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6 Reasons The Who Is Better Than That Stupid Band You Like

Pete Townshend on Woodstock: "A lot of Americans congratulating themselves on the fact that this festival was gonna change the world."

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

April 25, 2012 - 10:30 am

 #4 – The Who Sing About the Same Thing Most of the Time

Some might think this is a negative. However, almost all great artists work and rework the same plot of psychic land all their lives:

Monet and his waterlillies. Woody Allen and a single slender demographic of New Yorkers.

The awkward teenaged male is Pete Townshend’s Mount Fuji.

Hence Judd Apatow’s choice of Quadrophenia‘s poignant “I’m One,” for an otherwise silent scene in Freaks and Geeks, creating one of the most poignant and beautifully observed TV moments of the last 15 years:

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By rights, Townshend’s particular muse should have become a handicap, an embarrassment (like a disfiguring, inoperable growth) decades ago.

Ironically, though, Townshend’s apparently arrested adolescence has… matured.

This paradox has let him, and us, travel from this (1965):

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To this (1973):

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To this (2004):

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We’re walking the same path three times. However, the first time, we’re doing so in spring. The second, round about Labor Day. The third, in winter.

When people say “some things just never get old,” those are, amusingly enough, exactly the sorts of “things” they mean.

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