First, Pete Townshend is amazing, and One Direction is off the hook. For their new single “Best Song Ever” (not the best song ever) One Direction pretty much shamelessly ripped off the famous “Dun! Dun-dun!!” three-chord riff from Baba O’ Reilly (which admittedly has been licensed a million ways to Sunday on ads and movies). There was much media buzz about how Townshend was taking legal action against One Direction. Instead, Townshend issued this most inspiring and refreshing response:
“No! I like the single. I like One Direction.” “The chords I used and the chords they used are the same three chords we’ve all been using in basic pop music since Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and Chuck Berry made it clear that fancy chords don’t mean great music – not always. I’m still writing songs that sound like ‘Baba O’Riley’ – or I’m trying to!” (Courtesy of the Huffington Post)
This is so excellent in its honesty, nonchalance and humility toward new artists trying to keep it real. If only more billionaire rockers and record execs would follow suit, the world may be safe for creativity and new ideas again.
Second, this line. I thought they sounded stupid and hokey and derivative, but The Front Bottoms just got me with this line from “Twin Size Mattress”
“I wanna contribute to the chaos, I don’t wanna watch and then complain
‘Cause I am through finding blame. That is the decision that I have made”
I love the simplicity of that, and the novelty of it. I pretty much never live this way. I hate conflict, but I also recognize how much more satisfied I could be in my interactions if I could engage more, contribute to the chaos, power through, and just see what happens. And no more sideline finger pointing! Wise words, Front Bottoms. Wise words.