July 28, 2021

Cache Cache

Pete Townshend: "A weird kind of song which I wrote to celebrate a wonderful two days I spent living as a tramp in Switzerland. I decided I was going to give up the music business forever, and I got my wallet and passport, and a bottle of brandy, and went off in a town called Berne. Berne is famous for its big brown bears in these cages up in the hills. I spent about sixteen hours walking around, sleeping under trees and all that, and I was thinking ‘I don’t know if I want to be a tramp now,’ but I was drunk enough to decide it would be worthwhile just going and visiting the bears. I don’t know whether or not I really wanted to get torn to pieces or not, but I think I was in that frame of mind when I really just did not give a damn. I went up to this bear pit and I went down this bit where all the apple cores are and climbed up the rocks on the other side. I was always thinking ‘If I could get in, I wonder why they couldn’t get out?’ I went into this big sort of cage at the back and walked inside. It really stank but luckily the bears aren’t there in the middle of winter. Really, it’s just a song about sometimes you can go and say ‘Right! I’m going to do something really amazing and stupid and devastating,’ and then you end up looking like a complete idiot."

The above events happened over March 29 through 30, 1980. According to Richard Barnes, Pete was discovered passed out in the bear pit and was flown immediately to Vienna (and, one hopes, showered) to perform there with The Who in Vienna that night. Pete’s demo version appears on his solo album Scoop. "Cache-cache" is French for "hide and seek."

This track is 3’52 on the 1997 remix.