I was excited about seeing The Who’s “Tommy” because it was Pete Townsend’s attempt at a rock opera. How could it go wrong? “Touch Me” is one of the songs featured and I thought the musical extravaganza would only go up from there. I thought it would be nonstop The Who music, this production of tight, mystical energy. (This is also the writer who looked forward to seeing a production of “Waiting for Godot”.) I was warned it wasn’t as spectacular as it sounded. I didn’t quite listen. I didn’t listen because many of the same people hate The Monkees movie “Head” and think it makes no sense while I really enjoy it and find it very satirical and telling about the band and their situation.
If people had a problem with The Monkees movie Head they must have had a bad movie field day with The Who’s Tommy. Part of me wonders if they made the movie just so they could hang out with Ann Margaret for a couple of months.
Ann Margaret does a very nice job as Tommy’s mother(but I’ve always liked her). There’s a scene where she’s having a complete meltdown in a white room. All I could think of where all the Lindsay Lohan jokes people my age would make (they’d be bang on, but missing a good performance).
Elton John’s rendition of “Pinball Wizard” is fun. I’ve also never seen Elton John of the 70’s so that was fun.
I discovered how much my friend looks like Roger Daltrey. I’m afraid to tell him because his confidence is as small as the Empire State building and he’d then become the tallest building.
At first I thought the opera was showing the church of celebrity and how we can worship and feel saved by icons we adore, but nope. Just the Bible story.
I wanted it to be good because a rock opera is something I’d be interested in doing, either writing or directing. Like a true rock opera. People have told me “RENT” is the closest rock opera we have. It’s not traditional classical opera music but to me that’s not rock. I was really hoping that’s what The Who did. They made an opera; it’s all music, no dialogue. But there’s a feeling of being consumed when I listen to rock, wrapped up in a blanket of music and feelings. There’s a power, presence, honesty and rawness in rock that is different from other genres. I’ve wondered if we haven’t or can’t go to the rock I’m thinking of because of the audience. Maybe people have found their audience would not enjoy a rock opera. I think there’s an audience for a rock opera. Like with anything, it depends how you do it and present it, but I think people would enjoy it.
I know the easiest fix is to write what you want to see yourself, and maybe I will, but I had just hoped the fix had been provided for me by a band I enjoy.