Destructive Pop art – that is expensive. At least when the English pop group The Who are performing it. Yesterday at Gröna Lund, the solo guitarist Pete Townshend smashed a guitar. The cost: 4,000 Crowns!
Everything for the sake of art, said Pete.
Aggression? No, smashing instruments is part of the ritual when The Who is performing. And yesterday evening, this was particularly appropriate. In spite of heavy rain, Gröna Lund was packed.
The Who has two gimmicks. First of all, they are known as troublemakers. If any of the other members of the band thinks that the drummer Keith Moon is playing too loud, they beat him up.
The second gimmick concerns so-called destructive pop art. The Who’s interpretation of pop art is to destroy instruments.
Yesterday, The Who had only played half a song when what so many had come to see happened. Pete Townshend, solo guitarist and the man behind Who’s hits “My Generation” and “Substitute”, ripped off a string on his guitar.
Ripped of the guitar lead. Threw the guitar, worth 4,000 Crowns to the floor and then inspected the completely cracked instrument with an artful smile!
That one guitar went down the drain didn’t matter much. Pete had another two in reserve. However, they were only worth 2,000 Crowns each. But even so…
The Who as a musical attraction? The answer to that can only be one – weak. It is all about screams and yelling. To provide as much noise as possible by standing with their guitars exactly in front of the P.A. system. And by throwing down microphone stands and, as mentioned above, wrecking their instruments.
There’s only difference with other electrical bands: The Who have a unique bass sound. A lovely sound that is similar to that of a heavily tuned-down guitar.
But then the bass player John Entwistle is using two amplifiers and 16 speakers to achieve that sound!
Translation by Jan Forsgren