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  #281  
Old 16th November 2020, 05:31 PM
Susan Foreman's Avatar
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'Bell Boy' is Keith's 'theme' on the album. It features a rare recorded vocal track from him alongside Roger, and some great drumming as well. Somehow he manages to pitch things just right here, blending his usual comic persona with a wistful, nostalgic glance back at the Mod experience, and how it died after the glories of Brighton beach. Of course, in his heart of hearts, Keith was nothing more than an old fashioned showman who would do anything to raise a cheer, and 'Bell Boy' was among his finest cheers

Keith loved playing the song live, and when the band dropped it from the set he would lead the audience in chants calling for the song!

In the story of 'Quadrophenia', this is the final straw for Jimmy. He discovers that the Ace-Face, who he had idolized, was nothing more than a lowly Bell Boy in a hotel that the Mods had smashed up, working *for* people rather than having people work *for* him. After being disappointed with rock, his parents, his girlfriend, and his job, even the Mods have let him down


"A beach is a place where a man can feel
He's the only soul in the world that's real
But I see a face coming through the haze
I remember him from those crazy days

Ain't you the guy who used to set the paces
Riding up in front of a hundred faces
I don't suppose you would remember me
But I used to follow you back in '63

I've got a good job
And I'm newly born
You should see me dressed up in my uniform
I work in hotel, all gilt and flash
Remember the place where the doors were smashed?

Bell Boy! I've gotta get runnin' now
Bell Boy! Keep my lip buttoned down
Bell Boy! Carry this baggage out
Bell Boy! Always running at someone's heel
You know how I feel, always running at someone's heel

Some nights I still sleep on the beach
Remember when stars were in reach
Then I wander in early to work
Spend the day licking boots for my perks

A beach is a place where a man can feel
He's the only soul in the world that's real
But I see a face coming through the haze
I remember him from those crazy days

Ain't you the guy who used to set the paces
Riding up in front of a hundred faces
I don't suppose you would remember me
But I used to follow you back in '63

People often change, But when I look in your eyes
You could learn a lot, From a life like mine
The secret to me, It ain't flown like a flag
I carry it behind This bleedin' little badge, What says

Bell Boy! I've gotta get runnin' now
Bell Boy! Keep my lip buttoned down
Bell Boy! Carry this baggage out
Bell Boy! Always running at someone's heel
You know how I feel, always running at someone's heel"


Clocking in at over 8 and a half minutes, 'Doctor Jimmy' is a steamroller of a song that is certainly the album's magnum opus, although it's relative complexity - it includes a second song entitled 'Is It Me' (which is John's 'theme') - meant that the band never really mastered a good stage version

It's a towering, massive song that threatens to bludgeon all in it's path with it's verse and stature. Performed in the huge, grandiose style that only The Who could pull off without sounding pretentious and unwieldy, with thrilling chord changes, dramatic verses and a sweeping synthesizer score. The chorus is instantly catchy but the song has longevity of appeal, and there is enough change and variety to justify it's length

This is one of the few songs that Pete wrote that contains profanity in the lyrics


"Laugh and say I'm green
I've seen things you'll never see
Talk behind my back
I'm off the beaten track
I'll take on anyone
Ain't scared of a bloody nose
Drink 'til I drop down
With one eye on my clothes

What is it?
I'll take it
Who is she?
I'll rape it
Got a bet there?
I'll meet it
Getting high?
You can't beat it

Doctor Jimmy and mister Jim
When I'm pilled you don't notice him
He only comes out when I drink my gin

You say she's a virgin
But I'm gonna be the first in
Her fellah's gonna kill me?
Oh f*cking will he
I'm seeing double
But don't miss me if you can
There's gonna be trouble
When she chooses her man

What is it?
I'll take it
Who is she?
I'll rape it
Got a bet there?
I'll meet it
Getting high?
You can't beat it

Doctor Jimmy and mister Jim
When I'm pilled you don't notice him
He only comes out when I drink my gin

Is it me?
For a moment
The stars are falling
The heat is rising
The past is calling

Is it me?
For a moment
The stars are falling
The heat is rising
The past is calling

I'm going back soon
Home to get the baboon
Who cut up my eye
Tore up my Levis
I'm feeling restless
Bring another score around
Maybe something stronger
Could really hold me down

What is it?
I'll take it
Who is she?
I'll rape it
Got a bet there?
I'll meet it
Getting high?
You can't beat it

What is it?
I'll take it
Who is she?
I'll rape it

Doctor Jimmy and mister Jim
When I'm pilled you don't notice him
He only comes out when I drink my gin

Is it me?
For a moment
The stars are falling
The heat is rising
The past is calling

Is it me?
For a moment
The stars are falling
The heat is rising
The past is calling"
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  #282  
Old 18th November 2020, 03:57 PM
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'The Rock' is the second instrumental on the album. It's a lengthy passage in which the four main themes are reprised in a different order to the earlier 'Quadrophenia' track

This is where the album changes from the Franc Roddam film. In the film, Jimmy steals the Ace Face's scooter and rides to Beachy Head where he sends it over the cliff to it's destruction. On the record, however, Jimmy steals a boat and sails out to a small rock in the sea. He then falls asleep, and the boat drifts off, leaving him stranded there


'Love Reign O'er Me' is Pete's theme. Four resounding notes, descending into the abyss that is both a stormy sea and Jimmy's confusion, herald the best known theme from 'Quadrophenia' and a song that the band continued to play throughout their career. The song reaches for greater heights than simply the climax of Jimmy's story and - with Love as an allegory for God - becomes a prayer to the heavens seeking absolution and contentment. Epic in scale and epic in performance, it is a shattering climax to a richly rewarding listening experience

As for Jimmy...he is left abandoned on the rock, and his ending is ambiguous


"Only love can make it rain
The way the beach is kissed by the sea
Only love can make it rain
Like the sweat of lovers layin' in the fields

Love, reign o'er me
Love, reign o'er me
Rain on me, rain on me

Only love can bring the rain
That makes you yearn to the sky
Only love can bring the rain
That falls like tears from on high

Love, reign o'er me
Rain on me, rain on me
Love, reign o'er me
Rain on me, rain on me

On the dry and dusty road
The nights we spend apart alone
I need to get back home to cool, cool rain

I can't sleep, and I lay, and I think
The night is hot and black as ink
Oh God, I need a drink of cool, cool rain

Love, reign o'er me
Reign o'er me, o'er me, o'er me
Love, reign o'er me, o'er me
Love"
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  #283  
Old 20th November 2020, 04:45 PM
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In 2011, an expanded deluxe edition of 'Quadrophenia' was released. This version contained all the tracks from the original album, plus an additional 11 demo tracks that Pete had prepare for the recording. These songs, recorded at his home studio, featured Pete playing all the instruments. They would then be presented to the other members of the band, where John and Keith would take the basic outlines and add their touches to the bass and drums:

'The Real Me'
'Cut My Hair'
'Punk'
'Dirty Jobs'
'Is It In My Head'
'Anymore' - This was demoed for the album, but ultimately left off
'I've Had Enough'
'Drowned'
'Is It Me?
'Doctor Jimmy'
'Love Reign O'er Me


As noted, the 'Quadrophenia' tour was a bit of a disaster. To achieve the rich overdubbed sound of the album on stage, Pete wanted Chris Stainton, who had played piano on some tracks on the record, to join as a touring member, but Roger objected to this and thought that the their performances should only feature the the four members of the band. As already mentioned, to obtain the required instrumentation without additional musicians, the group elected to use taped backing tracks for live performance, as they had already done without incident for 'Baba O'Riley' and 'Won't Get Fooled Again'. Initial performances were plagued by malfunctioning equipment, and once the tapes were started, the band had to play to them, which constrained their styles. Keith had to use a click track to play along, instead of watching the rest of the band as he usually did

In addition to that, the band were only given two days of rehearsals with the tapes before thew tour started, and one of those days was abandoned after Roger punched Pete following an argument!

The tour started at the Trentham Gardens in Stoke, England on October 28th, 1973 where the 17 songs featured on 'Quadrophenia' were played in their entirety. The full set list for the concert was:
I Can't Explain / Summertime Blues / My Generation / Quadrophenia [I Am the Sea / The Real Me / The Punk and the Godfather / I'm One / The Dirty Jobs / Helpless Dancer / Is It in My Head? / I've Had Enough / 5:15 / Sea and Sand / Drowned / Bell Boy / Doctor Jimmy / The Rock / Love, Reign O'er Me] / My Generation / Pinball Wizard / See Me, Feel Me / Won't Get Fooled Again / Naked Eye
After this first gig, the band immediately dropped 'The Dirty Jobs', 'Is It In My Head' and 'I've Had Enough' from the set. Both Roger and Pete felt they had to explain the plot in detail to the audience, which took up valuable time on stage and, more importantly, disrupted the flow of the concert. By the time the tour finished, four months later on February 24th, 1974 at the Palais des Sports in Lyon, France, the 'Quadrophenia' segment had been reduced to just nine tracks. The full setlist at the final concert was:
I Can't Explain / Summertime Blues / My Wife / My Generation / Quadrophenia [The Real Me / The Punk and the Godfather / I'm One / 5:15 / Sea and Sand / Bell Boy / Drowned / Doctor Jimmy / Love, Reign O'er Me] / Won't Get Fooled Again / Pinball Wizard / See Me, Feel Me
The band faced other problems as well. The opening night of the US leg of the tour was on November 20th, 1973 [47 years ago today] at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. The group, especially Keith, were nervous about playing 'Quadrophenia' after the problems that had been faced on the British dates, and just before the show, the drummer was offered some tranquillisers from a fan

Just after the show started, the fan collapsed and was hospitalised!

Keith's playing, meanwhile, became incredibly erratic and sloppy, particularly during the 'Quadrophenia' material, where he did not seem to be able to keep time with the backing tapes. Towards the end of the main segment of the show, during 'Won't Get Fooled Again', he passed out over his drumkit. The comatose drummer was carried offstage by the band’s roadies, who gave him a cold shower and/or an injection of cortisone

After a 20-minute wait, Keith reappeared onstage, but after a few bars of the first encore, 'Magic Bus', he collapsed again, and was immediately taken to hospital. The band played 'See Me, Feel Me' without drums - with Roger providing a rhythm on a tambourine

That's when Pete walked up to his microphone and spoke to the crowd: 'Can anybody play the drums?' he asked. 'We mean somebody good.'


19 year old Scot Halpin was in the audience for the show. He had just moved to the area, and had brought a ticket from a scalper outside the venue. He was standing near the stage with his friend, Mike Danese, who began noisily telling the security staff, 'He can play!'

Next thing he knew, Halpin was given a shot of brandy for his nerves before being seated behind probably the biggest drum kit he had ever seen! He then completed the final encores of the set with John leading him in what to play

Keith had a day to recover, and by the next show at the Los Angeles Forum, was playing at his usual strength

For the record, the setlist for the Cow Palace show was:
I Can't Explain / Summertime Blues / My Generation / Quadrophenia [I Am the Sea / The Real Me / The Punk and the Godfather / I'm One / Helpless Dancer / 5:15 / Sea and Sand / Drowned / Bell Boy / Doctor Jimmy / Love, Reign O'er Me] / Won't Get Fooled Again (Moon passed out) / Magic Bus (Moon passed out again) / See Me, Feel Me (No drums) / Smokestack Lightning (Scot Halpin on drums) / Spoonful (Scot Halpin on drums) / Naked Eye (Scot Halpin on drums)
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  #284  
Old 21st November 2020, 11:11 AM
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'Quadrophenia' live in Hyde Park in 1996, as part of the Princes Trust charity

Although it states that this is the full concert, it's actually only highlights

Special guests Dave Gilmour and Gary Glitter(!)

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  #285  
Old 30th November 2020, 12:48 PM
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November 30th, 1963 - 57 years ago today, The Detours played their first performance at the Railway Hotel in Greenford

The line-up probably consisted of Colin Dawson (or possibly Gabby Connelly) on vocals, Roger on guitar and backing vocals, Pete on guitar, John on bass and brass instruments, and Doug Sandom on drums

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  #286  
Old 1st December 2020, 03:35 PM
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Album #8:
Odds And Sods

'Odds And Sods' was The Who's attempt at clearing the decks. Over the years, they had recorded many songs that were never released, although some of them - notably 'Naked Eye' and 'Pure And Easy' [both already mentioned on the deluxe release of the 'Who's Next' album] - had been played live and were well known to fans. With time on his hands while Roger and Pete were working on the film version of 'Tommy', John started rooting around tape boxes at Track Records, and came up with quite a remarkable collection of songs that the band had deemed unworthy of release, either because they didn't fit into the mood of whatever it was that the band were working on at the time, or (in the case of material recorded for 'Lifehouse' / 'Who's Next') their was simply a surfeit of songs

In the case of certain songs, maybe the band thought that one day they would record a better version, but whatever the motives, it says much for the band that songs of this standard, which many other acts would have killed for, were simple shelved

Released in October 1974, 'Odds And Sods' reached no. 10 on the UK album charts

The front cover of the album featured a cut up picture of the band wearing American football helmets, spelling out the word 'ROCK'...


...while the back cover, in what was seen as an innovative move at the time, featured the titles of the songs written in Braille.


A poster and lyric sheet were included in the package, together with extensive track-by-track notes by Pete, explaining what the songs were about


'Postcard', which opened the original LP release, starts with a brass riff and the well used holiday lie "having a lovely time, wish you were here". Written by John, this is a tongue-in-cheek road song which details the sights and sounds of the various countries that The Who had visited on recent tours. It was originally intended for release on an E.P, but this ultimately never happened


"We're having a lovely time, wish you were here
We're having a lovely time, wish you were here

There's miles of frankfurters and people who hurt us in Germany
We haven't played since yesterday
There's just ten more shows and one week to go
We'd all like to go

We're having a lovely time, wish you were here
We're having a lovely time, wish you were here

Great piles of spaghetti, bad vibes like confetti in Italy
We go by train and not by plane
We'd come home by car if it wasn't too far
To drive home by car

Hope you're well at home
Next week I'll try to phone
Not very long to go
I'll tell you when I'm coming home as soon as I know

We're having a lovely time, wish you were here
We're having a lovely time, wish you were here

There's lots of French fries, disapproving eyes in the U.S.A
We've had no shows since I don't know
There's just one thing wrong, we've been here too long
The money's all gone

We're having a lovely time, wish you were here
We're having a lovely time, wish you were here

There's kangaroos and we're bad news in Australia
Thrown off the plane for drinking beer
So long on the plane it drove us insane
So long on the plane

Hope you're well at home
Next week I'll try to phone
Not very long to go
I'll tell you when I'm coming home as soon as I know

We're having a lovely time, wish you were here
We're having a lovely time, wish you were here

We've done very well, but we've been to hell
And heaven as well"


'Now I'm A Farmer' was recorded for the same E.P as 'Postcard'. This is Pete's wistful ode to the joys of an outdoor life digging in the fields. "The track is from a time when The Who went slightly mad", he wrote in the sleeve notes. In reality, only Roger, at home on his farm on the Kent / Sussex border, was likely to have identified with the country life, although Keith shows a natural bent towards the horticultural life during his spoken fade out


"I've got a spade and a pick-axe
And a hundred miles square of land to churn about
My old horse is weary but sincerely
I believe that he can pull a plough
Well I've moved into the jungle of the agriculture rumble,
To grow my own food
And I'll dig and plough and scrape the weeds
Till I succeed in seeing cabbage growing through

Now I'm a farmer, and I'm digging, digging, digging, digging, digging
Now I'm a farmer, and I'm digging, digging, digging, digging, digging
It's alarming how charming it is to be a-farming
How calming and balming the effect of the air

Well, I farmed for a year and grew a crop of corn
That stretched as far as the eye can see
That's a whole lot of cornflakes,
Near enough to feed New York till 1973
Cultivation is my station and the nation
Buys my corn from me immediately
And holding sixty thousand bucks, I watch as dumper trucks
Tip New York's corn flakes in the sea

Now I'm a farmer, and I'm digging, digging, digging, digging, digging
Now I'm a farmer, and I'm digging, digging, digging, digging, digging
It's alarming how charming it is to be a-farming
How calming and balming the effect of the air

Now look here son
The right thing to say
Isn't necessarily what you want to say
The right thing to do
Isn't necessarily what you want to do
The right things to grow
Ain't necessarily what you want to grow
Your own happiness
Doesn't necessarily teach you what you want to know

Well I'm suntanned and deep, so's the horse
And my hands are deeply grained
Old horse is a-grazing, it's amazing
Just how lazily he took the strain
Well my pick and spade are rusty,
Because I'm paid on trust to leave my square of cornfield bare

It's alarming how charming it is to be a-farming
How calming and balming the effect of the air

When you grow what I grow
Tomatoes, potatoes, stew, eggplants...
Potatoes, tomatoes...gourds"
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Last edited by Susan Foreman; 1st December 2020 at 05:42 PM.
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  #287  
Old 2nd December 2020, 02:22 PM
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'Put The Money Down' is an upbeat 'Lifehouse' outtake with a slow synthesizer break. The song falls short of the standard of songs on the 'Who's Next' album although the message - a diatribe about the lack of relationship between the audience and the artist - comes across clearly enough. The track remained uncompleted until 1974 completed the vocal recording so that the song could be included on this album

The mention of 'bands killing chickens' is a reference to The Alice Cooper Group and the infamous incident at the Toronto Rock 'n' Roll festival in 1969 when a live chicken was ripped apart by members of the audience


"I got lost in the back streets, trying to get here tonight,
The police were asking questions, they took me to the wrong place twice.
I even lost my passport, and I forgot my name and town,
But now I'm here by the water, put the money down.

Before I walk on the water,
Put the money down, down, down,
There are bands killing chickens,
My hero's getting pushed around, 'round, 'round.

I don't know if I trust you as you try to shoot me down,
Before I walk on the water,
Put the money down, down, down,
Put the money down.

It was a beautiful day in Columbus when the fences fell
But the five loaves and the fishes ain't going to be much help,
I got a hungry juggler here who wants to be at the head,
Before he walks the water he wants his bread.

Take a glass of that light brown ale and a purple pill,
If the air don't get you too sure as hell the pill will,
Oh, mommy, mommy, please may I go downtown?

He's gonna walk on the water,
Put the money down,
Put it down, before I walk on the water,
Put the money down, down, down.

There are bands killing chickens,
My hero's getting pushed around, round, round,

I don't know if I trust you as you try to shoot me down,
I'm gonna walk on the water,
Put the money down, down, down, down, down,
Put the money down.
In a tin cup."


'Little Billy' is a fun song. It's a stern anti-cigarette song that was recorded for the American Cancer Society with fairly grisly lyrics - for once Pete might have been influenced by John - that really do suggest that smoking kills. Mind you, all four members of the band were smokers at the time, so it is somewhat hypocritical! Ultimately, however, the entertaining piece was rejected by the American Cancer Society on the grounds that it was too frightening!

In later years. the band, and Roger in particular, has been very supportive of the Teenage Cancer Trust charity, and have raised close to £3,000,000 to help provide specialist teenage cancer wards. The sell-out concerts by the band and their friends at the Royal Albert Hall in London have become a flagship event in the Teenage Cancer Trust’s annual calendar


"Little Billy was the fattest kid in his class
Always the last in line
All the other little kids would laugh at him
Said he'd die before his time

Ha ha ha ha
Ha ha ha ha
Little Billy didn't mind

Most of the kids smoked cigarettes
Just to prove that they were cool
The teacher didn't know about the children's games
And Billy always followed the rules

Ha ha ha ha
Ha ha ha ha
Little Billy didn't mind

Billy was big on the outside
But there's an even bigger man inside
Ten million cigarettes burning every day
And Billy's still doing fine

Now Billy and his classmates are middle-aged
With children of their own
Their smoking games are reality now
And cancer's seed is sown… "
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  #288  
Old 3rd December 2020, 05:17 PM
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December 3rd, 1979 - 41 years ago today was probably the darkest day in Who-story when 11 people died in a crush at a concert at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Who_concert_disaster



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