October 24, 2020

1990-02-09 – Star Tribune

1990 02 09 Star_Tribune_Fri__Feb_9__1990_

Videocassettes 4‘

Presences of guests too brief
on Who’s rock opera ‘Tommy’

By Richard Harrington

Washington Post

“TheWheLive: Featuri the
flock H‘Tommy’ ” hut-
06:19! .ce'suuucvuoo; 125
minutes, 319. 90.

The inevitable video from Au-
gust' spa gey- r-view eiI-star ren-
deri ommy" at Los Ange-
les' 3 niversal Amphitheatre.
this is not one at the Whe' s best
moments. For one thin the
nests — Elton John, etti La-
lle, Phil Collins. Bill Idol.
Steve Winwood — 0 er littie
more than cameo presences.
though a dressed-down John re-
prises his original “Pinball Wiz-
ard" routine and a dressed-up
LaBeIie gives an impassioned
edge to her version of the Acid
Queen. Collins. as Uncle Ernie.
however, accentuates the mug-
ging over the singing, while Idol
too oiten pl eye to the eamere.

Also, this rendering off the cable
feed seems unimaginativel old-
feshioned compared with
high-tech productions now pos-
sible; the camera work is static.
the editing flat.

As for the Who, Roger Deltrey
still si s with the earnestness
of a be ver. though he seems
more emotionally involved with
the 13 non-“Tommy” sch s in-
cluded in this two-hour vi ea.

As usual, bassist John Entwistle
looks bored but plays busily,
while Pete Townshend goes

thr h the power-chord mo—
tions son acoustic guitar) and
leaves the hard work to hired
gun Steve Bolton (who’ 3 mostly
off-screen). In their best mo-
ments, the Who sggests the
paradox ecknowi ged in "Sub-
stitute": They look pretthoung,
but they' re just backd