With all this talk about the Who — I thought it might be a good time for a pic of the band.





Posted in Music | Tagged | 110 Comments

110 Responses to Who

  1. Neil Jones says:

    Hey Bruce,
    I thought The Who’s Glasto show was ok actually. I haven’t seen the live since John died – it just wouldn’t be the same but I thought they bought the festivities to a grand (if predictable) finale. *I did see the ‘catch up’ version of their set so maybe somebody had altered the mix for the better by then!

    • Bruce says:

      It all depends whether you’re ‘mature’ enough to have seen them in the early to mid 1970s. Then you’d be aware of the gulf. They used to be untouchable. Still, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      • Neil Jones says:

        No, not quite old enough to have seen them in their pomp with Keith. That would have been something. A favourite Glasto memory was the secret Attractions set in ’87. £21 for a ticket in those days!! And quite a bit of mud if memory serves.

      • Bruce says:

        Yep, that set was pretty much the end of an era. £21 for a load of mud sounds quite reasonable though.

  2. Mike Miller says:

    They postponed the KC show till December. You’re new comments are spot on. They’re just juicing the bank accounts now. I will always remember them as the “Live at Leeds” era band. ’68 to ’73 they could not be touched. Period.

    • Bruce says:

      Yes, you told me that Daltrey wasn’t up to it any more, as did my friend Barry Moorhouse. But I didn’t realize that they’ve fallen behind the Stones and Zep in terms of what they now put out. By far the best of the old boys reunions were the Cream revival concerts, which were actually an improvement on the former version — but even they were now 10 years ago!

    • Mike Miller says:

      The band we knew and loved ended in ’76 for all practical purposes. Now, it’s “The PT Band featuring RD performing the music of The Who”. I’ll see them in December, but it’s Pete who I only really care to see.

      • Bruce says:

        You’re right, my friend. I just watched the Vegas Job show last night, from 1999. Daltrey was already losing his power. I really don’t like Townshend playing a Stratocaster — far too clean. That, calming down and being more musical worked for Cream, but it doesn’t for the Who. Fortunately in ’99 they still had Mr Entwistle and his bass playing was undiminished. When he went, it really was the end.

      • Mike Miller says:

        Saw them last in Dec of ’07. Rog had a bad cold and couldn’t sing, Pino didn’t really add much and Rabbit Bundrick had just left the tour to be with his dying wife. Pete was great, however. Especially when they did “Sparks” from Tommy.

        Here’s his guitar tech explaining the Strat use:


      • Bruce says:

        OK — it sounds like a stereo wasp in a bottle 🙂

      • Mike Miller says:

        I’m sure Fender keeps him well supplied with guitars and amps. Hiwatt’s are too loud and Les Paul’s too heavy.

  3. Mike Miller says:

    Here’s a great live track from the ’83 PTC tour:


    Love to hear your thoughts on this era and the expanded band.

    • Bruce says:

      It sounds like we had a plane to catch! I have to say the expanded line-up wasn’t without its trials. In fact there’s quite a lot to say aboutthat era and it deserves a more considered reply than I can give in the comments box in a couple of minutes. Your request is duly noted, I won’t forget — but I’ll get back to you shortly. I’m just about to take my Ma on holiday for a couple of weeks, so I’ll have time to mull it all over betwixt and between.

  4. Jenner does seem to be the only person of any substance who is part of that Kardashian family and their asinine show – a show that I have never watched, but which seems to have enthralled American audiences. You folks in the UK must think we are absolutely insane with these shows and the “reality television” personas that they promote.

    • Bruce says:

      Don’t worry — we’ve got enough celebrity nonentities of our own flooding th airwaves.

      • Mike Miller says:

        The FIFA crooks are thanking him for knocking them off the news cycle.

      • Bruce says:

        I see the FIFA self-promotional feature that they spent $30 mill making opened in the US this last weekend — it took slightly less than $400 on its first weekend. About right, I’d say. The same thing that happened at the UCI to use a whistleblower to get Lance to bring down Pat McQuaid is now playing out. Using Chuck Blazer to get to Blatter. We can only thank Team America World Police for doing the right thing and starting the process.

  5. Mike Miller says:

    How ’bout that Bruce Jender? What a racket he cooked up. At least an adadictome wasn’t necessary in this case.

  6. Mike Miller says:

    This is quite interesting plus the responses below:


    I think it means that we both started out at a much better time.

    • Bruce says:

      The genie is out of the bottle — and the bomb can’t be uninvented. If technology is progress — then it’s progress to give cannibals microwave ovens …etc, etc…

      • Mike Miller says:

        This comment from the article sums it up best, I think:

        I think Albini makes some good though obvious points here; however, I’m not sure I entirely follow him off the cliff as he attempts to dance on the alleged graves of major labels and pop entertainment in general. The interested party that has profited most from the demise of the physical music business has been big tech– say what you will about major labels, at least they made music. Now it’s just hardware and selling user data to Google et al. The new normal has only really democratized music in the sense that all artists are, relatively, equally screwed. The major label system was corrupt and lame but at least in the old days they cared in some way about music; now it’s entertainment-corporate conglomerates who could care less about music or music culture. Music isn’t profitable and at best it’s a waystation to get certain people to buy into something deeper and more truly addictive. If in the past major labels wanted you to buy some stupid record, now they are using vestiges of sentimental rock culture to get you to buy the cool punk mayonnaise or whatever. Or to feel about your smartphone the way you used to feel about SST records. Or whatever. I love Albini and I don’t think he’s wrong per se, but the major labels survived just fine by sidestepping music altogether. Why bother getting people to buy tickets to a Slayer concert when you can get every hipster in the metro area to give Converse their demographic data in the hopes of getting into a free show? The music, whether on record or in concert, is irrelevant, sadly.

      • Bruce says:

        There are many angles to it all — that’s one. At least Taylor Swift told Spotify to do one — good on her.

  7. Bruce, what do you think of The Clientele, if you are familiar with them? If not – they are a Scottish group that, in my opinion, is carrying on the legacy of the best of the true British psychedelic rock. Actually, I’d describe it more as “opiate rock,” in the sense that it sounds hazy and dream-like. But I truly think if John Lennon were still alive and making music, this is what it might sound like.

    Two songs from their earlier album, recorded in 2001:

    We Could Walk Together – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbW2jTUUf78

    Joseph Cornell – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abuW3tBBXqY

    A more recent one:

    Bonfires on the Heath – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRXcy3PIT-4

    Their frontman, Alasdair MacLean, is a good guitarist with a unique sound. And I like their bassist, James Hornsey. He has a restrained, but melodic, style.

  8. Some of the other posters here, do a favor and try clicking the reply buttons on these most recent posts – the problem might just be with my browser. But if others have the same issue, it’s probably with the site’s programming. Obviously I’m still able to reply by using the form all the way at the bottom of the page.

    • Bruce says:

      I got cat video originally but am now getting the Facebook error message, too. It’s a very long link so it may be corrupted, or be a dead link removed from Facebook. I’ve tested the Reply button and they seem to be working OK.

  9. Something is wrong here – firstly, the link to the cat video takes me to an error message on Facebook, but secondly, I also cannot click the “reply” button on that post by Mike Miller or any of the Replies to it. There may be an error with the page .

    • Bruce says:

      Brilliant. It doesn’t look faked either. Check it out, Adam!

    • Roddy Ring says:

      That’s a good one. I’ll refrain from any female feline jokes. But here’s a good one I hadn’t seen in a while that takes a poke at those of us on the western side of the pond:

      A German, looking for directions in Paris, pulls up to a bus stop where two Americans are waiting. “Entschuldigung, sprechen Sie Deutsch?” he asks. The two Americans just stare at him. “Parlez-vous français?” he says. The two continue to stare, so the German tries again, “Parlate italiano?” No response. “¿Hablan ustedes español?” Still nothing. Frustrated, the German guy drives off.

      The first American says, “You know, we should learn a foreign language.”
      “Why?” asks the other. “He knew four languages, and it didn’t do him any good.”

      • Bruce says:

        Quite so …and beautifully puctuated, too. Now here’s a rare combined cat-language joke…

        What’s the difference between a cat and a comma?

        A cat has claws at the ends of its paws …and a comma is a pause at the end of a clause.

  10. Jerry Cohen says:

    Look who’s on this list. Pretty far down, but right above Bill Wyman. Not bad! http://vinylmanifesto.com/know-your-bass-player-2015/

  11. Mike Miller says:

    He got a little cranky in his later years, but I’ve noticed he always shook your hand.


  12. Mike Miller says:

    Sad about B.B.’s passing. One of a kind that I doubt we’ll ever again.

    I know you were a big fan.

  13. Mike Miller says:

    I think the Who’s “Quadrophenia” album is overall their best studio album. What’s your thoughts on it?

  14. Mike Miller says:

    What about Cameron? The pundits here said he would be out.

    • Bruce says:

      The pundits here did, too… But let’s review the nine election winners, since the great British electorate last voted in a left-wing government…

      – Right-wing
      – Right-wing
      – Right-wing
      – Right-wing
      – Centre-left
      – Centre-left
      – Centre-left
      – Right-wing propped up by centre
      – Right-wing

      That great “yearning for a return to true socialism, reintroduce 95% taxation, uncontrolled immigration, a few million extra public-sector non-jobs, price controls, wage controls, nationalise everything in sight” majority has kept itself pretty well-hidden hasn’t it? …Or maybe they just decided against switching to a complete dork.

      • Mike Miller says:

        The definition of a “Conservative” is quite different between our respective countries. Socialism is certainly what our country has been working for for the last 100 years or so. “Progressivism” they call it. The mainstream media here consider people in “fly-over” country, dorks.

        What is the tax rate now in the UK?

        If you time, watch some of this, which explains how the progressive movement got going in this country.. After the intro, you can skip to about 15 mins in.


      • Bruce says:

        Our basic tax rate is 23%, then 40% and then 50% — I don’t know what the thresholds are. Anybody liable for higher tax usually finds a way of shifting their money somewhere safe. As Leona M Helmsley said: “Only the little people pay taxes.” But when we last had a full-on socialist government, the top tax rate was 95% — hence George Harrison’s line: “There’s one for you, nineteen for me, cos I’m the taxman.” People came to their senses just in time to have a “progressive” Marxist government this time. When it comes to Marx, there ain’t a lot of difference between Karl and Groucho, as comedians go.

      • Mike Miller says:

        What’s your thought on Thatcher? I thought it was a bit odd seeing young people in the street celebrating her death. Most I saw couldn’t have even been alive when she was in power.

      • Bruce says:

        She wasn’t the most likeable of characters, but without her England would’ve ended up like Albania. Even Elvis wrote a song about dancing on her grave. But he was a bit of a sham-pain socialist 🙂

        Here’s an American commentator’s take on the recent UK election:

      • Mike Miller says:

        I do agree with you regarding Scotland. Let them go off on their own and see what happens. Just like California, they’d last about 5 minutes. Sounds like Cameron’s on the right track, though.

      • Bruce says:

        I forgot about The People’s Republic of California — did that all fizzle out?

    • Mike Miller says:

      I can understand California residents frustration, and like Illinois, they have so much debt they will most likely have to be bailed out and many pensioners will get screwed. Too many takers and not enough makers.


  15. Still slightly high after a stoned walk through the beautiful tree-lined neighborhood on this glorious spring day…turn on “Watch Your Step” from Trust…listen to that thick, punchy, melodic bass, squealing organ, and rock-solid drum beat of the intro….yeah…it does not get much better than that, does it?

    • Bruce says:

      Only you can say if it gets any better… But here’s a different question — guess where I pinched the bass line from?
      Clue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r17KaC7C5D4

      • Great! The best bassists are the ones who cleverly appropriate parts of melodic riffs for their own playing – no shame in it at all. Jaco Pastorius did it constantly, and preached its value in interviews.

        As for whether it got better than that – as a matter of fact, it HAS gotten better than that – as I am currently sitting on my floor embroidering a guitar strap with an…er…very strongly worded criticism of a local music store that I am bitter about.

        I have bought numerous things over the years there. Yet they are always very unfriendly to musicians. I was playing a bass upstairs there – there was NOBODY up there other than an employee of the store – a low-level employee, not managerial – and we casually talked while I played (note – PLAYED – not ‘tonelessly noodled around, or mindlessly blasted on it with the amp cranked up). I was having a good time until the owner/manager of the place came up and called over the employee, some distance away, and began talking, while gesturing towards me. I overheard their conversation, which included the phrases “not interested in buying any specific bass” and “thinks he can just do whatever the hell he wants” – spoken by said manager in a very surly tone of voice. I put away the bass, told them I heard everything, then got the hell out. (And just two days earlier I had bought an expensive Levy’s strap there!)

        Every music store I’ve ever been in in my life, they are happy to let you play on their instruments for as long as you like. I thought maybe they just acted like this with scruffy young guys – then I recounted the story to my former bass instructor. A professional touring and session musician, and former principal double bass of the Jerusalem Philharmonic. “Yeah, they did that to ME too. And I was going to buy a $2000 American Fender from them!”

        So now I feel dirty and ashamed every time I see the strap that I bought from that vile place. And so I’m decorating it with a little punk-rock touch. A strongly worded, two-letter message, in large letters that I cut out from a white t-shirt. I’ll just say its abbreviation is F. V.

        The name of the store is called Vance, by the way.

      • Bruce says:

        Good for you. I’ve just had a similar contretemps with an e-commerce site that bascially treated me like shit and doesn’t reply to e-mails. I ended up scouring the internet till I found an online business article in an investment magazine that had the CEO’s contact number in it for prospective investors (it’s a new company). I called him personally. He was most surprised. As soon as I get the money I’m due I’ll be FV-ing his business, too. What’s the matter with these people? You’d think in this day and age, people would be glad to encourage custom or sell anyone a bass (I know I am!)– or just act like creatures that can actually walk on their hind legs. The only thing that should be banned from music stores a little twonks playing the riff to ‘Black Night’. Of course, you could always pop round and superglue his locks one night. …Then you’ll enjoy that zen glow all over again.

      • Did I say “two-letter message.” I meant TWO word message….which could be abbreviated “F.V.” It’s looking good so far. Will post a pic when done.

        I can understand a soulless online establishment giving a customer the third degree, yet I cannot wrap my head around the idea of a brick-and-mortar music store being so rude to their walk-in customers when there is so much competition from the internet and from national chains like Guitar Center. This is a locally owned store, and so (like basically every such place) you’d think they’d really go out of their way to be welcoming. Almost all others do, so I don’t know why this one establishment is so unfriendly. I’ve since heard many similar stories about them from others.

      • Bruce says:

        There’s a cycle shop exactly like that in town — you’d think he didn’t want customers, so I know exactly what you mean.

      • Bruce says:

        Nice cat George, nice strap. Good on you.

      • Roddy Ring says:

        Bruce Thomas – Plays Bass…Writes Books…Admires Cats and Embroidery

      • Bruce says:

        Yes that has a certain ring to it … ooops, excuse me.

    • Mike Miller says:

      I’d say the cable tv suppliers are amongst the most despised by mankind in this country. Snakes.

  16. Mike Miller says:

    This is the Who that I shall always remember:


  17. Roddy Ring says:

    Some of the local funk players (Go-Go as it is called around DC) used to jack their basses up to their necks like that. Did you ever go for that look or sling it down by your knees as the grundge boys?

    • Bruce says:

      No, I never went for that under the chin look. Apart from the fact that its impossible to play a groove like that, it seemed to be more geeky playes that went for it — like the Pacemakers and Hermann’s Hermits (the honourable exception to the rule being Lord Entwistle). That said, I never went for the Ramones, New York Dolls hang it round your knees approach either, My stance (literally) is a prime example of the Bauhaus ethos “form follows function”. Not only is the best place to play the bass is where I have it, like a pair of old Levis, sitting on the hip, but it coincidentally looks cooler because it’s not so extreme. So there.

  18. David Witherington says:

    Hey, Bruce…that pic is awesome! It would have made a nice picture sleeve for “The Kids Are Alright” single. Or “I’m a Boy” (since Pete is off-camera… hehe.). The Who will always be in my Top 5 favorite bands. John Entwistle knew how to bring melodic hooks to the bottom like another of my favorite bassists. 😉

    • Bruce says:

      Yeah I like that pic, too — white stockings and bobbed hair — it reminds me of my youth (no, I wasn’t a cross-dresser). The Who are most definitely in my Top 5 all-time bands. But the Top 1 – Rock Band. John Entwistle was a friend of my colleague Barry Moorhouse, and John often appeared at promo events for the Bass Centre. Using his full stage rig in a room of a couple of hundred people, he and a drummer would play for 20 minutes, where he’d just improvise. There’s no doubt whatsoever, we were watching a master at work.

  19. Paul Inglis says:

    They were never as good after she left!

  20. Roddy Ring says:

    I count only three in the band, or is that Mr. Townshend in the Polka Dots?

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