Skip to 11:02

Last night we were out for dinner and I had a huge meal with desert and drinks and cheese and everything. I soporifically slumped onto the couch when we got home, and turned on the TV at this exact moment: Keith Moon throwing a drum, just as the good part of “A Quick One…” starts. It’s from The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, which is overall a dull production that exhibits a lot of the dumbest aesthetics of the 60s. But… this (make sure it starts at 11:02 to recreate my experience):


I never really listen to The Who… but this video is a fantastic reminder of what made the two interesting members of the band (Keith and Pete – see how John and Roger, both dressed head to toe in leather, are looking over to see what the real rock stars are doing) legends, and how if they had quietly retired in 1972 we would be none the poorer.

I get why the Stones and the Who and other aging rockers plodded (and plod) on, lazy and ruined by success. Who could resist? But look at them in 1968! Ignore the jumpy editing and look at Keith’s face while he plays! Pete windmilling for keeps (and still playing an SG)!  It’s so easy to forget how phenomenal they were when our memories are crowded with the much, much, much, longer stretch of mediocrity to follow.

I will not make a parable out of this, but just point out that while thinking these thoughts I was reminded of this recent post over at DrugMonkey.


7 Comments on “Skip to 11:02”

  1. Steve Shea (@sheacshl) says:

    Brilliant entry. I too am fascinated by the disparity between our generational perception of boomer rock icons, colored as it is by years of stink beyond their welcome, and their frequent past greatness. In fact, I made a series of Facebook posts a while back that I titled “Before They Sucked” consisting of amazing performances by artists who have been dreadful for as long as I can remember. The following is my favorite. Who knew Rod Stewart had it in him?

    Incidentally, I love The Who and this is an amazing set. Interestingly, they are my 7 yo son’s favorite band. He told me the version of Magic Bus is “the most rocking thing I have ever heard”. I can’t easily disagree.

  2. DrugMonkey says:

    The Stones..sure. But don’t ever speak ill of The Who. Even if Roger was a twit. Entie not a rock star? Clearly you don’t understand bass my friend.

  3. rxnm says:

    Steve, That is awesome….The Faces are great and Stewart must be one of one most extreme cool–>suck trajectories of all time. (I can get into Mandolin Wind on occasion.) Who else topped the list besides REM? What about the other way: little initial promise but later blossomed? Radiohead? The Beatles?

    Sorry, DM, I just can’t condone Quadrophenia onward. And it is the fate of all bass players except Macca to be underappreciated or ignored. It’s not fair, but there it is. They are the permadocs of the rock and roll world. And any credibility rock bass players ever accrued was lost on a single fateful night in 1986:

  4. Steve Shea (@sheacshl) says:

    You know I have mad respect for your taste but I agree with DM. Anyone who feels that way about Entwistle clearly hasn’t seen this truly incredible clip. Don’t be fooled by the lack of windmills:

    Not even the monumental buffoonery of that clown from VH can even nick the badassedness of that.

    I also made posts for U2 and Sting but I’m still looking for the right jaw dropping performances from Aerosmith, Phil Collins/Genesis, and Steve Winwood.

  5. DrugMonkey says:

    Thanks for the hours I burned on YouTube listening to bass players…..

  6. DrugMonkey says:

    Cool -> suck?


  7. rxnm says:

    Elvis for sure. And Sting: Outlandos d’Amour to singing about being a New Orleans vampire in like 7 years… tragicomedy.

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