Amazing Journey

I watched Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who over the past couple of nights (there are two discs, almost four hours of stuff) and it’s a pretty impressive film. It’s a straightforward bio from the earliest days right up through John Entwistle’s death, and it doesn’t gloss over anything. The story of Cincinnati is told (11 dead), and Keith Moon’s death and Kenny Jones’ inability to fill his shoes, even Pete’s (unfounded) child porn allegations are touched on. Entwistle dying in a Vegas hotel room with hookers and blow, well, that’s in there too.

Pete talks his usual shit, about Roger, about Eric Clapton, even Jimi Hendrix. Always entertaining. An extra of the studio recording of “Real Good-Looking Boy” shows Pete as the slave-driver and everyone in the room defers to him. It’s almost uncomfortable to watch. But he knows what he wants.

With so much material it’s not surprising that it never seems to linger too long on anything, and I guess that’s where I found it lacking. I want to focus on the tragedies, and I can always hear more about Tommy, Quadrophenia and the ill-fated Lifehouse. But that’s me. It’s all there, but the film just didn’t give me enough, although a second viewing may change my mind. There is a lot of stuff in the two discs, don’t get me wrong, I’m just nit-picking.

The Kids Are Alright still kicks its ass, but then, what can possibly top that? The Filth and The Fury and End of the Century come close, but really, there is nothing that can rival the majesty that is TKAA. There is nothing in AJ that comes close to that moment where Pete Townshend leaps across the stage and slides on his knees in slow motion towards the camera; pure beauty! But for Who nuts like me, this is some good shit.


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