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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Under the Big Top # 34: “Rising to the Occasion”

(Personal reflections inspired by Who songs)

Song: “See Me Feel Me/Listening To You”
Album: Tommy
Release Date: May, 1969

This past week was the 48th Anniversary of Woodstock; the three-day music festival which was by most accounts a monumental watershed moment, as is evident in its being included in virtually every 20th century American history documentary known. Everyone has an opinion about Woodstock, with most views slotted at the far left of the spectrum (the epitome of the ‘Age of Aquarius’) or the far right end of the spectrum (a decrepit hippie drug fest).  It could be argued that, given the Nixonian reaction soon after to the entire hippie subculture (the Kent State killings for example) and the escalating rift between left and right ever since, this singular event may likely have been the catalyst for the intense political polarization that exists to this day, both here in the USA and in other parts of the Western World.

Contrary to his inharmonious view of the multitude of Who shows that most others who were there rave about, Pete Townshend has always been pleased with the band’s performance at Woodstock, particularly his and Roger Daltrey’s contributions.  But for many years, Townshend’s views of the event in general had fallen more in the right-leaning camp (“I hated it” he once said about the experience).  By 1998 however, Pete Townshend started sounding a bit more objective about Woodstock.  That was the year he did a mini solo-tour (just three shows in the States) with a number of musicians from his mid-80s “Deep End” band (see Under the Big Top # 30), which centered on an appearance at “A Day In the Garden: Woodstock” on August 15th at the original Max Yasgur’s Farm locale, along with other musicians from the ’69 event including Melanie, Richie Havens and Ten Years After.

One of the three shows Townshend and his band performed was a warm-up gig the night before the Woodstock anniversary show, which was at Boston’s Harborlights Pavilion (the third show was a benefit for Maryville Academy at Chicago’s House of Blues, which was filmed and put to record).  I was there in Boston, along with Nancy, Becca, Dave, Mac and Bouv.  It was a rare treat for any Who fan to witness a Pete Townshend solo show.  The band opened up with an original Woodstock classic, Canned Heat’s “On the Road Again” (they would later in the set add that band’s other Woodstock hit, “Going Up the Country”).  It was strange hearing Townshend sing in that offbeat high-tenor style of Canned Heat’s then lead singer Alan Wilson (who died the year after the original Woodstock of ‘acute barbiturate intoxication’ at the rock-cursed age of 27; two weeks before Jimi Hendrix and four weeks before Janis Joplin).  But he pulled it off as the show captured a spirit from the past that even those of us who were not there in ’69 could feel.

What also worked were Pete Townshend’s in-between-song reflections of the event that launched the Who into what remains a very small circle of superstar rock immortals.  His mixed feelings came through loud and clear that evening, but at least they were mixed and not his utterly negative reflections to that point.  It was clear Townshend had thought quite a bit about what the original event meant to him leading up to that 29th Anniversary evening.  His past thoughts that Woodstock was just a teenage wasteland had now rounded out some (just listen to the Who song “Cry If You Want” off 1982’s It’s Hard for a taste of how he felt about the hippie movement in the decades following the 60s). 

It’s taken me some time to understand Pete Townshend’s original viewpoints, but now I think I get it.  Tommy was just released at the time and the Who performed much of it that pre-dawn morning (most of their set was in the dark; onto the stage at 5 am and off not long after the sun rose on the 3rd day).  Tommy has plenty of spiritual undertones, and Townshend was then deeply into a personal faith journey, in part due to his intense effort in putting the story of the deaf dumb and blind boy to life.   Pete Townshend made many observations prior to the Who’s set that nite, walking among the crowd and the like to see if the mood was appropriately similar to his, especially considering the peace-centric promotion of the event.  He was disappointed for the most part, seeing that the crowd appeared to be agnostic to what could have been a group spiritual quest:  A sacrosanct Tommy-like moment lost. 

And so at the Boston Harborlights Pavilion time appeared to have softened this view, with Townshend acknowledging who was he to judge the motivations of others who were there.  Perhaps many in that massive crowd were on a quest with him after all.

Pete Townshend has been quite outspoken over the years about the fact that much of what the Who have done throughout their history is in action/reaction to their audience, which would include at times mirroring what they observed in the crowd.  Many of their early stage moves for example were simply aping their Mod-audience’s dances, which would evolve nightly.  A core part of the Quadrophenia concept album was based on the personalities of the Who from the perspective of the stories central character, Jimmy.  And then there’s the title of the album Who Are You, which has no question mark (as originally noted by the great music writer/editor Matt Resinicoff) suggesting, if you know the lyrics, a strong tie between the Who and their fans (see Big Top # 10). 

When Pete Townshend wrote the Tommy song “See Me Feel Me/Listening To You” he had this band/fan relationship in mind.  He saw Woodstock as the pen-ultimate moment to seize in this regard, and when all was said and done he was disillusioned.  But my goodness, did the Who ever do their part.  Each time I listen to their performance at Woodstock, particularly “Sparks”, “Pinball Wizard”, and “See Me Feel Me/Listening To You” I find it more awe-inspiring than the time before.  It’s one of those achievements where I can’t help but think that God himself guided the band’s performance to precisely the way it played out, if for no other reason than to reveal what humans are capable of when they form a four-piece rock band. 

I found a mesmerizingly fantastic version of the Woodstock footage of “See Me Feel Me/Listening To You” on YouTube, which includes the lead-in “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbaIB7rurys) (to jump right to “See Me….”, scroll to the 3:26 mark).  Here we see Roger Daltrey majestic in all his golden-Greek-god glory.  John Entwistle and Keith Moon did their inimitable rolls on bass and drums, Enty chiming in backing-vocal high-notes in earnest, spine-chilling fashion (very unusual to see the Ox appearing earnest, but he does here).  And Pete Townshend?  Well, he orchestrated the entire thing; his guitar playing otherworldly.  His stage act jaw dropping.  His focus; laser-beam intense.  Townshend’s guitar work starting at the 6:50 mark of the attached is border-line scary: A Godzilla-like sound (it also reminds me of the sound in  Saving Private Ryan when the German tanks roll into the destroyed French village then occupied by the small group of American soldiers).  If that did not wake up the remaining souls in the crowd that morning nothing would. 

The Greatest Live Rock Band ever at their utmost best on the ultimate stage.  Wow!

I played a bunch of Woodstock footage for my daughter Charlotte on Sunday.  Richie Havens intense improvised singing of “Freedom (Motherless Child)” to launch the event; Santana’s “Soul Sacrifice” (including the incredible Maichael Shrieve drum solo), the aforementioned Canned Heat songs, Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit”; Joe Cocker interpreting in bluesy fashion the Beatles “With a Little Help from My Friends”,  Janis Joplin singing “Summertime”, Sly and the Family Stone’s “I Want To Take You Higher”, Country Joe McDonald’s “I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag” (anti-Vietnam War).  I could have gone on and on.  The totality of quality songs played that weekend is truly astounding.  But of all these songs and acts, it’s the Who that appear to have played their best at the perfect time.  And I believe they gave Woodstock that bit of hard-edge that it needed to fully legitimize it, separating it from your standard folk festival.

Charlotte asked me if I wished that I had been at Woodstock.  Well, I was 6 years old, not quite ready for Prime Time, but I know she means.  I’ve been to my share of festivals.  I know the aura they can give when done right:  There can be a certain type of community feeling that you simply do not get anywhere else; particularly at the multi-day/night events when you get to hang around fires, converse and sing late into the evening with people you have only just then met.  Woodstock was special because it was the first and because it was the biggest (at least half a million people if not double that) ,and because it drew together an amazing and eclectic group of musicians together, like no other event has done since.  So yes, I would have liked to have been there, and so would millions of others.  A parade of Altamont’s and Watkins Glen’s and Isle of Wight’s would never be able emulate what that first big festival event accomplished.

It would have been all in vein however if I missed that 5 am Who set.  I’d like to think that if I were there and in the right place as Pete Townshend was roaming through the crowd earlier that night that that I’d have given him a sense that at least some of us were there to deliver the promise of what Woodstock was supposed to mean to all of us.  In terms of how the Who performed, I don’t think it would have mattered much at the time:  They were flawless.  But who knows how things would have played out if Townshend came away from Woodstock with a positive attitude.  Maybe the Lifehouse project would have come together.  Maybe the Who would have gone to India and then recorded their own version of “The White Album”.  Or maybe the Who would have disbanded:  Pete Townshend going on a spiritual retreat from life in the public eye and then never returning.

As for the me that never was, the me that Charlotte conjured inside myself as wishing he was there? Well, hopefully I would have been ‘in the moment’ and taken in that Who’s set with awe-inspiring abandon, realizing it was all a two-way street as I absorbed the lyrics to “Listening to You” (below) and possibly even realizing later that I may have had an affirmative effect on Pete Townshend in that chance encounter in the fields.

Listening to you I get the music.
Gazing at you I get the heat.
Following you I climb the mountain.
I get excitement at your feet.

Right behind you I see the millions.
On you I see the glory.
From you I get opinions.
From you I get the story.

Pete

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Under the Big Top # 33: “Pop Art”

(Personal reflections inspired by Who songs)

Song: “Magic Bus”
Album: Released as a single
Release Date: September, 1968

About two months ago, I made an effort to explain my appreciation of the Who to Cousin Jack (after great feedback from him about The Kids Are Alright film where he brought up Ringo’s promotion for the movie; the Beatles drummer sitting sternly in an armchair stating “Hello children….you know who I am…. I know who you are….but we all know who The Who are!”).  I put it this way to Jack: “You know, in those days (the mid-70s’) we were all about Red Sox, Bruins, Lost in Space and Wacky Packs.  I look at the Who as simply an extension of all that.” Since then I’ve been meaning to expound upon just what I meant by that comment.  Now is the time. 

Jack’s reminder of the Ringo promotion was the catalyst for that specific reply by me.  There are several reasons for this.  First off, Jack and I were products of our times.  We had what could best be defined as pop sensibilities. The term ‘pop’ is simply an abbreviated term for ‘popular’, and in the context of ‘pop art’ it is having an affinity, maybe even a fascination, with mainstream (as opposed to elitist) art and culture.  Many in prior generations found this a bit odd (including my Dad).  Their appreciation for the upper-crust things in life; classical music and books, traditional art galleries, powerful historical figures, fine dining, Greek and Roman ruins and the like, was noble for sure, but these had taken a back seat for most of us baby boomers.  There was now brand new interest and insight into what was brilliant, sunny, cool and funny. 

There was and continues to be a significant visual aspect to pop art.  Makers of album covers, comic books, games, sunglasses, clothing, shoes, sitcoms, musical instruments, lunch boxes, you name it, all spruced up their acts after the advent of pop.  Heck, even sports cards got livelier in the 70s.  Perhaps this was simply an inevitable follow up after the dawn of color TV.  Who knows?  What I do know is that for Jack and I and many of our friends and family members, it was all borderline addictive. 

Rock and Roll has for many years fed off of this visual aspect of the pop phenomenon, starting with the psychedelia of the late 60s and never really abating much since.  And it was not just the aforementioned album covers.  It was also the stage acts, the personas, and the songwriting. Bands like the Kinks started writing about the average guy in songs like “Mr. Pleasant” and “Muswell Hillbilly”.  David Bowie and Elton John out flanked one another on a weekly basis with their garish stage acts.  The Rolling Stones built up an outsider tax-exile image in Southern France. It all factored in to what was accessible to the average guy and gal.

Of all the bands that capitalized on this pop culture, The Who took the cake.  They were, from my perspective, the most visual extension of my pop-generational mindset.  To use the analogy of this blog series, this band was the main act in the Big Top tent:  A rock and roll circus extravaganza!  There was so much going on in their 4-piece live act that it would often border on sensory overload.  With the Stones, you could focus on one instrument or another. With Neil Young and Crazy Horse, you could simply take in the totality of the sound. The Who?  Well, there was this powerful visual essence that went with the music.  There was Pete Townshend all over the stage, wind milling, strutting, hovering, sliding and spiritualizing.  There was John Entwistle, anchoring, thunder-fingering, harmonizing, focusing, and decompressing.  There was Keith Moon flailing, pacing, innovating, master-minding and intensifying.  There was Roger Daltrey, whirling, swirling, internalizing, prancing and encapsulating.  This was pop art in pure form:  It was incredible.

With this pop sensibility of my generation came a collector/hobbyist mentality as well.  Savvy promoters with a creative touch knew how to tap into my mass-appeal market.  We witnessed “collector’s additions” for just about anything. Even the prizes inside cereal boxes were fair game (see below).  It was a blast to strive for the complete set of anything (I don’t think I ever got there with any of my collections, but it was sure fun trying), and to understand the value of any particular item (often based on demand and quantity produced), and to trade with your friends. 

At the surface this all had an air of superficiality about it.  But there was something deeper going on.  All this stimulation led to personal creativity for many of us on the receiving end.  Our minds were opened up to out-of-the-box ways of thinking.  I’m not sure many of the synapsis in my brain would have ever been used without my pop-art interests.

With all this said I’d like to delve a bit into a big part of what made my adolescent world so fascinating.  Let me start with a gift I got under the Christmas tree when I was 5 years old.  It was a blue box of animals, each of them elastic-strung into their slots and labeled.  This collection was created with passion I am sure, as every detail of these animals was exquisite:  The sculpting (for lack of a better term, considering these were plastic molds), the painting (this was no shoddy rush job, as even the eyes were handled with care) the scale coordination (each animal was perfectly sized relative to the others).  This collection opened my eyes to the diversity of life on the planet.  Yes the standard creatures were there: Lions, giraffes, elephants, and zebras.  But there were also unusual animals that no one I knew had ever heard of: Tapirs and okapis, elands, spring bucks, anteaters, and ibex. 

When my parents received the package in the mail several days before Christmas, they spotted that the tiny platypus was missing.  They knew this bizarre creature would be a big hit with me and promptly contacted the toy store to inform them and ask what could be done.  On Christmas Eve, so the story goes, the duck-billed platypus arrived on Santa’s sleigh just in time to be tucked into its tiny slot beneath the elephants. 

No one else I knew had this animal collection.  Believe it or not, I still have a number of the figures from that set (alas, not the platypus, a victim of a neighborhood bully hurling all my animals into the woods).  I had hours and hours of fun with those animals, particularly with friend Phil, who concocted fantastical character development for every one of them (for example, the ibex was a detective who came to many of his insights by sticking his nose into the elephant’s ear).  

For years I’ve tried to track this “Britain’s LTD Animals” collection on the web.  I’ve found individual animals here and there, but never in that original blue box complete set.  Finally, just recently when I started compiling this entry, I checked again and found it!:


Next up: Battling Tops.  In this game (which I received as a gift when it came out in 1968) you would roll your Top in a string and prop it up into its fighting corner.  Then you would pull the string and go to battle:  Last man standing and spinning wins.  Often a Top would be knocked right out of the ring.  I include this game here because it has a pop art feel about it.  I loved the names of the tops: Hurricane Hank, Tricky Nicky, Dizzy Dan, Twirling Tim, Smarty Smitty, and Super Sam:


Ok, below is one of my favorite collections of all time:  Funny Fringes.  These were collected out of Kellogg’s Fruit Loops boxes.  My favorite was Sniffinge (middle top row) and then Snozinge (far right middle row).  I pictured these two as sort of Laurel (tall, lanky, goofy) and Hardy (short stumpy, gruff) friendship.  Fringe was their sidekick (top row second from left next to Sniffinge).  Phil gave him a sort of super power:  He could spit wood (I am laughing silly as I write this).  Other favorites included Spinge (bottom row middle), Twinge (bottom row left) and Puddinge (middle row middle). I had a toy convertible car that I could perfectly stuff them all into; so perfectly that I could tip the car upside down and none would fall out.  Sniffinge was at the wheel.  Snozinge road shotgun.  Believe it or not, I still have a few of these guys:


When Cousin Jack and I, (along with our brothers) stayed over Aunt Margaret’s home, she would surprise us with Monster Models to put together, including Frankenstein, the Wolfman, Dracula, Mummy, Creature From the Black Lagoon, the Phantom of the Opera, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the Forgotten Prisoner (this one Phil had at the entryway to his multi-roomed cellar, which scared the daylights out of you if you let your mind wander).  We would also pick these up at the very cool hobby shop in downtown Franklin.  Every one of these models had an expression of horror on their faces.  It made the experience of gluing them together and painting them all the more intense.  I have the Creature from the Black Lagoon propped up in the study of our home:


I mentioned sports cards earlier. The one collection that stands out the most for me was the Boston Bruins of 1971. This team was astounding, and brought me into the world of sports.  They had the top 4 point scorers in the league that year (and 7 of the top 10!) led by the best hockey player of all time, Bobby Orr.  And they were a marvel to watch (though in some ways they spoiled me).  I loved everything about this team and these cards, but for whatever reason that I can’t quite explain, it’s the background color (each team had its own color identity) that connects with me the most, which again has a sort of pop-art feel about it: 


Another type of collector card that was popular in Junior High School was Wacky Packages. These cards swept me into the wonderful alternate world of the bizarre and maybe even on their own, opened me up to non-conformity.  How?  Well, Wacky Packs gave me a bit of clairvoyance into contemplating the true meaning of success.  It was fun and insightful at the same time and included twists on common products such as “Blunder Bread”, “Chock Full of Nuts and Bolts” (the Heavily Coffee”), “Crust” (toothpaste), “Vile” soap, and so much more:


Comic books were a craze for me for about four years in the mid-70s.  Great friends, Bruce and Mac, along with me would go down to the Franklin News Store on Thursday’s and help unpackage the new shipments that arrived that day just to get our hands on them first.  The comic company of creative edginess in the 70s was Marvel (their competitor DC was so past their prime at the time – Batman, Superman, others – that we referred to the DC acronym as standing for “Dog Crap”).  Marvel comics worth reading in those years were the ones that had the best writers assigned to them.  These included the X-Men, the Avengers, the Defenders, the Amazing Spider Man, and the Incredible Hulk.  There was a lot of interesting character development (for example, Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, was an alcoholic who struggled mightily at times with his addiction and Wolverine was a not-so-nice team player on the X-Men) that would eventually play out nicely on film.  One thing that drew me into this world was the illustrations.  The detail could often be very dramatic and would contribute greatly to the storyline: 


Although not so much pop art (but still extremely visual), this entry would not be complete without mentioning coins.  My favorites were the pennies, nickels and dimes.  We (friends and family) collected coins in many ways, including by digging them up (using metal detectors) and as stocking stuffers.  The most creative way we collected however was to roll up the ones we already pored over and then exchange them for other rolls at downtown stores (the best to get were from old stores that had cash registers with rolls in the back that were not touched in decades!).  It was so much fun populating our coin books like this one below of Mercury Dimes:


Finally, there were the ’45 records and accompanying picture sleeves, particularly the Beatles, which in my late high school years ended up being the last collectible I ever really got into.  This was pop art in the hands of the musicians themselves.  To this day, I still love looking at these:


This week’s song is “Magic Bus” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl9bvuAV-Ao) because along with the big top circus analogy, these two words capture the Who journey for me.  When played live, the song would often be stretched out into a jam, the Who often trying to flesh new sound for new material.  Pretty cool when you think about it:  The band riding the Magic Bus on stage in an effort to create and explore.  The song was a proverbial palette to work with.  You could go anywhere on the Magic Bus!

I recently read a Pete Townshend interview where he talked briefly about the uniqueness of Who fans (as opposed to fans of other bands).  He said something to the effect that we are a fascinating, creative bunch.  Good people, interesting, deep thinkers.  Having met many myself over the years, I have to agree.  I believe that this entry gets to the core of what Townshend meant:  The Who as a visceral product of their pop-culture times appealed to us fans in the same way that all the above products did.  And this appeal led to wonderful lives for many of us.  It complimented who we are, what our career choices were, how we committed ourselves to our families and our faith, how we took risks, how we reasoned, and how we opened our true selves up to those we love. 

Pete

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Under the Big Top # 32: “Twenty Four Magnificent Set Lists”

(Personal reflections inspired by Who songs)

Song: “Substitute”
Album: Released as a single
Release Date: March, 1966

Below are the 24 Who-related shows I have witnessed (in chronological order) and the set lists for each.   Events that I refer to as “Who-related” include the solo efforts of the individual members of the band.  The totality of my actual Who concert events stands at a lucky thirteen, which is more likely than not to be a final tally.

Instead of putting time this week into creative writing, my time was spent compiling the list below by searching high and low on the web.  Only one show was impossible to track a set list for (the John Entwistle concert at the Living Room in Providence Rhode Island in the summer of ’88 with Nancy).  Included in the compilation is bolded-red text of deep-cut Who and Pete Townshend nuggets that were rarely performed.  I also added the names of friends and family who were in attendance with me for each show (it may not be a perfect attendance estimate, although I’m thinking it’s pretty darn good; however correct me if I’m wrong) and a note or two about the event itself.

Also, I did a little tally of all the Who songs I have witnessed more than twice at these “Who-related” shows.  My prior prediction of the song I had heard the most proved true (“Won’t Get Fooled” at 18).  Here is that summary, which I am guessing is a pretty good barometer of song ratio for all Who shows since the passing of Keith Moon:  Eighteen: “Won’t Get Fooled Again”; Seventeen: “Behind Blue Eyes”; Fifteen: “Who Are You”; Fourteen: “5:15”; Thirteen: “Baba O’Riley”, “Pinball Wizard”, “My Generation”, “The Real Me”; Twelve: “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (“See Me Feel Me”), “Love Reign O’er Me”; Ten: “My Wife”, “You Better You Bet”; Nine: “I’m One”, “Sparks”; Eight: “I Can’t Explain”, “Boris the Spider”, “Amazing Journey”; Seven: “Substitute”, “Eminence Front”, “The Punk and the Godfather”, “Drowned”, “Magic Bus”, “The Kids Are Alright”; Six: “Trick of the Light”, “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere”, “Sea and Sand”; Five: “I Can See For Miles”, “Doctor Jimmy”, “I’ve Had Enough”, “Cut My Hair”; Four: “Sister Disco”, “A Little Is Enough”, “Bell Boy”, “Helpless Dancer”, “Is It In My Head”, “Dirty Jobs”, “Quadrophenia”, “The Rock”; Three: “Long Live Rock”, “Naked Eye”, “The Seeker”, “Pictures of Lily”, “Bargain”, “The Acid Queen”, “I’m Free”, “Rough Boys”, “Join Together”, “Relay”;  (many at two and one)

The first Who song I ever saw live was “Substitute” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eswQl-hcvU0). This song was always so much fun to watch the Who play, which was often performed at or near the beginning of the set.  There was the harmonized backing vocal tandem of John Entwistle and Pete Townshend (such an underrated component of the Who’s potency). There was the magnificent bass solo (not so underrated).  Yes, unlike many great bands, the Who could always tap into their earliest hits for high-bar intensity.

Without further ado, here then are the 24 Who-related set lists:

The Who:  Rich Stadium, Buffalo, New York, September 26, 1982 (with 4 busses full of Canadians from Ottawa…..see “Under the Big Topo # 3” for hilites)
Substitute, I Can't Explain , Dangerous, Sister Disco, The Quiet One, It's Hard, Eminence Front, Behind Blue Eyes, Baba O'Riley, I'm One, The Punk And The Godfather, Drowned, A Man Is A Man, Cry If You Want, Who Are You, Pinball Wizard, We’re Not Gonna Take It (See Me Feel Me), 5.15, Love Reign O'er Me, Long Live Rock, Won't Get Fooled Again, (encore): Naked Eye, Summertime Blues, Twist and Shout

Roger Daltrey:  Orpheum Theater, Boston, Massachusetts, August 12, 1985 (with Mac, Bouv…. a great show)
Martyrs and Madmen, Don’t Talk to Strangers, Breaking Down Paradise, Substitute, Pictures of Lily, Under a Raging Moon, Behind Blue Eyes, 5:15, Your Time Is Gonna Come, After the Fire, Giving It All Away, Won’t Get Fooled Again, The Pride You Hide, Move Better In the Night, Let Me Down Easy, Free Me, Summertime Blues, C’mon Everybody

John Entwistle:  The Channel, Boston, Massachusetts, November 19, 1987 (with Mac, Becca, Dave, Bouv…. very close to stage.  Very cool!)
Summertime Blues, Pinball Wizard, My Wife, 5:15, Bargain, Boris the Spider, Behind Blue Eyes, Shakin’ All Over, My Generation, We’re Not Gonna Take It (See Me Feel Me), Higher, Sparks, Won’t Get Fooled Again, Young Man Blues, Twist and Shout

John Entwistle:  The Channel, Boston, Massachusetts, June 25, 1988 (with Fred, Mac… an extremely hot evening. Even the Ox complained)
No set list, but I did track down a set list from a show on this tour which consisted of the following: Stranger In A Strange Land, Love Is A Heart  Attack, Bridges Under the Water, Billy, You, Trick Of the Light, Heartache, My Wife, Boris the Spider, Suzie, Life After Love, Last Song, (encore): Shakin’ All Over, Twist and Shout

John Entwistle:  The Living Room, Providence, Rhode Island, June 29, 1988 (with Nancy…funky place)
No setlist: See previous entry (Entwistle at The Channel) for a taste of the setlist

The Who:  Sullivan Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts, July 12, 1989 (with virtually everyone…. the house party of a lifetime at Jen’s before the show…. one of the best Who set lists I’ve witnessed)
Overture, It’s a Boy, 1921, Amazing Journey, Sparks, The Acid Queen, Pinball Wizard, Do You Think It’s Alright?, Fiddle About, I’m Free, Tommy’s Holiday Camp, We’re Not Gonna Take It (See Me Feel Me), A Friend Is a Friend, A Little Is Enough, Face the Face, I’m a Man (Bo  Diddley cover), I Can’t Explain, Substitute, I Can See for Miles, Trick of the Light, Boris the Spider, Who Are You, Magic Bus, Mary Ann With the Shaky Hands, Baba O’Riley, My Generation, Secondhand Love, 5:15, Love Reign O’er Me, My Wife, Sister Disco, Rough Boys, Join Together, You Better You Bet, Won’t Get Fooled Again, (encore): Twist and Shout

The Who:  Sullivan Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts, July 14, 1989 (with Kurt, Mac)
Overture, It’s a Boy, 1921, Amazing Journey, Sparks, The Acid Queen, Pinball Wizard, Do You Think It’s Alright?, Fiddle About, I’m Free, Tommy’s Holiday Camp, We’re Not Gonna Take It (See Me Feel Me), I’m One, A Little Is Enough, A Friend Is a Friend, I’m a Man (Bo  Diddley cover), I Can’t Explain, Substitute, I Can See for Miles, Trick of the Light, Boris the Spider, Who Are You, Too Much of Anything, Magic Bus, Baba O’Riley, My Generation, Face the Face, 5:15, Love Reign O’er Me, Love Hurts, My Wife, Sister Disco, Rough Boys, Join Together, You Better You Bet, Behind Blue Eyes, Won’t Get Fooled Again, Hey Joe, Dig, Summertime Blues

Pete Townshend: Great Woods, Mansfield Massachusetts, August 9, 1993 (with Nancy, Mac, Becca, Dave, Bouv, others…. Nancy and I snuck up to the front seats.  Townshend snapped halfway through the show because of equipment malfunction and played a riveting angry set from there)
Tommy Can You Hear Me, Rough Boys, Let My Love Open the Door, Heart To Hang On To, Behind Blue Eyes, Anyway Anyhow Anywhere, I’m A Boy, The Kids Are Alright, Pinball Wizard, We’re Not Gonna Take It (See Me Feel Me), English Boy, Meher Baba M3, Let’s Get Pretentious, Meher Baba M4, Early Morning Dreams, Magic Bus, You Better You Bet, A Little Is Enough, I Want That Thing, Outlive the Dinosaur, Now and Then, Don’t Try To Make Me Real, English Boy (reprise), Save It For Later, Who Are You, Face the Face, Won’t Get Fooled Again, Let’s See Action, On the Borderline, My Generation/Big Boss Man, Eminence Front

Roger Daltrey (John Entwistle joined for about half of this “Daltrey Sings Townshend” show): Great Woods, Mansfield, Massachusetts, August 28, 1994 (with Mac, John, Phil, Dave…. the only Who related show I ever went to that did not have the appearance of being sold out…still great, and with a full orchestra to boot)
Pete Townshend Overture, You Better You Bet, Another Tricky Day, Baba O’Riley, After the Fire, Relay, Amazing Journey, Pinball Wizard, Sparks, I’m Free, We’re Not Gonna Take It (See Me Feel Me), Who Are You, The Sea Refuses No River, My Wife, Boris the Spider, The Real Me, The Punk and the Godfather, I’m One, Drowned, Doctor Jimmy, I’ve Had Enough, Cut My Hair, 5:15, The Rock, Love Reign O’er Me, Naked Eye, That’s Just the Way It Is, Behind Blue Eyes, Won’t Get Fooled Again

John Entwistle: Mama Kin Music Hall, Boston Massachusetts, January 31, 1996 (with Mac, others…..one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, which started out with a triple-bang of rarely heard nuggets for us latter-day Who fans)
Heaven and Hell, Had Enough, Success Story, Trick of the Light, Bridges Under Water, The Real Me, Love Doesn’t Last, Boris the Spider, Life After Love, Love Is a Heart Attack, Last Song, You, My Wife, Long Live Rock, Summertime Blues, Shaking All Over

The Who:  Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, July 20, 1996 (with Nancy, Mac, Becca, Dave, Kurt, others…one of the best shows I’ve ever seen and the first with Zak Starkey.  He was fantastic.  What a memory)
I Am the Sea, The Real Me, Quadrophenia, Cut My Hair, 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, Behind Blue Eyes, Won’t Get Fooled Again, Magic Bus, Naked Eye

The Who:  Worcester Centrum, Worcester, Massachusetts, November 12, 1996 (with Jen, Amy, Fred, Dale…. the family decided to join me.  Bill Weld of all people attended.  Not as intense as the Madison Square Garden show, but still solid)
I Am the Sea, The Real Me, Quadrophenia, Cut My Hair, 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, I’m the Face, Won’t Get Fooled Again, Behind Blue Eyes, Who Are You

The Who:  Worcester Centrum, Worcester, Massachusetts, November 14, 1996 (with Kurt, Mac, Muff)
I Am the Sea, The Real Me, Quadrophenia, Cut My Hair, 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, I’m the Face, Won’t Get Fooled Again, Behind Blue Eyes, Who Are You

Pete Townshend: Harborlights, Boston, Massachusetts, August 14, 1998 (with Nancy, Bouv, Mac, Dave, Becca, others…. Townshend came to peace with his Woodstock experience 30 years on, including comments and the opening number.  Excellent show!)
On the Road Again, A Little Is Enough, Drowned, Save It For Later, Sensation, Anyway Anyhow Anywhere, You Better You Bet, Diamond In the Rough, The Real Me, The Real Me  (Reprise), Zarathustra, I Am An Animal, Now And Then, Going Up the Country, North Country Girl (On the Borderline), Let My Love Open the Door, The Kids Are Alright, The Acid Queen, Won’t Get Fooled Again, Magic Bus, We’re Not Gonna Take It  (See Me Feel Me)

John Entwistle:  The Lucky Dog, Worcester, Massachusetts, July 21, 1999 (with Kurt, Mac…. Entwistle kept getting zapped when singing into the microphone.  Finally lashed out at it and stopped singing for a time.  I had a nice greeting and handshake with the Ox at the end of the show)
Horror Rock, The Real Me, Success Story, Trick of the Light, Boris the Spider, I’ll Try Again Today, Shaking All Over, Had Enough, Endless Vacation, Summertime Blues, Young Man’s Blues

The Who: Great Woods, Mansfield, Massachusetts, July 3, 2000 (with Mac, Dave, Becca, Amy, Paul, others… one of my favorite Who shows of all time.  It was the last time I saw the Who with John Entwistle, who put some effort into backing vocals early in the set)
I Can’t Explain, Substitute, Anyway Anyhow Anywhere, I Don’t Even Know Myself, My Wife, Bargain, Relay, Baba O’Riley, We’re Not Gonna Take It (See Me, Feel Me), I’m One, Pinball Wizard, The Real Me, Who Are You, Magic Bus, Behind Blue Eyes, 5:15, You Better You Bet, Won’t Get Fooled Again, (encore): The Kids Are Alright, Let’s See Action, My Generation Blues, My Generation, Young Man Blues

John Entwistle (on the “A Walk Down Abbey Road” tour):  Fleet Pavilion, Boston, Massachusetts, July 11, 2001 (with Nancy….. this was the last time I saw John Entwistle.  He looked weathered, which I commented to Nancy about at the time, and even I have to admit his amp was a bit too loud for “My Wife” and “The Real Me”…. Still a great show with Heart, Todd Rundgren, Alan Parsons, others)
Magical Mystery Tour, Open My Eyes (Hillsong Live cover), Eye in the Sky (Alan Parsons cover), Crazy on You (Heart cover), My Wife, Hello It’s Me (Todd Rundgren cover), Don’t Bother Me (Beatles cover), Biggest Part of Me (Ambrosia cover), How Much I Feel (Ambrosia cover), Band the Drum All Day (Todd Rundgren cover), The Real Me, Dreamboat Annie (Heart cover), Games People Play (Inner Circle cover), Barracuda (Heart cover), My Generation, Back in the U.S.S.R., Lady Madonna, I’m Down, The Fool on the Hill, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Here Comes the Sun, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, Maybe I’m Amazed, Rain, Blackbird, Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except For Me and My Monkey, Revolution, Day Tripper, Ticket to Ride, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Hey Jude, Birthday, Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight, The End

The Who: Great Woods, Mansfield, Massachusetts, July 26, 2002 (with Mac…. First Who show after they took a break for John Entwistle’s funeral.  Pete gives a short emotional eulogy on stage.  Townshend also hovered over his guitar as the “Birdman” for “Sparks”: Not sure I’d ever seen that before.  I sang Entwistle’s high notes for “See Me Feel Me”, a-la Woodstock)
I Can’t Explain, Substitute, Anyway Anyhow Anywhere, Who Are You, Another Tricky Day, Relay, I Can See for Miles, Baba O’Riley, Eminence Front, Sea and Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O’er Me, Behind Blue Eyes, You Better You Bet, The Kids Are Alright, My Generation, Won’t Get Fooled Again, (encore): Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, We’re Not Gonna Take It (See Me, Feel Me)

The Who: Great Woods, Mansfield, Massachusetts, May 20, 2004  (with Kurt, Mac, others….. listened to “Real Good Looking Boy” and “Old Red Wine” all the way down and back with Kurt and his buddies from Winchester who had not heard these songs until then)
Who Are You, Baba O’Riley, I Can’t Explain, Long Live Rock, Behind Blue Eyes, 5:15, The Punk and the Godfather, Love Reign O’er Me, Eminence Front, You Better You Bet, Real Good Looking Boy, Substitute, Love Ain’t for Keepin’, Magic Bus, My Generation, The Kids Are Alright, Old Red Wine, Won’t Get Fooled Again, (encore): Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, We’re Not Gonna Take It (See Me Feel Me)

The Who:  Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, September 16, 2006  (with Mac, Becca, Kurt, others… excellent seats right of stage; toured new album Endless Wire….. hilites included “The Seeker” and “Mike Post Theme”)
I Can’t Explain, The Seeker, Anyway Anyhow Anywhere, Fragments, Who Are You, Behind Blue Eyes, Real Good Looking Boy, Sound Round, Pick Up the Peace, Endless Wire, We Got a Hit, They Made My Dream Come True, Mirror Door, Baba O’Riley, Eminence Front, Black Widow’s Eyes, Mike Post Theme, You Better You Bet, My Generation, Won’t Get Fooled Again, (encore): Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, We’re Not Gonna Take It (See Me Feel Me), Tea & Theatre

The Who:  Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, October 24, 2008 (Becca, Mac, Dave….fun talking to Who fans before the show)
I Can’t Explain, The Seeker, Anyway Anyhow Anywhere, Fragments, Who Are You, Behind Blue Eyes, Real Good Looking Boy, Baba O’Riley, Getting in Tune, Eminence Front, Sister Disco, Sea and Sand, 5:15, Love Reign O’er Me, My Generation, Won’t Get Fooled Again, (encore): Pinball Wizard, Amazing Journey, Sparks, We’re Not Gonna Take It (See Me Feel Me), (encore 2): Tea & Theatre

Roger Daltrey:  House of Blues, Boston, Massachusetts, November 8, 2009 (Nancy, Madeline, Mac, others…. Great show with Simon Townshend & Zak Starkey)
Who Are You, Pictures of Lily, Behind Blue Eyes, The Kids Are Alright, Tattoo, Days of Light, Freedom Ride (Taj Mahal cover), Gimme a Stone (Levon Helm cover), Going Mobile, I’m A Man (Bo Diddley cover), My Generation, Who’s Gonna Walk on Water?, Squeeze Box, I Can See for Miles, Young Man Blues, Baba O’Riley, Folsom Prison Blues, Ring of Fire, Blue Red and Grey, Without Your Love

The Who:  Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, November 16, 2012 (Kurt, Mac, Dave… great floor seats)
I Am the Sea, The Real Me, Quadrophenia, Cut My Hair, 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, (encore): Who Are You, Behind Blue Eyes, Pinball Wizard, Bab O’Riley, Won’t Get Fooled Again, Tea & Theatre

The Who:  Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, March 7, 2016 (Kurt, Becca, Dave, Mac, others… see Under the Big Top # 11 for a full review)
Who Are You, The Seeker, The Kids Are Alright, I Can See for Miles, My Generation, The Real Me, Pictures of Lily, Behind Blue Eyes, Bargain, Join Together, You Better You Bet, I’m One, The Rock, Love Reign O’er Me, Eminence Front, Amazing Journey, Sparks, Pinball Wizard, We’re Not Gonna Take It (See Me Feel Me), Baba O’Riley, Won’t Get Fooled Again

That was fun: Back to my deeper musings next week.

Pete