Thursday, March 28, 2024

Quote of the Day (Pete Townshend, on the Ultimate Optimism of ‘Tommy’)

“I don’t want it to feel as though I think ‘Tommy’ needs to be treated only seriously. It has lightheartedness and joy. It has the idea that whether you’re an abused child or a healthy child, we prevail ultimately, by turning toward the light. That’s simplistic but it’s also powerful, particularly when set to music.”—Rock ‘n’ roll songwriter and The Who guitarist Pete Townshend, on the upcoming revival of his “rock opera” “Tommy,” quoted by Rob Tannenbaum, “Talking to a New Generation,” The New York Times, Mar. 24, 2024

It will be interesting to see the reviews following “Tommy”’s opening tonight at the Nederlander Theatre. But, however it’s received, the music’s place in rock ‘n’ roll history is secure.

The original LP’s release in 1969 climaxed a decade of increasing ambition and sophistication for rock ‘n’ roll, and pointed the way forward to how the concept album could become, as a November 2020 Spin Magazine article put it, “the first album to successfully blend exceptional storytelling with advanced production.”

Moreover, it was prescient in examining the cult of celebrity, and spiritual striving in an age of cultural fracture.

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