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Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Music Must Change...

How do you manage that....Having been enthralled and amazed by the world's most notable and celebrated rock n' roll bands, we had set a course to get up close and personal with Roger Daltrey. For the followers of this blog, you already know that we spent time with him on a few different occasions.

We had been to his hotel room, we had been to his home. We spent hours with him, alone, on his farm, and it was surreal. He had driven us to the train station. Does it get better than that? No, but certainly...it got 'different."

We were now older, a touch more worldly, and far more familiar with the underground music scene. In the time that we had seen Roger, the relative maturity in us, created a deeper understanding of what we were listening to.
Of course, we had heard every album The Who had done, bootlegs and all...but the way in which we heard the music was changing.

In the documentary, Amazing Journey, Eddy Vedder said something that was so on point. "You listen to The Who and you hear this voice, (Roger) and you think the music is coming from him. Then you realize there's this guy, Pete Townshend, who is writing all this stuff..."

The power of everything Pete Townshend touches had reached us and his grip on us had more impact than we had expected. We were undone by the depths of his creative genius. He was so prolific...both raw and refined as a musician and a writer...clearly a force that was unavoidable. We were in no uncertain terms, consumed with fascination about him....and we wanted to 'know' him as well.

Pete was in New York the week before the infamous series of shows The Who would be performing at Madison Square Garden. In our last post, we left off telling you that we had heard he was in New York and staying at a hotel on Central Park South. On that tip, and a good tip it was...we went to The Navarro Hotel. We had entered the lobby fairly early and were fortunate enough to bypass the small crowd that had tips of their own. We sat quietly on a sofa in the lobby and waited....and yes, introduced ourselves and he sat down on the couch with us...You can only imagine what it felt like when he asked us if we'd like to join him for a party in his room that evening. We returned to our apartment and stared blankly at each other. It was almost as if neither of us believed it had actually happened. We were in a 'dream state.' We had no idea what to expect. We were mystified that he stopped in his tracks when we called his name. After all, everyone calls his name! It was not dissimilar from what had happened when we met Roger Daltrey. Neither of them seemed surprised by us, and both, seemed to be very at ease in our company.

How do you process in your mind that you've been personally invited by Pete Townshend to a party in his room? Never mind that...what do you wear? Do you show up fashionably late?

We arrived at the hotel, said something or other to the man at the desk, and were told which floor and room to go to. And, just as Pete had told us, it was a very cool hang. There were a decent number of people in Pete's suite, but not too many. It was an intimate gathering and fairly low key. Richie Havens was there, and surely others from the music industry. For the obvious reasons, we were focused on Pete, and we listened while Pete was on the phone, chatting with Bruce Springsteen, trying to convince him to come to the party. We were perfectly happy just to be there and watch Pete Townshend as he went about the room chatting with this one and that.

To observe this man in such an intimate setting, and to be in his company is not easy to describe. He is a ROCK STAR, he is a deep and intricate artist, but you don't get any of that when you're with him. Surprisingly, he was extremely gentle, easy going, and very, very funny. His favorite phrase of the night was "toe rag." Everyone was a "fucking toe rag" at one time or another throughout the evening. Every time he said it, he cracked himself up, and us as well.

As the evening progressed, we had been trying to do the chill party thing. But we were dying to talk to him. Not about anything in particular, but we definitely wanted his time and attention, even for a moment or two. Almost instinctively, Pete wandered over to us, and asked if we were having a good time...He sat down in a club chair, and we perched ourselves on either arm of the chair.

Pete sat for a while...he seemed to be relaxed and happy. He smiled up at us. He seemed to be thinking out loud when he said, " Baby, I'm Amazed." Confused, we looked at him. It wasn't until he said, " My friend Paul wrote that song," that we realized he was talking about Paul McCartney. We never forgot that moment...

The mood shifted to silly. It was as if we were a little trio of trouble that needed to be separated from the rest of the class. At some point in this conversation, one of us told him how cool he looked when he was wearing a ring in his ear. With that, he said, "Yeah? Let's pierce it again!" We disappeared into his bedroom and he said, "go for it."

Who knows where the needle came from, but the next thing we knew, we locked ourselves in the bathroom, the three of us....and with Remy to sterilize, the needle was piercing his lobe. We were all cracking up, and Pete, well....patient...and grimacing.

      When the dirty deed was completed, and we don't even remember how successful it was, we emerged from the bathroom and sat together....talking and talking and talking....There was no foul play, there was no dirt, and as much as that would have made a great gossip tale, it simply was not that kind of party. It was just fun. We adored him. He was beyond cool, and from that moment on, we knew we'd always be connected. He was and always would be, very important to us both.

      It was getting late, and wanting to leave the fairy tale in tact, we got ready to leave. We were a bit tipsy, and we were not exactly seasoned party girls. It wasn't our thing....We thanked him, and thanked him and hugged him and while we really didn't want to ever leave...we did.
 
     As we headed out, Pete called us back. He asked us if we had tickets to the shows the following week. It was then, that we realized, in all the commotion...we didn't ! We said, "no, do you think it's too late to buy them?"
That must have been funny to him...given his obvious ability to arrange for anything having to do with seeing The Who....but we were genuine in our response, surprising as it may have been to him.

Pete looked at us, smiled that half Pete Townshend smile, and said, " Look,
I'll be back next week. You two show up here in the lobby the night of the first show. I'll take care of it. I'll be staying under the name **********."

We guessed he would arrange for us to have tickets to one of the shows.
We had no idea what was in store for us....stay tuned.

4 comments:

  1. you always end on a good bit :)
    i am really enjoying these.
    have you changed the look of the place here too ??

    ReplyDelete
  2. KEEP EM COMIN' XO

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  3. Anonymous....xo? We will if you will...

    ReplyDelete