Pete Townshend latest comments on the Beatles

SisterRaySisterRay Opening Act
edited September 2009 in The Beatles: Rock Band
The Beatles did not grow up,” said Pete Townshend, 64, the leader of fellow English rock legends The Who. “They stopped making records at a point where what they were doing was incredibly interesting and potentially very, very mature. They worked as solo artists, obviously, but — as a band — they stopped.
“Yet, there’s something universal about that music and The Beatles’ appeal that will go on for a long time to come, in spite of their not being here. Because they were driven by a real passion, which is still evident, and were endlessly innovative. They put an awful lot into the music and it lives on

Comments

  • mazeltomtom19mazeltomtom19 Opening Act
    edited August 2009
    And Pete Townshend grew up?!? He's possibly the most immature 64 year old I have ever seen...
  • fuselage321fuselage321 Ringo Impersonator
    edited August 2009
    mazeltomtom19;2960359 said:
    And Pete Townshend grew up?!? He's possibly the most immature 64 year old I have ever seen...
    This
  • sonicnerd23sonicnerd23 Road Warrior
    edited August 2009
    Says the man who, 41 years ago, gave the Beatles flak for not writing real heavy songs.

    Seriously, Pete's a good guitarist and songwriter, but this just comes off as rude.
  • thedoorsdkthedoorsdk Road Warrior
    edited August 2009
    I don't quite understand why everyone is so offended by this. It sounds like a genuine compliment to me.
  • sonicnerd23sonicnerd23 Road Warrior
    edited August 2009
    thedoorsdk;2960395 said:
    I don't quite understand why everyone is so offended by this. It sounds like a genuine compliment to me.
    Well, the second part of the statement, no doubt.
  • Opus PenguinOpus Penguin Opening Act
    edited August 2009
    I take it as a compliment within an insult. But to each their own opinion. I like the Who, but I see The Beatles being long remembered after The Who. Mature or not, their songs are lasting.
  • thedoorsdkthedoorsdk Road Warrior
    edited August 2009
    sonicnerd23;2960397 said:
    Well, the second part of the statement, no doubt.
    Well keep in mind this is coming from someone who finds it incredibly hard to say positive things about his own band, let alone anyone else's.
    This is probably the nicest thing Pete has said in a long time.
  • NathanNRTNathanNRT Unsigned
    edited August 2009
    mazeltomtom19;2960359 said:
    And Pete Townshend grew up?!? He's possibly the most immature 64 year old I have ever seen...
    Hahahahaha if anything he's one of the most mature........
  • GreatwhitehypeGreatwhitehype Unsigned
    edited August 2009
    I dont think you guys are getting what hes saying...its not a diss...hes saying that they broke up just as they were entering their mature, 'grown up' phase. In other words, we didnt get a chance to see them (or hear them, rather) follow through on that phase. Thats why he says that they stopped making music just as they started to put out their best work. I would happen to agree with him. Based on the trajectory of their last 4 albums I would say they were still getting better and better and we were nowhere near seeing their career arcs come downward yet. He mentions their solo work but acknowledges that it is not the same thing.

    I had to read it a second time to get it because I initially thought he was taking a shot at them, but he isnt...no need to kill Townshend.

    BTW, TEN DAYS LEFT, folks:D
  • PCTraitorPCTraitor Road Warrior
    edited August 2009
    I do think he has a point. The Beatles never got to ruin their legacy. They went out on top and stayed out. Once Lennon died their already (deserved) legendary status went to godlike. Coming back again and again for reunion tours of diminshing quality have made bands, including the Who, seem less legendary. I think he was commenting on that.
  • zerofanzerofan Road Warrior
    edited August 2009
    thedoorsdk;2960395 said:
    I don't quite understand why everyone is so offended by this. It sounds like a genuine compliment to me.
    Yeah he started off sounding jealous and tried to recover....he has no reason to be jealous....he is in The Who for crying out loud!
  • colahead420colahead420 Opening Act
    edited August 2009
    I think he may be right when he says they never grew up. After reading that article about why The Beatles broke up, it seemed The Beatles bickered like little boys and some of them acted like the center of the universe.

    I love The Beatles with all my heart, but that article was depressing, and I really wasn't expecting that. On a side note, whether you think they're immature or not, I liked the fact that they joked around and did weird things in the studio. This is partly why they are the best band ever.

    You take the good with the bad. I wouldn't want the Beatles any other way.
  • theeggmantheeggman Opening Act
    edited August 2009
    That statement is not very clear. What I think Townshend means by "more mature" is "more progressive rock". The Beatles did some progressive stuff at the end of their career like with You never give me your money or I want you, but they were not a progressive rock band. They wrote tunes. Art-pop-rock tunes but tunes.

    In my opinion, they stopped at their peak really. They could have made one more terrific album with songs like Imagine, Jealous Guy, How?, Maybe I'm amazed, Junk, Every Night, My Sweet Lord, Isn't it a pity, What Is Life, I don't come easy, but after that point, their best years were behind them really.
  • nbalive2005nbalive2005 Rising Star
    edited August 2009
    theeggman;2960594 said:
    That statement is not very clear. What I think Townshend means by "more mature" is "more progressive rock". The Beatles did some progressive stuff at the end of their career like with You never give me your money or I want you, but they were not a progressive rock band. They wrote tunes. Art-pop-rock tunes but tunes.

    In my opinion, they stopped at their peak really. They could have made one more terrific album with songs like Imagine, Jealous Guy, How?, Maybe I'm amazed, Junk, Every Night, My Sweet Lord, Isn't it a pity, What Is Life, I don't come easy, but after that point, their best years were behind them really.
    No way, your just putting out their good solo songs. They could have easily made great quality songs for a long long time considering that they would have been able to write songs together, they were the greatest band of all time because of their songs and their songs were so great because of the creative input of all 4 of them.

    Thinking that if they made an album after that, that it would only be full of their solo hits is closed minded and foolish. Those songs deemed "hits" might not have even made the record.
  • vcalzonevcalzone Rising Star
    edited August 2009
    The brilliance of The Beatles was that they didn't HAVE to use amazing songs like those to create a great album. And I have to say, all those songs are made all the worse by the lack of input from the other members of the group. Particularly so many of McCartney's songs that have terrible 70s production.
  • RADIO CHRISRADIO CHRIS Road Warrior
    edited August 2009
    The Who is not in the same league as The Beatles and that's Real
  • soup567soup567 Headliner
    edited August 2009
    Why do most people here think it's an insult? It's obviously a compliment.
  • wcarnationwcarnation Road Warrior
    edited August 2009
    theeggman;2960594 said:
    That statement is not very clear. What I think Townshend means by "more mature" is "more progressive rock". The Beatles did some progressive stuff at the end of their career like with You never give me your money or I want you, but they were not a progressive rock band. They wrote tunes. Art-pop-rock tunes but tunes.
    I dunno about "more progressive rock", but maybe "more substance". They were getting beyond songs about dainty times and petty issues of young men that are recounted countless times and were starting to move into musical styles and lyrical themes that were both original and meaningful. Imagine being an example of that.

    Going from audio cheesecake to audio brainfood.
  • CuaisesDCuaisesD Unsigned
    edited August 2009
    soup567;2961148 said:
    Why do most people here think it's an insult? It's obviously a compliment.
    That's an easy one. It's like I tell you: "Hey, you're a inmature ****... But then again I think you're great"
  • samjjonessamjjones Road Warrior
    edited August 2009
    As tasteless as it may seem, if Keith Moon had died immediately after recording "Who's Next" and The Who stayed permanently disbanded, this conversation might be different.
  • Submarine777Submarine777 Unsigned
    edited August 2009
    RADIO CHRIS;2961117 said:
    The Who is not in the same league as The Beatles and that's Real
    I wouldn't go that far at all. Quadrophenia beats anything the Beatles ever did in musicianship and songwriting. Let's face it Entwistle and Moon were almost like gods on their respective instruments while Roger was an amazing singer from Tommy and on. I can't really judge Townshend's guitar playing, because he mostly played rhythm while Entwistle played the melody on his bass, but I can say his songwriting is better than the Beatles songwriting individually at least.
  • Julio_Strikes_BackJulio_Strikes_Back Headliner
    edited August 2009
    RADIO CHRIS;2961117 said:
    The Who is not in the same league as The Beatles and that's Real
    Hahaha. Ha.
  • vcalzonevcalzone Rising Star
    edited August 2009
    I have to disagree strongly, sub. I love The Who, but their recorded material lacked the spark and impromptu nature of most of the good Beatles stuff, and their songwriting was never as strong as Lennon/McCartney. Though to be fair, whose is?

    Individually, they were fantastic, and Moon is, hands down, my favorite drummer of all time. But when Townshend called "I Can See For Miles" really wild, McCartney knew it was fairly tame, then made Helter Skelter to show them how it's done. There is no moment as savage as "I got blisters on me fingers-CLANG!" in the Who's entire discography.
  • AwdrgyAwdrgy Opening Act
    edited August 2009
    Submarine777;2961575 said:
    I wouldn't go that far at all. Quadrophenia beats anything the Beatles ever did in musicianship and songwriting. Let's face it Entwistle and Moon were almost like gods on their respective instruments while Roger was an amazing singer from Tommy and on. I can't really judge Townshend's guitar playing, because he mostly played rhythm while Entwistle played the melody on his bass, but I can say his songwriting is better than the Beatles songwriting individually at least.
    Agreed.

    But you've watched The Who do a live concert, correct? Pete, whether or not he enjoyed it, was quite amazing on the guitar. Isle of Wight, Kilburn, London Coliseum..all four of them were quite the musicians.

    But either way, he's Pete. He's the same as he's always been.
  • Submarine777Submarine777 Unsigned
    edited August 2009
    vcalzone;2961632 said:
    I have to disagree strongly, sub. I love The Who, but their recorded material lacked the spark and impromptu nature of most of the good Beatles stuff, and their songwriting was never as strong as Lennon/McCartney. Though to be fair, whose is?

    Individually, they were fantastic, and Moon is, hands down, my favorite drummer of all time. But McCartney was right when he heard "I Can See For Miles" and said it was fairly tame, then made Helter Skelter to show them how it's done. There is no moment as savage as "I got blisters on me fingers!" in the Who's entire discography.

    I still think Townshend's work has more substance to it, but everybody's taste is different.

    I don't get how I Can See for Miles inspired Helter Skelter. The former was their deepest step into psychedelia not metal because if you look in Live at Leeds you can clearly see who's the heavier band. It's called "I saw you!" at the end of Happy Jack.
    Awdrgy;2961641 said:
    Agreed.

    But you've watched The Who do a live concert, correct? Pete, whether or not he enjoyed it, was quite amazing on the guitar. Isle of Wight, Kilburn, London Coliseum..all four of them were quite the musicians.

    But either way, he's Pete. He's the same as he's always been.
    I've seen their concerts and I'll agree that Pete played his guitar in a flashier and more intense manner than George did, but I talking about studio albums and as you know Pete doesn't really do solos on them very often as he tends to stick to playing the rhythm.
  • WingsOfSteelWingsOfSteel Headliner
    edited August 2009
    vcalzone;2961632 said:
    There is no moment as savage as "I got blisters on me fingers-CLANG!" in the Who's entire discography.
    There are at least ten in Live at Leeds alone.
  • RainbowMistRainbowMist Rising Star
    edited August 2009
    That is way more a complement than it is a diss, especially coming from Pete Townshend, and way less than stuff he's said in the past, he definitely respects the Beatles though.

    Interestingly, I was looking for the clip from The Kids are Alright, when he (kind of) calls the Beatles "flipping lousy", but instead I found something that actually backs up my second point.
  • vcalzonevcalzone Rising Star
    edited August 2009
    Nonetheless, that is the song that inspired McCartney to do so. I dunno, any comparison of really amazing players to The Beatles always seems off to me. I always saw The Beatles as an amazing band and amazing songwriters slightly crippled by their own limitations on their respective instruments. Much like Bob Dylan or Elvis Costello, they relied on substance and style, not technique. And the fact that they were able to just toss something like Helter Skelter off simply for the hell of it speaks to their true talents. That's all I'm saying.
  • iAmtheWalrusiAmtheWalrus Rising Star
    edited August 2009
    thedoorsdk;2960395 said:
    I don't quite understand why everyone is so offended by this. It sounds like a genuine compliment to me.
    More of a 'backhanded' compliment, if you will.
  • chumsicleschumsicles Road Warrior
    edited August 2009
    RADIO CHRIS;2961117 said:
    The Who is not in the same league as The Beatles and that's Real
    This x1000. I bet if the Who weren't so prominently featured in Rock Band, people wouldn't be overrating them so much. They're a good band, but not nearly as good as the Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, or even CCR
    Submarine777;2961575 said:
    I wouldn't go that far at all. Quadrophenia beats anything the Beatles ever did in musicianship and songwriting. Let's face it Entwistle and Moon were almost like gods on their respective instruments while Roger was an amazing singer from Tommy and on. I can't really judge Townshend's guitar playing, because he mostly played rhythm while Entwistle played the melody on his bass, but I can say his songwriting is better than the Beatles songwriting individually at least.
    I disagree, Quadrophenia not only isn't anywhere near as good as anything the Beatles ever did, it's pretty far down the list of Who albums for me. Way too overblown and exaggerated to have any emotional resonance whatsoever.
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