I've just read the latest excerpt of Pete Townshend's memoirs- he posts them sporadically on his blog with a view to publishing them in the near future. Even at my advanced age- much too old to be thinking about 'pop' music don't you think?- I still go through periods of obsession with Townshend and The Who as anyone who's ever had to listen to me rambling on about them will no doubt testify. In it he writes of being 'trapped' on stage- I can say without pretention (well, not much anyway!) that I've felt the same way myself sometimes, like there's things going on that you should be part of but because you can't leave the stage at that moment in time they're out of your reach. Interesting- I may return to this subject in the not-to-distant future...
Last night I saw Townshend trapped on stage with The Who at The N.I.A. in Birmingham. You won't be astonished to hear that it was a great gig in my unbiased (!) opinion with P.T. in fine guitar form as well as bantering with Daltrey about The Zimmers version of 'My Generation' (Daltrey saying how he hope's people look after them when they're old and in a nursing home, Townshend replying about how he's already got his own private nurse- much funnier than it looks here, honest!). Some 'Quadrophenia' songs back in the set too- a shame 'Black Widow's Eyes' wasn't played though. Oh well- maybe at Wembley next month?
Support came from Shack- and what a nightmare it looked to be for them. Second song in and the singer's having acoustic guitar guitar problems resulting in songs stopping and starting and much anti-Scouse heckling ('calm down calm down'- where would we all be without catchphrases from T.V. comedy shows eh?). When the strap wouldn't stay on his spare guitar he lowered the microphone stand and knelt down in front of it- and then the lead guitarist broke a string. They lost so much time fixing things that they had to cut their set short- like I say, a nightmare.
However the real support act was the 2 drunken fools in the seats in front of us. Now I've been known to drink a bit (stop sniggering at the back there) but can't quite see the point of playing a small fortune for gig tickets and then turning up so hammered that your incapable of doing anything other than annoying the people around you. The little fella was behaving like he just overdosed on speed (maybe he had!) and jumping up and down the aisle bumping into people left right and centre while the big fella concentrated on attempting to wind the audience up because he considered they weren't going wild enough. The only thing that saved them from being attacked by half the crowd was the 2 enormous security guards that removed them from the auditorium- the only time I've ever seen that happen at a gig, and a measure of the level of unrest that they were causing. They eventually returned in a rather more subdued state though when the big fella attempted to befriend Big Andy I thought he really was in for a hiding. And of course Andy would then probably have been thrown out for hitting someone. Ah the irony of it all... and how come these idiots are always in front of us?!?