Always be pure, simple and honest . . . . (Pure and Easy)
For some reason today’s Daily Tea immediately made me think of THE WHO. I know THE WHO does not usually conjure up images of peacefulness. In fact Pete Townshend single handedly made smashing a guitar about the coolest thing you could do, other than play it . . . but the music is pure and honest, although on the surface not simple. He did, however, I believe boil down today’s Daily Tea “Always be pure, simple and honest,” into a wonderful song. “Pure and Easy”
What is amazing about THE WHO is how they can conjure up such chaos and power and also have such intimate moments of silence and beauty; not unlike the difference between admiring a parked Harley and listening to one blast down a canyon with the pipes blaring! In other words Pure, Simple and Honest.
The phrase got me to thinking about what makes THE WHO sound so much different than Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and others of the time. Harmonically, they are all, mostly, blues based, so why the big difference in sound. Why, beyond Roger Daltrey’s voice can you immediately differentiate them from any other band the second you here them? All great guitarist have a unique tone and while Pete Townshend is one of the most amazing song writers ever his guitar sound is unmistakable, Roger Daltrey’s voice is one of those most definitive sounds in Rock and Roll and I wouldn’t be a bass player if it were not for the amazing percussive and melodic connections that John Entwistle brought every time he played. The same could really be said by anyone in defense of their favorite band.
Everyone was such a unique contributor in their own way but they did it simultaneously. All in their own worlds yet somehow connected. Usually, when bands do this, they can count on a drummer to “hold down the beat” keep everyone together. However, this is where THE WHO stand apart . . . Keith Moon.
Keith was unique in that during much of his career he never used a hi-hat; a staple for Rock Drummers . . . didn’t even have one on stage.As a drummer he floated between the beats using his ride cymbal, as in “let it ride.” This was the choice style of many surfer bands that were a big influence on his playing. Who better (he, he) to exemplify, “let it ride” than surfers . . . . ok perhaps motorcyclists.
Keith used this technique to create a sort of “floating chaos” as he practically soloed through songs rather than sitting back and just “holding down the beat.” It was what he heard, what he felt, not what everyone else was doing, but what he needed to do to express himself.
When I hear the who even at their most bombastic, I find that I can almost meditate to it. Unlike Metal, which has a distinct driving beat or Jam bands where the music can wander and float, THE WHO could crash down the road with a purpose that seems to have no direction only to end up exactly where it needed to be.
Pure . . . Simple . . . Honest . . .
In the end, today’s Tea and THE WHO remind me of how I often feel inside “floating chaos.” It used to bother it me, at times, it still does, but the more I can accept it, the more I can enjoy the ride . . .
Enjoy . . . WHO ARE YOU . . . as you ask yourself the same question . . .
What does today’s Daily Tea mean to you? Please comment below!