Happy Birthday Pete Townshend (May 19th).
I'm reading Pete's (auto?)biography that I picked up in Cooma for $4 on a bargain/sale table on my recent road-trip, because reading about the influences of his generation on his songwriting and pop culture helps me understand the influences his songwriting had on me and my generation and our pop culture and the generations still following and helps me understand a little better just WHO(?) I am as well.
Pete sarcastically dedicated 'My Generation' to the Queen Mother and The Who performed it on 'Top of the Pops' on November 11th of all days...a day of the year where current generations remember fallen generations of soldiers who had given their lives in battle for the generations to come.
|The cinema I first saw '2001: A Space Odyssey' in, now gone.|
|The Pinball Wizard on the day of the 'Tommy' screening.|
I had recently watched my DVD copy of 'Tommy' just before I had set off on my road-trip thinking it would be great to know more about Pete Townshend's life after watching his interview in the extras on the DVD and then I stumbled across Pete's book the day after Prince had passed away.
I taped up some nifty Pop Art images cut from magazines, set up a record player and lived like a prince."
Sometimes It Snows In April
.On page 113 Pete writes,"I couldn't see how to write about LSD, purple skies and free love.
Despite my admiration of extemporized jazz I had no idea how to bring it into The Who's music.
I couldn't see how The Who would ever become a band admired for their musicianship and ideology as well as their clothes, ideas, gimmicks, Pop Art transferences and aggression."
Sometimes It Snows In April
Harts is described as being a cross between Jimi Hendrix and Prince.
Pete writes quite a bit in his book about Hendrix and their paths crossing and influencing each other's music and performances and sometimes nearly coming to blows.
Townshend refers to Jimi Hendrix constantly in his book as a musical shaman and writes of tripping out while watching a Hendrix performance in a London bar while being stone cold sober.
not because I thought there was such a thing as a purple pill, but just because the famous colours of the pills in the matrix mixed together would make purple.
Then I read this passage in Townshend's book about a purple pill he once took, "Keith and John produced large purple pills we'd all been given by Owsley Stanley, the first underground chemist to mass-produce LSD, and Keith popped one.
These pills, known as "Purple Owsleys'" , had been widely used at the festival.
As the plane took off, Karen and I split half a pill.
John wisely demurred.
Within half an hour my life had been turned upside down.
The Owsley LSD trip on the aeroplane was the most disturbing experience I had ever had....
I was on the verge of really losing my mind when I floated up to the ceiling, staying inside the airframe, and watched as everything changed in scale.
karen and Pete sat below me, clutching onto each other; she was slapping his face gently, figuring he had fallen asleep.
From my vantage point the LSD trip was over.
Everything was quiet and peaceful.
I could see clearly now, my eyes focused, my senses realigned, yet I was completely disembodied.
I looked down at Kieth picking his teeth, characteristically preoccupied, and at John reading a magazine.
As I took this in I heard a female voice gently saying,"You have to go back. You can not stay here".
But I'm terrified. If I go back, I feel as if I'll die.
"You won't die. You can not stay here".
As I drifted back down towards my body, I began to feel the effects of the LSD kicking back in.
The worst seemed to be over: as I settled in the experience, though extreme, felt like me old trips of old: everything saturated by wonderful colour and sound."
I've never taken anything like LSD in my life, but where have I heard something like that before?-)
Orbs, Plasmas and Dreamtime?
|The book I bought in Tamworth two days after buying Pete's book.|
|The inside cover of Pete Townshend's 'Who I Am'.|
The day after buying Pete's book I was in Tamworth at the big Golden Guitar shop and bought the book, 'Stars, Hurrahs and Golden Guitars'.
Hurrahs mean goodbyes and in that same store I bought a purple cup with 3-D planets and stars on it.
Pop Culture and Synchronicity on the Road
I was laughing to myself on the Saturday and Sunday I was in Tamworth thinking if the people of Tamworth saw Pete Townshend drive into town the security at the Golden Guitar Centre would go into meltdown to keep him away from that giant guitar in the car-park. ;-)
I laughed also when I read in 'Who I Am' about Pete asking Jimi Hendrix if he could have a piece of his broken guitar as a souvenir to take home after a show they had both played at in The States together and Hendrix said to Townshend sarcastically, "I guess you'd like me to autograph it, as well?"
And now I see in the news that Prince's yellow (golden?) guitar is going up for auction.
Prince’s ‘yellow cloud’ guitar to go up for auction next month
"A bright yellow, uniquely shaped guitar used by Prince to perform such tunes as Cream and Gett Off is going up for auction.Heritage Auctions is selling one of the late artist’s “yellow cloud” electric guitars from June 24 with an opening bid of $US30,000 ($41,285.35).
The guitar was one of several custom guitars the pop star used in the 1980s and 1990s."
I was thinking, now there would be a test for Pete Townshend's "performance art" if he were to outbid and win the guitar at the auction and then smash it up and try to explain that act to Prince fans.
I'm sure the Prince fans would be asking Pete just WHO the f#ck he thinks he is.
Happy Birthday Pete...WHOever the f#ck you are.