This day in HISTOROCK !!
In 1965, The Who recorded "My Generation", at Pye studios, London. When released as a single it reached No.2 on the UK chart and No. 74 in the U.S. Roger Daltrey would later say that he stuttered the lyrics to try to fit them to the music. The BBC initially refused to play the song because it did not want to offend people who stutter !! The song was written by then 20 year old Pete Townsend and went through many stages before the final product was finished !! It initially began as a slow song with a blues feel, but when finished was at a much faster tempo than the earlier version. The idea to speed up the song actually came from The Who's manager at the time, Kit Lambert.
The story goes that Townsend wrote "My Generation" on a train and was inspired in part by the Queen, who is alleged to have had Townshend's 1935 Packard hearse towed off a street in Belgravia because she was offended by the sight of it during her daily drive through the neighborhood. Townsend said the song was also largely inspired by Mose Allison's "Young Man Blues". "Without Mose I wouldn't have written 'My Generation'." Townshend also told Rolling Stone magazine in 1985 that "'My Generation' was very much about trying to find a place in society. I was very, very lost. The band was young then. It was believed that its career would be incredibly brief" !! In a later interview on Good Morning America, in 1989, Townshend talked about the famous line "I hope I die before I get old". He said "when I wrote the lyrics, "old", it meant "very rich". It is one of the most-quoted—and patently rewritten—lines in rock history !!
Another important aspect of "My Generation" is Daltrey's delivery, an angry and frustrated stutter. There are numerous stories as to the reason for this distinct delivery by Daltrey. One story was that the stutter was introduced to give the group a framework for implying an expletive in the lyrics: "Why don't you all fff... fade away!" However, producer Shel Talmy insisted it was simply "one of those happy accidents" that he thought they should keep. "My Generation" also features one of the first bass solos in rock history. John Entwistle used a new-on-the-market Danelectro bass to play it, but after he kept breaking strings trying to record it, he ended up recording his parts using his Fender Jazz bass !! His bass solos on this song threw off directors on TV shows. When it got to his part, the cameras would often go to guitarist Pete Townshend, and his fingers wouldn't be moving lol. And drummer Keith Moon's contribution to the song? Well, he played like he always did - like the complete madman that he was !!
And who can forget their performance of "My Generation" on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. This was another defining moment in television !! As they often did during that period, The Who destroyed their instruments at the conclusion of their performance. However, Keith figured they should go out with a bang. He got a stage hand to overload his kick drum with explosives. When they were detonated, the explosion was so intense that Moon was injured by cymbal shrapnel and bandmate Pete Townshend's hearing was permanently damaged !! Keith was one crazy guy !! Keith just liked blowing things up, including cherry bombing toilets in hotels while on tour !! Here is some fantastic video of that performance including the songs "I Can See For Miles" and "My Generation" and the explosion at the end !! Tommy Smothers doesn't know WTF to say. lmao !! Enjoy :-)
The Who - Live Smothers Brothers 1967 (Uncut)
Keep on ROCKIN !!