I had enough credits to graduate high school after the fall semester of my senior year. I had always taken extra classes every semester. I had zero intention of graduating early, that would have done nothing for me other than having to get a job !! I wasn’t lazy, but I knew school was a lot easier than work !
So, for the spring semester I had choir, computer science and a math class. I think I was done every day about 11:40 am. One of the things I did to fill the time was to take a computer science class at a local junior college. 1 pm-3:30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I would go home and make a quick sandwich for the drive to class and there was an FM radio station that would “track” an album every day at noon. I would throw in a 90 minute cassette tape to record it and then listen to it when I got home later. The station was a “classic rock” station and they played a lot of cool music that I would have never otherwise hear. Two albums stuck out. One was “The Best of Jethro Tull” 1976. WOW !!! What a great band, what great musicians !!
But, the one album that was played was literally an epiphany for me.
1973 “Quadrophenia” by The Who.
WOW ! WOW ! WOW !
Blew me away!! I think the first song I heard was “The Real Me.”
The drumming, the bass line, the never ending crescendos of guitars and the ripping vocals !
Man I was hooked !!
Up until that time I mostly listened to the “oldies” station on the radio (late 50’s, early 60’s) and didn’t really follow popular music of the day (1980). I was also a huge Beatlemaniac. I had all of their albums and knew every song forward and backwards.
Like I said, this was a musical epiphany for me and I have been a life long Who fan ever since. “Genius” is thrown around way too much in the world, but the Quadrophenia album showed Pete Townshend was a musical genius.