Saturday, May 8, 2021

Fast: Fast Food


purchase [ The Iron Man]

Welp ... it looks like SMM posts for this theme never got in to the alternate meaning of <fast> timed to fit the Islamic month of Ramadan, where believers fast from sunrise to sunset. Our theme looks set to end here; Ramadan in a few days. Here is a food-related post to compensate or celebrate.

Pete Townshend/The Who has something for musicals: Tommy ... Quadrophenia ... The Iron Man ... more? The rock musical is not exactly a grossly popular format but there are several more than I was aware of sprinkled among the 75+ listings at the Wiki - some Lloyd Webber, Pink Floyd's The Wall - but also Paul Simon, Green Day, Bono ... have a look.

Townshend's Iron Man eats heavy metal as well as fast food. Fast? you say. In the Ted Hughes book from which the musical is adapted, the iron man wreaks havoc by eating industrial farm machinery- until he changes his mind and saves the world from a space alien. ... sci-fi from '68 adapted with Hughes' support and turned into a musical after several re-writes by Townshend and David Thacker, Director of the Young Vic theater at the time.

The lyrics are extensive - lines and lines of somewhat rique material: rich in connotation and, as ever for Townshend, critical. In this case about, of course, fast food. The album where it appears is kind of a off-spring of the full musical, which was still being cobbled together in 1989 when the album was released. According to at least one critic, the song following Fast Food (I Eat Heavy Metal) had the potential for a more raucus rendition, but both- to my ears - sound like The Who. Nina Simone is credited with the vocals but it sounds to me like mostly Townshend (but then again, I don't really knoiw much about Simone). Daltry and Entwhistle also perform on the album, which is not a Who album since the band had since disbanded. Kind of: Superbowl XLIV anyone?

You can read a lot lot more yourself here in an extensive, entertaining and informative read at

And a snippet of the lyrics, for your eyes (for your ears is at the top of the page):

I don't even want it killed

If it's dead I heave, it makes me sick

So check that it can breathe and bring it to me quick

I want food fast

I want fast food

Frisky little children

Served up in the nude

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