Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 215
Wed. Aug 15, 2012
I’ve been a stutterer for as long as I can remember. The tripping over my words was the main reason I became such an introverted outcast during my youth. The only time I wouldn’t stutter was when I would sing along to my favorite songs. I actually found solace in my music. The Beatles may have opened my doors music but I discovered my voice through “My Generation.” This one song by The Who eased my worries because the way Roger Daltrey sung those lyrics actually made stuttering cool. This was during the early days of my classic rock renaissance while discovering The Who in the midst of their rock revival of the early 1980s.
Nigel Williamson once wrote, “The most famous stutter in rock belongs to Roger Daltrey on The Who’s “My Generation.”” How did this famous stutter come to life. Pete Townshend explained to Performing Songwriter in 2002, when he said, “I always wrote to the strengths of the band. I put in a stutter because Roger and I were both huge fans of John Lee Hooker and Johnny Cash, and both of them occasionally stuttered.”
Did you know that The British Mod’s favorite band in 1965 was The Who. Michael Walker in his famed book Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock-and-Roll’s Legendary Neighborhood discussed this when he wrote— “The house band for the Mods was The Who, whose “My Generation,” with its sputtering rage and stuttering cadences, was a naked homage to the Mods’ amphetamine-fueled posturing.” Pete Townshend quoted in Walker’s book, specifically revealed, how The Mods’ responded to “My Generation” when he said, “These little stuttering pilled-up Mods would come up to me and say “You-you-gotta d-do more, Pete, b-b-because it’s right man.”
If I had the opportunity, I would personally thank Pete Townshend for writing “My Generation.” To this day, I still windmill and stutter along to Daltrey’s powerful vocal of “My Generation.” Not just an anthem of the 1960s, “My Generation” is the song that gave me strength to open my mouth and communicate when I all I had was my fear of stuttering. I also need to thank Roger Daltrey whose classic stammering vocal showed me that there was no shame just pride in my stutter. If anyone tried putting me down, “My Generation” gave me the confidence to jive back “Why don’t you just f-f-fade away because Roger Daltrey of The Who stutters just like me.” Yes, that was me, I was that music geek but “My Generation” was more than a hit song, Townshend’s penned classic actually empowered me. I still feel rhythmically emancipated when I sing along , you see, The Who’s ‘My Generation” made me realize that my that own stutter was only an impediment in my own mind.