24 Jun 2015

5 Reasons It Sucks That The Who Are Headlining Glastonbury

Ladies and gentlemen, I've got a confession to make. It's my fault that The Who are headlining Glastonbury on Sunday. I didn't mean to hurt anyone, but I've come to terms with the fact that I'm entirely to blame for these circumstances. A few months ago, I went off on one, on a rant about why Kanye West is the perfect headliner, and well, in jest I suggested 100% sarcastically that we should dredge The Who up for the slot, and, instead of announcing a shock surprise headliner for 2015's Glastonbury headline slot, Emily Eavis thought "you know what, if Cal thinks we should dig The Who up, we'll dig The Who up", and now we're in this situation. But I can accept the blame, and make it up to you guys. The first thing I did to make it up to you all was write a post of bands you can see instead; which you can read here, which is quite a mature way and quite a rational way to deal with the whole situation. But as well as that, I got myself a list of reasons that the booking of this rock band is annoying me, and why the fact that it's not annoying people, when Kanye West's booking sparked a petition that got nearly as many signatures as Glastonbury got ticket buyers.

The Who are just a heritage act
The band haven't put out a new album since the last time they headlined Glastonbury - their 2006 album Endless Wire was their first new album since 1982 - so you've got to ask yourself, should a band that's put out one album in 30 years, and are so blatantly in this for the £££, be headlining the Glastonbury Festival Of CONTEMPORARY Performing Arts?!? If you've got any beef with Kanye, you should leave it in the fridge, because Kanye's currently working on his fifth album since The Who last went into a recording studio, so you can't argue that he's immediately better qualified for Glastonbury.

They played the festival in 2007, in the same position on the bill
And not only this, but the band have done bugger all to advance their career since 2007, they've not pushed any boundaries since. Unlike Arctic Monkeys, who put out three best-selling albums between Glasto headline performances, they've not really done anything notable, at all. Ummm, what have they done? That's a good question. Since 2007, the band have raked in the cash playing shows occasionally as a heritage act, BUT C'MON; they raked in the cash in this spot 8 years ago. GIVE SOMEONE ELSE A SHOT.

They're ridiculously old
No, this isn't an ageist comment. I just like artists that sing with a lot of conviction. And a 71 year old singing "I HOPE I DO BEFORE I GET OLD" has as much conviction, resonance and truth to it as David Cameron's claims that The Tories are the party of the working class. And it's not like The Who have laid off playing My Generation, a fully blown banger, and charging anthem of youth, since they've been playing 21st century shows, it's been something they've played time and time again - ROGER DALTREY WAS EVEN ON TV LAST WEEK SINGING IT. I'm sorry, but there has to be something in the world more capable of headlining the biggest festival in the world than some 70-odd year old men singing about dying before getting old. There has to be. Put Kanye on two nights.

I'm not sure having someone that's been on the sex offender's register for buying child pornography is a very morally sound prospect.
In 2003, Pete Townshend was found to have clicked on a computer link that said 'pay £7 for child pornography', and then paid £7 for the said wares. He was let off with a five year spell on the S.O register, because he was allegedly researching the horrors of pornography, but because that research hasn't seen the light of day, I'm not sure I can tell myself that having this man's band headline Glastonbury is in any way a morally sound idea. You can disagree, and it's probably legally best if I don't imply anybody else, but I'd just rather we put someone that's never been on the register in the position of Glastonbury headliner.

How many members of a band can die before it's too many?
In 1965 til the late seventies, what made The Who a genuinely great was the chemistry between them; they had one of the greatest rhythm sections of all time, and well, people have voted My Generation the greatest bassline of all time in the past. SO. Are The Who still The Who without their legendary drummer and ingenious bass player? I'm not so sure. But they're definitely depleted in force, even with replacements, I mean only being 2/4 The Who should subtract some of the midichlorian count that needs to be full for them to headline Glas5 4to, right?

The Who aren't a bad band, and you could say for a period in the 1960's they were great, but really, I think it'd be nuts to suggest them as 2015 headliner material, with all the creepy allegations, member deaths, and growing-old-and-singing-about-dying-before-getting-old. INSTEAD, to be constructive as well as destructive, I put together a haiku for Michael and Emily, to help them find out what to do next.

Patti is playing,
On the same day as The Who,
So choose her instead.

(written by calum cashin)