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My Generation

I think my first introduction to The Who was way back in 1970 when a school friend played me the Live At Leeds album. I was aware of them beforehand, but the album’s explosive content put the band – and Pete Townshend’s guitar playing – firmly on my musical map. I soon bought my own copy and revelled not only in repeated doses of tracks like Substitute, Magic Bus and the 14-minute-long version of My Generation, but also the paperwork that accompanied the album. These were the days of vinyl, of course, and in those days Live At Leeds came in a manila folder, as opposed to the more usual sleeve. The record itself had a mocked-up handwritten label to look like a test pressing – including the advice, “Crackling noises ok, do not correct” – and was accompanied by a sheaf of paperwork that recreated letters, the typed out lyrics to My Generation, a County Court Notice for the non-return of some Vox instruments, and the contract for The Who’s iconic appearance at Woodstock Festival in 1969, which showed that they were to be paid $12,500 for their performance.

A little later on I skipped a few lessons at school to go and watch the Woodstock movie, having convinced the cinema staff I was old enough to see an 18 Certificate showing, and was totally overwhelmed by the power and energy of The Who’s appearance. So, when we had the opportunity to chat with Pete and talk about the seminal Who’s Next, as well as his long-standing Lifehouse project, we threw down the welcome mat.

Elsewhere in this month’s magazine, we talk to Greta Van Fleet’s Jake Kiszka about his band’s meteoric rise to stadium-shaking stardom. They have been compared to Led Zeppelin many times in the past – in fact, Robert Plant is on record as saying “There’s this band from Detroit called Greta Van Fleet: they are ‘Led Zeppelin I’…” – but Jake is adamant that the band’s latest album steps out from Zep’s shadows.

In sadder news, as we were preparing to go to press with this issue we heard about the untimely passing of Moody Blues and Wings guitarist Denny Laine. Watch out for a tribute in these pages next month.

David Mead Deputy Editor

Editor’s Highlights

Blues Dues Epiphone’s latest collaboration with Joe Bonamassa is another stunner with the tones and playability to match p18

Elite Jazzer Joe Pass was an amazing performer and soloist whose albums are masterclasses in the fine art of playing jazz guitar p76

COVER: COVER IMAGE © ROBERT WILSON/THE TIMES MAGAZINE/NEWS LICENSING MARK KNOPFLER SIGNATURE STRATOCASTER PROTOTYPE IMAGE: CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2023 50TH ANNIVERSARY GRAPHIC ADAPTED FROM GETTY IMAGE 1399362594 BY DMITRY KOSTROV ABOVE: JOE PASS PHOTO BY DAVID REDFERN/REDFERNS/GETTY IMAGES MARK KNOPFLER PHOTO BY JOBY SESSIONS

Under The Hammer Mark Knopfler becomes the latest guitar superstar to send some of his precious instruments off to Christie’s auction room p70

FEBRUARY 2024  GUITARIST

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