Classic Rock for Dummies

Need a beginning lesson in classic rock and roll? Look no further.

Just as classic books such as Great Expectations and Pride and Prejudice are important to the history of literature and therefore shoved down innocent fifteen year olds throats, there are several artists that are essential to the history of rock and roll and should be shoved down your throat. Before we get to the playlist, here are a few *trigger warnings* for those who may consider themselves enthusiasts of rock:

  • I am anti- Beatles. I don’t really care how much you like Yellow Submarine, I’d prefer to be above ground. There is no denying that the Beatles definitely made an impact on music history, but in my blunt opinion, they suck.
  • The fact that you sang all the words to “Don’t Stop Believing” at a frat party does not make Journey a good rock band.

There are several other artists that could be included in a more extensive playlist (If your curious check out The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, Blue Oyster Cult etc.). This playlist was made assuming that the listener has little to no knowledge of classic rock and does not have hours and hours at their disposal for listening.

  1. Back In Black- AC/DC

I’m 99.99999% sure that you have heard this song in some way, shape, or form over the course of your lifetime. AC/DC is the definition of sex, drugs, and good ‘ol rock ‘n roll. They are definitely a great artist to dive right into when beginning to listen to classic rock.

  1. Tom Sawyer- Rush

Rush is that nerdy guy from your high school that has no friends, but eventually becomes your boss. Their innovative sounds were considered weird at first, but then they skyrocketed into rock stardom.

  1. Surrender- Cheap Trick

Surrender is another song that you’ve probably heard before, but may not have known the artist. Remember that early 2000’s Eddie Murphey movie, Daddy Day Care? Surrender was actually played “live” in the movie by Cheap Trick. Cheap Trick has several other rock classics including “I Want You to Want Me” and, in my very important opinion, is one of the most underrated classic rock bands.

  1. Show Me The Way- Peter Frampton

I’ve inserted a photo of the one and only Peter Frampton as the title image, to show you what a 1970’s sex god looked like. Just a little bit different than Zac Efron or Ryan Gosling. No matter what your taste in romantic partner, Peter Frampton is no doubt a rock god. His use of talk box, which is defined by Wikipedia as a “unit that allows musicians to modify the sound of a musical instrument by shaping the frequency content of the sound and to apply speech sounds (in the same way as singing) onto the sounds of the instrument”, is incredibly satisfying.

  1. Life In The Fast Lane- Eagles

Eagles are an American classic if there ever was one. The recent passing of Glen Frey has brought the Eagles old tracks up a bit more. This particular song choice is a good listen if you are feeling rebellious.

  1. Panama- Van Halen

Van Halen underwent lots of changes during their run as a rock band; still they remain a staple to this list.

  1. Achilles Last Stand- Led Zeppelin

One of the longest Led Zeppelin songs (just over 10 minutes), “Achilles Last Stand” includes the one critical element of a truly perfect rock and roll track, an infinitely long guitar sequence.

  1. Mary Jane’s Last Dance- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

While many will credit Free Fallin’ as Tom Petty’s greatest song, it’s me, so I’ve got to veer off from the typical choice a little bit. That’s where Mary Jane’s Last Dance comes in. This song inspired me to learn how to play harmonica because of the sick (excuse my out dated so cal terminology) use of harmonica. Other than violin, harmonica is my favorite supplemental rock instrument.

  1. Purple Haze- Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix is absolutely one of the most gifted guitarists that ever lived. I gave you a beginner track, but if you catch feelings for Jimi check out his rendition of the star spangled banner live from Woodstock.

  1. More Than a Feeling- Boston

This is by far one of the most well-known classic American rock songs of all time and is most definitely Boston’s most popular track. I have more than a feeling about Boston, if you know what I mean.

 

Whether or not you agree with my choices, there’s no doubt that if you are a rock and roll beginner, these are some pretty solid training wheels.

Follow me on Spotify @kelseydonahue14 to check out this playlist here: https://open.spotify.com/user/kelseydonahue14/playlist/2U3eHujXAQuHUQFHbglnFG

I’m live Mondays from 10-11pm on KCR with The Road Less Traveled!

AC/DC No More?

Rock or Bust

It’s hard to believe sometimes that our favorite musicians are only human. They age just like the rest of us, and have health problems as well. Even though we continue to get news about legendary musicians passing away or becoming ill, we still can’t believe it when the next headline comes along. This week, classic rock fans around the world got hit with the news that AC/DC lead singer, Brian Johnson, may have to stop touring with the band “or risk total hearing loss”. Now this news would be bad on its own, but it has been made even worse by the fact that AC/DC is currently on tour.

With the cancellation and rescheduling of ten dates, is this the end of AC/DC?

With the cancellation and rescheduling of ten dates, is this the end of AC/DC?

10 tour dates in as many different cities had to be rescheduled in AC/DC’s current “Rock or Bust” tour. It has been stated that any ticket holders to the to be rescheduled dates will not have to pay for their tickets again, but will instead receive tickets when the next show is scheduled or can receive a refund. But what about Brian Johnson? Well, it looks like he is bust. AC/DC has stated that the tour will continue later in the year “likely with a guest vocalist”. Many people seem to agree that this is the end of AC/DC, a band that thrives on live performances. Although the band has faced many troubles in the past (like the death of their first lead singer, Bon Scott, in 1980), they have been able to recover and come out on top. But like The Guardian writer Michael Hann mentions, they have only released five albums since 1990. According to Hann, fans “didn’t pay for Angus Young, bassist Cliff Williams, and three stand-ins, which is what they would be getting”. If they continue with the tour, having had so many of their core band members drop out of the race, would they really be touring for the fans anymore, or just for the money?

While it may be difficult to say goodbye to such a legendary group of talented musicians, it may indeed be time for AC/DC to put down the microphones. Us fans are happy to listen to their classics over and over.

The Sounds of State-Andrew DeLeon

On Thursday I showed up to the Farmer’s Market Turn Up to meet Andrew DeLeon. With him were some familiar faces, Joey Bautista who I did my first interview (he also is in charge of the KCR Secret Sessions), and former programming director Brendan Price. Andrew was eager to be interviewed, he had reached out to me on more than one occasion to volunteer. Reciprocating his enthusiasm, we went into the Communications building and sat down to have our chat. Andrew is so far the only interviewee I’ve had who I’ve know beforehand. Last year my 5-6 National Sports talk show on Wednesday was preceded by Andrew’s show The Grand Illusion. He was a great DJ to interview, giving all of my questions thoughtful responses and his full attention. In fact, this is the longest interview I’ve done so far, at almost 13 minutes. With that said, I don’t want to use any more of your time that takes away from the interview, so let’s jump right in!

Cameron Satterlee: Okay I am sitting here with Andrew, welcome.

Andrew DeLeon: Thank you.

CS: So, what is your radio slot for KCR?

AD: This semester I’m doing Tuesdays from one to two. I just figure it works with the class schedule I had, and work schedule, trolley schedule. I pretty much just take what I can get as long as there’s time for classes in there.

CS: Uh huh. You’re pretty flexible with what time you get?

AD: Yeah you know as long as it’s not too late cause [the] trolley. And then early because I did a show at 8 am one semester and that didn’t turn out too well. We were still in transition and there was a bunch of tech problems so I would try to call them and no one would answer. We didn’t quite have Alex yet.

CS: Oh man yeah I don’t think I’d do an 8 am slot to be honest. I mean that’s good for you, you stepped up and took the bullet pretty much.

AD: I had to, that was all they could give me. I was willing to try, I adjusted though, it worked.

CS: Yeah. So how long have you been with KCR?

AD: This is my sixth semester. Interesting story on how I joined–

CS: Wow I’d like to hear it.

AD: Yeah I’m sure they would too. I was in psychedelic rock class. This was my freshman year, I was just taking this for credits. I didn’t care about the whole upper division, you have to take it at a certain time thing. I’m like “you know what? I’m gonna take psychedelic rock class, this will be fun.” And the guy I sat next to, really tall guy, kinda looked like Kurt Cobain, he asked “what do you want to do?” And I mentioned you know sports broadcasting or radio or tv, something like that. Even if it’s just some behind the scenes work, I’m good with that. And he said “oh why don’t you join the radio station, KCR?” I said “oh I didn’t know that there was one on campus.” And he told me I think the semester before they were still trying to transition–get it going–but the semester I joined what when it really started taking off. John was there, Lincoln was there and it was really the rebuilding years when I joined and now I’m happy to be here when it’s a big part of the campus now.

CS: Yeah I mean that’s sort of the eternal struggle for KCR is getting people actually on our own campus to know about us.

AD: Well look at it now. We have a what hundred members or something?

CS: Yeah we’re doing very well for ourselves. I mean guys like you who show up and become dedicated to your show is what really sets us off I think.

AD: Right, and I know I don’t volunteer as much as I should but I’ve tried to do my best here and at least wear my shirt whenever I do the show so that way people will know “KCR listen in.”

CS: Yeah yeah totally. So but you wanted to go into the radio, the field, before you joined.

AD: Right because in high school I really started getting into baseball. I had already been a fan but I was thinking “you know what someone’s got to take Ted Leitner’s job eventually.” Make sure that no one calls anyone else a moron again (laughs). That was hilarious, I give Ted credit for that. That was funny. Gotta love him.

CS: Gosh I feel you with the baseball thing. Well so, I guess I’m gonna take this in a different direction but so you currently have a music show and you’ve had one for a while.

AD: Right.

CS: It’s actually funny, so I guess I’ll say this for the benefit of the listeners, but Andrew, last semester, preceded my show. My sports hour. So we knew each other before then. So I kind of know the answer this question, but for the audience, what is the music you like to play?

AD: Good stuff. Good stuff.

CS: Good stuff?

AD:And by that I mean classic rock. A lot of the shows on campus now they do Indie and folk and rap and hip hop, there’s a little much of that. Some stuff is okay, others…I mean play what you want to play I got nothing against that. But I thought “you know what? I’ll play my music” cause in high school–here’s the sad thing I graduated from Ridgemont High people didn’t know who The Beatles were at that school anymore. I would literally walk through Clairemont High School and people would say “who are The Beatles?” so I thought “you know what with this show I gotta do something about this.” So I took the classics, mix in with a little new things, and pretty much revive the genre and it’s surprising how many people like you and Jackson always come in and say “oh yeah these songs are awesome” and so many people I’ve met through this station they’re like “oh wow that’s awesome that you do that. That you play all these things.” Hell Alex and Brendan always sit in on my show, I always catch them dancing or singing. Everytime I play Huey Lewis, Brendan always shouts “HUEY” or I’ll dedicate a song to him and be like “this is for him, this is Phil Collins” and he’ll be like “ah you’re playing Phil Collins again,” yup that’s correct. And Alex just dances in the background, so awesome.

CS: You seem very passionate about your work. Rock music, I mean it’s its own genre and I guess at this point in rock music’s history you could say classic rock is its own separate sphere than what’s going on now.

AD: Yeah.

CS: Is there anything a bit more specific than classic rock you play? Like any real genre music?

AD: I suppose it’s not genres it’s more themes. What I do is try and set a theme each week and then I’ll take, sometimes I’ll take disco, sometimes I’ll take some country and do that just to mix it up, but then I take the rock songs and I’ll say you know “okay there’s soft rock so I’ll do soft rock this week”. Or there’s a bunch of metal songs so I’ll do some full metal jacket this week. Or sometimes I’ll incorporate sports, I’ll play songs that would be played at baseball games. You were there when the dancing friars came in.

CS: Yeah that was interesting. Yeah I remember those themes now that you bring it up.

AD: Yeah, so it’s not so much as a genre thing as it’s more of a thematic [show], but it’s more based on the rock genre I guess.

CS: Yeah and so each show is different. You’re not just sorta playing off the same playlist every week, you’re mixing it up.

AD: Right. Yeah I even make a point to do that. I say “okay I already played that song this semester, I’m not going to play that again” or at least make an attempt not to. So that way I don’t have repeats. Sometimes I listen to the stations and it’s the same set of songs every couple of days. Or I’ll drive to work, I’ll have on Easy and I’ll hear–for some reason they play In The Air Tonight on the Easy station–so I’ll hear that and then I’ll drive to work like two days later. I just heard this at the same time. So I try to mix it up a little bit. Make it interesting.

CS: Yeah yeah. So yeah I think that’s a great way to do things, it keeps things very interesting and different so that’s a cool thing you do. So I’m curious why classic rock? Why is it important to you? I mean you like it but why do you like it? Why is it important to you?

AD: Because the stuff that people produce now has no instruments and there’s almost no thought to a lot of it. There is thought, I do give people like Taylor Swift and you know some of the country people credit but a lot of the pop stuff now–I mean like that song Turn Down For What by Lil John, what is that? I mean he just says what so much he’s like “I’ll write a song with the word what in it.” It doesn’t make sense anymore.

CS: Well that’s interesting. I mean that’s kind of a negative perspective to look at it. You listen to classic rock because music now isn’t that interesting to you.

AD: Right. I mean I’m not saying all of it is, I’m just saying there’s certain parts of where it just seems that the creativity isn’t what it used to be anymore.

CS: Well I mean that could be a whole different discussion that leaves us here for twenty minutes.

AD: Exactly.

CS: Well but I’m curious if there’s sort of a more–cause you probably looked at in the sense that “oh I like this classic rock music, so this music doesn’t look so good to me.” Which I understand, I’m a classic rock guy, I’m trying to you know contemporize myself but it can be difficult, I’ll admit. But what made you like the rock music in the first place? That’s what I’m trying to get to.

AD: Right. I guess it’s because when I was little my mom played a lot of the stuff. She played some newer stuff too so I kind of evolved around that. But then, a lot of the stuff–like when I was in elementary school or middle school I would just hear this–some of this stuff and I thought “eh, new stuff doesn’t really appeal to me.” And I’d listen to the older stuff and like “okay this is good. I like this.” So I just rolled with it.

CS: Yeah I feel that’s how a lot of people in our generation got to like classic rock. I mean you brought it up earlier that there may not be so many of us in proportion to the actual population. How it used to be where rock was the big thing, the big genre. But there still are a good number of people who know what it is. But I think that you’re right that it comes from our parents you know, and just absorbing the music through other media.

AD: Yeah and you go to rock concerts now and there’s still a good turn up of teenagers. I went to The Monkees concert over at Humphrey’s, I think it was last year, yeah it was last year, and there was a kid probably about sixteen-seventeen dressed up looking exactly like Mike Nesmith.

CS: (laughs) That’s awesome.

AD: Yeah so you know that there’s people that are really influenced by this. I mean The Scorpions concert I went to, there was a lot of little kids there.

CS: Yeah. Alright so this is gonna be interesting because a lot of the people I interview, since they listen to contemporary music, the new music that gets released is what they’re obsessing over. But classic rock, unless they are artists who are still releasing music that sounds similar. I mean like Pink Floyd just dropped a new album.

AD: And it’s already up to number one.

CS: And that’s a whole different thing. But I’m curious since the classic rock music has already been released, by definition, but is there anything that you’re still just discovering? Any new bands where you’re just like “oh hey I should have listened to these guys before, this is great.” Like a recent obsession. It could be a band or a song or an album.

AD: I’ve been listening to some country, I think it’s cause I went to the Vince Gill concert. So I’ve been listening to some of that. Oh I listened to The Eagles a lot earlier in this semester cause they were coming here and cause I was watching History of The Eagles. It really depends who’s coming in concert. The only one I think I really didn’t listen to a lot before or after the concert was Chris Isaak cause I’m not a huge fan of his. He’s alright you know I respect him. I like what he’s doing, just haven’t been given a chance to listen to a lot of his music. And the one song I heard, Dancin, I was thinking “yeah it’s okay,” not totally my cup of tea.

CS: Alright yeah great, I’ll be sure to put up links to those songs for the blog. So here’s a fun last question. So what would be your ideal show? How would it go?

AD: It would probably either be the dancing friars show that I had last semester or the one I just had on Tuesday where I played the whole Sgt. Pepper album.

CS: Oh wow that’s awesome. That’s really interesting cause I mean I’m a sports DJ but I’ve kinda wanted to do a music show, it’s just hard to you know get two slots. But I was thinking I’d want to play whole albums. That’s great that you’re doing it.

AD: I had this theme all set. I was thinking “well I’ll do 50’s music.” I was gonna do that and then I thought, “well, there’s one more I gotta do before the Christmas themes. Why don’t I move that back and and I thought, ooh Sgt. Pepper, I haven’t done a whole Beatles show.” So in honor of George Harrison and John Lennon’s deaths since those are coming up, the anniversaries, I figured might as well play some Beatles songs. In addition to the Sgt. Peppers so I just had a whole Beatles show. I even mentioned the Manson story, about him getting married. That was kinda weird. But it made for a good story.

CS: Yeah, if nothing else (laughs). Yeah wow, so this has been a great interview by the way, I mean few people totally go all out on the easy questions I ask but you’ve been you know very open about your whole idea with your shows. I think it’s great. You’re a flag bearer the classic rock movement here at KCR, and so thanks for sitting down with me, it’s been great.

AD: Yeah no problem, and Ted Leitner you’re doing good but I want your job so be on the lookout. I’m coming. I want to work with Bob Scanlan.

CS: (Laughs) Alright thanks.

AD: You’re welcome.

So there you have it, we got some KCR history to go along with our music discussion. Andrew and I hung out a while longer before we had to split up. I had to enjoy the Farmer’s Market after all and score some Pad Thai. Remember to listen to Andrew from 1-2 on Tuesdays and KCR anytime online. Thanks for reading!

The Goldmine-Quadrophenia by The Who

It’s the last post of the semester folks, and to finish off this blog series with a bang I’ve decided to end with a profile of The Who’s legendary rock opera Quadrophenia. Released in 1973, Quadrophenia was the third and last of Pete Townshend penned rock operas for The Who following Tommy in 1969 and the aborted Lifehouse project which became the wildly successful Who’s Next album in 1971. As a rock opera, the double album tells a single narrative story with recurring lyrical and musical themes. The story’s protagonist is a teenager named Jimmy, who lives in Britain in the mid-1960’s and is a member of the trendy Mod subculture. Back in the early 1960’s the Mods were a fashionable British youth scene that helped to popularize The Who.

The main feature surrounding the story and ideas in Quadrophenia is the number four. Quadropenia was written by Pete Townshend with the intention of having it play in quadrophonic (four speaker) surround sound. The album’s name itself is a play on words with the mental disorder schizophrenia, or dissociative personality disorder, often called multiple personalities. The protagonist Jimmy displays four separate personalities, each embodied by the four band members of The Who. Throughout the album, these four lyrical and musical themes repeat themselves as the story progresses. So without further ado, let’s dive into Quadrophenia!

Side A

The first song is the short piece I Am the Sea, it is a form of overture that introduces each of the lyrical personality themes in a ghostly/echoing manner as recordings of the ocean play over them.

Suddenly the listener is shaken awake to the track The Real Me. For a band as rocking as The Who, it’s impressive that this is one of their hardest rockers. It begins the story of young Jimmy Cooper, with poor Jimmy trying a doctor, his mother, and a preacher to help him with his emotional issues, hinting at his multiple personalities from the start. The song is known for John Entwistle’s bass guitar performance. Entwistle was unparalleled as a bassist and showcases his talents well on this track.

The next song is the instrumental title track. The song Quadrophenia introduces all of the musical themes that repeat throughout the album and as such is a more fleshed out companion piece to I Am the Sea, w. When compared to the instrumental tracks on the Tommy album, the change that The Who had made in the few short years between the recordings is evident. Whereas Tommy was based around acoustic and electric guitars interplaying with Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon’s rhythm section, Quadrophenia is much more oriented around synthesizers and piano to go along with Townshend, Entwistle, and Moon’s regular instruments.

The next song is Cut My Hair, which details Jimmy attempting to fit into the Mod’s fashion culture. Jimmy wants to belong with his friends but can’t seem to find any solace in the scene. The chorus has a call back to The Who’s song I Can’t Explain, their earliest hit back in their Mod days. The track ends with a recording of a radio report detailing the fights between rival Mod and Rocker groups.

The final song on the first side is The Punk and the Godfather, and contains another lyrical reference to an early Who song, this time My Generation. The Punk and the Godfather slyly enough is talking about The Who themselves, as Jimmy sees one of their concerts in their early days and remarks how they became successful only thanks to the support of their Mod fans as they made fools of themselves destroying their equipment every night. It’s another source of disappointment for Jimmy, who had idolized and followed the band.

Side B

The second side of the album begins with I’m One. Sung by Pete Townshend, the song shows Jimmy at a crossroads. He is admits having issues but still has the optimism that he can turn things around for himself as his life is slowly deteriorating. When played live, Pete Townshend would often perform the song solo, with only his acoustic guitar.

Turning the vocal reigns back to lead singer Roger Daltrey, the next track is much more of a Who rocker. The Dirty Jobs describes Jimmy’s attempts at getting by now that he has been thrown out of his house. With his newfound resolve being tested by various circumstances that keep forcing him to find new employment, Jimmy keeps on trying to improve his situation.

The third track on side B is Helpless Dancer, and it is lead singer Roger Daltrey’s personal theme. Accompanied by beating piano and John Entwistle’s French horn arrangement, Daltrey sings about Jimmy’s further grief that is making it harder and harder for him to keep on pushing ahead, and eventually quitting altogether. The song ends with a recorded playing of one of The Who’s early hits, The Kids are Alright.

Following up Helpless Dancer is the song Is It in My Head? Where Jimmy further questions his mental problems that have made him quit working to support himself. The track itself contains instrumental arrangements very similar to Who’s Next material, with the acoustic/electric guitar and synthesizer in the background.

The first album ends with the furious rush of the song I’ve Had Enough. The song begins with a reprise of Jimmy’s theme declaring his yet unwavering support of the Mod movement. Following that is the first instance of the ‘Love Reign O’er Me’ theme outside of the instrumental tracks, which will further be utilized in the second album. The song is fairly self-explanatory, with Jimmy declaring that he is finally through with his Mod lifestyle and everything surrounding his alienating adolescent upbringing. The song ends with Roger Daltrey screaming that Jimmy has “had enough of trying to love,” beckoning the listener to the second album to see where the story will go from here.

Side C

The second album begins with a surge of energy in the form of the song 5:15. The song describes Jimmy hopping on a train to the Brighton beach, where he had his best memories as a mod that he seeks to relive. The song is a rip roaring and rollicking piece that captures Jimmy’s mood as he rides the train hyped up on drugs towards the beach. Intercut with tender and introspective moments, the song manages to balance both the light and heavy elements of the thematic material unfolding.

The second track is Sea and Sand, taking place on the Brighton beach and following Jimmy’s thoughts as he contemplates all that has gone on so far. He laments the loss of his girlfriend as well as his complete isolation from his Mod group, who he once completely identified with. Sea and Sand is almost a mini-version of the album itself, telling much of the story and Jimmy’s internal issues. It ends with Daltrey singing lines from one of The Who’s earliest tracks, I’m the Face, back when the group itself was synonymous with the Mod scene as the band The High Numbers.

The following track is Drowned, a rocking tune that is sequenced with Jimmy contemplating renting a boat to go drown himself in the ocean and find peace for his tortured mind. The song was originally written by Pete Townshend for Meher Baba as early as the Tommy album in 1969. Baba was a spiritual guide of Townshend’s and contributed one of the two names to the hit Who song Baba O’Riley.

The final song on the third side of the album is Bell Boy, drummer Keith Moon’s thematic song. In the story, before Jimmy can get to rent his boat he runs into ‘Ace-Face,’ one of the chief Mod leaders who Jimmy used to look up to. Moon himself infamously sang the vocals of Ace-Face on Bell Boy which was a huge crowd pleaser. Jimmy is aghast that Ace-Face has degenerated from a leader of Mod gangs to the titular bell boy of the hotel that they used to take advantage of. Jimmy now finds himself absolutely disgusted with the Mod lifestyle that he used to proudly subscribe to. Jimmy finds no solace in his trip to Brighton to find some kind of reconciliation between himself and his past as a Mod, and is now even more distraught after seeing the fallen Ace-Face.

Side D

The last side of the double album contains only three songs, but they are a very hard hitting finale to the album. The first song on this quarter of the double album is Doctor Jimmy, a furious and bombastic surge of energy and (warning) salty language. Jimmy gets a bottle of gin and drowns his sorrows along with more pills, and at this point in the story has gone mad. Between his compulsive rages where he echoes Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide with his Doctor Jimmy and Mister Jim, he has moments of clarity, where he asks himself which part of his personalities is the real him. The “Is it me” lyric is bassist John Entwistle’s theme on the album, and the song itself features much of his French horn accompaniment. The whole album really displays a much better use of Entwistle’s French horn skills, which aside from Tommy only really was utilized in a campy manner.

The bridge between Doctor Jimmy and the finale is the instrumental piece The Rock. It contains once again the suite of musical themes that represent all of Jimmy’s personalities with new inflections. The song is a great work at displaying The Who’s collective musical talents. As the track is instrumental, there aren’t any lyrics to tell the story, but Jimmy has followed through with his plan to buy a boat and go out to sea. Instead of drowning himself he lands on a rocky island, but after going ashore his boat has floated away, stranding him.

The album closes with the sounds of rain that bring on the song Love Reign O’er Me. It is guitarist Pete Townshend’s musical and lyrical theme and the finale to Jimmy’s story. After finding himself alone on the rock with life’s pressures no longer driving him mad, Jimmy realizes that he has been wrong to reject love. He knows that by going back to land he will have to endure the life that has so far plagued and haunted him, but he must go back in order to experience love. Jimmy realizes that love, even if just a fleeting moment of it, is the most powerful spiritual force, and to experience it makes life worth living. The song offers a climactic finale to the album and features Roger Daltrey’s finest vocal performance, in full rock god mode he screams at the top of his voice as the music crashes all around him like the emotional storm Jimmy has endured during the events of the record.

Quadrophenia often plays second fiddle to The Who’s first and more well-known rock opera Tommy, however among fans who have listened to both, it is hard to find any consensus. One thing I will say is that in instrumentation and mixing in general, the five years in between the release of the two albums saw huge advances in The Who’s abilities, specifically Pete Townshend’s ability to write, arrange, and record complex music and lyrics. The album is a tour de force of powerful emotions and a compelling story of struggle and ultimate triumph over the crushing disappointments that life can throw at the lonely and alienated youth of the world.

Since it’s the last week of the semester this is sadly my last post of the year. I’d like to thank everybody for reading my weekly series The Goldmine. It’s been very fun and exciting to contribute to the KCR blog. I’d like to thank blog leader Jewell Karinen for making everything happen. I hope to return next year to the KCR blog with a new series to work on. Hopefully I’ve spurred you the reader into listening to some of the albums I’ve written about. I’ve often found comfort in these albums, music opens up doors to places you never knew existed. I hope you’ve found something deep in the heart of The Goldmine of classic rock that I’ve unearthed for you.

Thank you for reading,
Cameron Satterlee