Sunday, December 7, 2008

Purple Hearts and Power Chords


If you are not familiar with the Who, beg, borrow and/or steal the Amazing Journey and The Kids are Alright documentaries. Once you view them, you will quickly become a Wholigan, and will thus be compelled to get your hands on all their classic albums. My personal favorite is the mono version of their psychedelic concept album, The Who Sell Out, but you cannot go wrong with A Quick One, The Who Sings My Generation, Who's Next, Live at Leeds, Quadrophenia, Tommy, Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy...They are one of rocks' most vital, visceral, incendiary groups. Here we have a band where everyone plays lead--lead guitar, lead bass, lead drums and lead vocals--yet they accentuate each other perfectly. They might have wanted to take each other's heads off at one time or another; perhaps that's what made them so dynamic--all that tension!

The footage presented here captures the Who's explosive live act. Filmed on August 6, 1965, the first night of the Richmond Jazz and Blues Festival, this clip of "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" was eventually aired in the US on December 9--43 years ago this week.

It's such a shame that the Ox and Moonie are not here with us--they are sorely missed. There will never be another bassist and drummer quite like them. Thankfully, the Who continue to release concert DVDs so those of us who missed out on seeing them live can at least witness these phenomenal documents and imagine what it must have been like to be there.

(References: Anyway Anyhow Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle of the Who 1958 - 1978 by Andy Neill & Matt Kent; The Who: Ten Great Years - Rolling Stone.)

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