Alas, this was true in more senses than one as, in classy News International fasion, staff were told just an hour after they had put the magazine to bed that it was being closed down and this was the last issue.The main book review in the Eye, whose books pages are consistently excellent, is of Pete Townshend’s memoir Who I Am. Broadly sympathetic to the “self-lacerater”, the reviewer suggests that:
20th century pop reached its apogee in around 1965-1967, when the original beat groups morphed into travelling psychedelic circuses, and began its downward spiral when much less subtle and spontaneous (and much more commercially focused) heavy rock kicked in at the decade’s end. And who were the principal impresarios of this relentless aural assault, in which the song became secondary to the thrash that surrounded it, and rhythm-based melodies (see The Beatles, The Kinks, The Small Faces, etc) gave way to guitar-hero screech? Well, step forward Mr T and convives. No wonder the general impression of life in the rawk fast lane filed by Who I Am is so downbeat. Without ever quite knowing what he was doing, Pete killed the thing he loved, you see, and its ghost haunts him still.Francis Wheen is 55.