Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pure & Not So Easy

A friend just said this to me about Burning Wood-

"The reason I go there everyday is because of your uncensored obsession."

When I hear the word "obsession," my first thoughts aren't good thoughts.  But here, in the context of music and writing, I'm okay with it, because it happens to be true.

Todays' obsession:

Pete Townshend and his live version of "The Shout."

I was unfamiliar with this song before yesterday. A studio version can be found on "Another Scoop," the second of three collections featuring Pete demos. I have all three collections, but remember little about any of them. I had been listening to a live concert recorded at The Fillmore in 1996, and two or three songs in, Townshend begins talking about how he doesn't like to write love songs but prefers to write about "something higher." He then launched into "The Shout."

Quite simply, I felt as if I was smacked with a bag of nickels.

Oh, oh
Oh, oh
I miss you, I miss you
I remember lying by your side
Up in the eerie waters of paradise
N' then one day you walked out
Now I have nothing to do but shout

And I want my voice

To cut over mountains
And I want my soul
To gush up like fountains
To where you reside

That's it. Those are the lyrics. Pure and simple. But it's Pete's delivery that turns this simple poem into the powerhouse it is. It is honest. It is primal. It's a Pete Townshend love song and I am currently obsessed with it. Not the studio version. This live version.

It is Pete Townshend uncensored and obsessed. I hope you feel it.


Anonymous said...

The Shout has always been one of my favorites of the Scoop series. Pete really nailed it here. Holy shit this is good. Randy

richeye said...

Lyrically and melodically, I always felt the same way about Sunrise from The Who Sell Out. "You take away the breath I was keeping for sunrise."

Troy said...

That was excellent. Thanks for sharing.

LP Steve said...

Thank you, Sal. I've been a little off Pete for the last few years, but this reminds me why I love him.

steve simels said...

Have you ever heard Pete's acoustic two guitar (the other is John Williams, the classical guy not the Star Wars composer) version of "Won't Get Fooled Again" from one of the Secret Policeman's Ball albums?

That was the moment I became completely convinced that Pete was a genuinely Great Man, not just a terrific songwriter and guitarist.

A walk in the woods said...

That is awesome! Interesting you mention an obsession with this song (which I'd never heard before) because my biggest recent "back to the future" obsession band, easily, has been The Who. I've liked 'em for years, but in the past year or so, for some damn reason, I've grown to LOVE them. This song is a real nice new feather in that cap. Could you post it as an MP3 perhaps? (or even... that whole Fillmore '96 show)

I think the thing that got me obsessed with the Who was seeing this footage -- about a decade after the event itself -- of them performing at the 9/11 tribute. (Might have even been here on Burning Wood that I saw it!!!)

Wait for the Who to start: 68 seconds in. Scintillating.

In fact, shit, it might not GET any cooler than this!


Sal Nunziato said...


I know what you mean about that 9/11 performance. I saw them twice in 2005, I think. Sometime around there. And Pete was just fantastic. So full of emotion and really animated. I think I've been on a Who kick for about 40 years now.