Welcome one and all!
One of my favorite things about Netflix is the small pearls they have hidden there, between the mass of films and TV shows. Namely, I like watching the music documentary series “Classic Albums“. I go through these and smile. How they made this album and that one? Hear all the ins and outs from the people who made some of my all time favorite music. I’m a sucker for these.
No, I’m not going to do a running commentary of this episode or any other. I just thought of this blog post listening to the story behind the album and especially “Baba O’Riley“.
Listen to this masterpiece. Again 🙂
In the documentary, we learn that the album was the band’s way to use the materials they had for the aborted Rock opera/Reality show/Pete Townshend surreal show – Lifehouse. Had they chosen to go ahead (and fail miserably) with the original plan, we’d have missed one outstanding and brilliant rock album.
Back to Baba.
Pete Townshend reminisced about the song and it’s origin and said something that kind of took me by surprise. He felt a little frustrated that people didn’t get the “Teenage wasteland” bit. Apparently, there were many who thought “Teenage wasteland” to symbolize the generation of teens who were “wasted” (i.e. on drugs), When in fact, it meant exactly what it said – waste. As in, teens who did not use their youth to their full potential.
I always thought that was what it meant. Just made sense to me…
Then I thought, why wouldn’t they think otherwise? Do I always “get it”? Of course not…
Pearl Jam – Jeremy
I already sang my praise to this great band, but in this case, for a while I liked that song mostly for the musical aspect. Only a while later I decided to dig deeper and it hit me with a surprise left (See what I did there? :)) The meaning added a very powerful punch to the song of course, so that was a real bonus.
It happened to me on a couple of other songs, not the least of which is Led Zeppelin‘s “rumble on” (before I read Lord of the rings). I guess there must be a few others I might misunderstand or misinterpret. That’s ok though. As a writer, I have to assume that at least some of the people who’d read what I write might understand it differently. That’s what art is all about for me – experience something that was created by someone the way it resonate with you.
Which song got you confused? If you’d like, post a link so we can all enjoy it 🙂