[Recorded at IBC Studio A January 13, 1968 with overdubs recorded at the same studio February 11, 1968 and final mix at Gold Star Studios, Los Angeles February 26, 1968.]
Previously released on the album Odds and Sods in October, 1974. In Pete’s notes that accompanied Odds and Sods, he wrote "It’s a rock and roll airplane crash song with a real Pop Art plane crash and a happy reincarnation ending…I rarely leave any good idea unused. ‘Rael’ themes crop up in Tommy and so do the last lines of this. Of course, Tommy was a dear little boy."
[This track was originally to have been a single in early 1968, then was to have been the kickoff track to the never-completed Who’s For Tennis? LP. The ending is not faded out as it was on the original Odds and Sods LP.]
From the "Odds & Sods" liner notes by Brian Cady.
Produced by Kit Lambert at De Lane Lea Studios, London, January 1968.
"I tried to write an archetypal rock single; the Shangri-Las type thing, the Jan and Dean type thing. The car crashes, the motorcycle goes over the cliff, ‘Oh no! and then there’s a little spoken part: ‘and then I went to the cemetary and I prayed over his grave’. Well, it was a reincarnation song and it was about a plane crash and two kids on an aeroplane and they realize that the plane’s crashing. The reincarnation ploy comes at the end, where you hear ‘It’s a girl, Mrs. Walker, it’s a girl. When I came to write Tommy, I picked up that phrase and used it as the opening. Thats how Tommy became Tommy Walker, just because in this song which was worked on two years before, we had a little girl."
Written during a horrible plane flight into Chattanooga, Tennessee August 14, 1967. It was intended first as a single in early 1968, then the lead-off song for the never completed Who’s For Tennis? LP, then as the lead off track for Tommy before Pete dropped the opera’s reincarnation angle.
Track 9 on the 1998 Odds & Sods CD in a complete version with a hard ending at 2’24 instead of the fade out on the original LP.