Songs In The Attic
OK. I could tell you about it, but Pete has a blog now and you can read all about it there.
No. Wait. All he's gonna talk about is the comedy sketch he did with Jimmy Fallon? OK--fair enough--he does talk about the real magic that happened when he played with Lou Reed, but . . . jeez, Pete--details, man. To be honest, I'd forgotten about the comedy bit; no offense to you or Mr. Fallon, who was a great co-host for the evening. I mean, when you and Lou Reed sang Pale Blue Eyes together . . . well, was it as good for you as it was for me?
When you played "It's a Motherfucker" with Rachel Fuller (who, I'm sure you call--I dunno--"The Missus"), Do you think, "Wow, there are still such great songs being written?"
And when you and Jay Mascis rocked out on See Me, Feel Me, you had to be smiling somewhere deep in your soul. I know I was.
Or maybe the fact is that you just like to play some good music with some good people and not have to project to a crowd of thirty thousand or more.
Whatever the case, that was something special and I get to go to the grave remembering the night Pete Townshend and Lou Reed played their first set together and they were every bit as good as everything that had come before them--Rachel Yamagata, Amos Lee, J. Mascis, Rachel Fuller and Jimmy Fallon were all working at that crazy high level. And they seemed to be having a really nice time.
At one point, Rachel Yamagata said, "and here's something I'll never be saying again: Ladies and gentlemen--Pete Townshend, " and Pete came on stage, went to the microphone and said, "until you say it again some time" and I thought, "wow. Life--and sheer ambition--has brought a lot of stuff to him, but there goes one gracious man."
And maybe that's it. Maybe the reason Pete's experience was notable for the comic bit and a shrug of "magic" is because when you reach a certain point, and you're staying committed, grace--in the sense of something inherently divine, flowing through a person--the music--is both a thing to be honored by remaining present and dismissed so as not to be reduced to description. It is what it was.
A good night out.