Friday, 23 March 2018

Klinger. Tony: The Who and I (book)
Tony Klinger is a British film director/producer and author, who has worked on such films as 'Get Carter', 'Gold', 'Shout at the Devil', Deep Purple's 'Rises Over Japan', and The Who's 'The Kids Are Alright'. The Who and I documents the authors tumultuous time working with The Who and their management team on the creation of 'The Kids Are Alright' film, the late '70s documentary that chronicled the then 10 + year career of the band. Originally titled Twilight of the Gods: My Adventures with The Who, this latest edition changes the title and adds some extra & recent content from the author, as he continues to reflect on this turbulent time in his life, a motion picture that seemed doomed from the start but miraculously got made and actually came out pretty damn good. While some might deem Klinger's words here as a bit of sour grapes, and wish that the author would just drop all the hard feelings from events that took place over 40 years ago, it still makes for a fascinating read. His regular run-ins with Who manager Bill Curbishley, battling for the director's role with Jeff Stein (which he eventually succumbed to and took on the Producer's role), his alliance with Executive Producer Sydney Rose, and of course the crazy interactions with the band themselves, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon, and John Entwistle, all make for chilling entertainment. Chapter 12, 'Shooting Keith Moon: Looney Tunes', is worth the price of admission alone. Here, the author goes into great detail a week long shoot at Moon's house and about, describing the drummer's now legendary slide into oblivion in graphic terms, yet by the end of the book he charmingly refers to Keith as the one member of the band who really enjoyed being around, despite his many demons & excesses. This is an account of rock & roll debauchery and excess at its most harrowing.
Through it all, you'll get first hand accounts of all the stops & starts of the film, the funding issues, the battles between the author and the director & management, and a myriad of other unbelievable tales. But hey, it's rock 'n' roll right? These things do happen, but the important thing is a legendary film was eventually made and released. If you are a fan of 'The Kids Are Alright' film, this is a must read. Not so much a book about The Who, but of course they are deeply involved in the overall story. Sadly, Moon would pass away before the film was released, but you can read about some of his final months here, and watch the movie for a look at him throughout his short but meteoric life.

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