Monday, July 17, 2006

What I Think is Easily One of the Most Exciting Moments in Movie History

Pete Townshend is pissed off at having to play the song for the second time; the film's director feels the first time wasn't special enough to end the film. Pete disagrees, and isn't shy about showing his displeasure at being made to caper like a candy-ass; by the end, he smashes his guitar for the first time in years, feeling like he's in rock and roll again.

This is, IMHO, the greatest performance by the greatest rock band in history. And in one of those ironies that happens too often in rock, it was their last. After the synthesizer break, from Keith's drum solo to Pete's jump, is one of my favorite film sequences.

And if you haven't seen the movie The Kids Are Alright, see it immediately.


norm said...

Fuck YES!
I'd heard of that moment long before I ever saw it.
It was a legend in my high school.

The Who owns rock n roll.

Bg Porter said...

Long ago on Compuserve, you spanked me down hard after I made a disparaging remark about the Who. It's all flooding back to me again, and I feel waves of shame that've been aging for 12 years like Scotch. I can taste the Peat!

Michael Markowitz said...

Norm, I still remember going to see that movie every night when it opened, and then dragging Molly, whom you know to see it. She came out of it smitten with Pete.

bg, and it still stings! Compuserve may be gone (it is gone, isn't it?), but if you disparage the Who again, the smackdown will sting anew!!! ;-)

howard said...

I had the good fortune of seeing The Who several times before Moon died. This was a particularly brilliant, joyful performance.

It's hard to believe Keith never practiced. And hardly ever played between gigs.

Michael Markowitz said...

He seemed to reach down inside himself and shed the illness, the age, the weight and become once again that kid you see in the archival footage in the film. It's miraculous.

The amazing thing about The Who, particularly on Who's Next and Quadrophenia (my favorite album) is that there are frequent times, for all intents and purposes, when John and Pete are playing rhythm and Keith is playing lead! I don't think any other band has duplicated this formulation.

I just saw them last year, and I have to say that Zak Starkey is kicking ass.

norm said...

I only saw the Who once, back in '82 on their first farwell tour.
Unfortunately, no Keith Moon, but the Clash opened for that was cool.

And as for Molly being smitten with Pete...who wasn't?

(By the way, how's she doing these days?)

LaPopessa said...

You've got that right! It's been years since I've seen that movie and you've got me in the mood to see it again. My favorite scenes are Moon at his drums, pouring his soul into those beats.