October 23, 2020

1973-03-31 – The Sydney Morning Herald

1973 03 31 The_Sydney_Morning_Herald_Sat__Mar_31__1973_

By MICHAEL
SYMONS

The rock opera
‘Tommy" has become the
great classic of rock ‘n‘
roll. It is the fantastic
story of a deaf. blind and

dumb boy who becomes
I a pinball wizard.
The rock epic was

written by Pete Town-
shend. the genius behind
Britain‘s number three
band, the Who, who rose
behind the Beatles and
the Stones late in 1965.

They stammered a song
called “My Generation,"
and wore Union Jacks and
clothes that stamped them
leaders of the “mods.“

At the end of each per.
formance, Townshend
would smash his guitar.
while Roger Daltrey. John
Entwhistle and Keith
Moon made mayhem.

When they toured Aus-

dédM‘H—‘wu

—" H HWV-

tralia in January 1968,
they were taken off a
flight after allegedly using
bad language and
drinking.

They were a teenage

pOp band whose genius
showed through.

But they did not receive
real recognition until Pete
Townshend, after months
of labour. produced
“Tommy." They recorded
it brilliantly on one of the
rock scene's first major
double albums.

The band performed it
in New York on June 8.
1970. Said the newspaper
reports: “Marihuana
smoke, ear-iarring rock
mus1c and dancing in the
aisles filled the elegant
Metropolitan Opera House
last night when the Who,
one of Britain‘s pap
groups, performed their
rock opera. ‘Tommy‘."

Sydney had a per-

C

I.

"I

I Ihi-U’

‘Tommy’ a

rock classic

formanee in February,
1971 (withOut the Who).
Two young romoters
hired the E izabethan
Theatre, Newtown.

The speeially-formed
band, . . . If, was led by
Rory O'Donoghue throqgh
a nearoperfect recreation
of the 71 minutes on the
album.

The music was
and so too was an
appealing movie made
locally by Mick Glasheen. M
The film was added tots}
through the season. and
used a cat to represent "
Cousin Kevin, a crab for .
Uncle Ernie and a spider
for the Acid Queen.

Tom y Barber was the

good

sole ctor and wore
mirrors in place of spec- '.
tacle lenses to indicate

Tommy's blindness.

A new version of the
recording was produced -%
with the Who, plus sym~ "
phony orchestra and
singers like Rod Stewart 1'
last year. This went with Q?-
a stage revival. "

On Sunday night the
same is to be tried at 3:;
Randwick Racecourse.
A performance was sched-
uled last night in Mel»;
bourne. ”‘

Lou Reizner. the Lon- .13;
don producer, brought the gt:
Australian show together. i
using Keith Moon of the .;...
Who and local singers, in-'
eluding Billy Thorpeu‘u
Doug Parkinson, Colleeni
Hewett. Wendy Sadding-
ton and Daryl Braithwaite.
Barry Humphries turned 7’._
down a part.

An orchestra of more 7'
than 100 members and a
large chorus are adver-
tised, with a London Sym-

phony Orchestra con-
ductor. David Measham. -—
giving it his blessing. We‘ll I
see how it goes.