For the anniversary of one of rock’s greatest live concert recordings ever, Live at Leeds , we have In the Studio this week The Who’s Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, plus archive comments from the late John Entwistle. As surprising as it may seem, not all famous rock’n’roll musicians are comfortable talking about their past, even involving their times of greatest creative accomplishment, fame, and fortune. The reasons can be myriad and not immediately obvious. Recalling your naive exploits, often at a time barely out your teens, can be awkward from the current perspective of a 50- or 60- year old. Frequently the songs, albums, and tours are tied inextricably to behind-the-scenes issues of lawsuits, sour business deals, personnel defections and firings, and personal losses which are painful to re-examine. Some fading stars whose careers are struggling now are loathe to revisit past glories simply because it underscores for them just how far from grace they’ve fallen. And more than one famous rock star simply cannot remember key periods in their lives due to memory blackouts, a frightening and unfortunately permanent result of alcoholism or drug abuse.
Pete Townshend of The Who has no such reservations, discussing easily the merits of The Who’s music from 1964’s “I Can’t Explain” right up to their current tour, as well as their demerits for the band’s behavior along the way. As The Who’s recognized “Supreme Creator”, Townshend has assessed their half-century of musical creation and found it to be good. Pete is a delightful, witty, thoughtful, and refreshingly honest conversationalist who can easily and effectively examine The Who’s body of work through a slightly-detached objective eye which only the passage of time, plus maturity, can provide. -Redbeard
(David Spero in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame basement in Cleveland with actual Who HiWatt amp head, cabinet, and road cases )