The Who - February 7, 2014

Album covers.  Hundreds of them.  All over the American Treasure Tour.  Displayed on walls, placed on support beams near the ceiling.  Practically everywhere you look.  So, when we promise to discuss our record collection on the blog, we hope you understand that we could (and hope to) do this for years.  Of course, there are so many other items on the tour, that we promise to keep the variety flowing.  It could take years to talk about it all.  A lifetime.  Millennia.  Okay, we may be exaggerating now, but you get the idea.

Today, we will discuss the eighth album released by the English band The Who. Who Are You was released in 1978. The band had been together for fourteen years already by the time it hit the shelves, and had already been heralded as one of the most influential rock bands of all time, alongside the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.  Whether it was because of the fame, the pressure to produce, or the social demands of stardom, things were not going too well for the musicians in the band by 1978.  Roger Daltrey, Pete Townsend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon had gone through some rough times emotionally and physically, and it would prove to be Moon's last.  He died within three weeks of the release of the album from complications due to his unrestrained abuse of drug and alcohol.  The album's biggest hit was "Who Are You?", but it is notable also for Townsend's effort to fuse progressive and punk rock sounds.  The band continued to release albums after Who Are You and into the new century.  In fact, they're celebrating fifty years together in 2014.

QUESTION:

Roger Daltrey, the lead singer for The Who, has had a second career in film and television.  Which of the following is NOT included in his acting resume?

a)  The Wizard of Oz in Concert:  Dreams Come True

b)  Gimme Shelter

c)  Quadrophenia

d)  .com for Murder

e)  Dark Prince:  The True Story of Dracula

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

When the Founders constructed the United States Constitution, they built in the power for change.  There have been twenty-seven amendments to this document since its ratification in 1787.  The first ten of these are affectionately known as the Bill of Rights.  But what of the eleventh amendment?  Well, it was ratified by the states on this date in 1795.  There are some clear rights provided in the Constitution - the rights to freedom of the press,  religion, and speech.  This amendment does not offer any protections quite so dramatic.  It was created to protect state governments from lawsuits made by non-residents, although some interpretations suggest different translations.  We at the blog confess that our backgrounds are not in Constitutional law, so we cannot pretend to be experts on its substance.  What we DO know is that it was ratified today.  And we will encourage you to debate the issues among yourselves.  Here is a website that may help, if you cut and paste it into a search engine:  http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/the-us-constitutions-eleventh-amendment.html

Here is some history that is MUCH easier to understand:  the Beatles arrived in the United States on this day in 1964!  Two days later, they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and that was that.  The new British Invasion had officially begun, and music in the United States would never be the same again.  

 

BIRTHDAYS:

James Hubert "Eubie" Blake was born today in 1887 (or, as he thought, 1883.  If he was right, he lived to see 100 years).  This son of former slaves grew up in Baltimore.  One of seven children to parents John and Emma, Eubie was their only child to live to adulthood, and he was born with astounding gifts.  Sitting down fort he first time ever in front of a pump organ as a youth, his remarkable talents as a natural musician came out.  His parents managed to buy him that organ, and he devoted the rest of his life to music:  as a composer, lyricist, and pianist.  His talents stretched into ragtime, jazz, and even musicals.  His most well-known song is "I'm Just Wild About Harry," but his legacy is much more substantial, and we could easily change the title to his most famous song and say that WE are wild about Eubie! 

Another James, Spader to be exact, is also celebrating a birthday today.  Born in 1960, and an actor by the age of 18, Spader tends towards odd or colorful characters.  He moves gracefully between popular comedies such as 1986's Pretty In Pink to independent powerhouses like 1989's sex, lies and videotape and the very quirky Secretary (2002).  He has recently been enjoying success with a string of popular television programs, from The Practice (2004 - 2005) to Boston Legal (2004 - 2008), a season on The Office and his current starring role in NBC's The Blacklist.

QUOTE:

I thought if I lost the band, I was dead.  If I didn't stick with the Who, I would be a sheet metal worker for the rest of my life. - Roger Daltrey

Answer:  b) Gimme Shelter  (This is a documentary about a notorious Rolling Stones concert)