The Who

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The Who, original line up, performing in Chicago in 1975. Left to right: Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Keith Moon, Pete Townshend.

The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey (lead vocals, harmonica and guitar), Pete Townshend (guitar, keyboards and vocals), John Entwistle (bass guitar, brass and vocals) and Keith Moon (drums and percussion).



Pete Townshend

  • I don't think I even approach being a lead player; I think I'm very much part of a band and a riff-maker. I enjoy backing people up and letting people ride on top...I'm musically happiest when I feel I'm driving everyone else to do good things, when I'm not being the pin man.
  • If you steer clear of quality, you're alright.
    • A Whole Scene Going, BBC 1, Studio 7, BBC Television Centre, London, January 5, 1966.
  • John [Entwistle] and I were listening to a stereo L.P. of The Beatles in which the voices come out of one side and the backing track comes out of the other. And when you actually hear the backing tracks of The Beatles without their voices, they're flippin' lousy.
    • A Whole Scene Going, BBC 1, Studio 7, BBC Television Centre, London, January 5, 1966.
  • Russell Harty: Who does that machinery belong to, does it belong to you or to us? I mean who has to pay for it?
    Pete: It's alright.
    • After smashing an amp, Russell Harty Plus, London Weekend Television, South Bank, London, January 3, 1973.

Keith Moon

Main article: Keith Moon
  • The "greatest Keith Moon-type drummer in the world," as he described himself
  • Russell Harty: You're all married, aren't you?
    The Who (various): Eh? Eh? No, no no.
    Keith Moon: I wouldn't marry this lot!
    • Russell Harty Plus, London Weekend Television, South Bank, London, January 3, 1973.

John Entwistle

  • We became rich later than I expected. Now I'm too old to enjoy my money.
    • Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, January 5-6, 1978.

Roger Daltrey

  • I think that if John could choose a way to die, it would be just the way it really was.
    • About John Entwistle's death, due to long time cocaine abuse.
  • From The Kids are Alright documentary:
    • Daltrey: “I mean one main ambition now is to get back on the road with the horrible Who: the worst rock & roll group in the world”
    • Interviewer: "The worst?"
    • Daltrey: (laughs) "Yes! You couldn’t pick more, four more horrible geezers that make more… I mean, make the worst noise that you ever heard in your life”.

Song lyrics

Meet the new boss;
Same as the old boss.
Won't Get Fooled Again

All songs written by Pete Townshend, except where noted.


  • Got a feeling inside.
    Can't explain.
    It's a certain kind.
    Can't explain.
    I feel hot and cold.
    Can't explain.
    Way down in my soul, yeah.
    Can't explain.
  • I can go anyway, way I choose
    I can live anyhow, win or lose.
    I can go anywhere, for something new.
    Anyway, anyhow, anywhere I choose.

    I can do anything, right or wrong
    I can talk anyhow, and get along.
    Don't care anyway, I never lose
    Anyway, anyhow, anywhere I choose.

    • Anyway, written by Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey (1965).
  • You think we look pretty good together;
    You think my shoes are made of leather.

    But I'm a substitute for another guy.
    I look pretty tall but my heels are high.
    The simple things you see are all complicated;
    I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated, yeah.

  • I'm a boy, I'm a boy,
    But my ma won't admit it.
    I'm a boy, I'm a boy,
    But if I say I am, I get it.
  • Pictures of Lily made my life so wonderful.
    Pictures of Lily let me sleep at night.
    Pictures of Lily solved my childhood problems.
    Pictures of Lily make me feel alright.
  • Every day I get in the queue (Too much, Magic Bus)
    To get on the bus that takes me to you (Too much, Magic Bus)
    I'm so nervous, I just sit and smile (Too much, Magic Bus)
    Your house is only another mile (Too much, Magic Bus)
  • They call me The Seeker;
    I've been searching low and high.
    I won't get to get what I'm after,
    Till the day I die.
  • Long live rock, I need it every night.
    Long live rock, come on and join the line.
    Long live rock, be it dead or alive.
  • Do you really think I care,
    What you read or what you wear?
    I want you to join together with the band.
    There's a million ways to laugh,
    And every one's a path.
    Come on and join together with the band.
  • You can hear it in the street,
    See it in the dragging feet.
    The word is getting out about control.
    Spies they've come and gone,
    The story travels on.
    The only quiet place is inside your soul.

    From tree to tree,
    From you to me,
    Travelling twice as fast as on any freeway.
    Every single dream wrapped up in the scheme,
    They all get carried on the relay.
    Pass it on.

  • People try to put us d-down (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
    Just because we get around. (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
    Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
    I hope I die before I get old.(Talkin' 'bout my generation)
  • I don't mind other guys dancing with my girl;
    That's fine, I know them all pretty well.
    But I know sometimes I must get out in the light.
    Better leave her behind with the kids, they're alright.
    The kids are alright.
  • Look, he's crawling up my wall,
    Black and hairy, very small.
    Now he's up above my head,
    Hanging by a little thread.

    Boris the spider.
    Boris the spider.

  • The kids couldn't hurt Jack.
    They tried and tried and tried.
    They dropped things on his back,
    And lied and lied and lied and lied and lied.

    But they couldn't stop Jack, or the waters lapping.
    And they couldn't prevent Jack from feeling happy.

  • If you think that I don't know about the little tricks you've played,
    And never see you when deliberately you put things in my way.

    Well, here's a poke at you,
    You're gonna choke on it too.
    You're gonna lose that smile,
    Because all the while,

    I can see for miles and miles.
    I can see for miles and miles.

Tommy (1969)

  • Ever since I was a young boy,
    I've played the silver ball.
    From Soho down to Brighton,
    I must have played them all.
    But I ain't seen nothing like him
    In any amusement hall
    That deaf, dumb and blind kid
    Sure plays a mean pinball.
  • I'm free-I'm free.
    And freedom tastes of reality.
    I'm free-I'm free.
    And I'm waiting for you to follow me.
  • We're not gonna take it,
    Never did and never will.
    Don't want no religion;
    And as far as we can tell,
    We ain't gonna take you,
    Never did and never will.
    We're not gonna take you.
    We forsake you,
    Gonna rape you,
    Let's forget you better still.
    • We're Not Gonna Take It.
  • See Me;
    Feel Me.
    Touch Me;
    Heal Me.

    Listening to you, I get the music.
    Gazing at you, I get the heat.
    Following you, I climb the mountain,
    I get excitement at your feet.

    Right behind you, I see the millions.
    On you, I see the glory;
    From you, I get opinion;
    From you, I get the story.

  • Out here in the fields,
    I fight for my meals.
    I get my back into my living.
    I don't need to fight
    To prove I'm right.
    I don't need to be forgiven.

    Don't cry;
    Don't raise your eyes;
    It's only teenage wasteland.

  • I'd gladly lose me to find you.
    I'd gladly give up all I had
    To find you I'd suffer anything and be glad.

    I'd pay any price just to get you.
    I'd work all my life and I will
    To win you I'd stand naked, stoned and stabbed.

    I'd call that a bargain,
    The best I ever had.

  • I'll sing my song to the wide open spaces.
    I'll sing my heart out to the infinite sea.
    I'll sing my visions to the sky high mountains.
    I'll sing my song to the free, to the free.
  • I'm goin' home,
    And when I wanna go home,
    I'm goin' mobile.
    Well, I'm gonna find a home
    And we'll see how it feels.
    Goin' mobile,
    Keep me movin'.
Keith Moon
No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man;
To be the sad man
  • No one knows what it's like
    To be the bad man;
    To be the sad man
    Behind blue eyes.

    No one knows what it's like
    To be hated;
    To be fated,
    To telling only lies.

    But my dreams
    They aren't as empty
    As my conscience seems to be.

    I have hours, only lonely
    My love is vengeance
    That's never free.

  • If I swallow anything evil,
    Put your finger down my throat.
    If I shiver, please give me a blanket;
    Keep me warm, let me wear your coat.
    • Behind Blue Eyes.
  • We'll be fighting in the streets
    With our children at our feet.
    And the morals that they worship will be gone
    And the men who spurred us on
    Sit in judgement of all wrong.
    They decide and the shotgun sings the song.

    I'll tip my hat to the new constitution;
    Take a bow for the new revolution.
    Smile and grin at the change all around.
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday.
    Then I'll get on my knees and pray
    We don't get fooled again.

  • Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss.
    • Won't Get Fooled Again.
  • Inside outside,
    Leave me alone.
    Inside outside,
    Nowhere is home.
    Inside outside,
    Where have I been?
    Out of my brain
    On the five fifteen!
    Out of my brain on the train.
  • Only love
    Can make it rain
    The way the beach is kissed by the sea.
    Only love
    Can make it rain
    Like the sweat of lovers'
    Laying in the fields.

    Love, reign o'er me.
    Love, reign o'er me, rain on me.

  • Mama's got a squeeze box
    She wears on her chest
    And when Daddy comes home
    He never gets no rest.

    'Cause she's playing all night
    And the music's all right.
    Mama's got a squeeze box,
    Daddy never sleeps at night.

  • I woke up in a Soho doorway,
    A policeman knew my name.
    He said "You can go sleep at home tonight
    If you can get up and walk away."

    I staggered back to the underground
    And the breeze blew back my hair.
    I remember throwin' punches around
    And preachin' from my chair.

    Well, who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
    I really wanna know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

  • I call you on the telephone my voice too rough with cigarettes.
    I sometimes think I should just go home but I'm dealing with a memory that never forgets.
    I love to hear you say my name especially when you say yes.
    I got your body right now on my mind and I drunk myself b-lind to the sound of old T-Rex.
    To the sound of old T-Rex - And Who's Next.

    When I say I love you you say you better;
    You better you better you bet.
    When I say I need you you say you better;
    You better you better you bet.
    You better bet your life.
    Or love will cut you like a knife.

It's Hard (1982)

  • The drinks flow;
    People forget.
    That big wheel spins, the hair thins;
    People forget;
    Forget they're hiding.
    The news slows;
    People forget.
    The shares crash, hopes are dashed;
    People forget;
    Forget they're hiding.

    Behind an eminence front.
    Eminence front - it's a put on.

About The Who

  • … one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time.
    • "The Who". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. Retrieved on 2007-07-23.
  • … among the most popular and influential bands of the 1960s and '70s…
    • "Who, the". Concise Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved on 2007-07-23.
  • The one thing that disgusts me about The Who is the way they smashed through every door in the uncharted hallway of rock 'n' roll without leaving much more than some debris for the rest of us to lay claim to.
  • The group's evolution has also been a function of Townshend's personal growth: "Look, rock and roll is above all an expression of the frustrations of youth. Well, this is 1969, I'm an adult, I don't have the same frustrations anymore. My concerns now are mainly spiritual." Nevertheless, the Who remain the Who, and at the core of their music, however spiritualized, is rock-and-roll. They look all white, but their dad was black. They are no longer kids, but they have not forgotten.
    • Ellen Willis The Who Sell July 1969 in Beginning to See the Light: Pieces of a Decade (1981)
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