Saturday, September 22, 2007

New Who



Never-before-seen concert and archival footage is at the center of"Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who" and its companion film "Six Quick Ones," due Nov. 6 on DVD via Universal Studios Home Entertainment. The movies were made with the cooperation of surviving members PeteTownshend and Roger Daltrey, who also contributed material from their personal archives."We decided the film was really about the journey to the top," executive producer Nigel Sinclair tells Billboard.com. "You really see these four young people putting it together. Then, the band becomes successful and many things happen: some good and some bad. We discerned from it that the most interesting thing was the evolution of Pete and Roger's relationship. The fact that these two are able to continue as the Who, it is almost like it was meant to be that way. Discovering, as we did from interviewing them, what the magic or their working partnership was, that was very exciting."When the project first got off the ground, original director Murray Lerner put out a request online for fan-shoot footage or rare clips. This yielded "quite a considerable amount of stuff that nobody had ever seen before," Sinclair says. "I'd say almost half of the [clips] have never been seen before in any context."Sinclair is particularly excited about film shot by managers Chris Stampand Kit Lambert in 1964, when the Who were still known as the High Numbers. "They shot a number of songs of the band playing in a hotel in London," he says. "The film was lost for the ages, but three years ago, an old gentleman in Amsterdam was cleaning out his loft. His grandson knew this was what the Who used to call themselves, and they put it onand realized what it was."But taking possession of such disparate footage proved a bit of a logistical nightmare for the production team. "We had 834 separate items we had to clear in the past few months," Sinclair says. "Ourpost-production specialist is now writing a PhD paper for NYU based onthis project. It was unprecedented. It is really difficult to take thesedifferent formats and make them work."The film culminates with a clip of the Who performing "Tea & Theatre"earlier this year in California, a moment Sinclair says was "key to the story telling. You take for granted how many partnerships have really survived in the art business. Simon ain't with Garfunkel anymore. We find ourselves in the film reflecting on that and that song becomes very poetic and powerful."Elsewhere, the narrative is helped along by interviews with fans such as Sting, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, U2's the Edge and Oasis' Noel Gallagher. "For me, Edge's comments about Pete's guitar playing really revealed what is his sound and why does he sound so different," Sinclair says.Look for "Amazing Journey" to have a limited theatrical run in theUnited Kingdom later this year, as well as a handful of screenings inmajor U.S. markets.

I can't wait for this. For most of my formative years, The Who were Top 5 on my list. I'll take anything from "Tommy", "Who's Next" or "Quadrophenia" any time. Unfortunately, they haven't really knocked me out with anything since "Eminence Front" in 1982. But, the three afore mentioned albums are all in the Raley Album Hall of Fame as Charter Members. I hope it comes to St. Louis.


3 comments:

Brian Holland said...

As is well-documented on my blog, I'm pretty leery of anything Pete and Roger (aka, "Who's Left") put out these days, but if The Ox and Moon the Loon are involved, then chances are this project is worthy of attention. In lieu of that, the film 'The Kids Are Alright' is required viewing for ANYONE wanting to know what this Rock 'N' Roll thang is...

barbinkc said...

While this was one of my favorite groups of all time, their biggest impact on me was their performance at the "Concert For New York City". They blew everyone else away on that stage, and the songs they chose to perform were absolutely perfect for the time and place.

I would like to see someone do a documentary on that concert. Can you imagine how emotional it must have been back stage?

Kent Hall said...

"Who are you" was my fav album from them, and it TRULY had one of R&R's creepiest album covers. On the back cover sat Keith in a directors chair w/ the words "not to be taken away" stenciled on it. That was Moons last album.

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