Albums/Movies That Changed My Life #4: The Who: Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy/The Kids Are Alright
My older brother, Anurag, played a huge role in my musical upbringing. I mean, how many suburban Indian kids were rocking out to the Beatles, the Doors and the Who at 8 years old. I credit this all to my bro. Having a 4 year head start in life meant he could bestow on me his wisdom and experiences. Some were great (like the Beatles, The Who) and some not so great (the daily beating to toughen me up to take on the school bully who ended becoming his best friend!!!!).
My brother had a dubbed cassette of the Who’s Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy. We would listen to it religiously when we would play Police Quest, Xenophone and, eventually, Leisure Suit Larry:) He then took it to the next level when he dubbed a VHS copy of The Kids Are Alright. Seeing this bizarre montage of 60s b&w footage, bloated 70s rockstars and Keith Moon in full leather getting whipped… I didn’t know what I was watching. But I knew I loved this band.
In my childhood mind, I saw the Beatles (thanks to the Revolver cover) as some kind of wizards working away… The Who, on the other hand, I imagined as mischievous urchins sneaking in places and getting into trouble… and this movie only backed that up.
To an 8 year old boy, there’s a lot to love about the Who. A cartoonish caricature of a man on drums (he was, like too many I’m sure, the real life representation of Animal from the Muppets show), a wide-eyed/big nosed windmilling guitarist, a tough looking long-haired front man, and a stoic/creepy bassist. They had songs about happy Jacks, masturbating (not that I was quite there yet), my generation, child molestation… honestly, I didn’t get most of it… All I really appreciated at that time was the beat, melody… the music really transcended language. Also, I thought the name was kind of funny.