a cliche during your lifetime should be grounds for honor, unless it’s the Macarena.

  3. > I would prefer to overuse “Who the fuck are you?”

    I remember when (probably 10 years ago) they used to let that slide on the radio.

  4. Chris Monnier,

    They don’t let that go anymore? ;(
    I don’t listen the radio for music so much now. I’m old.

    BTW, who the fuck are you?

  5. Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune offers reasons to reject him three times and more: the absurd overuse of his epigram

    But that’s the fault of lazy journalists and copywriters, isn’t it? Do we despise Gutenberg because so many bibles have been printed?

  6. Blech πŸ˜› What a horrible legacy for the best couplet in Rock n’ Roll. It’s inevitable I suppose. Here’s a little cliche I authored myself. I hope it catches on.

    Nothing ruins a good thing like success.

  7. Nothing persists like persistence.

  8. Nothing sucks like sucky. I mean, c’mon.

  9. “I don’t listen the radio for music so much now. I’m old.”

    so sayeth the consistent listener to the Eric and Kathy show.
    (who the fuck are they?)
    [ducks]

  10. I guess by this logic Reggie Miller should never get into the Basketball Hall of Fame because of the overuse fo the headline “Miller Time” every time he had a great game. It’s not Townsend’s fault that he wrote a really catchy phrase that people remember and over use.

  11. I’m old enough to know who Pete is. And I am old enough to know when Mick was sexy, not just scary. With such credentials, I declare that “Rolling Stone” is nothing more than an emergency supply of toilet paper. When I see a copy on the Crate&Barrel coffee tables of my younger (and otherwise straight-up) colleagues, I light up a smoke and give them a long lecture in what “counter-culture” really means, while they scramble to find something resembling an ashtray.

  12. I suppose there’s no way Endless Wire couldn’t grow on you – its crap from the first listen. Travesty it gets called a Who album when really its Pete’s same old mundane psycho-babel drivel sung by Daltrey this time around.

    “The Man in a Purple Dress” is solid, however.

  13. Perhaps your writer-people could start over quoting lines from Happy Jack to make the Tribune staff happy?

  14. If you’re tired of reminding people of that particular Who song, substitute a reference to George Orwell’s Animal Farm, which tells essentially the same story if you think about it.

  15. Finally, a thread where the Chicagoans are present!

    How’s that lake looking with that big fat Pujols shot floating in it?! πŸ˜‰

    Now that was a great Sunday!

    I remember when my older sister took me to see Tommy at the Fox when I was younger. I remember thinking it was pretty cool – but that was because most of my friends had never heard of it and I felt like I was in on some “older sibling” coolness.

  16. Come to think about it, what was Squeezebox about, anyhow? Some sort of subtle pro-polka statement? A song of hope to the oppressed Poles?

  17. I dare ya!–to turn into an abused cliche: “There comes a time in every little punk’s life/When he has to write a song for his common-law wife”

    God help my boyfriend if he enters that contest and wins.

  18. Pro Lib,
    How was the big day?
    Shouldn’t you be on some sort of honeymoon?

  19. milh
    When I see a copy on the Crate&Barrel coffee tables of my younger (and otherwise straight-up) colleagues, I light up a smoke and give them a long lecture in what “counter-culture” really means,

    And they invite you back to their house after that?

  20. I’m with milh. Perhaps I’m lighting up so that I don’t have to go to their Crate & Barrel hellhole anymore. If that doesn’t work, I’ll spew beer into his face, feel up her tit, and put the cigarette out on my forearm.

  21. “If you complain you disappear
    Just like the lesbians and queers”

  22. Wait a minute. Did PL get married? When did this happen?

  23. Saturday.
    You know I thought it was odd that I didn’t see you there. Oh, boy, what a day! When Ron Bailey knocked over the punch bowl, I thought it was all over, but then tros showed up with his magic mushrooms…boy, howdy! I still don’t know how I ended up with Warren’s socks in my pants.

  24. highnumber,

    Everything went very well. I don’t have any vacation until May (it comes all at once, then), which means no honeymoon just yet. We’ll do something one of these days.

    Jennifer,

    It was Saturday. I should’ve taken a laptop and liveblogged the event πŸ™‚ Or sent out invitations to all the H&R regulars. Though there were some people fishing next to our gazebo. . . .

  25. It was Saturday. I should’ve taken a laptop and liveblogged the event πŸ™‚ Or sent out invitations to all the H&R regulars. Though there were some people fishing next to our gazebo. . . .

    Congratulations! But I hope the existence of a Mrs. Pro Libertate doesn’t mean you’ll be posting less in the future.

  26. highnumber,
    Everything went very well.

    That’s just what I told Jennifer.

  27. Jennifer,

    It won’t, though Daughter of Libertate could affect things when she finally arrives. Maybe not, though. Mrs. Libertate has three kids (from an alien abduction), so I’m getting used to the distractions.

    highnumber,

    Don’t forget the fisticuffs between Ron and joe.

  28. Pro Lib,

    Congrats!

    Give the missus my condolences πŸ˜‰

  29. jimmydageek,

    Indeed. I fooled her with my sorcerer’s ways.

    Since you’re a local boy, I can tell you that we held the event at the Rusty Pelican. Pretty nice, all around. They have a gazebo on the bay, which was a nice touch.

  30. I don’t remember any fisticuffs, but during those slow dances you couldn’t separate John & joe without a crow bar. I am looking forward to their nuptials in June. VM thinks they’re moving too fast, but I say their courtship started long before they met face to face.

  31. highnumber,

    Yeah, I’m not surprised that you missed the fight, because you were off doing HFCS shots with Dave W. and thoreau at the time.

  32. I have a problem.

  33. The next H&R event will only include cane sugar, that’s for sure.

  34. And, by the way, having seen The Who in concert a few weeks ago, Townshend (and Daltry, for that matter) were pretty unbelievable. Compared to the Rolling Stones, who have deteriorated significantly since their prime, the Who really still have it going, and 100 percent ought to have been included in the Rolling Stone issue.

    Also, this October 2006 NY Times article on Townshend and Daltrey is very interesting: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/29/arts/music/29ligh.html?pagewanted=2&ei=5070&en=c11ec388c42b0c67&ex=1177473600

    Daltrey has a lot of socialistic tendencies (e.g. a hatred of technology and the internet) which Townshend rightly has to combat.

  35. Did you try one of Ron Bailey’s miracle fruit and HFCS cocktails? Everybody who tried one *had* to sing “Sweeter than Wine.” If anything’s banned, ban the karaoke.

  36. Ah, nice choice of venue, PL. I have a friend that works in one of the buildings across from it on Rocky Point Dr.

    My Vegas wedding next year will be replete with HFCS drinks to satisfy even the most discerning connoisseurs. BYONCD (BYO Noam Chomsky Doll).

  37. what was Squeezebox about, anyhow?

    Well, you could say it was about poles.

  38. jimmydageek,

    Why not? VM brought his, which saved him from having to pick grouper or chicken for his date.

    Mike Laursen,

    No kidding, the whole song went right over my head for years until one time in college when I heard the song on the radio and yelled, “Wait a second! That song isn’t about an accordion!” Naturally, everyone else got it sometime during preschool.

  39. It’s amazing that they left out Pete and the Who. Idiots. Pete’s the only rock star I’ve ever admired.

  40. 1) Rolling Stone is irrelevant.
    2) Warren’s posts in this thread are annoying.

  41. Ha! Warren only made one comment on this thread. Ha!
    (mediageek, you’re still right.)

  42. But I hope the existence of a Mrs. Pro Libertate doesn’t mean you’ll be posting less in the future.

    Hell, if he’s like most the married people I know (and I’m not one so this is purely from my observation, not experience) it will mean more posting not less. And, no, I don’t mean just because it will serve as an escape from being nagged about taking out the trash or leaving the seat up.

    Searching for a mate and all that demands can take a lot of time! I mean there are all those things like staying fit, keeping up your cultural knowledge (music, movies, etc. so you can pretend to be interested in the same things as she), reading and otherwise staying connected to the world (so you can at least fake being well-read and well-rounded), keeping up with the latest styles (so you can dress at least reasonably well), finding decent places to meet women (or men, of course), working up the courage to approach them / recovering from being shot down, and then finally spending time actually dating them (which requires at least a little creativity).

    Once you’re done with all that crap and can let yourself slide you ought to have plenty of time for what you really like to do (be it gaming all day, or watching sports, or drinking beer with the buddies, or becoming an even bigger regular on H&R!).

    Oh, and just (sorta) kidding PL – congrats!

  43. More time to goof off would be nice.

  44. Oh and just to be clear – the bulk of that was pertaining to guys and marriage in general. I certainly wasn’t trying to imply that you are not genuinely well-read or anything like that, and of course I have no clue about your sense of style! πŸ˜‰

  45. That’s just what I told Jennifer.

    Huh? What about? Am I missing some joke?

    I’m probably missing some joke. Sucks being so short everything goes right over your damned head.

  46. Jennifer,
    I didn’t address it to you, but it was a reply to your question:

    highnumber | April 23, 2007, 2:51pm | #

    Saturday.
    You know I thought it was odd that I didn’t see you there. Oh, boy, what a day! When Ron Bailey knocked over the punch bowl, I thought it was all over, but then tros showed up with his magic mushrooms…boy, howdy! I still don’t know how I ended up with Warren’s socks in my pants.

  47. Brian,

    Actually, I’m illiterate. But I plan to learn to read, now that I have more free time.

    My wife has children from a previous marriage, and we’re “expecting”, so my actual free time may be circumscribed. However, you may be correct in the general case πŸ™‚

    highnumber,

    Jennifer was too busy basking in the glow of her Hit & Run accolades to accept my wedding invitation. Even gaius marius managed to make it.

  48. I had always pictured gaius marius as a very short man. Like he won’t capitalize anything so he will look taller by comparison. I had no idea that gaius marius and Charles Barkley were one and the same.

  49. That was a big surprise. Who knew that he could play so well on the paint and read Virgil in the original Latin? Auburn must be a better school than I had originally thought.

  50. Where’s VM for this surreal discussion, anyway? He’ll be so upset that he missed it.

  51. He hasn’t been around much all day. Should I throw up the Moose signal?

  52. It’s not a silly thread without the Moose.

  53. Hi#,
    Re:J&j slow dance

    You are a sick sick man.

  54. Warren,
    Would you like your socks back?

  55. Warren,

    But it’s just so obvious!

  56. VM must be enjoying the beauty of the lakefront.

  57. Jennifer was too busy basking in the glow of her Hit & Run accolades to accept my wedding invitation.

    Oh, that invitation. The one I never received.

    Speaking of basking, my radio interview went pretty well today (although I stumbled over my words a couple of times, and made an embarrassingly bad grammatical error). Ron Hardin posted a link to a copy of it in the comments section on my blog. And my voice only sounded like I’d inhaled half a tankful of helium, which means I’m improving.

  58. Highnumber,

    Nahnah nahnah nahnah nahnah nahnah nahnah nahnah nahnah Mooseman!

  59. OMG! Grotius is on the silly pills!

    Ha ha ha ha!

    Good freakin’ times!

  60. highnumber,

    I have something to confess. I’m not an ambi-turner.

  61. [Sheepishly] I had to look up that word.

  62. highnumber,

    I love Zoolander.

  63. Really?

    My taste in movies is very picky. Not highbrow (Two of my favorite movies I’ve seen in the last year or so are Team America and Idiocracy and I love Robert Rodriguez films – especially Spy Kids.), but I don’t like most movies. Consequently, I watch very few. Zoolander has yet to make the Netflix queue. Word on the street is either ya love it or ya hate it.

  64. highnumber,

    I saw it a few weeks after 9/11 and it really kicked me out of my somber mood. So it is as much about that it is about the movie itself.

  65. Jennifer,

    What? I transmitted it via Proteus.

  66. PL, I hope that link doesn’t lead to where you met your Mrs.

  67. Jennifer,

    It’s a link to a crazy person’s lawsuit. “Proteus” is supposed to be some sort of psychic communications network. If you’ve never read the opinion, I highly recommend it. It’s short and very funny.

    Just for the record, before anyone gets miffed, highnumber and I are discussing the actions of H&R commenters at my wedding in a alternative universe. You know, the one where Spock has a beard.

  68. We are?

  69. Actually, I’m illiterate. But I plan to learn to read, now that I have more free time.

    It can open a whole new world. Just hope that the boss and the wife are not a big pain or you might find yourself on the run after dispatching them.

  70. highnumber,

    I told you to lay off the HFCS. Now you’re forgetting stuff again. At the bachelor party, we used thoreau’s intertemporal phase modulator (with built in “laser”) to travel between universes. That visit to the one with Libertopia was particularly interesting.

  71. highnumber and I are discussing the actions of H&R commenters at my wedding in a alternative universe

    I’m not jumping out of the cake at your bachelor party.

  72. Uh, oh. You better have a talk with alternate universe Jennifer then.

    Feel fortunate–highnumber had John and joe in some sort of illicit relationship supra. You were nonmaligned, as far as I can recall.

  73. ProL,

    Actually, at Bizarro World bachelor parties the stripper pukes cake all over the bachelor.
    Bizarro World bachelor parties are not fun.

  74. Which is why we didn’t go to Bizarro World.

  75. Oh, yeah. That wasn’t a stripper who puked on you. It was Mr Steven Crane.
    He was mostly nude, though.

  76. Ick. I’m pretty sure I went to the Planet of the Salma Hayeks.

  77. Heh. That’s what you thought.

  78. Although this thread has wandered far, I would like to respond to this post:

    > I would prefer to overuse “Who the fuck are you?”

    I remember when (probably 10 years ago) they used to let that slide on the radio.

    I remember back in the early 1980s, the Babys had a song called “Midnight Rendezvous.” And right at the very end of the song, right before it faded out completely, if you were attentive you could hear the singer saying:

    “All I really wanna do
    “Oh, I really wanna fuck you”

    And hearing that on the radio always seemed like the coolest, most subversive thing.

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