I was listening to Tommy by The Who on Spotify in the car this morning. I have reacquaintd myself with The Who after posting about Pete Townshend‘s memoirs yesterday.
Tommy the rock operahas undergone several incarnations starting as double album, evolving into a movie next, then becoming a Broadway play. It then transitioned into an orchestral version and lastly a ballet interpretation.
What a versatile work Tommy has proven to be to allow for such varied productions over the decades.
Tommy The Album
Tommy Live In Concert
The Tommy live rock opera performance took place at The Fillmore East for a week in New York City.
One of the most memorable live performances of Tommy took place at Woodstock.
Tommy – The Film
Tommy was adapted into a screenplay for a 1975 movie directed by Ken Russell. I recall going to the movies to see Tommy. I visualize Elton John as the pinball wizard readily.
If I had to pinpoint one song of all the tracks that is most memorable I’d have to say “Bell Boy” due to Keith Moon’s cockney accent on vocals. It’s the epitome of camp yet comes across highly believable.
Sting played the role of Ace Face, the bell boy in the movie Quadrophenia.
“Bell Boy” – He meets a former Ace Face who now holds the place as a bell boy at the very hotel the Mods tore up. He looks on Jimmy with a mixture of pity and contempt. The two argue, as Jimmy feels the Ace Face has “sold out”. Jimmy is now feeling that everything, even the Mod lifestyle, has let him down.
Average White Band represents blue-eyed soul music with a strong emphasis on Scottish funk and rhythm & blues. They will be the opening act tonight for Tower of Power at the Klein. I am so digging this concert bill. Just try to keep me in my seat 😉
AWB has created some of the catchiest, hip shaking songs ever recorded starting with “Pick Up The Pieces” in 1974. The opening guitar strum played through a Leslie speaker system hooks you immediately. It is quickly followed by horns that pop then a bass line that grabs you and never let’s go until the end of the song. Just try to stay still when it plays. Looking back I see it is listed as a Top 10 disco hit but you’ll never, evah convince me this song is disco., NFW 😉
Get down with it, like this audience in St. Martin does…
After we pick up the pieces, we’ll be cutting that cake 😉
The Who is re-releasing Quadrophenia as a Director’s cut box set next month, on November 15th. They add to my ongoing 2011 collector dilemma as to what box set I want for my 60th birthday…..(Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, U2, Achtung Baby just to start…)
I first witnessed Quadrophenia when I was an FM college disk jockey at WNHU-FM. Our radio station was given an advanced copy in early October of 1973 and it was the most playlisted album for the next four months. I featured it strongly on my afternoon shows. I have always felt that Quadrophenia was The Who’s finest achievement.
Quadrophenia has lost none of its luster these almost 38 years. It holds up amazingly well, having been translated into a film, then live recordings of the rock opera and finally into play productions which I must witness someday.
Last I understood is that The Who, Peter and Roger with others will tour North America in 2012 with a Quadrophenia live production. That is high on my 2012 live performance list.
Michael Zagaris, known as ‘the Z-man’, became the Stones, the Who, Led Zeppelin; not vicariously but actually. As an insider in those days, he took photographs of what was, not what one expected to see, and as an insider today he does the same thing for 21st century bands and artists. (Courtesy of Wolfgang’s Vault)
They made one album, Hollywood Dreamthat established them as a way ahead of their time, cinematic art rock group. I purchased that album in late 1970, marveling at such gems as “Accidents”, “The Reason”, and “Wild Country”.