See me. Feel me. Touch me. Heal me. The Who's surviving band members, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, were recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors last evening, along with Morgan Freeman, Barbra Streisand, George Jones and Twyla Tharp. The honors recognize individuals who have had an impact on American culture through the performing arts, part of the living memorial to President John F. Kennedy.
The Who formed in 1964. The primary lineup consisted of guitarist Pete Townshend, vocalist Roger Daltrey, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. The band first hit the top ten in the USA in 1967 with "I Can See for Miles." The 1969 release of Tommy was the first in a series of top five albums for the group in the USA.
Keith Moon died in 1978, after which the band released two more studio albums with drummer Kenney Jones, before officially disbanding in 1983. They re-formed on several occasions to perform at special events such as Live Aid and for some reunion tours. In 2000, the three surviving original members began to discuss the possibility of recording an album of new material. These plans were delayed following the death of John Entwistle in 2002. But Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey continued to perform as The Who. In 2006 they released the studio album Endless Wire, which reached the top ten in the UK and US.
"See Me, Feel Me - Listening to You" is the last song from the film, Tommy, which stars Roger Daltrey in the title role. The message of unification and hope in this song was inspired by Meher Baba, a guru Pete Townshend was following. Townshend wrote Tommy in an attempt to bring people together through rock music. The Who played all of Tommy at Woodstock, performing this song just as the sun was rising on the third morning of the festival in 1969. That image from Woodstock helped launch Roger Daltrey's career as well as The Who's success in America.
I experienced The Who during their 1976 tour (it was memorable, believe me); the concert prominently featured entire sets from Tommy. And may I just say: a 32-year-old, shirtless Roger Daltrey strutting about the stage all satyr-like = yum ee ness. Now, for your listening and viewing pleasure:
:youtube; nytimes; white fang