Who wants to say Farewell anyway?

June 01, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

The first time I saw The Who in concert was in 1980. It was their "first" Farewell Tour. Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend had labored on with John Entwhistle "the Ox" on bass after the loss of their drummer and backbone Keith Moon. The Group had decided after so many years of touring that this was it. The "Who Are You" album seemed to be a pinnacle never again to be equaled. Kenny Jones of the Small Faces had filled in on drums, but no one played the drums with the full on chaotic assault of Mr. Moon. The show was very memorable - enjoyed with my usual cast of characters... Cousin John, Darrell, and Tim Schulte, who scored the tickets I believe. Even though our seats were behind the stage (I should have been saying backstage all these years) I wore my customized shirt made for the occasion with my favorite lyrics, "It all looks fine to the naked eye", on the front and "But it don't really happen that way at all" on the back. That shows highlight for me was Won't Get Fooled Again with an explosion that I witnessed up close due to looking through my binoculars, whereupon I was rescued from falling over from the shock by Cousin John. Well here we are 35+ years later and someone somewhere changed the rules... 70 is the new 40 and so many great musicians from our era have reinvented or reinvigorated their careers to be closing in on the 50 year anniversary. So many bands and artists have extended their longevity beyond what once seemed possible, giving some, like myself a second chance at seeing those bands I missed the first time around. ($15 wasn't always easy to come by, and too often I had to choose between favorites.) But 50 is a big number and may be already more than one could expect as is witnessed by 3 date postponements due to Daltrey experiencing some health problems. So maybe he is a human after all? Roger's vocal chords and Pete's tinnitus have caused them to adopt many techniques for surviving the road. Needless to say this probably is really going to be the, by now fabled, often attempted, Farewell Tour. The group has in 2002 also lost the thundering Entwhistle, another difficult pair of shoes to even attempt to fill. The current line-up is supported by Ringo's son, Zak Starkey on drums, who has been a regular contributor, and a host of supportive greats including Pete's brother Simon. Having a catalogue like few others with Tommy, Quadrophenia and Who's Next to draw from, I for one always hope for the rare and obscure treats. So, I am glad to report that Love Reign Oer Me, The Seeker and Eminence Front made it to the set list. They had one of the best uses of a large multimedia screen I have ever seen, greatly improving the show for us in the "cheap" seats. I was glad to hear that my old friends Kevin & Roger were there (as expected). I got to see my son, Josh's response to an amazing show also enjoyed with Kath and Cousin John to cap it off right. Long Live Rock!     stshy


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