“Who Are You”

Like a billion other people, one of the activities I did in college was work on a college radio station.  It was at an out of state college and I stayed there for the summer and worked at the college bookstore in the daytime, and the radio station at night.

Not a hugely complicated task. The station “manager” had a playlist for our format but there were open times we could “wing it”.  The student manager was a bit of a jerk and a bit mad with power.  He took his responsibilities waaaaaaaay too seriously. “Every document we sign or fill out is a government document !!!!”

Well, because “Fuck” is said a few times on the album version of “Who Are You”, he literally scratched the song off of the station’s copy of the album.

HA !!

I had my own copy.  I brought it in one Thursday night and played the song around 10 pm.

He was knocking on the door by the time the second “Fuck” came on !!!

This album for me was really the last of the great Who albums.  No knock on Kenny Jones, but he ain’t no Keith Moon.  The Who was a group where the sum of the parts was far greater than the whole and without one part, there really was no whole.

Also, it was a bout this time that Pete changed his guitars.  His best work was done with the Gibson Les Paul’s, SG’s and his Gretsch.  Most of his work since has been with Fender Strat’s and Tele’s.

This was also the last Who album that had great Roger Daltry vocals. (and fabulous hair)

Rule 5: “Can You See The Real Me?”

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 !

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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.

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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 !!

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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 !!

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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.

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