First thing you want to do is stay away from that heavy metal mike Daltry is hurling around like some Gaucho tomahawk. He had it made special for the act, don’t cha know? Still do not — while dodging the tomahawk — shuffle off to the Townsend zone where he’s twerking about like some MotoPsycho Nightmare on a weekend pass. He’ll hammer your face with a broken Tamborine. It needs a new drumhead. Could be yours. Deal with that as best you can but don’t forget to tune your tempo to Keith Moon’s tom-toms. You know, the ones where he is dead on time with a whisp of the next now in each beat. Plus it’s the last look at Moon before he left to sit in with the reaper. You got to admit he’s brilliant crisp for a man taking his last bow.
All of which rolls along to a bold proclamation paired with a vague promise:
Okay. Good. Call me.
Forget it, man. You try to think about that too hard and… and… WHABONG! I mean it’s like Keith Moon ARMED with a gong man hits you — hits you! — with a GONG! Who puts this stuff in the middle of Top-40 rock songs? Who gives Keith Moon a gong in the first place? Then there’s no real vocal outro only Daltry grinding on and on on the harp and Townsend hopping about on a psychedelic pogo stick. And all the while the super-chill never bent Entwistle keeps the whole band standing on their shadows when the track shatters in a brash of cymbals with “THEY’RE ALL WASTED!”
This song defies explication. It’s not a song but a thing; an object d’art made of solid rock. If that ain’t too persnickety.
The Shepperton Studios performance seen above was the song exhibited in its original intensity. Later, being unable to leave the perfect undisturbed, the aging Who forgot to “get off the stage before the light dims.” Instead, they cranked out this geriatric The Who – Baba O’Riley (Live In Hyde Park) to the whoops of millennial groundlings who — even though many microdosed inside a nitrous oxide haze — had no idea at all what they had missed decades back. Previous, previous. Instead, they all went home with t-shirts that said “We had the experience but missed the meaning.”