|Tales From The Who
Tuesday December 4, 1973
A sell-out crowd of 19,500 packed the Spectrum for a gross of $135,000.
The show was recorded for broadcast on the King Biscuit Flower Hour, as was
the following night in Largo, Maryland. It was an edited version of
this night's concert that was aired on March 31, 1974.
After a lengthy version of 'My
Wife' follower by a superbly fast and hard performance of 'My Generation',
which maintained its energy through seven minutes and some brilliant guitar
soloing from Townshend, the Quadrophenia section of the show was less
impressive. Pete said "The better part of an album what we wrote about
ourselves being Mods, when we were little. The story about the Mod kid
and we call it Quadrophenia... Being Mod meant a lot more in
England I think than it ever did in America. I think you think of it
being a Carnaby street thing... And it's not just a looking back, it's
a kind of bringing up to date. Quadrophenia's about where we
all are today, maybe you too. The story is set on a rock in the middle
of a stormy sea. In Quadrophonic, as well!" Pete started playing
a bit a little too soon before the tape of 'I Am The Sea' had finished.
Explaining 'I'm One', Pete said: "The next song is called 'I'm One', what I
sing and it's about the way I felt, 'cause I wrote it. When I was a
nipper I always used to feel that the guitar was all I had... I wasn't tough
enough to be in a gang, I wasn't good looking enough to be with the birds,
not clever enough to make it at school, not good enough on my feet to be a
good football player, I was a fucking loser. I think everyone feels
that way at some point. And somehow being a Mod - even though I was
too old to be a Mod really - I wrote this song with that in mind.
Jimmy, the hero of the story, is kinda thinking he hasn't got much going for
himself but at least he's one."
'Sea And Sand' slowed down into
a single guitar riff and built up again as Daltrey sang 'I'm The Face', and
'Drowned' featured some fine ensemble playing. 'Bell Boy' sounded
rather clumsy but Keith Moon enlivened the song with his funny amendment of
the lyric to "remember the place in Canada that we smashed." The
average quality of the Quadrophenia performances was more than
compensated for by 'Won't Get Fooled Again', a fine 'See Me, Feel Me' and
'Pinball Wizard'. Townshend introduced the latter as 'Pineball
Blizzard'. The radio broadcast omitted 'My Wife', 'Punk And The
Godfather', '5:15', and 'Love Reign O'er Me'. The remaining show had
the four letter words in the announcements edited out, as well as from 'Dr.
Jimmy', although Daltrey had slipped a "fucking" into the last verse of 'My
Generation' which seemingly was broadcast unnoticed!
The 16-track master tapes of the
show (and Largo, MD, the two night later) have been carefully preserved by
King Biscuit Flower Hour for future use, but The Who have always
considered them unsuitable for release.
Guitar destroyed: Gibson Les
Paul Deluxe - Cherry Sunburst.