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The EvO:R Street Journal
The EvO:R Street Journal
Dedicated to the culture, business and interests of the indie artist.
EVJ delivers controversial points of view, hard-news commentary, Industry Insites,
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Perfect Bands - The Who, The Beatles, And DEVO?
By David Rosenthal
Because of a TV show I saw last night I'm in the mood to write about what I consider to be
basically perfect bands. That means almost every song on every album sounds good. Today
I've chosen The Who The Beatles and DEVO, and yes, I know Queen, Rush and Sabbath should
be on the list, but let's try just 3 at a time. And most of this piece is going to be
about the Who anyway.
David T Rosenthal. Chicago native, lived in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo. Graduated Columbia
University. Did film/tv acting. Studied Bujinkan Taijutsu. Comic book and movie fan. Renovating my home.
I'm not a rock historian. Just a guy. But I'm from Chicago, and this city is a Rock Town.
I mean, it's so MANY things musically: Blues, House, Jazz even. But when you turn on the
radio you'd be surprised at how much "classic rock" is still on the radio. I sure as hell
was when I came back a couple of years ago. And I like it. I went through years when I just
couldn't take standard rock, but I can appreciate it again now. And more importantly some
music in that genre I've never stopped liking. My age is scary to me. How old I've gotten
and my own mortality, plus I don't have a wife and family yet, BUT I' am so extremely happy
about being around for the music; I;ve been alive to experience some of the best music ever.
Being alive from the late 60's to the present is just a fantastic time to have lived-musically speaking.
I heard this Who song on the radio driving the other day Eminence Front. That intro, like so
many Who intros, is just mesmerizing. It is just perfect music. And here' the funny part;
its dated! In a good way. It's a DEFINING sound of the 80's and I don't know why, but it
SOUNDS like the 80's just as sure as My Generation says 60's. But it's got heart and soul
and just sounds good. And last night VH1 did one of their Rock Docs on the Who, and honestly
Vh1 did it again-in terms of pulling back the curtain and showing us something that needed
to be shown. AND NO COMMERCIALS. They ran it straight through. Wow. My piece on the Salt N
Pepper Show gets traffic all day, every day because VH1 is onto something (don't even get me
started on the Bonaduce show!).
So the WHO are really like a definitive rock band. I mean the 60's can really be relived via sound
by just listening to Who albums. The weird thing is I didn't grow up thinking of myself as a Who fan,
but so much of their music is just KNOWN to me. In my mind the TV band, the Monkees had taken their
cue from the Beatles, but now that I LISTEN to the Who it's clear the impact they had on that group
also. Watching that VH1 special I realized I knew and liked every single song that played. And looking
at the footage I also realized they truly embodied that "British Invasion" vibe more than anybody;
with those Union Jack clothes and those concentric circles that I really first saw when I was a
punk rocker and our sort of "sister league" were the Mods. In fact Keith Moon's entire wardrobe
should be on display somewhere. And the attitude! I really wonder if Warren Ellis had them in
mind when he co-created the Authority.
The perfection of the Beatles is not even something I'm going to attempt to write about. But again,
the other day I was listening to the radio, and heard some George Harrison music. And started
doing some internet research and BOOM. So many of the songs I think of as Lennon/McCartney songs
were actually Harrison. And every album he put out, when I look back, like 'em all! Want to really
get freaked out? Do an internet search for a photo of Harrison's son Dhani.
And to make another odd connection here. It's well known that Harrison's involvement in Hindu philosophy and
bringing to the spotlight Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, was a big deal. But to go back to the Who for a second.
Pete Townsend was a major follower of a different Hindu spiritual leader, Meher Baba. Meher was mostly
known for his long standing vow of silence, and probably not as well known inspiring Bobby McFerrin's
hit song (because Don't Worry be Happy was Meher's main saying).
Back to my radio listening. A little over 2 weeks ago I was listening to Mark's Friday afternoon program.
He had done a rather unusual thing for a KXLU DJ. He had pre-recorded an interview with somebody. Mark
Mothersbaugh from Devo. Great. Just great. Learned all kinds of crazy new stuff about Devo. And here's
the weirdest thing; they were around in 1973! Check out this video of their first live show.
ESJ is looking for writers/poets for our next issues.
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