Loyal devotees rally round Pete Townshend after he slammed NME.COM for a "negative" review of the band's recent New York show...
Fans of THE WHO have told nme.com in no uncertain terms what they thought of our review of the band’s gig at NEW YORK MADISON SQUARE GARDEN.
The review provoked Pete Townshend to pen a 1,700-word tirade on his website in protest at the critique, and it incited a massive and impassioned response from Who fans.
And it’s fair to say that they didn’t quite see eye to eye with our reviewer – of almost 600 people who posted their views, 3.8% saying they felt similarly let down by The Who‘s performance.
Our reviewer Alan Woodhouse commented that the show as “lapsing into prog-rock hell” , that the sons were overlong and self-indulgent, and that Townshend made “rambling pontifications on a number of topics”.
Pete took exception to his review, and retorted with an in-depth dissection on his website, [url=]www.petetownshend.com. He did admit: “My long guitar solos are, of course, hugely self-indulgent. I won’t claim to have invented prog rock, but if I played any part I will accept the mantle… The universally applauded ‘Live At Leeds’ was probably a high point for what the NME now calls ‘prog rock’.”
But his fans logged on in droves to tell us what they thought, and despite one New York music fan claiming that many people had been disappointed by the show, the evidence says otherwise! “This asshole should seal off his mouth with glue. With that name… I doubt he’ll ever acomplish (sic) to be a music critic.” “Just because a 55-year-old doesn?t fuck like a 20-year-old, it doesn’t mean he should stop fucking.” “The reviewer made a lot of legitimate points, but Pete is ultimately right – we can do what the fuck we like and get away with it. He’s earned that right.” “Send him to some Backstreet Boys shows, maybe that’s something his tiny brain could understand.” “Genius never goes out of style”. “You have to accept the fact they’re not 20 any more, it’s not 1966 any more and you can’t blame The Who for that!” “You pompous English snots should continue to review pretensious (sic) bands like Travis, Belle And Sebastian and The Dandy Warhols. Or we won’t come to save your Limey asses next time.” “…of course it’s indulgent and that’s why we love it and not shit like Dum Dums…” “You’re both right, but you don?t mind Radiohead playing loads of prog rock, so why should Pete Townshend be any different?”
However, there were a handful of people who wrote in support of Alan‘s standpoint – even if not all were entirely impartial. Comments in support included:”Everybody here in New York was talking about Pete‘s horrible showing.” “Gee, I wish he [Townshend] did die before he got old.” “Get off the stage, silly old man!” “Alan was right. He is honest and has integrity. I should know, I’m his dad.”
Taking the slating at the hands of Who fans in good spirit, Alan commented: “I’m a little surprised to be labelled English for a start. I’m Scottish.
“The Who have obviously got a lot of very loyal fans, and I admire their passion for the band, but their comments aren’t particularly constructive. I’m actually a fan as well – I’d rather listen to The Who than The Dandy Warhols or Dum Dums, for instance. I was really excited about the show, but Townshend‘s onstage comments were among the most pretentious I’ve ever heard, and the band’s performance, bar Zak Starkey, who was magnificent, was patchy to say the least. Would you prefer me to lie?
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“Townshend‘s reaction shows just how sensitive he is about this tour, and he has good reason to be so amusingly insecure.”