The Who shocked society with their music
Picture a band that was encouraged to write some of the greatest and most influential songs of the rock and roll genre in the mid 1960s. Such a list of bands would surely include names like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and the Beach Boys. However, if one were to look a little farther down the list they would come across a band called The Who. The Who challenged the politically correct views of society with their meaningful lyrics, simple song structure, and erratic live performances.
In the early stages of The Who’s career they wrote music that resonated with an obvious idea of none conformity. The Who wrote numerous songs designed to ridicule the state of a compressed society and draw attention to a cultural difficulty in which they felt their generation had become alienated to. This wild and charged version of rock and roll quickly and definitely embraced the members of The Who. Pete Townshend, guitar player and main songwriter, once said, “It was the first move that I have ever seen in the history of youth towards unity, towards unity of thought, unity of drive and unity of motive” (Wenner). In many ways The Who influenced the young teenage generation of the time to stand up and voice your opinions of society.
The Who’s radical identity was amplified by their unpredictable actions during live shows. Such behavior included whirling their arms against the guitar strings in a windmill motion as well as repeatedly demolishing their equipment. To most people the act of smashing a perfectly good, and shockingly expensive guitar into a functional speaker might seem stupid, but to The Who fans it was a beautiful release of chaotic energy.
In the early stages of The Who’s musical career, Townshend wrote a number of hits including “I Can See for Miles,” “Who are you,” and “I Can’t Explain.” However, one song that, above all others, became the unofficial anthem of the most significant youth movement ever to storm...