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I have issues with The Who . . . no, that’s not right . . . I have issues with Pete Townshend.
Roger Daltrey is one of my favorite lead singers when he sticks to rock ‘n’ roll. There are few as nimble and inventive on the bass guitar as John Entwistle. And though Keith Moon crossed the line into “out of control” on multiple levels, his style is unique and immediately recognizable.
The issues I have with Pete Townshend have nothing to do with his musicianship but with his ambitions. Specifically, I do not care all that much for his rock operas. I’ll take Quadrophenia over Tommy any day, but I’d take any of their “themeless” albums over either of those “opuses.” I realize this puts me at odds with Boomers who cherish the operas and their memories of The Who’s performance at Woodstock, but I can live with that.
Here’s what I’ve done with The Who. If you’re wondering why I didn’t do Live at Leeds, I can sum it up in three words: too much Tommy.