Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My First: Teenage Wasteland!

The Who: Baba O’Riley


Out here in the fields
I fight for my meals
I get my back into my living.
I don't need to fight
To prove I'm right
I don't need to be forgiven.
Has anybody seen the short-lived TV show called Freaks and Geeks? It was a pretty good show, or at least I think so. Probably because the younger brother in the show, Sam, was me. I was the same age (14), in the same state (Michigan), at the same time (early 1980s), with the same social prospects as that little 14-year kid (hopelessly pining for the beautiful, friendly, popular girl). My high school even had the same odd nickname (the Norsemen). So, basically, I was clueless and girls were scary.

My musical knowledge consisted of Top 40 radio (Hall & Oates, Toto, Journey) and my parents’ record collection (Gordon Lightfoot, John Denver, The Carpenters). Then I went to some kind of “band” party to make a homecoming float and I heard “Teenage Wasteland.” It blew me away. I was ready to enter the teenage wasteland. This might have been the first time music really moved me. I found out that the song was really called “Baba O’Riley” by The Who.

The next day I took my newspaper delivery money and rode my bike down to Harmony House to find the record by The Who with the song Baba O’Riley. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. Better yet, my parents didn’t really like it. I’ve been a devoted music fan ever since.

The Who are not a very fashionable group these days, but damn if Keith’s drumming still doesn’t get my blood pumping.

Bonus tunes:

The Who: Love Ain't For Keeping
Petra Haden: Don't Stop Believin'


Anonymous said...

That is an amazing scene - Freaks & Geeks was an awesome show, but the problem is that it really never got better than that first episode.

So, what's this about the who being unfashionable? No one told me this.

Anonymous said...

Freaks and Geeks was an excellent show.

Baba O'Reilly is, indeed, a terrific/powerful tune.

I don't need to be forgiven,


Anonymous said...


I was on an on-line forum about great music and a lot of folks were trashing The Who as being dinosaurs, not has "hip" these days as Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Kinks, Stones, etc.

That's where my comment comes from. I'm still a big Who fan myself.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I wonder what the Who did to get on the wrong side of fashionability. I would think that if anyone was going to lose their "hip" credentials it would be a band like the beatles - with their American Idol associations, Across The Universe (the movie), and things like that. The Who still seem pretty pure to me.

(except I guess they are the theme song to some show that I've never seen -- a cop show, I think. Maybe that hurt their image.)

Matt said...

Hey Six,
Here's another Petra Haden Song, in case you don't have it... A cover of a The Who song!
Petra Haden: Armenia City In The Sky

I'm posting it up in here because, well, it's not one of my first songs, but I still want to share it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Matt. I have that album. It's pretty amazing. (For those who haven't heard, Petra did an a capella cover of every song on The Who Sell Out). Word is that Pete Townshend loved it but Roger Daltry hated it. The Journey cover reminds me of those early high school days.