Song Of The Day 11/4/2012: Pete Townshend - "Cut My Hair"

We watched a really good BBC mini-documentary on the making of The Who's Quadrophenia album* last night. Quadrophenia was the album that got me hooked on The Who when I was a teenager. It was introduced to me by a bandmate of mine, Jim Pantages, who would have been the perfect mod had he been born 16 years before he was, and if he'd been British. He already had the Vespa (or a knock-off). All I'd known of The Who up to that point was one album (Face Dances, at that) and whatever I heard on classic rock radio.

We were driving to some gig in the Sacramento area, and "Cut My Hair" came on the tape deck. It started off with a piano riff, so of course I was interested. "Who is this?" I asked. "The Who! It's Quadrophenia!" Jim replied. He enthusiastically regaled the whole story of the album for me, about a troubled youth coincidentally named Jimmy. And that was the beginning of my deep, abiding interest in Pete Townshend's ruthless introspection, and the three hired hands he employed to foist it onto others. I say that affectionately.

That was a time when anything was possible. Unfortunately there wasn't a happy ending to Jim Pantages' story. There still may yet be one for Quadrophenia's Jimmy. I don't think we've decided. I don't know if Pete has.

(*By the way, if there are any career counselors in the audience, witnessing my current between-gigs interlude, who want to know what I really want to be doing with the remainder of my life, it's making really good mini-documentaries about great artists and their classic albums. Get me the funding and I'll start work on Men At Work's Cargo immediately!**)

(**Actually Cargo's a pretty good album. Bad joke. But I'm serious about the mini-documentary thing.)
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