Today’s music video is Happy Jack from the English band The Who.
This video was posted to You Tube by fritz5172
In the 60′s, all eyes turned to England as a plethora of solo artists, both male and female, and a succession of bands changed the face of popular music. The list is endless as music changed forever. Like a huge Tsunami, this new brand of popular music rolled across the Planet. Part of this wonderful change were the bands, and it seemed like a new band appeared every other week as this wonderful new music captured every young person.
One of those bands appeared in 1964. They had been playing for two years under other names, and when their line up solidified into the 4 members, they started recording under the new name of The Who. Their second Single made it into the Top Ten in the UK, and so did their third Single. Their next Single was the huge My Generation, which went all the way to Number Two at a time when The Beatles were going to Number One with every song they wrote and released, so to get that close when the Beatles had already scaled the summit was no mean feat. They followed this song up with Substitute, which again almost made it to Number One. The band had now had four Top Ten hits and were well known. Part of their fame stemmed from an accident at a concert when lead guitarist Pete Townshend broke his guitar when it (somehow) came into contact with the ceiling above the band on stage. The crowd treated this with some humour, and, angered by this, Townshend then smashed the guitar to pieces on the stage, picked up another one, and continued with the concert. However, this gave the band a gimmick now, and from then on there was often smashing of instruments in their concerts, from Pete, to bassist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. This would have been a costly thing to do, but it was now part of their act. This, when also taking into account their bad, usually drunken, behaviour at Hotels where they stayed whilst performing their now huge concerts gave the band a label as ‘bad boys’ but while obnoxious at times, it had become part of the persona of the band, now quite a huge band in the UK. What was also a little different was that while the three instrument players were considered bad boys, their singer, Roger Daltrey always seemed to be so ‘clean cut’ and well dressed, again part of their now famed persona. Daltrey’s voice added something to the lyrics for every song.
They followed up those early hit Singles with a smash album My Generation, which solidified the band’s stature as a huge name in the music industry.
1966 saw the band releasing another string of Top Ten rating Singles. The first of these was I’m A Boy, which again could not quite make it to Number One, coming up one place short of that. Following that came the featured song for today, Happy Jack, which is my personal favourite from this wonderful band.
The song is (supposedly) drawn from Peter Townshend’s youth, and he has woven the lyrics around that. It’s just such a catchy song.
The second song featured today is their next Single after Happy Jack, and this song also went into the Top Five as well.
Titled Pictures Of Lily, its lyrics deal with a young teenaged boy who has insomnia. He asks his father about it, and his father gives him a picture of a pretty young woman to hang on his wall, and tells him to look at the image each night when he goes to bed. This helps the boy sleep better, but he then falls in love with the girl in the image, and asking his father if he could be introduced to the girl, his father mentions that she died in 1929. Although not actually mentioned in the song itself, the lyrics deal with what was still a taboo subject at the time. You work it out.
The band’s image as bad boys followed them everywhere, and eventually, in 1978, it claimed the life of legendary drummer Keith Moon. His alcoholism was a huge problem, and he was desperately trying to clean up, and was using sedatives as part of that process. He overdosed on that prescribed medication and died. He was only 32.
He was, however, part of one of the most influential pieces of modern music, The Who’s legendary album Tommy, which became a monster album, and then a monster stage play, and then a movie.
The Who were at the forefront of changes in modern music that altered its direction, and they have left a string of wonderful songs.
This video was posted to You Tube by OxAeroBabixO