Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ray Davies, Pete Townshend Teaming Up?



Ray Davies (singing "Waterloo Sunset" and "Days" in the video above) reportedly would like to work with Pete Townshend. Davies said he might do another solo record and if the timing was right, perhaps Pete will join him.

Jeff Beck - Greensleeves



Seemingly every musician has done at least one Christmas or holiday-related song. Jeff Beck does "Greensleeves" which was on his 1968 album, Truth. The song "What Child is This" is usually set to the "Greensleeves" music.

The Who - Heaven and Hell (Tanglewood 1970)



The Who are known for opening their concerts with "I Can't Explain" which was their first single and released in 1965. However, there was a time when they used to kick of their shows with "Heaven and Hell," which was written by John Entwistle. Hats off to the YouTuber who took the music and synced it up with the video of the band performing at Tanglewood in 1970.

The Doors - Enter the Hot Dream



I came across The Doors singing "Enter the Hot Dream," a rare recording which someone was good enough to upload on YouTube.

What's Next for Brock Lesnar?



It was the video that got several million views in just a couple of days after it was posted on YouTube. The staredown between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker after Lesnar lost his U.F.C. Championship to Cain Velasquez on October 23. Now there is further speculation about Brock possibly heading back to the W.W.E. for at least an appearance at Wrestlemania. Much of it may just be pure speculation, but Lesnar and his camp haven't done anything to stop the flames from spreading that he will make some kind of appearance at 'Mania.

By the way, mixed martial arts is real. I heard a sports commentator recently question the legitimacy of the sport. W.W.E. is staged, U.F.C. is real.

Jim Morrison - American Prayer



Here's another from Jim Morrison. This one is "An American Prayer" which was off of the last studio album released by The Doors. The former members, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore got together in 1978 and recorded backing tracks over Jim Morrison's poetry that he recorded around 1970.

Jim Morrison - Far Arden



Jim Morrison always wanted to be remembered as a poet first and foremost. There's no question in my mind, that he was exceptionally talented. Exhibit A is the above video: Morrison recites a section of a poem he wrote called "Far Arden." For the entire poem click this.

The Who - Love Reign O'er Me



Pete Townshend was once asked what his favorite Who song was and he replied "Love Reign O'er Me." You won't get an argument from me, although I'm not sure how you can really boil down an entire catalogue to just one song. I actually was in attendance the night The Who played "Love Reign O'er Me" at the IZOD Center.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hulk Hogan Gets Pranked



This is so funny. Hulk Hogan appeared on a show in Holland and gets fooled by the interviewer. I hope no one gets offended by it, but these days you never know.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Keith Richards on John Lennon


John Lennon would have been 70-years-old this past Saturday. Keith Richards comments on Lennon in the above video. The Rolling Stones, of course, were marketed as the anti-Beatles, but apparently any kind of perceived hostility was just for promotional purposes and not something that carried over.

Stupid Comments About Linda McMahon

I've read some of the commentary about Linda McMahon and her bid to become a U.S. Senator. Frankly, I'm somewhat amused by the fact that so many people seem to think wrestling is not staged. What is the difference between W.W.E. television and CSI? Some of the political pundits, though, are either letting their ideology get in the way of common sense or are just flat out stupid. Attack her political positions all you want, but c'mon folks, the storylines are just that. By the way, the time period that comes under the most scrutiny was known as the "Attitude Era" and was not PG rated as W.W.E. wrestling is now and has been for the last couple of years.

Friday, September 24, 2010

New Blog

I have a new blog! So many names on blogger are taken, but I finally came up with the simple, but hopefully effective, WhoZeppelin.blogspot.com. The trouble with Blogger is that is has many blogs which are either inactive or have very few posts. I began planning for the new blog over a year ago by tagging any posts related to either The Who or Led Zeppelin and then recently I exported them from this blog to the new one. I'll be spending more time over at Who Zeppelin for the foreseeable future, which will be specific to everything and anything related to both bands and any solo efforts from the surviving members, but I won't neglect Rangers In Seven, which will remain a general blog. Thanks for stopping by and please visit the new one.

John Bonham (May 31, 1948 – September 25, 1980)



Tomorrow will mark 30 years since the passing of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, clearly one of the greatest rock drummers ever. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones called it quits after Bonham's death. The three reunited for Live Aid (with Tony Tompson and Phil Collins on drums) and a benefit in London three years ago with John's son Jason on drums. Rumors persist that there will be future one-offs or even a reunion tour, but in all likelihood it seems doubtful.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pete Townshend's Best Solo Albums

Townshend Pictures, Images and Photos

Gibson.com recently wrote about Pete Townshend's greatest solo albums, while naming the type of Gibson guitar Pete used on each one. For me, White City: A Novel is probably my favorite - that is if you are excluding The Scoop albums. "Give Blood," "Face the Face" and "Secondhand Love" received the most play on popular radio, however, my favorites off of the album are "Brilliant Blues," "Night School" and "White City Fighting." The album features David Gilmour playing guitar on many of the tracks, Mark Brzezicki (drums), John Bundrick (keyboards), and bass players Pino Palladino, the venerable Chucho Merchan and Phil Chen.

I saw Chen play with Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger over the summer. He's really good and he's really loud. In many ways I prefer Chen over Palladino, but Pete and Roger wanted to go with a quieter bass player after John Entwistle died, so I get why they chose Pino.

Roger Daltrey and Jimmy Page Teaming Up?

Roger Daltrey told TheWho.com in an exclusive interview - just posted on the Website - that he would love to work with Jimmy Page. Daltrey said here in February that he would like to work with the legendary guitarist, possibly on a blues album. Last I read, Page was working on an album with "guests," but he didn't elaborate any further. Page, Robert Plant and The Who all shared the same manager, Bil Curbishley and Trinifold Management, up until this past June when Jimmy Page told reporters he had signed with IE Management. In the interview, Daltrey also mentioned Pete Townshend is working on some new material and that they will be on the road next year, possibly with a re-worked Quadrophenia and/or some of Pete's new stuff, if that materializes.

Robert Plant and Band of Joy - Cindy





At the beginning of the month Robert Plant and Band of Joy played a couple of songs at the Americana Awards and Honors Showcase in Nashville. One of the songs was an old American folk song, "Cindy," or "Cindy, I'll Marry You Someday," which is what it is called on the Band of Joy album. The second YouTube video contains the album version.

Incidentally, Band of Joy is (according to Wikipedia):
Patty Griffin – vocals and guitar
Buddy Miller – guitar and vocals
Darrell Scott – vocals, mandolin, guitar, accordion, pedal, lap steel and banjo
Byron House – bass
Marco Giovino – percussion

Robert Plant and Band of Joy in New York

Robert Plant and Band of Joy played a special show at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City on September 12. Apparently the concert was announced a week before and was done to promote the Band of Joy CD released on September 13. The setlist is below. Click here to listen to the concert which aired on NPR. By the way, I am really enjoying the new CD and Patty Griffin is fast becoming one of my favorite female vocalists.

Setlist
Monkey
House of Cards
Please Read the Letter
Misty Mountain Hop
Rich Woman
Trouble
12 Gates to the City
Kings Horses
Satisfied Mind
Move Up
Satan
Central Two O Nine
Angel Dance
Houses of the Holy
Down to the Sea
Tall Cool One
Gallows Pole
-------------------
Harms Swift Way
Rock and Roll
Goodnight

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Keith Richards On Led Zeppelin



Although I consider myself a fan of the Rolling Stones, I disagree strongly with Keith Richards' sentiments here that "Led Zeppelin is Jimmy Page." I'm not sure why, but Zeppelin has been criticized heavily by rock critics and some of their contemporaries throughout their career. Pete Townshend didn't like their music, although he did say he liked them as people. Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, etc. all seemed to have issues with the mighty Zeppelin.

Another example of the disdain for LZ is when the band's manager Peter Grant met Bob Dylan and introduced himself:

"I'm Peter Grant, manger of Led Zeppelin," said Grant.
"I don't come to you with my problems," replied Dylan.

The Who - "Amazing Journey/Sparks" London Coliseum



I haven't posted a version of "Sparks" lately so here we go. The above performance is of The Who at the London Coliseum in 1969. The band released a two-disc DVD a couple of years ago called The Who: Live At Kilburn (1977), which contains the Coliseum show as well. Many think that Pete's guitar work is at its finest during the Coliseum show. Regardless of whether it is his best or not, this performance of "Sparks" is definitely right up at the top with performances at Woodstock, Leeds and Isle of Wight. This concert takes place during Pete's boiler suit days, when he decided it was too much trouble to dress like the hippies so he went with the simple boiler suit.

Pete Townshend's Happiest Songs



So what are Pete Townshend's happy songs? Did he ever have a "Walking on Sunshine" moment? Townshend's music often contains twists and so even if the beat is uptempo and feels happy, a glance at the lyrics will show that it really isn't happy at all. Some of his happier songs that come to mind are "No Road Romance," "All Shall Be Well," "Stardom in Acton," "Ask Yourself," "Squeeze Box," "A Friend is a Friend," and for me "Long Live Rock" which opens with:

Down at the Astoria the scene was changing,
Bingo and rock were pushing out X-rating,
We were the first band to vomit in the bar,
And find the distance to the stage too far,
Meanwhile it's getting late at ten o'clock,
Rock is dead they say,
Long live rock.

Pete Townshend's Saddest Songs



A poster on a Pete Townshend message board a while back asked what is the saddest song written by Pete Townshend. There were some good ones mentioned. For example, "Melancholia" which contains the line: the sun is shining, but not for me. That one was done by The Who on The Who Sell Out (1967). Another suggestion was a Townshend solo called "Never Ask Me." A song that opens with "I passed her once, I passed her twice, Your first reply just seamed as cold as ice, You never ask me, If you love me."Ouch!

For me, it is "Unused Piano: Quadrophenia" which is on Pete's Scoop album. There are no words, just Pete playing piano.

Dressed Up Just Like Like The Union Jack?

I recently heard the Rolling Stones song "Get off of My Cloud" and although it wasn't the first time I have listened to the song, some of the lyrics jumped out at me:

Then in flies a guy
Who's all dressed up just like the Union Jack
And says I've won five pounds
If I have his kind of detergent pack?

I don't know of many people that were dressed up during that time in a Union Jack coat other than Pete Townshend. So was Mick Jagger singing about Pete? Hard to know really. Wikipedia doesn't mention anything about it. I do know that The Who and Rolling Stones were playing the same scene in London around the time the song was written (1965). Pete was and is a huge Rolling Stones' fan. But the "detergent pack" reference would make more sense if the song came out around the time of The Who Sell Out album in 1967. It would be a worthwhile question - at least to me - for Pete and/or Jagger.

Led Zeppelin - "In The Light"



I voted in the "Great Zeppelin Countdown," however, my three songs could change tomorrow. One song that is - in my opinion - one of Led Zeppelin's greatest is "In The Light" off of LZ's Physical Graffiti album. Wikipedia says the band never played it live because John Paul Jones could not replicate the synth sound he got in the studio on stage. The article also says that Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes played it when they toured in 1999.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Great Zeppelin Countdown

I was listening to Carol Miller's "Get the Led Out" on Q 104.3 and she said they are doing a countdown of the top Zep songs ever. Click this for the Website. I expect "Stairway" to be #1, so my curiosity is more with what follows it. I'm not a big fan of lists, but I am interested to see what songs the fans like. I know, for me, "Achilles Last Stand" and "Ten Years Gone" should be in the upper echelon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Remember!



Tomorrow, of course, will be the ninth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. I won't be on the computer tomorrow in all likelihood, but I will remember and pray for those that were murdered on that day. I will never forget the bravery of the firemen and cops and the regular people that helped each other out. I try to put out of my mind certain politicians that took credit for their "bravery." I'll ignore, to the best of my ability, the politics that will take place tomorrow. Shame on them.

About a month after 9/11, a great concert was put on for the first responders. The Who put on this memorable performance of "Won't Get Fooled Again." I will never forget a fireman handing Roger a fire chief's hat. Daltrey handed it back to him and said he wasn't worthy of wearing it. Class act.

Some People Should Be Proud of Themselves...Not!

Bravo Clap Pictures, Images and Photos

I can't believe the amount of bigotry and hatred that is floating around out there right now. I think building a mosque near ground zero is in poor taste, but the people that want to build it have every right to do so. However, the amount of name-calling that I have seen from some of the protesters is just disgusting and then there's this loser in Florida - a so-called pastor - that wants to burn the Koran tomorrow. This has stoked tensions in Afghanistan and puts our soldiers at further risk. Not to mention the F.B.I. says they expect retaliation in this country if said pastor goes ahead with his little bonfire. Please people, turn off the t.v. and get some fresh air and stop trying to stoke violence for your own benefit. Same goes for some of the talking heads on television and radio that are adding fuel to the fire.

Roger Daltrey Honoring Troops

Roger Daltrey has put together a concert for this Sunday night in the U.K. which will raise money for British troops injured while fighting in Iraq.

Roger had this to say:

"It is astonishing to me that people's attitude to our permanently injured troops can be equally divided. 'They know what they're signing up for when they join,' has been a phrase I've heard during the last few months while trying to raise support for... the concert. While I appreciate that a lot of these people are fiercely opposed to the war, to carry opposition of it into opposition to the support of our injured troops is an anathema (sic) to me... We as a society have a responsibility to the young men and women who have paid a very high price for the politics of this country. It's far too easy to say the war was not in my name, because we have to accept that rightly or wrongly it was. The decisions of the British government are our responsibility. We voted them in... "

For more click this.

One Expensive Book

A limited number of copies of a book on Jimmy Page's life in pictures is coming out soon and it will cost you big: approximately $685. Page initially wanted to do a picture book as opposed to an autobiography, but now he says that a book about his life may still be a possibility. Gibson has more here.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Remembering Keith Moon (August 23, 1946-September 7, 1978)



My first post in a while....

Keith Moon died on this date 32 years ago. I always like watching the way Keith interacted with the other members of The Who, particularly Pete Townshend, during live performances. This video of the band performing "Water" at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 is a prime example.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Who - Big Boss Man



I came across a concert that The Who did in Passaic, N.J. in 1979. Above is the audio of the band performing "Big Boss Man," which is a cover of a song written by Luther Dixon and Al Smith, and although covered by many, is most notably done by Jimmy Reed. By the way, if you don't know the late Jimmy Reed, check out "Shame Shame Shame" here.

Robert Plant's New Song

Robert Plant is releasing an album with his revived Band of Joy. Rolling Stone has a clip of one of the songs, "Angel Dance,"which can be heard by clicking this. The album comes out in September. The rumors of a Led Zeppelin reunion tour are basically dead at this point. Recently, drummer Jason Bonham said a Led Zeppelin reunion with a different lead singer was considered. I think other than one-off concerts there will never be a full-fledged tour.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Who - "Amazing Journey/Sparks" from Houston 1975



When The Who played The Summit in Houston, Texas in 1975, some believed and still believe it was the band's best concert ever. For me this is very debatable. I'm not sure how you can look at a career that has spanned nearly 50 years and say one performance is the definitive moment, however, this concert is really good. It's out there as a bootleg on DVD, but really, the band's management should consider having this cleaned up and released as an "official" DVD.

Regardless, the show contains a stellar performance of "Sparks." Pete Townshend was definitely on that night. I've never seen Pete have a bad performance, but some are better than others and this is one of those occasions.

The Who - "Amazing Journey/Sparks" at Tanglewood



I was forwarded this video of The Who performing "Amazing Journey/Sparks" at Tanglewood in Massachusetts in 1970. I never grow tired of comparing and contrasting performances of "Sparks" and it doesn't matter what era the performance comes from; they all hold up in my opinion.

The audio is courtesy of Wolfgang's Vault and it was synced up with some old video of the concert. The quality of the audio and video are perfect. It might not be a bad idea for the band's management to consider putting together a full-length DVD of this concert.

Can This Man Save T.N.A.?



The big rumor in pro wrestling over the last couple of weeks has been whether or not Paul Heyman will join Total Nonstop Action (T.N.A.). Heyman has made his demands clear to Dixie Carter and that is that he wants full creative control and a piece of the company. Spike TV is said to be fully behind Heyman coming in. Carter, meanwhile, is reluctant to give Paul a percentage of T.N.A. Exactly how the promotion will look if and when Paul takes control is not known, but word is that Heyman will strip the whole thing down, restructure the company and rebrand it.

Heyman, known as "the mad scientist" and featured in the NSFW video above giving his E.C.W. wrestlers a pep talk before their first ever pay-per-view in 1999, has plenty of friends currently working for T.N.A. such as Tommy Dreamer, Taz and Rob Van Dam. The experiment of putting T.N.A. on Monday nights failed miserably and the company seems to be fluttering at this point.

Heyman built Extreme Championship Wrestling (E.C.W) in the 1990s and although from a monetary standpoint the company could not compete with W.C.W. or W.W.E., the product was as good if not better (in my opinion it was better). If Paul Heyman was in charge of a wrestling company that had solid financial backing, which Spike TV and Dixie Carter’s father can provide, then things could get really, really interesting.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lesnar vs. Carwin Video



It's been a while since I posted so I wanted to throw something onto the blog. Hopefully, I will start to be more active on here.

I came across this promotional video for the big fight on Saturday night between Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin, which is arguably the biggest fight in the history of UFC.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Who News



Thanks to Roger Daltrey and his charity Teenage Cancer Trust, another cancer ward for teenagers has been opened. This one is in Newcastle, U.K. according to this story. Nice job. In a world of hearing stories about celebrities and politicians constantly getting into trouble, it's good to hear something positive.

Oh and I came across this article about the various Gibson guitars Pete Townshend has used over the years.

I read that The Smothers Brothers announced their retirement this week. The above video is a memorable performance of "My Generation" by The Who on the show.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Pete Townshend!



Happy 65th Birthday to Pete Townshend! I only have maybe a handful of pop culture stars that I consider “heroes” and Pete is definitely one of them. I came across this video of Pete performing “Blue Red and Grey,” a song from The Who By Numbers album, which although I won’t/can’t say is the band’s best album, it is the one that resonated with me the most when I first heard it from start to finish, which wasn't until 1998.

Odds & Sods

NEWS
Not one but two mosques are in the works for the neighborhood near Ground Zero. One of those mosques is planning to open September 11, 2011. If this happens, America will officially have lost its soul.

Sadly, as of yesterday 1,000 U.S. troops have died while serving in Afghanistan. We should all mourn their deaths.

SPORTS
I have to say that I am still shocked that the Boston Bruins blew a 3-0 lead against the Philadelphia Flyers. It’s going to be really interesting to see how the Bruins come back next season and if the loss will impact the players. Meanwhile, I thought the Flyers would have nothing left in their series against Montreal. So far, I am completely wrong, because the Flyers are up 2-0. The Blackhawks have also jumped out to a 2-0 lead in their series with San Jose.

There’s a really good documentary being shown on HBO this month called the Broad Street Bullies. One thing I took from it was that the N.H.L. rulebook was essentially a pamphlet back in the mid-1970s, but now the rulebook resembles a Yellow Pages directory, which can be credited, not entirely, but to a large degree the way the Flyers played back then. A style, which thankfully, is permanently gone from the league.

Newsflash: LeBron James will sign with the team that offers him the most money.

Former Knick/Net Chris Dudley, a Republican, has won the nomination to run for governor of Oregon.

MISC.
I saw a very good documentary about The Doors on PBS recently, which was much better than Oliver Stone's movie about the band. The documentary, When You're Strange, showed a clip of Jim in the crowd before a concert looking at pictures of The Who. The Doors and The Who played at New York's Singer Bowl in 1968. That was when a girl jumped on stage to try and touch Morrison and got roughed up pretty badly by security for her efforts. Pete Townshend saw the incident and wrote the song "Sally Simpson," which is on The Who's Tommy album.

Inside The Squared Circle

I turned on NXT last night for a minute or two, just in time to see Bryan Danielson calling out broadcaster Michael Cole and getting in his face. Danielson made reference to Cole being fed lines by Vince McMahon through his headset. He also said Cole was a poor man’s Jim Ross. No kidding.

I'm glad that they dropped 'Daniel Bryan' and are reintroducing him to the crowd as the guy who dominated the indy wrestling scene for the last few years. If all things go right - i.e. staying healthy, etc. - Danielson will absolutely headline Wrestlemania at some point in his career.

Ross, by the way, has said on his blog that he has some big news to announce in the next few weeks. Hopefully, Ross will once again be on the air for someone in the near future.

D’Lo Brown is no longer co-hosting the "Between the Ropes" radio show on ESPN 1080 in Orlando. Brown works backstage for T.N.A. and I suppose he came to the realization that he can’t fairly comment about T.N.A. since they are the ones that are paying his salary these days. Brown has not been on the radio show since T.N.A. pulled the plug on Monday nights. By the way, the ratings tell the story: T.N.A. failed miserably on Mondays.

The commercial free Raw was good this past Monday night. The first half hour or so was probably the best television that the W.W.E. has put on in quite a while.

Shame on the fans in Canada for booing Raw's guest host, Buzz Aldrin.

Rumor has it that Bret Hart will be the new general manager of Monday Night Raw. Hopefully, the guest host thing will now fade away.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

NHL Conference Finals Picks

Wow what a second round in the N.H.L. playoffs! I'll have more on that in a future post, but for right now here are my picks for hockey's "final four."

Western Conference
San Jose (1) over Chicago (2) in seven.

I'm hoping that I am wrong, but San Jose seems to be over its past playoff hex.

Eastern Conference
Montreal (8) beats Philly (7) in four.

I think the Flyers are just going to be too emotionally wiped out and won't be able to answer the bell in this series.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pete Townshend On John Entwistle's Importance



Pete Townshend - rock's thinking man - gave some interesting insight into the significance of John Entwistle for The Who. A fan wrote into The Who's Website and asked the following:

"Roger has been quoted as saying that John's volume was a problem in the later years due to his deafness. Did this have any impact on yourself during rehearsal/on stage at all? It always makes me laugh that Roger always stood in front of John's amps then said he was too loud!"

Pete's response:
"I always felt John was more important in the Who as a musician than Roger. (Ed: steady now). Maybe he was more important than Keith or me. He was certainly a better musician. So although I sympathized with Roger’s predicament, I also knew that Who fans worshipped John, and his sound, in a way that indicated an understanding of John’s real genius.

John was never too loud for my taste. I have had more trouble over the years with noisy drummers. However loud someone plays, all I care about is that they listen, so Roger is right on two counts. When John started to go deaf he couldn’t listen quite as well, and started to guess, and sometimes his guesses were wrong. And Roger could not simply turn up his volume, but if he did manage to get louder on stage it was often his vocal screams that hurt my ears, not loud bass. Let’s be honest, we were loud, maybe too loud, but the music, the period, the whole message we carried required absolute concentration from the audience. We used volume to guarantee that."

John's playing is perfectly exhibited in the above YouTube video from the Royal Albert Hall in 2000.

Winnipeg Jets Coming Home

Wow it looks as though the Phoenix Coyotes could be moving back to their former home of Winnipeg, according to the Toronto Star here.

The Coyotes fell on hard times and filed for bankruptcy last year which led to the N.H.L. taking over the team. In an odd twist, the Coyotes had a great season - for them - and even made the playoffs for the first time in eight years.

A potential move back to Winnipeg brings back some memories. The Jets were one of eight World Hockey Association (W.H.A.) teams absorbed by the N.H.L. in 1979. Who doesn't remember those great Winnipeg teams that won back-to-back Avco Cup trophies in 1978 and1979? Seriously, though, Canada deserves another N.H.L. franchise.

Some of the team's former players I remember quite well, such as Dale Hawercuk, Lucien DeBlois and Ulf Nilsson. Bobby Hull was probably their most noteworthy star, however, due to the fact that he jumped ship from the N.H.L. and signed a big contract with the Jets in the early 1970s.

I used to have a poster on my wall of former Winnipeg Jet, Teemu Selanne. He scored 76 goals during his rookie year in 1992; a record that still stands. I remember how disappointed I was when former Rangers GM Neil Smith wouldn't part with d-man Sergei Zubov for Teemu. Instead, he paired Zubov with Petr Nedved and got back Ulf Samuelsson and Luc Robitaille; an ill-conceived trade during the ill-fated summer of 1995.

Favorite Bridges



I'm temporarily off of my "Sparks/Underture" fascination for the moment and am now onto great bridges (the contrasting piece of the song) that Pete Townshend included in his music; primarily with The Who but he did have some good ones in his solo work, as well.

There are a few that stand out for me. The first is from "The Song is Over" off of Who's Next. The bridge part begins at the 2:35 mark.

"When I walked in through the door,
Thought it was me I was looking for,
She was the first song I ever sang,
But it stopped as soon as it began."

Overall, this song has mostly a triumphant, rejoiceful feel, however, it tails off at the end and gets a bit more somber. There is a segment in Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who where the closing part of the song is played - "this song is over, I'm left with only tears, I must remember, even if it takes a million years" - while showing clips of the dearly departed John Entwistle. One clip shows the band on stage and John's image fading while Pete and Roger make some comments about how much John is missed. It goes without saying that this part definitely tugs at your heartstrings.

The next bridge comes from "The Punk Meets The Godfather" off of the Quadrophenia album.

"I have to be careful not to preach
I can’t pretend that I can teach,
And yet I’ve lived your future out
By pounding stages like a clown.
And on the dance floor broken glass,
The bloody faces slowly pass,
The broken seats in empty rows,
It all belongs to me you know."

I remember very well this part being sung by Pete Townshend when I first saw the band at Madison Square Garden in the summer of 1996 and I was absolutely mesmerized. By the way, the "I have to be careful not to preach" line should be a mantra for some people in our government and our media.

The last bridge comes from"However Much I Booze" which if off of The Who By Numbers.

"Then the night comes down like a cell door closing
Suddenly I realize that I'm right now, I'm on the scene,
While sitting here all alone with a bottle and my head a-floating,
Far away from the form and the conscience going on with me,
And on with me, and I don't care what you say,
There ain't no way out,
There ain't no way out."

Personally, Numbers could be my favorite album by The Who, if I were to declare a favorite, which I can't/won't. Most songs from the album contain lyrics that are as heartfelt and genuine as you are going to get, which doesn't necessarily mean they are sad. Although the aforementioned song was too personal for Roger Daltrey to sing and thus Pete handled the honors. I would probably describe By Numbers as the band's most "poetic" album. I don't think anyone could find anything somber or melancholic about the song "Squeezebox."

Ring of Honor Results - New York

Ring of Honor put on a great show the other night at the Manhattan Center! Basically, this is how wrestling should be done with solid, but get-the-point-across promos and really good matches. The crowd was very vocal the entire show. The way I see it, T.N.A. would do themselves proud if they mimicked R.O.H. The promotion's owner, Cary Silkin, shook hands with people leaving and thanked them for coming. Class act! Here are the results with some quick thoughts on each match:

The Briscoes defeated Kenny King and Rhett Titus.
The Briscoes are enormously talented and a definite favorite of mine.

Erick Stevens defeated Grizzly Redwood.
Balls Mahoney showed up to try and help Grizzly.

Sara Del Ray pinned Awesome Kong.
Probably the best women's match I have ever seen.

Christopher Daniels defeated Eddie Edwards.
Both wrestlers were very impressive.

Kevin Steen defeated Colt Cabana.
Bloody match. A bit too much for my liking.

The Kings of Wrestling defeated the Motor City Machine Guns by disqualification.
Chris Hero and Claudio should absolutely be on the W.W.E. radar. This should be a "match of the year" candidate.

Tyler Black pinned Roderick Strong
Strong could be dubbed "the man of a thousand holds." Technically as sound as they come.

Chris Russo - True Story



The guys on the "Boomer and Carton" show the other day were talking superheroes. The conversation led to a time when Mike Francesa asked Chris Russo if he had plans to go see the movie Daredevil with Ben Affleck. Chris then asked Mike if the theme of the movie was a true story? Yes "Mad Dog" it's a true story. If you want to listen to this really funny moment it takes place at the 4:00 minute mark in the above video.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Plenty of Sports Coming Up



This is a great time of year for sports fans, particularly this weekend with baseball; the NBA and NHL playoffs; Floyd Mayweather versus Shane Mosley; and "the most exciting two minutes in sports," the Kentucky Derby.

Incidentally, a lot of people are still talking up Sidney's Candy in the Derby.

As far as boxing, I definitely think that Mosley is going to have a tough time against Mayweather. I don't think "Sugar" lasts more than five rounds. So boxing, after Mayweather destroys Mosley can we please, please make the one match that everyone wants to see? Of course, that being Mayweather against Manny Pacquiao. In a perfect world, Pacman against "Pretty Boy" Floyd would be the fight headlining the June card at Yankee Stadium, not Miguel Cotto against Yuri Foreman.

Is Jim Ross Done?

The contract Jim Ross has with the W.W.E. expires today. Ross has been very open about his situation. He has discussed on his blog his expiring contract, his disappointment in not working Wrestlemania 26 and a meeting he had with T.N.A. officials. Ross also wrote about the tension that exists between some of the current broadcasters on W.W.E. television, which was very evident this past Monday night on Raw.

Apparently Jerry Lawler has no use for Matt Striker and that definitely came across on television, and no it was not part of the script. I read an opinion that Ross is exactly what T.N.A. needs and I strongly disagree, Ross is exactly what the W.W.E. needs. I can’t imagine any sport allowing its best broadcaster to sit home. I don’t know what the W.W.E. has against the Oklahoman, but hopefully some kind of sanity will prevail and Ross will be back behind a W.W.E. microphone sooner rather than later.

The Who - Dogs



Since we are on the eve of the Kentucky Derby, here is a song called "Dogs" which is a 1968 single by The Who about greyhound racing (not horse racing, but whatever). The song mentions the greyhound, Yellow Printer, who according to this article is considered one of the fastest greyhounds ever. I'm surprised "Dogs" was not on The Who Sell Out album as it kind of fits the mode of that record. The lyrics are comedic and of course, the guitar, bass and drums are brilliant. I wish I had the capability of isolating John Entwistle's bass playing because when you turn this song up, you can really hear how different 'Wistle's playing is from any other bass guitarist.

Led Zeppelin - Tea For One



"Tea for One" is a rarely-if-ever played Led Zeppelin song off of their Presence album and the band's second boxed set. It's a good, soulful, bluesy song about homesickness. I thought about "Tea for One" the other day after I heard Q104.3's Carol Miller play "Baby Come on Home," which wasn't even released until Boxed Set 2 in 1993. Both are great songs!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

N.H.L. 2nd Round Picks

I had a rough time with my picks in the first round. All of the top three seeds in the Eastern Conference are on the golf course and Jacques Lemaire is now heading into retirement. But who would have expected that Washington would be out of the playoffs after one round? There are too many guys on that team that are not willing to pay the price in the playoffs and a power play that was putrid. Mike Green and Alex Semin did not register a point in the series when the Caps had the man advantage. I'll be interested to see if Washington makes any major changes this summer. Picks are below with the seeds in parentheses.

Western Conference
San Jose (1) over Detroit (5) in six games.
Chicago (2) beats Vancouver (3) in seven.

Eastern Conference
Pitt (4) over Montreal (8) in six.
Philly (7) beats Boston (6) in seven games.


Below are my first round picks with the actual results in parentheses.

Eastern Conference
(4) Pittsburgh over (5) Ottawa in six games. (Pitt in 6)
(3) Buffalo sweeps (6) Boston. (Boston in 6)
(2) New Jersey defeats (7) Philly in five games. (Philly in 5)
(1) Washington beats (8) Montreal in five. (Montreal in 7)

Western Conference
(3) Vancouver over (6) L.A. in five games. (Vancouver in 6)
(2) Chicago defeats (7) Nashville in four. (Chicago in 6)
(5) Detroit beats (4) Phoenix in six games. (Detroit in 7)
(8) Colorado wins against (1) San Jose in seven games. (San Jose in 6)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Who - Underture



Continuing on the subject of “Sparks/Underture” from my previous posts here and here, the above is a YouTube video with the studio version of “Underture” being played and accompanied by some pictures of The Who throughout their years together.

Although "Underture" is on the Tommy album, the music actually first showed up on the latter portion of “Rael 1,” which is off of The Who Sell Out; an incredibly sophisticated album which deserves multiple listens. Pete Townshend's art school background is on full display on Sell Out, so for some people that only know The Who through Who's Next, they may not initially "get" Sell Out.

When you listen to “Underture” it is quite clear that there’s a lot going on. I think it is definitely one of Pete's best and most complex compositions, however, it's probably also a song that people foolishly skip over when they listen to Tommy. I also think that it is one of those rare songs that every time I listen to it, I hear something new that I hadn't heard before.

The first part I love is around the one minute mark, which is where the heavy bass moves into some frenetically tight drumming – an oxymoron in most cases, but not when your drummer is Keith Moon. Basically, it sounds as though a machine gun is being fired, but there is not a hint of sloppiness to Moon's drumming, just ferocity. I can envision Moon going around and around on his massive drum kit and making sure he doesn’t leave one component of the kit untouched. His drumming is equally as fierce at the 2:33 and 7:33 marks.

The song slows down around 6:38 and seems to bide its time for about 30 seconds or so before hitting the climax and then fading.

I found a demo of "Underture" on YouTube (of course), which was released on Pete's demo collection, The Genuine Scoop. Here is a link to it; an amazingly rich sound; which, for me, only Pete Townshend could and can achieve. Not even an orchestra can match the genius that is Pete Townshend.

"Yes, the Who can help you find God. But then so can surviving a terrible plane crash." –Pete Townshend

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thoughts on W.W.E. Extreme Rules, Raw, Draft

Extreme Rules
I thought the W.W.E. put on a very good pay-per-view this past Sunday night with Extreme Rules. I was happy with most of the results. I would have liked to have seen Batista beat John Cena, but apparently Batista is leaving, or is he? Last night on Raw, Batista won a triple threat match to become the number one contender to John Cena’s W.W.E. Championship. However, it was reported yesterday that Dave Batista was leaving W.W.E. to pursue acting. I can understand why Batista would leave considering the amount of injuries he has sustained the last few years, but right now his heel character is the strongest it has ever been.

The W.W.E. Draft/Raw
Monday Night Raw certainly got the upper hand last night. Edge, Chris Jericho, John Morrison and R-Truth are all headed to Raw and Edge quickly made his presence felt by spearing Randy Orton at the end of the triple threat match and essentially helping Batista win. Edge is going to bring a lot of energy to the show, which has been lacking since Shawn Michaels retired.

Finally the Hart Dynasty is getting their due. I’m interested to see if W.W.E. gives these guys a long reign as champs. It was around a year ago that E.C.W. had its strongest roster with Jack Swagger, the Harts and Evan Bourne. So now that we have Swagger and the Harts getting pushed, perhaps Bourne will get drafted to Smackdown during the supplemental draft today. A move to the blue brand would definitely help his career.

The Who - Sparks (1980)



I stumbled across this version of “Sparks” on YouTube which is from a show The Who did in Kansas City in 1980. That means that Kenney Jones was on the drums.

This version displays a bit more of the rawness that is a hallmark of the song, as opposed to "Sparks" in Buffalo which I discussed in my previous posting.

Just to set the record straight, “Sparks” is really an amalgam of “Underture” and “Sparks;” both off of the Tommy album. The build and climax of this song which is capped off by Pete’s "birdman" is right out of "Underture" and isn't in the studio version of "Sparks." But since these live versions always grow out of the end of "Amazing Journey," I suppose it is more user friendly to call them "Sparks." The track listings of any live album The Who ever did always lists the song as such.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Who - Sparks



One of the best parts of a Who concert is when the band plays a combination of "Underture/Sparks" from their Tommy album. I've listened to many different live versions of the song and I would rank them all good to great. Even a version from the 1989 tour in Glens Falls is really good, although some fans don't like it because it lacks a bit of the song's usual latent aggression.

The Who Live in Boston 2002 DVD finishes really strong with "Amazing Journey/Underture/ Sparks/See Me Feel Me" and then "Listening to You." That DVD's "Sparks" has become known as the "Iwo Jima Version" where Pete Townshend goes into a thing about Captain Walker hanging out with General MacArthur in Iwo Jima. In Tommy, Walker is reported missing and presumed dead. Eventually he shows up later on in the story.

Back to "Sparks." Some of the other performances of the song that I like are The Who at Georgetown in 1969 which is incredible and of course I can't discount the versions of "Sparks" at Woodstock (1969), Isle of Wight (1970) or Leeds (1970) which are all out of this world.

Recently, though, I came across the above video. Pete does something different from 2:23 to 2:30. He seems to be playing something that sounds very similar to the opening riff of U2's "Where The Streets Have No Name." By the way, that U2 song didn't come out until 1987.

Pete Townshend - Join The Air Force



Pete Townshend touts the positives for joining the air force in the above P.S.A.

Inside The Squared Circle: W.W.E. Fires Seven, Chris Jericho News, Jim Ross & Paul Heyman to T.N.A.?, Draft

The W.W.E. did their annual spring cleaning yesterday by firing seven wrestlers. Mickie James and Shelton Benjamin are the most notable, however, not all that surprising. The others wished well in their future endeavors are Mike Knox, Katie Lea Burchill, Jimmy Wang Yang, Slam Master J and Kung Fu Naki.

I always like Benjamin but he never really seemed to live up to his potential. Benjamin was a standout wrestler at the University of Minnesota and after college he chose pro wrestling instead of trying out for the Olympics. I have no doubt we will see him in T.N.A. where he will most likely reunite with Kurt Angle.

Mickie James is a big loss. She was one of the few women that had any athletic ability and she was enormously popular. But the way James' character has been scripted on t.v. the last few months, the end seemed inevitable.

At this point, the W.W.E. really should consider scrapping their women's division. They have only a couple of wrestlers capable of putting on a good match and for whatever reason they never give them a decent amount of time on t.v. James has a country CD coming out soon, so maybe she'll focus on making music for a while.

Chris Jericho is co-hosting the Revolver Music Awards Show which will air on May 22. Click here to see a pretty cool promotional poster. He also will be performing in New York City at B.B. Kings with his band Fozzy on Wednesday.

Reportedly, Jim Ross will be free of the W.W.E. on May 1. So will we see him join T.N.A.? The W.W.E. has told Ross he won't be broadcasting for them, but he could do some backstage stuff if he signs a new deal with the company. Ross is one of the best broadcasters ever in wrestling and is also very good at football, having done the Atlanta Falcons, some Oklahoma games and yes he did work for the X.F.L. Ross absolutely should be behind a mic somewhere. If T.N.A. signed Ross, I'd pay attention.

The one man that can make T.N.A. look eyeball to eyeball with W.W.E. is Paul Heyman. He created E.C.W., which operated out of a bingo hall in Philly, and made it into one of the best and most influential promotions in the history of wrestling. Unfortunately, it never had the shekels to really survive. But with the Carters financial backing, Heyman could do wonders for T.N.A. and then we would really have a Monday Night Wars II.

The W.W.E. Draft takes place this Monday night. I'm expecting some big names to switch brands such as Punk to Raw, Randy Orton to Smackdown and maybe The Undertaker to Raw.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NHL Playoff Predictions

The NHL playoffs kick off tonight. Here are the matchups with seeding in parentheses and how I see the first round going:

Eastern Conference
(4) Pittsburgh over (5) Ottawa in six games.
(3) Buffalo sweeps (6) Boston.
(2) New Jersey defeats (7) Philly in five games.
(1) Washington beats (8) Montreal in five.

Western Conference
(3) Vancouver over (6) L.A. in five games
(2) Chicago defeats (7) Nashville in four.
(5) Detroit beats (4) Phoenix in six games.
(8) Colorado wins against (1) San Jose in seven games.

The Who - My Wife

Continuing off of my last post....

Pete Townshend wrote the overwhelming majority of Who songs. In fact, he not only wrote the lyrics, but he wrote drums for Keith Moon, guitar for himself and bass for John Entwistle. Pete would make a demo of a song and then bring it to the band. The Who would either give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down. This is much different than what The Who's contemporaries would do. Most bands generally featured at least two principal songwriters; i.e. Lennon/McCartney or Jagger/Richards. John Entwistle, though, did contribute some very good songs for The Who. One of which is "My Wife." I found this video on YouTube of the song being performed by the band in Cleveland in 1975 with "The Ox" on lead vocals. Funny enough, none of the songs John wrote are sung by any of the other band members. Also, here is a sample of some of the classic lyrics from "My Wife" below.

My life's in jeopardy
Murdered in cold blood is what I'm gonna be
I ain't been home since Friday night
And now my wife is coming after me

Give me police protection
Gonna buy a gun so
I can look after number one
Give me a bodyguard
A black belt Judo expert with a machine gun

Pete Townshend - Begin The Beguine

The range of what Pete Townshend can sing and make his own has never surprised me. From Another Scoop he sings "Begin the Beguine," which had previously been reserved for the likes of Frank Sinatra and Fred Astaire. Pete is a great singer and has many weapons in his arsenal; he can sing melodically as he does here and also does on "Sunrise" or he can go for the more somber, reflective style as he does with "However Much I Booze." Townshend, though, didn't sing lead very often in The Who as he had his kind-of-sort-of buddy Roger Daltrey doing the honors.



Pete Townshend - Behind Blue Eyes



Pete Townshend discussed "Behind Blue Eyes" in the above video and what the song is about and how it's meaning has evolved for him over time. When the band recorded the song originally in 1971 for Who's Next, Roger Daltrey said his dog had died that morning so for him the song took on a very distinct meaning.

Odds & Sods

NEWS
For me, when a head of state dies so tragically it's a pretty big deal. Yet, the death of Lech Kaczynski in the plane crash which killed the Polish President and 95 others, as well as the entire crew, doesn't seem to be getting as much attention as say a certain lowlife golfer.

Nice priorities.

SPORTS
The Rangers are finished. Talk has naturally turned to people wanting head coach John Tortorella to take the fall. For me, that’s too easy. Unless the Blueshirts get rid of GM Glen Sather, nothing will change.

Looks like Donald Fehr is the lead horse to become head of the NHL Players Association. Can you say work stoppage?

It was recently revealed that former junior hockey coach, Graham James, was secretly pardoned in Canada in 2007. James fled to Europe after being released from a three and a half year prison sentence for molesting kids while he was a coach. Shockingly he is now coaching youth hockey in Europe. Sheldon Kennedy is pretty upset about the pardon, as is Theo Fleury, both former NHL players that were abused by James. Kennedy and Fleury have had well-documented battles with drugs, alcohol and depression.

The Knicks season ends tonight in Toronto and now all the talk will be about July 1 and can New York land free agent LeBron James. But get ready for some serious damage control if the Knicks can’t land James. Right or wrong, for many fans the summer of 2010 is LeBron or bust.

HBO is back with another edition of 24/7 and this time it is about Floyd Mayweather and “Sugar” Shane Mosley as they gear up for their May 1 fight in Las Vegas. In all due respect to Mosley, I think he is going to get smoked like a sausage.

Brock Lesnar will make his return to the cage to fight Shane Carwin; that is a definite. The 'when' is the real question. In all likelihood it will take place this July.

Former pro wrestler Chris Kanyon died at the beginning of this month. It is suspected that Kanyon, 40, took his own life. Phil Mushnick wrote on Sunday that Kanyon successfully sued the W.W.E. for depriving them of health care and other workers’ benefits. I vaguely remembered this case and so I did a Google search. One of the first hits was “Wrestling Lawsuit Dismissed.” I emailed Phil and told him that the case was dismissed and provided a link to the story. I never heard back from him, but I just checked the article and it has been changed to ‘Kanyon once unsuccessfully….’

MISC.
Catch my buddy Doug DeBeech in "The Perfect Game" which opens this Friday in theaters.

Hitting the Road
Roger Daltrey has some more solo shows coming up as does Eric Clapton; Paul McCartney is touring; Heart will hit the road this summer; Rush will be performing this fall; and Roger Waters is going to be touring The Wall in celebration of its 30th anniversary.

From YouTube
Someone brilliantly mixed Jimi Hendrix singing "All Along the Watchtower" and Jay-Z's "99 Problems." The link is here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Shout - Pete Townshend

Many Who fans have been asking what is next for The Two after last month's performance of Quadrophenia at the Albert Hall. Roger Daltrey has some solo dates coming up and Pete is hard at work on a musical. Still, nothing has been said about a future tour. For me, although I would love to see them again live, I also wish Pete would release some more stuff from his archives. For example, the great 1975 concert in Houston which is on YouTube.

That may be a pipe dream so I will gladly accept another Scoop-style album, which were a series of albums that Townshend put out which were made up of demos that for one reason or another did not make it onto Who albums. “The Shout” is from Another Scoop and is one of those highly emotive songs that is a Townshend trademark. I think it would have fit in pretty well on The Who's By Numbers album or Townshend's solo album, Empty Glass.

Jeff Hardy Burned



Jeff Hardy took a huge fireball to the face from Beer Money's Jame Storm last night. T.N.A. censored the footage because it was too graphic for t.v. but the above video shows it all. Jeff's girlfriend wrote on her Twitter that Hardy was burned badly and that he was singed near his eye, forehead and lips. Is this all part of the story? Who knows. The video looks pretty bad, though. Hopefully, Hardy is OK.

Inside The Squared Circle

There’s plenty going on these days…

Jack Swagger is the new World Champion and has been booked in a very strange way. Swagger has not come off as being a strong champ, in many ways it reminds me of how CM Punk’s first run as champion went. I’m interested to see if they really build Swagger up over time or if he drops the title pretty quickly. Swagger has enormous natural talent and is a favorite of mine. I would hate to see W.W.E. waste his potential.

Smackdown will be moving to Sy-Fy this October and it is rumored that at that time, NXT will become a part of history.

Carlito stated last night on Raw that if he is not drafted to Smackdown he will quit. Carlito has always been rumored to be a malcontent, but it would be a shame if he left unless if he went someplace worthwhile and I don’t consider T.N.A. to be that place. If he does leave he’ll probably go wrestle in Puerto Rico. I thought the W.W.E. made a mistake by breaking up Carlito and Primo as neither has really done much since then.

Ezekiel Jackson will be out for 3-6 months with a torn quadricep (thigh) muscle.

Brock Lesnar recently said in an interview with ESPN that he would be open to guest hosting Monday Night Raw. Lesnar is the type of guy that W.W.E. should be targeting for that role; former stars that have a clue about the business and can speak on the microphone. There's a big difference between reciting lines in a movie or a t.v. show and doing it in the forum of pro wrestling and that's why so many guys have failed at being the guest host.

For me, however, I would be very happy if they scrapped the whole thing altogether.

Night School - Pete Townshend



Recently I came across White City on YouTube. White City: A Novel was a solo concept album released by Pete Townshend in 1985 and is somewhat autobiographical. The basic premise of the story is about someone that becomes successful and returns back to the city they grew up in and found it to be run-down and filled with racial tension. I vividly remember buying this CD, however, I never got to see the one-hour film until just recently. The album featured David Gilmour, Pino Palladino, Simon Phillips, Mark Brzezicki, John "Rabbit" Bundrick and the man, myth and legend, Chucho Merchan. Pete’s daughter Emma also provided backing vocals for “Night School.” The above video is a much different version than what appeared on the album.

Sons of Albion



Thanks to NY DJ Carol Miller – still getting the Led out after all of these years – I was introduced to Sons of Albion, fronted by Robert Plant’s son, Logan. “Just Like You” is pretty good and made me want to hear more, which can be found on YouTube, naturally. Logan has a lot of his father in him and also some Eddie Vedder.

Getting Ready for Halftime



This is a pretty cool video of the crew setting up for The Who's Super Bowl halftime show. Approximately 600 people set everything up and then broke it all down. Amazing how they are able to put this type of stuff together and got it all done without any sort of serious panic.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Who at The Royal Albert Hall

The Who last night wrapped up this year's series of Teenage Cancer Trust charity shows at London's Royal Albert Hall with a performance of the album, Quadrophenia. Here is a link to all of the songs which were posted on YouTube. Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder was a surprise guest at the show, as was Kasabian singer Tom Meighan. Additionally, there was a brass and string section.

This is the 1oth anniversary of the benefit, which is headed up by Roger Daltrey, and so there were 10 shows. The Who did the final show, but the other concerts featured some good performers as well, such as Noel Gallagher and Them Crooked Vultures, among others.

So far the Quadrophenia concert has received favorable reviews. The U.K.'s Times Online had this to say:

"Daltrey sang with his emphatic touch, while Townshend played acoustic and electric guitar with a combination of finesse and aggression."

Meanwhile, Rolling Stone raved about Townshend in their review:

"His playing was virtuosic, moving, on “5:15″ between bluesy licks, shredding solos and savage power chords, but also, more crucially, fueled by an enduring rage. The climactic one-two punch of “The Rock” and “Love Reign O’er Me” was drama worthy of this storied, 19th century venue."

Going into last night there was talk of the band touring Quadrophenia this fall. We'll see. The main issue is Pete's hearing. As you can see from the photo below, drummer Zak Starkey's set is enclosed by plexiglass, however, that was done during Roger's solo tour, as well. Incidentally, Starkey isn't using the cool bullseye cymbals he used at the Super Bowl, perhaps the N.F.L. trademarked them? Anyway, Pete was reportedly going to test out a new device last night for his hearing. Hopefully, things worked out fine. But I think Townshend had an idea ahead of time that it was not going to be an issue. I suspect the band will be announcing a tour similar to what they did in 2002; 20-25 dates in the U.S. in late summer and early fall. I don't think Pete wants to do a long tour like they did in 2006-2007.

Wrestlemania XXVI: Results/Thoughts

The W.W.E. put on a highly entertaining pay-per-view on Sunday night with Wrestlemania XXVI. There was very little fluff to the show and I was not disappointed watching at home, nor can I imagine were the over 72,000 fans in attendance. Here's what happened:

Dark Match (non-televised)
Yoshi Tatsu won a 26 man battle royal.
Ezekial Jackson was not in the match due to the loss of his father. I like Tatsu and I think it's too bad there isn't a cruiserweight division for him and guys like Evan Bourne to really show how talented they are.

ShoMiz (The Big Show and The Miz) opened the pay-per-view with a win over John Morrison and R-Truth to retain the Unified W.W.E. Tag Team Titles.
A bit short as it clocked in at about three and a half minutes.

Randy Orton defeated Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase.
Solid match, but this feud is done with. Hopefully, DiBiase is moved to Smackdown during the draft and turns into a major heel on that show. Orton will probably remain on Raw as a top "face" to try and make up for the loss of Shawn Michaels.

Jack Swagger defeated Dolph Ziggler, Shelton Benjamin, Drew McIntyre, Christian, M.V.P., Matt Hardy, Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston and Kane in the Money in the Bank ladder match.
I really enjoyed this match and the surprising outcome. Bourne didn't climb to the top of a ladder but he was up pretty high when he did his shooting star press. SPOILER ALERT: Swagger has already cashed in the briefcase. He did it last night at a taping for this Friday's Smackdown. Swagger is now the new World Champion. I'm a big fan of Swagger because of his athleticism. He's got a lot of great mat skills and is another superior athlete out of the University of Oklahoma. The W.W.E. recently sent scouts to the college wrestling tournament in Omaha, Nebraska, which to me is good news. It means they are going after the pure athlete and not the very limited musclehead.

Triple H defeated Sheamus.
When I first saw Sheamus I thought he was another Snitsky, but he has proven me wrong and he's only going to get better. Sheamus and Hunter had a very good match at 'Mania.

Rey Mysterio defeated CM Punk.
Very exciting match, however, these guys should have been given at least 15 minutes to work together instead of the six and a half they were allotted.

Bret Hart defeated Vince McMahon.
Finally, Bret and everyone involved can put the "Montreal Screwjob" behind them. I liked the way this match played out because it protected Bret as I'm sure he is pretty limited due to his stroke from several years ago. I also liked that the Hart Dynasty was involved. Hopefully, the W.W.E. will now use Bret to get over the new generation of Harts.

World Champion Chris Jericho defeated Edge.
These two never disappoint. The spear by Edge after the match was a definite highlight. This feud is just getting started.

Michelle McCool, Layla, Maryse, Alicia Fox and Vickie Guerrero defeated Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Gail Kim and Beth Phoenix.
This was a match we could have done without. The W.W.E. makes a mockery of these ladies by sending them out there to begin with, but thankfully, this match was only a little over three minutes.

John Cena defeated Batista for W.W.E. Title.
Loved this match, although I would have kept the title on Batista for a while longer. Opinions vary on Batista and Cena, but the energy these guys bring makes up for anything that they may lack in terms of wrestling acumen. Cena's entrance with the U.S. Air Force doing a routine with their guns was really spectacular.

The Undertaker defeated Shawn Michaels.
Unbelievable match! The two pros put on a clinic and once again Michaels is part of the best match of the year; the best match at this year's 'Mania and also one of the best matches of all time! So which is better last year's 'Taker-Michaels match or this year's?

For me, it's a pick 'em, they were both that great.

The Undertaker is now 18-0 at Wrestlemania and Shawn Michaels is headed off into retirement. Many people are skeptical that Michaels is really done, but regardless, Shawn Michaels has had an unbelievable career and will definitely be missed.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wrestlemania XXVI: Preview and Predictions


WrestleMania XXVI takes place this Sunday night at 7 (eastern time) from the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona; home of the Arizona Cardinals. My lack of blogging shouldn’t be taken as a sign that I’m not looking forward to ‘Mania, because I absolutely am! On paper, this is a very good card with a solid build.

It still amazes me how far 'Mania has come. Now, cities bid on getting the event. That’s why Wayne Gretzky (above) was wearing this shirt a few years ago in a bid to get the biggest show of the year in pro wrestling to come to the desert. Next year the event comes to Atlanta and the Georgia Dome. As far as Sunday's show, several of the matches have a chance to be great and of course one of those is the rematch of Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. This also is probably the healthiest roster the W.W.E. has had going into a 'Mania that I can ever remember. Here’s how I see the matches and the order in which I think they will take place:

Money in the Bank Ladder Match (Christian, Dolph Ziggler, Kane, Shelton Benjamin, Jack Swagger, M.V.P., Matt Hardy, Evan Bourne, Drew McIntyre and Kofi Kingston)
Opening with M.I.T.B. is a great way to get the crowd hot. Ten wrestlers is the most this match has ever had; normally it is seven or eight so some people believe that there are too many people in this match. But it may lead to more action as you can constantly have guys going in this match. I’d love to see Evan Bourne do a shooting star press off one of those really big ladders. If that were to happen, it would be the spot of the night! As far as a winner, the safe bet is Christian. But I'm going to go with McIntyre. Six months ago I would have said Kingston, but his stock has plummeted since his feud with Randy Orton fizzled.

Unified Tag Champs ShoMiz (The Big Show/The Miz) vs. John Morrison and R-Truth
Not much has been made of the fact that Miz is the U.S. Champ and so technically he holds three titles; including the World Tag Team and W.W.E. Tag Team titles. I’d say that’s a bit much to try and put this guy over. I’m hoping Morrison and Truth win this one.

Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase in a Triple Threat match
It will be interesting to see what Legacy looks like at the end of this match. I think there will be a bit of a swerve in this one with Cody siding with Randy against Ted, giving Orton the win.

Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk; if Punk wins, Mysterio joins the Straight Edge Society
Right now, Punk is one of the best heels in the business. As much as I like Mysterio, it would create some interesting t.v. if Rey loses. If these two are given enough time, this could be one of the best matches on the show.

Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon in a No Holds Barred match
The history between these two is well-documented. Last week on Raw, Vince promised that Bret would be screwed again. Something will definitely happen, but I still see Bret coming out with the win in what will probably be the final match ever for Bret Hart.

Triple H vs. Sheamus
The two are buddies off-screen, so let's see if that translates into good chemistry in the ring between these two. I think Hunter takes this match.

World Champ Chris Jericho vs. Edge
Another match that has potential to be great. I’d like to see Jericho win this and extend the feud for a while.

The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels in a no disqualification, no count-out retirement match
The Undertaker's undefeated 'Mania streak vs. Michaels' career is on the line. There are four ways I see this match ending:

1- Michaels wins clean.

2- ‘Taker wins clean.

In either of the two above cases, I think this match would close the show and give fans a feel-good ending.

3- HHH interferes and helps Shawn win.

I could see a scenario where Hunter hits ‘Taker with the sledgehammer and Michaels gets the pin, but Shawn for some reason doesn't see Hunter cheating on his behalf. He finds out the next night on Raw and goes ballistic.

4- Triple H interferes and causes Michaels to lose.

In either scenario 3 or 4, this sets things up so Michaels has an emotional breakdown similar to the one at the Royal Rumble. Michaels takes some time off and then comes back later this year to build things with Hunter for next year's 'Mania.

At this point, I see no reason for 'Taker to lose at Wrestlemania but after hearing that a few years ago Mark Henry was going to beat Undertaker and stop the streak, I'm not so sure. If this is going to be Michaels last match, nothing would be better to see him beat The Undertaker. All in all, this is going to be a great match. As great as last year? That's tough to do, but these two veterans always bring their best so I wouldn't be surprised.

W.W.E. Champ Batista vs. John Cena
Batista’s stock has really risen as a heel. I like Batista either as a heel or a babyface. I’m also a fan of long title reigns and so I would like to see Batista hold onto the strap. More than likely, though, this match closes the show with Cena once again the champion.

WWE Hall of Fame

The 2010 class of the W.W.E. Hall of Fame is a good one. Here is the list of people that are going in with their inductors in parentheses:

Antonio Inoki (Stan Hansen); Ted DiBiase (his sons Ted and Brett); Wendi Richter (Roddy Piper); Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon (Pat Patterson); the late Gorgeous George (by his ex-wife Betty and the Super Destroyer) Stu Hart (by his sons, presumably led by Bret) and Bob Uecker (Dick Ebersol). Uecker is going into the "celebrity wing" for his involvement with some of the earlier Wrestlemanias. The ceremony takes place Saturday night and at least part of it will be on the USA Network.

Survival of the Hitman



Bret Hart is many things – some accurate, some not so much – but one thing about Bret, he and his career have not been boring. This is evidenced again by “Survival of the Hitman,” which is a one hour documentary done by the Fight Network in Canada. Part one of the video is above. Bret says many things in this film and I’m glad to see that his recent return to the W.W.E. is helping to put closure on the bitterness that resulted from the 1997 “Montreal Screwjob.”

It will be interesting to see how much or how little Bret can do on Sunday against Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania. He did have a stroke several years ago, but somehow I think Bret will put on a good show and surprise the critics.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pete Townshend Interview in Premier Guitar Magazine

Always a great interview, Pete Townshend doesn't disappoint in Premier Guitar Magazine here, or does he? When asked about the future Townshend states that there are no plans for a tour at the moment and also discusses his latest project:

"Floss is not a new Who album. It is a musical play. Some of the music might work for Roger and me; I am still working on it. I reckon I have another year to go writing."

Townshend also talks about his hearing:

"I don’t use in-ears on stage. Not yet. I have just been introduced to a new microprocessor- controlled system with three transducers in each ear. They sound amazing. But the Chinese might hack into my gig… I have started wearing hearing aids in the past months. The new ones are incredible. Tiny. The only way to protect my hearing would be to stop playing music. I get the most problems from long periods of studio work, which is how I compose. So I am nervous about the future right now."

For me, Pete has given more than enough already and anything he does going forward is gravy. What's most important is that he takes care of his hearing, which he appears to be doing.

Pete Townshend and The Grateful Dead



I came across this video recently of Pete Townshend jamming in 1981 on a couple of songs with the Grateful Dead.

This reminds me of a story Roger Daltrey told once of a jam session that broke out under the stage at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Daltrey claims that Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Mama Cass, George Harrison, Pete Townshend, Keith Moon and Janis Joplin - he mentioned a few others but I can't remember who at the moment - were jamming away to an extended version of "Sgt. Pepper."

Pete denied the session ever took place. Perhaps he really doesn’t remember due to some drugs taken that weekend or maybe it’s because Townshend loves to needle Roger. If such a session did take place, what a shame that there is no film of it.

Odds & Sods

NEWS
Two people were killed yesterday by subways in NYC. In once incident, a lady on the Upper East Side dropped her purse on the tracks and jumped down to get it. The story is here. Some of the quotes in the story are pretty graphic. It’s pretty unbelievable and in some ways makes me believe it was really a suicide.

Richard Belzer is denying choking a woman in an Apple store on the Upper West Side.

I remember when Belzer himself was choked out on his t.v. show by Hulk Hogan about 20 or so years ago..

I also remember Belzer ducking bullets in the movie Scarface.

But, I don't remember Belzer ever being funny.

Expecting a tax refund this year? Don't bet on getting it for a while as some states are freezing funds until the summer and maybe even the fall. What a joke.

SPORTS
I listened to most of Bob Heussler and Mike Francesa calling the Syracuse-Georgetown game yesterday.

Bob did a great job as always.

Speaking of which, the Mets look to be in for another one of those years.

In all likelihood, the Rangers won't make the playoffs this year. We can all blame head coach John Tortorella - and yes he deserves his share - but general manager Glen Sather should be called out for constructing a team with absolutely no cohesion.

Will Jets head coach Rex Ryan still be the media darling when the team takes a big step back next season?

Manny Pacquiao should have little trouble tomorrow night against Josh Clottey at Cowboys Stadium. Too bad we aren't seeing Pac against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Now THAT would be a fight!

MISC.
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards discuss here the spring re-release of Exile on Main Street, which will contain some unreleased tracks. I hope those songs are good, otherwise why mess with a perfect album?