More than any other band of its time (or perhaps of any time), the Who relied on artistic theory and thematic ideas for inspiration. If it wasn’t for the simple fact that Pete Townshend found himself in art school, things may have been quite different.
In the band’s early years, Roger Daltrey was absolutely understood to be the bandleader, and his ambition was to push the band toward popularity by playing covers of American R&B, not unlike the Rolling Stones. However, bands like the Beatles and especially the Kinks made an impression by writing their own material. With one successful demo under his belt (“It Was You”, played on last week’s show), Townshend was encouraged by the band’s management to come up with original material for the band.
A short incarnation as the High Numbers resulted in a single (also played last week) with the attitude and style of the Mods, but it failed to develop an original sound. As a nascent songwriter, Townshend maintained the Mod style, which pushed the Who in a direction that did not originally seem suited for Daltrey’s singing style. Something new was brewing, but would it catch on?
Featured tracks include;
One Note – Prologue (from Lifehouse”)
Sonatas K:212 and 213
The Gordian Knot Untied (Purcell)
Fantasia Upon One Note
I Can’t Explain
Bald Headed Woman
Lubie (Come Back Home)
Daddy Rolling Stone
Anytime You Want Me
Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere