A farewell tour by The Who? What is this, 1982?

Who fans will remember the first time the band said they were calling it quits over 30 years ago. Yeah, well, we know that one didn’t take. But it looks like that day is finally here. Albeit not for another two years.

Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey have announced that they will quit touring after a final series of live shows in 2015 to mark their 50th anniversary.

In an interview with the Evening Standard newspaper, Townshend said the 2015 tour will make stops everywhere:

“For the 50th anniversary we’ll tour the world. It’ll be the last big one for us. There are still plenty of places we’ve not played. It would be good to go to eastern Europe and places that haven’t heard us play all the old hits.”

I saw The Who twice, in 1980 and 1982. I wrote about it here. FYI, In 2015 Townshend will be 70 and Daltrey will be 71. Here’s hoping they can still deliver the goods.

I’ve always been a huge Townshend fan. I love this clip of him performing “Drowned” from Quadrophenia at The Who’s London’s Royal Albert Hall show in 2000 (which was released in 2003).

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It’s Friday. That’s my 2nd favourite F word. How about some F songs?

ipod-classic-accessories-3To be filed under ‘why not’:  I took a rough count of the number of songs that begin with “F” on my iPod: 328. That includes songs that start with “The” as in “The Fever”. Listing all of them and adding links so you can have have a listen would be somewhat of a ridiculous undertaking, so instead I have provided a sampling. I chose them based on alphabetical order, moving down the alphabet and choosing the first two (if there are two) for each letter that’s the second letter in the song title. Hope that makes sense. It’s an interesting mix of tracks.

1. F The CC–Steve Earle (Note: really funny, but NSFW)

2. F.I.N.E.–Aerosmith

3. Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)–Otis Redding

4. Face Dances Part Two–Pete Townshend

5. Fear For Your Future–Ronnie Wood

6. Fear of Falling–Robbie Robertson

7. Fiddler’s Green–The Tragically Hip

8. Fields of Gold–Sting

9. The Flag–Barenaked Ladies

10. Flamethrower–J. Geils Band

11. FM–Steely Dan

12. Folds In Your Hands–Passion Pit

13. Follow–Susan Tedeschi (just a sample for this one)

14. Fractured Mirror–Ace Frehley

15. Fragile Bird–City and Colour

16. Ft. Worth Blues–Steve Earle

17. F*ck You (NSFW)–Cee Lo Green

18. Full Moon–The Kinks

Getting ready for the weekend–what’s on your agenda?

polite-umbrella-1Well so much for an early Spring. Freezing rain, snow, slush…seriously? Last week I saw some folks around my neighbourhood working in their gardens. My first thought was “a little early, don’t you think?”. Well, I’m sure by now they’re regretting their decision. My weekend will probably the usual errands to run, but I’m hoping to maybe take in a movie (42?) and will be heading out Sunday afternoon for some NBA action to see the Raptors take on Brooklyn. As for the Jays…don’t get me started…although I do have tickets for a few upcoming games in May so hopefully by then their fortunes will have turned. And as for my beloved Habs, with a playoff spot clinched, all I have to say to the rest of the Eastern conference is “bring it on!”

And tunes. Let’s not forget some good tunes for the weekend. Have forgone listening to the iPod in shuffle mode lately in favour of  whole albums or groups of songs by the same artist. But for the weekend I thought I’d get back to shuffle mode. So here we go, with a “shuffle songs” reset, are the first 15 songs to come up on the iPod as I head into the weekend:

The Friday 15:

1. A Little Is Enough–Pete Townshend

2. Tequila–Wes Montgomery (BONUS VIDEO:  click here)

3. Wreck This Heart–Bob Seger

4. 100 Days, 100 Nights–Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

5. Movin’ Out–Billy Joel

6. Time Stand Still–Rush

7. You Don’t Know Me At All–Bettye LaVette

8. Who Do You Love?–Bo Diddley

9. Boom–Flight of The Conchords

10. You Got The Silver–The Rolling Stones

11. Mr. Moonlight–The Beatles

12. It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll–The Rolling Stones

13. Clocks–Coldplay

14. When Your Mind’s Made Up–Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová

15. Three Time Loser–Bonnie Raitt

Song of the Day: Love Reign O’er Me

When Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey of The Who were among the honorees to be feted by the Kennedy Center Honors in 2008, a number of musicians graced the stage to pay them tribute including Joss Stone, Dave Grohl and Rob Thomas. But it was soul singer Bettye LaVette who stole the show with her version of the ‘Quadrophenia’ track “Love Reign O’er Me”.

Eighteen months later, Lavette’s stirring and incredibly moving interpretation of that Who classic has finally been released as a bonus track on her new cd “Interpretations – The British Rock Songbook”. On this album Lavette just doesn’t simply cover songs by Led Zeppelin (“All My Love”), Pink Floyd (“Wish You Were Here”) and The Beatles (“The Word”) among others–she re-invents them, making an album of covers sound like fresh originals. But it’s The Who number that is the highlight. And it may sound like a cliché, but Lavette is one of a rare breed of singers who could sing the phone book and make you stand up and take notice. She’s that good.

Below is a video of her Kennedy Center performance. You can also listen to the entire album for free here although this link may not be up for long.

Happy Birthday Pete!

Today is Pete Townshend’s birthday. One of the greatest guitarists of all-time from one of the greatest bands of all time turns 64 today (Will you still need me, will you still feed me…oh wait, wrong foursome. Although if the surviving members of The Who and The Beatles got together to form a new band, they could be called The Whotles. Just a thought. Now where was I? Oh yeah, right…) Happy Birthday Pete!

Have always loved The Who, and it’s a crying shame really that there are many people out there (far too many) that just think of them as the CSI/CSI: Miami/CSI: NY band. While I was never fortunate enough to see them perform with Keith Moon, I did see them live twice, in 1980 in Montreal and then again in 1982 at the CNE in Toronto, both times with ex-Small Faces/Faces drummer Kenny Jones. Little bit of trivia about that 1982 show: Joe Jackson was the opening act, and while JJ is one of my faves, he was out of his element at this show. The crowd hated him. In fact, in the liner notes of his Live 1980/86 cd, there’s a picture of that inhospitable Toronto crowd. Rumour has it he was a last minute replacement for the band originally scheduled to open for The Who that day. Unfortunately that band had a conflict as they were scheduled to appear on Saturday Night Live the same night. The band? A little known outfit called The Clash. Now THAT would have been something. Damn you Lorne Michaels!

Will post more on JJ another time, but for now, Happy Birthday Pete. Don’t ever stop.

For you Who/Pete fans out there, these are just a handful of my personal favourites. I’m leaving out the obvious (although Won’t Get Fooled Again is probably the greatest eight-and-a-half minutes of sonic boom ever committed to tape) and instead suggest you give these a try. Take two twice a day, and if your anti-Who symptoms still persist, I can’t help you.

The Who: The Seeker
The Who: Substitute
The Who: Love Reign O’er Me
Pete Townshend (live solo; track from Quadrophenia)–I absolutely adore this): Drowned
Pete Townshend: Rough Boys
Pete Townshend: Slit Skirts