Who could blame them? To that point in the show, Otis Redding already incinerated half of the audience and Janis Joplin and Ravi Shankar didn’t mess around, either. So with the gig winding down and the stakes already high, both Pete and Jimi knew the other was going to bring it — they just didn’t want to get caught in each other’s wake.
See, what The Who and Jimi Hendrix already knew from playing in London (and what American audiences were about to learn) was that the guard was changing. Nobody was going to stand still and just strum the chords anymore. What good did that do? By that point, Townshend and The Who’s drummer, Keith Moon, were known for their destruction of their instruments as well as their blistering sets, while Jimi was known simply as the baddest man on the planet.
Actually, that last sentence implies something that isn’t quite accurate. By all accounts Jimi Hendrix was a peach of a man. Sweet and soft-spoken, Jimi was said to be incredibly self-conscious and humble. He and his father, Al, were particularly close and each had a love for music that they shared. Nice and friendly doesn't go far enough -- Jimi was just beautiful. It emanated from his soul.
But put Jimi on a stage with a guitar in his hands and he turned into a monster. Not just an ordinary monster, either. He was once-in-an-epoch monster who wasn’t satisfied unless he obliterated everyone in the room. He didn’t just want to strike to the heart, soul and bone, but he wanted to blow your mind, too. With a guitar, Jimi came for blood and didn't stop until he had it all.
Pete Townshend knew this and it’s why he didn’t want The Who to go on second. Jimi had seen The Who in action, too, and felt he couldn’t compete with the group’s furor.
With negotiations mired in a stalemate and the decision regarding which group would go on first drawing ever closer, Jimi grabbed his guitar, stood on top of a chair located in front of Townshend and as they story goes, proceeded to play some of the sickest licks ever contemplated by a human. It went on for a few minutes with the notes feeling more like taunts or arrows slung from a six-string. Everyone in the room stopped, unsure of what was happening until Jimi got off the chair, put down his Fender and finally spoke in that beautifully soothing voice of his.
“You can go on first,” Jimi supposedly told Townshend. “But I’m pulling out all the stops.”
Townshend should have known that instant that his strategy had backfired. Something transcendent was about to occur and instead of just the group that followed Jimi being lost in the shuffle, Townshend goaded the master into turning the entire roster of acts into a footnote. More than 40 years later when people mention the Monterey Pop Fesitval, the only lasting image is of Jimi Hendrix kneeling over his guitar that had burst into flames.
Jimi burned that bitch down!
Jimi Hendrix was not of our world. He was too good for us and had to go somewhere else. That’s just the way it is sometimes for deities, both religious and otherwise. But on Sunday The Who is still putting it through the paces when they will perform a medley of their most notable tunes at the Super Bowl.
Yes, The Who, once the most power packed outfit of men to walk the earth—so powerful that they once forced Jimi Hendrix to set California on fire—is playing the halftime show at the Super Bowl.
Just let that stand there for a second.
Townshend once wrote that he hoped he died before he got old, which is actually kind of a cool sentiment. Better yet, you can dance to it, too. Apparently, age and the ages don’t bother much with sideshows and novelty acts.
Could you imagine Keith Moon at the Super Bowl? Moon, of course, checked out in 1978 after swallowing too many clomethiazole tablets only to be followed by the group’s innovative bassist, John Entwistle, after an accident with some cocaine in Las Vegas in 2002. In other words, The Who stopped being The Who a long time ago. The Who that played in Monterey in 1967 would never be asked to play at the Super Bowl and that’s a compliment.
Instead, Pete Townshend and his muse, Roger Daltry, will open up for Peyton Manning on Sunday. And no, that’s not as bad as it sounds. A son of New Orleans, Manning could be viewed as the Jimi Hendrix of quarterbacks. Like Jimi, Manning is a virtuoso with a rightful reverence for the classics (Jimi played in Little Richard’s band when he started out and Manning wore black high-top spikes to honor Johnny U.) only with Smarty Jones-like bloodlines.
The truth is Manning is playing a different game out there. He sees things no one else has ever contemplated and then goes out there and makes it happen. Sure, it’s a team game and all of that, but Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding never sounded better than when they played in The Experience and drop Jimi into The Band of Gypsys with Buddy Miles and no one else stands a chance.
It’s just too much firepower.
So yes, when looking at the outcome for Sunday’s Super Bowl, just look for the message the halftime show is sending. No, Peyton Manning is no Jimi Hendrix. Not even close. But Pete Townshend is no Pete Townshend, either.
Colts 45, Saints 21
Forget Manning vs. Brees. It's Hank Baskett vs. Kyle Eckel. Colts win, 105-104.
Andy makes others look good when it should be the other way around. He went to Cheltenham High and Colgate University, too.
Calkins Newspapers/stately columnist
I believe in the Manning family. The Manning family has made a fortune producing quarterbacks, and Archie Manning raised his son in the Manning fashion. He gave him freedom, but he taught him never to throw a curl-in route against two-deep zone coverage. His son found a good group of wide receivers and a strong offensive line. His son never went to the movies. He stayed up late watching game film. Who would protest? Two months ago, his son was winning every game he played, with his coach. Then the coach made him lose two games. The son resisted. He kept his honor. He didn't weep because of the pain. But I wept. Why did I weep? Peyton Manning is the light of my life, a beautiful man.
Colts 35, Saints 20.
Mike writes sentences the way you grow hair and rack up out of control credit debt. He is also the author of "Fading Echoes," which is sold at all self-respecting book stores.
Even as a self-diagnosed sports illiterate, I was surprised by my own ignorance of this year's Super Bowl. After a little research I understood why: one team hails from Louisiana, the other Indiana. No wonder I hadn’t heard anything about it.
A prediction of a Saints victory would only stem from post-Katrina compassion. Unfortunately that has completely disappeared in a tsunami of Haitian guilt.
One could argue the Colts are due a victory since the only thing of worth to come out of Indiana in the recent past is John Cougar Mellencamp and the 27" all-wood-paneled RCA television set, neither of which have been relevant since 1981 (astute students of football may argue that the Colts won Super Bowl XLI, but they would be wrong. Ever since Peyton Manning's developmentally challenged younger brother upstaged him the following year, only papa Archie remembers the "other" Super Bowl played in Miami).
So with all that said, I have no choice but to predict a draw.
Mike is out sitting in his sun room watching the snow cascade from the sky.
Philadelphia Inquirer/wacky guy
The Mannings are an international scourge. They own a Guatemalan sweat shop where children sew soccer balls with their teeth. Look it up on the internet. Saints 35, Colts 31.
Gonz is on the radio and in the paper... what can't he do?! WHAT CAN'T HE DO!?
WEEI/Celtics & NBA writer
I'm rooting for the Saints because Hokie Gajan was my favorite player growing up, and as an East Coast liberal I'm obligated to cheer for anything related to New Orleans and boo anything related to Archie and Olivia.
P.S. Oh fine. Add this: Saints 28, Colts 24.
Paul Flannery covers the Boston Celtics and the NBA for weei.com and used to write about Delco League baseball for the Daily Times down there in Delaware County. Follow him on Twitter @pflanns.
CSN/song& dance man
Big C's Supe predictions/odds:
Over/Under on Archie/Eli Manning cutaway shots: 11.5 (Over)
Over/Under on Kim Kardashian cutaway shots: Nowhere near enough
Over/Under on Elapsed time for Carrie Underwood's National Anthem: 1:42 (Over)
Odds I think I could do a better job than Carrie Underwood: No Line
Odds Indy scores 1st: -165
Odds NO scores 1st: +130
Odds Tiger Woods scores 1st: -1500
Over/Under - Total player arrests during Super Bowl week: 0.5
Prediction: Under (Marvin Harrison isn't a Colt anymore)
Will CBS show Tim Tebow's commercial:
Who cares? -2250
What will Peyton Manning do first?
Throw a TD pass: -325
Throw an INT: +250
Step up to the line, then step back, pointing and screaming like an auction caller with Tourette's: -5000
Whom will Drew Brees thank first in the postgame interview if the Saints win?
His teammates: 9/5
Brett Favre: 8/1
Whatever that is on Drew Brees' Face: 15/1
And oh yeah...
Final score: Colts, 31-20 (Colts -5.5, under, and so I win my block pool)
Dan sometimes goes by the handle, "Boonie." He lives in Delaware with his wife, son and mortgage and makes TV shows that you watch.
I'm not a football guy, so I can only imitate what I've heard listening to two weeks of over-inflated blather from analysts on ESPN radio. It goes something like this ...
“To me, it boils down to the quarterback position. That means none other than Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. In order to have success in the Super Bowl, and achieve greatness in the National Football League, the quarterback must rise to the occasion in clutch situations, and in the National Football League, there's no greater game than the Super Bowl. This is a game that will be won in the trenches. It starts up front with the play of the offensive line. They must protect the quarterback and give Peyton Manning time. You can't expect to win consistently in the National Football League without a strong defense. They must apply pressure to the quarterback position. Sean Payton and Jim Caldwell must be prepared to make adjustments.”
Pitchers and catchers in 12 days.
Jason's site is Beerleaguer.com, but you already knew that.
A Wisconsin native, Todd finally asked his mom to take down the Brett Favre poster hanging on his bedroom wall. Read more from Todd on The Zo Zone!
I can't believe you actually want me in here; I'm assuming this is a mistake with your old email chain. If you really want: “Kevin Roberts was a columnist at the Courier-Post before the Courier lost its mind and decided to stop being a real newspaper, and now works as an occasional freelancer and ghostwrites sports books in addition to his duties at Resources for Human Development, a national nonprofit human services corporation, where he works in communications,” well, then, OK:
I'm not sold on Peyton Manning as a clutch performer yet. He's been great this year, and in two playoff wins he's been excellent. But his career postseason record is just 9-8. His career QB rating is still just 87.1, which is just barely OK. In 2006, when he finally became, "A Guy Who Could Win The Big One," Manning threw touchdowns and seven interceptions in the postseason and won the Super Bowl MVP with a barely decent day (81.7 QB rating) simply because he was playing quarterback for the team that was playing Rex Grossman when Rex Grossman, predictably, threw up on himself. That might not be the best test. But New Orleans will be. Despite a nagging feeling that the Saints were the second-best team in the NFC championship game, the pick here is that Drew Brees and a complete Saints team armed with a big-play defense will carry the day.
Saints 33, Colts 2
Kevin is a terrific writer and used to ply his trade for the Camden Courier Post until it decided existence was no longer a compelling state in which to dwell. Kevin gets to New Orleans often for work and loves the notion that football will save that city.
Drums/Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
Choosing a Super Bowl winner between two dome teams playing a game in Miami in the middle of a snow storm in Philly is kind of a bummer. Anyways, I’m picking New Orleans for a few reasons, and here they are:
First, has anyone been to Indy? It’s a very wholesome landlocked city in the Midwest that's kinda dead boring to be honest. New Orleans, where to start? The food? The music? The history? The music?(!!!) the feeling that the best/worst thing ever could be waiting for you around each corner? Do I need to bring up Katrina? Sorry.
Second, the quarterbacks. Both seem like very likable guys and are beyond amazing at what they do. But Peyton did do that Oreo Racing League commercial and Drew Brees didn't. That’s worth at least a touchdown.
And lastly, I’m originally from Arkansas, and rooted for the Eagles even back then. They always played the Cowboys hard. Even though Dallas was only four hours away and it would make sense if I loved them, I hated them with a passion. America’s team? No thanks. I’ll root for the underdog. At any rate, in January of 1993, my great-grandfather was in the hospital and didn't have very much time left. I went on one of my weekly visits to see him so we could watch the NFC wild card game together. The Eagles beat the Saints 36-20 (going on to lose in the divisional round to those damned Cowboys, 34-10). I think my attitude may have been a little too boo-yeah that day and every time I’ve seen the Chappelle's Show skit where he goes to visit that sick kid Billy in the hospital and winds up slaying him at street hoops on PlayStation, I think about that and feel a little bad about it.
So for Elmer B. Hulsemann, I pick the Saints over the Colts 34-17. Boo-yeah!
Hear Chris’ work with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists on March 9 when their new record, “The Brutalist Bricks,” is released. Or hell, check out some of the new songs from last week's noontime gig at the World Cafe on XPN. If just owning a copy of the record isn’t good enough for you (and it shouldn’t be), catch the band on their spring tour that stops in Philadelphia (April 7), Washington (April 8), New York (April 9) and Boston (April 10).
I'm pretty sure the reason I find so much success in my March Madness pools (really, I've gotten first or second place each of the past five years) is that I try to pay as little attention as possible to the meaningful statistics. Instead, I pick something silly to consider about the two teams involved in each game. And so, for the Super Bowl, I've decided to think about which quarterback I would rather see guest star in an episode of Saturday Night Live. Because you know the winning QB will make an appearance, even though no one watches the show anymore.
Turns out, my SNL Bowl isn't even a contest. Drew Brees vs. Peyton Manning? The guy who's allergic to dairy and wheat vs. the guy who's voiced a character on The Simpsons? I mean, c'mon! Manning wins it, hands down.
Seriously, though: The Saints have the story but the Colts have the experience. So my money (not that there's a lot of it) is on another big win for Manning and company.
Colts 31, Saints 24
Sarah knows more about hockey than you. She also will cross-check you into the boards, pick you off the ice and bake you some brownies. Tread lightly around her, folks.
Since I haven't paid attention to the actual football season this year, making an educated guess is out of the question. Maybe I will base my selection on the answer to the country's most timely and riveting question: Team Kim or Team Kendra??
While I have shamefully watched “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” more times than I'd like to admit, I found I couldn't stomach bubble-boobed Kendra Wilkinson's reality show for more than two minutes. She had absolutely nothing to say and seemingly, nothing to do but look blissfully confused and order dinner from the Olive Garden.
Then again, Kendra is actually married to a dreamy Super Bowler, while Kim has been looking desperate, crossing her fingers that a win on Sunday means a big honkin' engagement for her. Even People Magazine's online poll asking readers whether they are supporting Team Kim or Team Kendra is all tied up.
Geez. Decisions, decisions... maybe I'll just ask my five-year-old, and I'll go with whatever he thinks.
OK, he says the Stevens College of Technology Bulldogs will defeat the Philadelphia Eagles, 100-5. Perfect.
Ellen is too busy and married beneath her standards to be bothered at this moment. This is all you get for now.
Yeah, it's late getting here -- but so what? What are you doing? I'll tell you what you're doing, you're watching the snow pile up to your third chin. Meanwhile, I'm wearing shorts in Houston, so take that. Besides, the only people reading this are the other people invited to make their predictions. For good taste's sake I can't say what this is the Interblogs version of ... but there's a punk band named after it, and the first word in the name is a shape and the second word is a Steve Martin film.
Anyway, the game. First off, I just left New Orleans, and if one more person had said "Who dat?" before I got on that plane, I was taking a hostage (and considering the track record in airports, I probably would have been successful). That said, New Orleans deserves something good, and it is going to get it. I predicted that the NFC Championship game would be an epic. It was. I also predicted the winner would win the Super Bowl. It will. The Saints have a sick offense. Drew Brees is Joe Montana -- undersized, but a flat-out winner. He took not one, but two black-and-gold-garbed jokes (Purdue and the Saints) and turned them into quality teams. The Saints got past a team with a far better defense than the Colts two weeks ago; the Colts had to rally in the second half against a rookie QB and Buddy Ryan's son. C'mon.
We'll give the runner-up in the Sony Ping-Pong tournament a late TD to make it respectable, but it's Saints 35, Colts 31.
A child acting star, Dennis played Arnold's friend who was molested in an episode of "Diff'rent Strokes." His passions are cards and the atmosphere.
Enrico Campitelli Jr.
The 700 Level
I just don't think the Puppy Bowl will be the same without Harry the K calling the riveting action, although I did hear they have some arctic hares as cheerleaders (hairy cheerleaders!). I'm pulling for the Pomeranian.
As for The Big Game, I think I'm with the majority of the sports watching world when I say I'd like to see the underdog Saints pull it out but also think Peyton Manning and the Colts are just too much. Sean Payton has those Philly roots so I'll pull for him. Saints 35-31.
Also, Baba O'Riley opener.
Enrico started your favorite web site, The 700 Level. He's a force of nature.