July 28, 2021

We Close Tonight

From the "Odds & Sods" liner notes by Brian Cady.

Produced by The Who on Ronnie Lanes Mobile Studio June 20, 1973.


"In Quadrophenia I wrote a song that didn’t get included about this romance, this girl at school, and how I blew the relationship because I lied a lot. She was going out with a jazz musician and I was just like on the sidelines and I used to talk to her. I never thought there’d ever be a relationship but I used to like being in her presence and we used to sit next to one another, work and talk and eat together and that sort of thing. That was a far as it got. At the end of the day the jazz musician would come and pick her up and take her home. So I started to expand a bit on my musician capabilities in order to just perhaps bring myself into line a little bit with this other guy. Like, ‘Well, I’m in a band and I play really well. I’ve got a number of guitars. I’ve worked with all kinds of people, all sorts of bands. I’ve got four or five different color jackets.’ And we used to talk about jazz and stuff and I had a working knowledge about jazz because my father was a legitimate player; so I knew a little bit, but I didn’t really know quite what I was talking about. The final boob was when her old man left her and she was very shattered by it, because he was older and she was very young, and she turned to me for emotional support, and apart from not being able to recognize it or being able to handle it…I got into a conversation about Charlie Parker, and said that I’d met him in a club and that he’d shaken my hand. It was a tragic thing. I remember it to this day. Because it was then she knew it was just not going to work.
So I wrote a pretty song which we actually got to the point of laying down, called ‘We Close Tonight.’ The last verse of it is, ‘I got three red jackets and a Fender Jazz and I play guitar in a mainstream band,’ and the last line of the thing is, ‘You could come and see us, but we close tonight.’ But the humorous songs that I was writing seemed out of place somehow in Quadrophenia. They seemed too much like little funny cameos stuck in to lighten what was essentially a sad story. So I thought, well, fuck it, if it’s gonna be sad, I might as well make it sad."
–Pete Townshend

The song was not re-discovered until the 1996 remastering of Quadrophenia.

John sings the vocal of Jimmy’s "interior" state and Keith sings the "exterior" liar state.