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This is the second in a series of albums
demo-tapes, home recordings and unreleased oddities
produced during my career in and out of The Who.
I want to thank my friend Spike for her tireless energy raking
through hundreds of hours of music to put together another
interesting selection (she isn't even a Who fan!), and all
the Who fans who've waited patently while I garnered the
courage to put it out. I also want to thank my friends at
Atlantic records for making the space for me to release this
record for collectors while I spend my time writing song for
my next "serious" solo album.
PETE TOWNSHEND July,1986
YOU BETTER YOU BET
This is the
reference mix I made straight after cutting the demo at my studio in Soho.
24 track. 30 ips.
The usual rock ensemble stuff. I used a Yamaha E70 home organ for the arpeggio
Eel Pie Studio, Soho, London.
(Engineer: Chris Ludwinski) March/April 1980.
IN A SUITCASE
One of the songs submitted for and rejected from WHO BY NUMBERS. I suppose this
is not really a typical "Who" song at all, but it is about the road,
groupies, inflatable women etc.
most of all the rather crinkled family photographs we travellers all hand
Format: 16 track 30 ips.
All acoustic except Fender Bass.
Venue: Eel Pie Studios, Thames
(Engineer: Dick Hayes) 7th April 1975.
I had a nasty vision one sunny afternoon-a beautiful girl walked past my studio
window in a white dress. Behind her walked a young black kid; hip and hungry.
Their relative states of
self-absorption produced the idea of the rape of a lonely girl by a lonely man.
The piano demo was enhanced by a beautiful orchestral arrangement by Ted Astley
( my father-in-law)
Format: 24 track. 30 ips.
piano. Large string section. Woodwinds.
Venue: piano and voice at Home
in Berkshire. Orchestra at Abbey Road, London.
(Engineer: John Kurlander, Executive Producer Kit Lambert) September 1978
A simple 2 track demo of the song I wrote towards the end of the recording of
I wrote it to make sure Nick Cohn (who then reviewed for THE GUARDIAN) was kind
to the album.
Most of the demos for TOMMY
were recorded very simple. I only had the early Revox G36 stereo recorders at
the time- but when I had a good song it didn't matter. In reality it never
does. I haven't played around recording for all these years just to sell
songs; I've done it for fun and for myself.
Ted Astley composed this track over which I wrote the lyric. It reminded me of
an orchestral battlefield. With the musicians wearing big heavy boots. Hence the
analogy with football and hooliganism.
Format: 16 track 15 ips Dolby.
Instruments: Large string
Venue: Olympic studios, Barnes
(Engineer: Glyn Johns) September 1978
JACK A nonsense song. One of the first I
recorded in my studio in Soho built for me by an Australian called Jamie Hawter.
Where are you Jamie? You didn't charge me enough!
SUBSTITUTE I made this demo after hearing a
rough mix of NINETEENTH NERVOUS BREAKDOWN by The Stones. When I read David Marsh's
book BEFORE I GET OLD I was amazed to read that I ripped off the riff- amazed
because it was true, I had forgotten. Read the book to find out how, folks.
The lyric, so applauded
by rock critics, was thrown together very quickly. Smokey Robinson sang the word
'substitute' so perfectly in TRACKS OF MY TEARS- my favorite song at the
time- that I decided to celebrate the word itself with a song all its own.
Interesting that in
eulogizing two of my most important influences (and ripping off a few ideas) I
should end up with one of the most succinct songs of my career.
Format: Vortexion CBL (2
machines: bouncing in stereo) 7 1/2 ips
Instruments: Harmony 12 string
Venue: Home, Old Church
Street, Chelsa, London. Winter 1966.
LONG LIVE ROCK At one point I had a whole concept
album planned called LONG LIVE ROCK, UGH.
This is an innocent, bouncy little demo that contains enough cynicism to make it
Format: 1" 8 track
with DOLBY 15 ips.
Instruments: Gretsch Chet
Venue: Home, Twickenham, London. (Mixed at Olympic Studio 3 in Barnes) May 2nd
CALL ME LIGHTNING
One of the oldest demos I have. Recorded with another song called YOU DON'T
HAVE TO JERK at the flat my Art school pal Barney shared with me. The flat was
on the floor above my parents home. It provided a very safe independence; a
phony rebellion until I move to Belgravia in1965.
The song is a very clear
example of how difficult it was for me to reconcile what I took to be Roger's
need for macho, chauvinist lyrics and Keith Moon's appetite for surf music and
fantasy sports car love affairs
LIKE IVY Written and recorded in Dallas after
a post-show party at some restaurant at which a girl called Holly shock hands
with me. I received a very large shock of static electricity at the same time. I
think I stood on her hair.
Format: TEAC Portastudio 224
with DBX 3 3/4 ips. 2X Uric LA3A Limiter/Compressors. 1 Roland SDE 2000 Digital
Delay. 1 Soundworkshop 262 stereo reverb.
Instruments: Roland 808 Drum
machine. Prophet 10 (Bass part). Yamaha CP70 Piano. Fender Jazzmaster via
Venue: Hotel room, Dallas,
Texas. Winter 1982
THE BEGUINE This recording was featured on HAPPY
BIRTHDAY, the London Meher Baba Group's first Disc/magazine dedicated to the
spiritual master. It was one of his favorite songs. The original records are
hard to find, available now only from MEHER BABA INFORMATION BOX1011,Berkely,
This is one of the many experimental sequences from SIEGE. (See ASK YOURSELF)
The random bass part was carefully and tortuously transcribed and played by my
Columbian friend Chucho Merchan. The other elements were produced almost by
chance and embellished and mixed at my studio in Twickenham.
Format: Portastudio 4 track
transferred to 16 track 30 ips 2" studio master.
Instruments: Prophet 10.
Fender Telecaster (1952) via Roland Digital Delay. Roland Compurhythm via
various cheap digital delays.
(including one miraculous device by Electro Harmonix called a 'Memory Man Chorus Delay').
Venue: 4 track in
Cornwall-completion at Eel Pie Studios.
(Assistant Engineer: Chris Ludwinski) August'82 through January'83.
PRELUDE #556 This short prelude was written,
recorded and mixed in Florida while the other guys in the band were playing
hockey with a load of schoolgirls. I felt superior at the time. After all, I was
writing a prelude. This should really be described as a fanfare:
"... for the entry of Roger Daltrey in a gym-slip!"
Format: TEAC portastudio 224
with DBX. 3 3/4 ips.
Instruments: Prophet 10
and Jupiter 8 synths. Roland Delay DLE 2000.
Venue: Hotel room,
Tampa, Florida. 27th November 1982.
I've always loved Cornwall. In August 1982 I took some demo recording gear
down to the holiday cottage we rented. After a day's sailing on a laser dinghy
in the heavy, blustery sea off Falmouth I came home and recorded this peace.
It tries to suggest the splendour of an archaic ' tall ship' ; great
square-rigged sail-training ships often dominate Falmouth harbour. This piece is
dedicated to 'The Marques' and her crew lost in the Bahamas last year in a
Format: TEAC portastudio
224 with DBX. 3 3/4 ips.
Instruments: Prophet 10.
Roland Compurhythm. Roland Delay.
Venue: Cornwall. August
PRAYING THE GAME
This song was written in Cornwall in 1976. a long hot summer.
I wrote STREET IN THE CITY (which appeared on ROUGH MIX the album I recorded
with Ronnie Lane) at the same time. I wanted to record a complete album of
similar pieces. The orchestration is by Ted Astley
Format: 24 track 30 ips.
Instruments: Gibson J200
with open tuning and high strung on both low E and A strings to produce
the lopsided arpeggios.
Large string section, Woodwinds, Percussion.
Venue: Studio 1 Abbey
Road Studios, London.
(Engineer, John Kurlander. Executive Producer: Kit Lambert.) September 1978.
Recorded at the kitchen table of the house I was living in at the time.
I've always loved this song. I heard it originally by John Lee Hooker and
later by Snooks Eaglin.
Format: Sony TCS 300
stereo cassette machine with built in microphones. 1⅞ ips.
Venue: Home, Thames
Valley, Berkshire , England. May 1981
Certain clumsy lines in this song still annoy me to this day. But I like it a
lot, especially for hearing my old upright Marshall & Rose piano that was
never quite in tune but still sounded so ceremonial and grand.
Format: Revox G36 stereo
2-track with sync-head. 15 ips.
Venue: Home, Twickenham,
London. Sometime in 1968
PICTURES OF LILY This was written in my wife's
bedroom at the flat she was then shared with a friend. I had to perform and sing
it quietly because she was trying to sleep while I worked. Keith Jarrett visited
about halfway through, "an improvisation addict in search of a piano."
Format: Vortexion CBL
stereo recorder. 7 1/2 ips.
Instruments: Gibson ES
335 Guitar plugged straight in and sounding like shit, then detuned for bass
Venue: Eccleston Square,
Victoria, London. Sometime in 1967
LET GO THE COAT
Recorded demos for FACE DANCES. I got to A.I.R. Studios early one Tuesday
morning and wrote the song. Kenny Jones added the drums in the afternoon.
Format: 24 track 30 ips.
Instruments: Yamaha E70
organ. Rickenbacker 12 string. Fender Telecaster. Fender Bass.
Venue: A.I.R. Studio
One. Oxford Street, London.
(Engineers: John Walls, Renate Blauel.) January 1980
THE KID'S ARE
Written for The Who's first album. I was twenty years old when I wrote it and
had faith in "kids".
I still have.
THE RIGHT TO WRITE
In early 1983 I was desperately
attempting to come up with a concept for the projected Who album that year.
While I settled my mind, I did some inventing. I organized a synthesizer whose
sixteen unison 'string' voices were reproduced through what I called a 'MYRIAD
SPEAKER SYSTEM'. This was simply sixteen separate small speakers on mike
stands at about head height, distributed around the recording studio in formal
string section grouping.
As soon as I played a
note I knew I'd hit on something. The synthetic string sound was rich and
spacious. I recorded it in real stereo with the natural ambience of the room.
It's a wonderful
system, but is complex and takes many hours to set up. The prelude itself was
intended to precede a demo of a song that I sadly never finished.
Format: 16 track. 15 ips
piano. ARP 2500 16 voice studio synthesizer and 2 X ARP 2600 compact
synthesizers (for strings).
Yamaha SY1 touch-sensitive mono synth (for flute and oboe parts).
Soundcraft 1624 mixing desk. 16 Visonik David speakers each separately
Venue: Eel Pie Studios,
(Engineer: Chris Ludwinski. Technician: Roger Knapp). January 1983.
ASK ME This song was carefully
constructed as an alternative ballad for the WHO ARE YOU album. It wasn't used
by the band. I sent a copy to Quincy Jones for Sinatra, but never heard
The weird violin sound was produced by processing a string synthesizer through a
Vocoder in which the 'speech' was actually a scraped violin. Nasty!
Format: 24 track 30 ips. EMS
Vocoder 2000. Engineering assistance by Dick Hayes.
piano. Amati violin (copy) and usual rock stuff.
Venue: Eel Pie Studios,
Thames Valley, Berkshire, England. March 30th 1977
One idea I hit on while culling ideas for the aborted last Who album was called
SIEGE. It was rooted in the idea that each of us is a soul in siege. I abandoned
the idea in March '83. ASK YOURSELF (with CAT SNATCH) was one of the few
pieces I worked on. SIEGE was based musically on a series of five black note
repetitions. ASK YOURSELF contains an hypnotic exploration of one of these
repetitions. This track was recorded in Cornwall in August 1982 and in early '83,
I continued to work on it in Soho, London.
Format: 3M 24 track. 30 ips. (Basic track recorded on Portastudio 224 DBX)
vocals and echo effects added in Soho.
Prophet 10, Roland compurythm and 808 drum machine.
Jupiter 8 via 'Myriad Speaker System'.
Venue: Cornwall and Eel
Pie Studio, Soho, London.
(Engineer: Russell Webb ( Armoury Show). August '82 through Febuary'83.
This song was written for an amateur production of SIDDHARTHA at Meher
Baba Oceanic Center during the opening celebrations in June 1976.
Ted Astley later composed this absolutely stunning impressionistic orchestral
setting for my simple, droning, open-tuned guitar. The lyric tells of Siddhartha's
first meeting with the ferryman who is to become his spiritual master. The song
closes as the ferryman explains that Siddhartha must replace him and learn his
art of selfless service. (SIDDHARTHA is a short novel by Herman Hesse.)
Format: 24 track. 30 ips.
Instruments: Gibson J200
( strung and tuned as in PRAYING THE GAME). Large string section. Woodwinds.
Venue: Abbey Road Studio 1,London.
(Engineer: John Kurlander. Executive Producer: Kit Lambert.) September 1978.
The most recent demo, recorded slowly through the night on one sleepless
"I miss you, I miss
I remember lying by your side
Up in eery waters of Paradise.
N' then one day you walked out.
Now I have nothing to do but shout.
And I want my voice
To cut over mountains
And I want my soul
To gush up like fountains
To where you reside."
Format: Portastudio 224 DBX.
Old Gretsch White Falcon
Instruments: Roland drumatix. Small Martin guitar. Gibson Bass. Yamaha piano
Venue: Home, Twickenham. March 1984
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