The Who Re-Viewed Part 8
MY GENERATION IS YOUR GENERATION
In contrast to ‘Baba O’Riley’ and ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again,‘ ‘My Generation’ has been an embarrassing staple of The Who set for decades, surviving only by virtue of the blues jams that render its extension unique each night. And yet, finally, in their 60s, after two of The Who died before growing (officially) old (yawn), they have found a way to make it relevant once more. For that we thank the video screens (which have already served their purpose several times over, enlivening The Who show in a more down-to-earth manner than the lasers of old) that show every generation in their youthful prime: from mods to punks, hippies to rockers, Blitz Kids to ska boys, and with the wondrous inclusion of the late 80s rave generation, smiley shirts and all. The segue after the third verse, when the flashing lights of the rave dance floor circa 1989 give way, en cue with the Townshends’ thrashing guitars, to the flashing lights of the psychedelic dancefloor circa 1967, provides a sudden jolt to the system and provides a massive kiss of life into this otherwise tired old riff.
I saw myself up on that screen, in black and white, somewhere in the late 1970s: it wasn’t actually me, but it looked like the me I’d like to think I was. And I thought I saw my own sons in future years. And I know I felt the connection between my generation and The Who’s generation and every generation between, to the point that ‘My Generation’ no longer sounds like the hoary war cry of a sixties generation that failed to fulfill its promises. Rather, it’s the temporary celebration of every one who ever made the most of their teens, especially those who donned the fashions of the day and went out dancing all night.