“The ball doesn’t roll for me, and that’s it. I don’t go near the bloody things.”
That’s Roger Daltrey talking. At first I thought he had a whole Clem Snide/”Ed”/new-sport-of-the-21st-century thing going and that the ball in question was a bowling ball. I must confess, however, that the notion had more than a little something to do with a recent experience on the lanes in the basement of a country club that I once tried to sue (long story—and no, I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of, a country club), a country club in which GloNo‘s own Sab sufficiently outraged a group of salesmen that they nearly ganged up on him to kick his ass (but who succumbed to free booze and the discussion of sports instead—but they still remember the night in question). Anyway, about my bowling: If the lane was about four feet shorter, I’d have probably knocked down a few more pins. The ball would travel in an unvaryingly straight vector down the center, only to hook four feet out. Unfortunately, I was teamed with some of the aforementioned salesmen, who were not, to put it mildly, amused by my performance.
No, Daltrey wasn’t talking ten-pins. He was talking about pinball. The venue is Maxim magazine. I’m as big a Who fan as anyone on this site. Yet being male, I’ve got to admit that I would pickup Maxim for issues totally unrelated to deaf, dumb and blind kids. I suspect that I’m not unique in this regard. Yet the Who are out touring—again—so there it is.
As you may have noticed (assuming that you’ve ventured this far), much of this is about me or other GloNo-related folks. Which is the point. You could probably care less whether I am a 300 bowler or have a tendency to drop the ball on my foot.
Isn’t it rather asinine to equate Daltrey with Tommy (despite the end rhyme)?
What is the extent to which we care about the musicians as musicians versus the musicians as individuals (e.g., people who play pinball or bowl or whatever)? I don’t want to go down the road worn down by the bare feet of the New Critics (you may remember them from an English lit class), who said that a poem should be analyzed only to the extent of the words on the page, who held that all other information (e.g., historical context; biographical information) is irrelevant, but dredging up the angles indicated by that quote (and couldn’t we imagine, “So, Mr. Daltrey, how do you feel when you’re on a beach? More real than usual?”) makes me far more sympathetic to that point of view.
The music matters. The performers are incidental. (And in some cases, not incidental, but coincidental.)
Let me tell you about my bowling. . . .