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The Who: Baba O'Riley (Teenage Wasteland)

There's a lot of WHO fans out there and they've been asking to see and hear some Live Who. I knew we had the perfect video when Scott sent over this incredible clip of BABA O'RILEY. Here's a couple of facts you may not know: the title comes from Pete Townsend's philosophical and musical mentors, Meher Baba and Terry Riley.

The song is often referred to as "Teenage Wasteland," but it's actually a phrase, "Don't cry/don't raise your eye/it's only teenage wasteland" repeated by Pete in the song while Roger Daltry sings the rest.

 

Townshend said it's actually about the craziness of the teenagers at Woodstock, with many stoned on LSD and at least 20 suffering brain damage. But a lot of the kids took it as a celebration, "Teenage Wasteland...Yes we were all wasted."

 

Baba O'Riley was originally written for Pete's follow-up Rock Opera to "Pinball Wizard" called "Lifehouse" which didn't work out. After he scrapped "Lifehouse, Townshend used some of the tracks for the Who's next album, WHO'S NEXT, using Baba as the opening track.

 

It was never released in the U.S. as a single, but received heavy play on the FM AOR stations at the time who played the 5-minute long edit and showed the muscle of their format with songs like Baba O'Riley that reflected the new generation of Rock and Roll.

 

Rolling Stone and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame both honored Baba O'Riley in their listings of The 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.

 

Fun Fact: Baba O'Reily is the official theme song of Jerry Chestnut, ranked first in the world by Major League Eating, and the winner of the 92nd Annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2007, consuming 66 Hot Dogs and Buns in 12 minutes setting the world's record.

 

Here are Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and the late Keith Moon, The Who, performing Baba O'Riley Live in a beautiful video with CD Quality Sound. Rock On! @therealdonrocks

 

A version of this post originally appeared on The Don Rocks Facebook page. For more stories like these every day, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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