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Vintage Video: The Who - My Generation

The Who and the Famous Exploding Kit Incident on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Notice how the band (especailly Keith) mocked their way through the song - clearly showing that it was a soundtrack.

Here are some interesting facts about the song:

Roger Daltrey sang the lead vocals with a stutter, which was very unusual. After recording 2 takes of this normally, manager Kit Lambert suggested to Daltrey that he stutter to sound like a British kid on speed.

Pete Townshend wrote this while The Who were on their first tour. In a 1987 Rolling Stone magazine interview, Townshend explained: "'My Generation' was very much about trying to find a place in society. I was very, very lost. The band was young then. It was believed that its career would be incredibly brief." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)

Townshend wrote this for rebellious British youths known as "Mods." It expressed their feeling that older people just don't get it.

This contains the famous line, "I hope I die before I get old." Who drummer Keith Moon did, dying of a drug overdose in 1978.

This began as a slow song. It came to life when they sped it up.

This was the title track to the first Who album. In America, where they were less known, the album was titled The Who Sing My Generation.

Shel Talmy, who produced this, was fired the next year. Talmy filed a lawsuit and won extensive royalties from future albums.

The BBC refused to play this at first because they did not want to offend people with stutters. When it became a huge hit, they played it.

In 1965, Daltrey claimed he would kill himself before reaching 30 because he didn't want to get old. He still performs this, explaining that the song is about an attitude, not a physical age.

In September 1967, The Who performed this on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Moon set his drums to explode after the performance, but the technical crew had already done so. The resulting explosion burned Townshend's hair and permanently damaged his hearing.

This is the highest charting Who song in England.

This featured one of the first bass solos in Rock history. John Entwistle used a new-on-the-market Danelectro bass to play it, but he kept breaking strings trying to record it. A bit of a bummer that replacement strings weren't available, as he had to go out and buy an entire new bass. (thanks, fungus - Scotland)

This was covered by Iron Maiden, who was usually the Who's polar opposite both musically and lyrically. One connection they share is the BBC-TV series Top of the Pops. Performances on the show were customarily lip-synched, but The Who performed live on the show in 1972. In 1980, Iron Maiden also performed live, and was the first band to do so since The Who. Maiden put their version of "My Generation" on the B-side to the single for "Lord of the Flies." (thanks, Brett - Edmonton, Canada)

Green Day recorded this for their 1992 album Kerplunk!.

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Added: Aug-27-2008 
By: loofmot
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Tags: The Who, Smothers Brothers, My Generation
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