October 1, 2020

1980-04-29 – The Minneapolis Star

1980 04 29 The_Minneapolis_Star_Tue__Apr_29__1980_

These days. everyone seems to
be bad- -mouthing The Who.

Item 1: Last week. l heard a ra-
dio commercial advertising a local
performance by an unknown band
that recreates the music of the
Doors. “More chairs broken there
than at The Who 3 concert." the ad
boasted of the; g'roup a show in
some club in some city on the East
Coast. 0! course. i doubt the Who
and this little- known band pyla ed
in the same club. Nevertheless. the
ad made its point

item 2: A couple of weeks ago at
the John Denver concert in St.
Paul, two men sitting behind me
were complaining about how they
had paid the top ticket price for
loge seats that seemed miles away
from the stage-in-the-round. They
earned for seats on the main floor
bat surrounded the stage and
could find little solace in their situ-
ation. “One thing i know for sure."
one man said. “i wouldn't want to
lit down there for The Who con-
cert." I turned around and saw two
{Dish men wearing suits. i doubt

either man could name one song by
The Who.

The Who doesn't deserve this
bad rap. whether it's coming from
middle-aged men who don't know
any better or rock club owners
who should know better. This band
deserves some respect.

The Who gained this reputation
and eternal notoriety because ll


J on Bream

persons were trampled to death
trying to get into the band's con-
cert in Cincinnati in December. Al-
though The Who attracted those ll
young people to Riverfront Colise-
um that night. it was not the
band's fault that the tragedy oc-

The mana ement of the flute-
ly owned co oiseum mishan led the
crowd-control situation by opening
too few arena doors after the an-
nounced opening time for the gen-
eral-admission concert.

Since that concert. the city of
Cincinnati has adopted new regula-
tions. banning general-admission
seating and r uirin more doors
open at an ear ier t me. cracking
down on smoking inside the arena
and ti; htenin overall securit.
Concerts by Z Top and Lin a
Ronstadt have since been held
there with no major incidents.

(Those kinds of policies have
been practiced at the St. Paul Civic
Center and Bloomington's Met
Center for several years. However,
for Wednesday's Who concert in
St. Paul. there will be more plain-
clothes police outside the civic cen-
ter than usual for sold-out rock
concerts. building manager John
Friedman said. because spring
weather mi ht attract more gate-
crashers an ticket scalpers.)

Of course. The Who was not
simply a victim of circumstance in
Cincinnati. Violence is part of the

Ti peyalotan hard-rock band And .

celebrated British quartet
whose influence and importance is
rivaled by only the Beatles and
Rolling Stones,y earned its follow-
ing. in part. because of the auto-
destruct showmanship of Pete
Townshend, who was given to
smashing his guitar during the last
song of each performance. and the
late Keith Moon. who would often
puncture and/or kick over his
drum kit. and probably trashed as
many hotel rooms as drum kits.

However. The Who' 5 showman
ship. though not its music. has mel
lowed with age. Townshend re-
portedly has discontinued decimat-
ing guitars and Kenney Jones. the
replacement for Moon. is less ram-
bunctious than his predecessor.

The Who's shows may go on
with less violence. but the fact re-
mains that violence. sex and drugs
remain part of popular music.

"The pop music industry is no
different than the movie or TV in-
dustry in that it gives the public
high doses of sex. violence and
drugs in the name of entertain-
ment." wrote Temple University
student Jack B. Samuels in his
master's thesis on the influence of

Twin Cities concerts will prove
hard- rocking Who 1s all right

pop music on society. "Yet. par-
ents and community leaders have
not seemed to care about the pop
music industry' 3 effects on society
to any great extent.

“The pop concert brings prob-
lems into the open since the music
reflects current societal trends as
well as influences them. As such.
per music concerts can be a valu-
ab e place to observe and learn to
deal with these pioblems.

“Parents might stop their chil-
dren from seeing an R- or X- rated
movie. but few parents stop chil-
dren from going to pop music can-
certs. Parents and community lead-
ers alike do not apparently absorb
much of the lyrics visual or envi-
ronmental experience of popular

Having seen The Who three
times. i would probably give a PG
rating to the band's shows
Wednesday and Friday at the St.
Paul Civic Center. But the rating is
only academic.

lf violence on stage is still a ma-
]or factor with The Who, it is as a
positive. liberating force. it‘s a
way for kids to vent their anger
and frustration in a communal way

with a band that has articulated

The Minneapolis Star
Tuesday, April 29. 1980


Pete Townshend right and the late Keith Moon

the trials of adolescvnce better
than any other rock group. it’s a
positive release of energy. a joyous
celebration of kindred spirits. a
communication with adults who
understand and care. Or as the title
of the documentary of The Who's
career put it: “The Kids Are Ai-

POP MUSINGS: Tommy Cald-
Well. bass player for the Marshall
Tucker Band and brother of Tucker
guitarist Toy Caldwell. died this
week of injuries suffered in a car
accident in his hometown. Spar-
tanburg, ‘10 His brother, Tim.
who did not play in the band, died

a few weeks ago in a separate car
accident. Almost sounds like
shades of Allman Brothers Band.
two members of which—Duane
Allman and Berry Oakley—died in
separate motorcycle accidents on
the same road one year apart. The
Tucker band got its start opening
concerts for the Allmans in the
early '708.

Watch for the Grateful Dead
May 31 at Met Center . . . “Funky
town," the single by Minneapolis‘
Steve Greenberg who records as
Llpps. lnc.. has climbed to N0. 9 on
the soul charts and N0. 24 on the
pop charts. The tune was a No. l
disco recordo

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