My Generation – The Who

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………….on October 13th of 1965 The Who record “My Generation”, a song that expresses the anger and frustration of teenagers of the day. Roger Daltrey would later say that he stuttered the lyrics to try to fit them to the music. The BBC initially refused to play the song because it did not want to offend people who stammer, but later reversed its decision. The tune would rise to number 2 in the UK, but stalled at number 74 in the US. Pete Townshend wrote this on a train ride from London to Southampton on May 19, 1965 – his 20th birthday. In a 1987 Rolling Stone magazine interview, Townshend explained: “‘My Generation’ was very much about trying to find a place in society. I was very, very lost. The band was young then. It was believed that its career would be incredibly brief.” This song went through various stages as they tried to perfect it. It began as a slow song with a blues feel, and at one point had hand claps and multiple key changes. The final product was at a much faster tempo than the song was conceived; it was Kit Lambert’s idea to speed it up. This is the highest charting Who song in the UK, but it never cracked the Top 40 in America, where they were less known. This features one of the first bass solos in rock history. John Entwistle was the least visible member of the band, and his bass solos on this song threw off directors when The Who would perform the song on TV shows. When it got to his part, the cameras would often go to Pete Townshend, and his fingers wouldn’t be moving. Entwistle played the solos using a pick, since their manager Kit Lambert didn’t think fingers recorded well. Most of Entwistle’s next recordings were done with fingers.