Jun 062011

One of the great byproducts of live gathering of Townspeople is the new topics for discussion that develop. Not all Townspeople type as quickly as others or have the ability to type out their observations on a given subject during the blog’s peak periods. In the presence of any combinaton of you, few rock insights and wisecracks are left unexpressed. At Saturady night’s Sausages for Sammy gathering my close, personal friend Townsman chickenfrank shared a few insights on a video that we were watching that quickly entered my mental notebook. Here’s the video that was projecting onto the wall of my garage:

As a yardful of Townspeople nodded along to this ultimate display of rock’s Power & Glory, chickenfrank, seated to my right, made the following key observation:

Whenever I watch this clip I can’t help thinking how uncomfortable Daltrey’s shirt looks.

The few of us within earshot of this comment immediately agreed.

“If there was a male halter top,” chickenfrank continued, “this is what it would look like.”

“Or a tube top!” another Townsman added.

As I marveled at this developing topic for discussion I couldn’t keep my eyes off those extra-shortsleeves and how much they would pinch at my armpits. And where does the sweat go, in some eddy between flesh and fabric?

Even if I were in good enough shape to consider wearing such a shirt, I said to chicken, there would be many ways in which I’d find it unbearably uncomfortable. What goes through your mind as you imagine wearing Daltrey’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” shirt? How might it feel on you?


  42 Responses to “My Life in Roger Daltrey’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” Shirt”

  1. Here’s another thought that ran through my head as I pondered what life would feel like in Daltrey’s shirt: I’ve got a long torso and a gut. It would be really annoying how many times that short-cut shirt would ride up over my gut.

  2. bostonhistorian

    I can’t get my eyes past the image of the drummer spinning his sticks. Has any other major band had such terrible stage presence?

    The shirt looks like Daltrey stole it from a Goodwill donation bin. I suppose the best thing one can say about it is that it’s pretty obvious The Who doesn’t have handlers crafting their stage image. But a shirt that pulls up into the armpits? That’s so the microphone cord doesn’t any sleeve to get caught on in a way that the microphone would end up hitting Daltrey in the teeth.

  3. That’s a good point. How does Roger keep that shirt in place? Do you think he uses some kind of adhesive? Or perhaps it’s made of some sort of wonder-fabric. In any event, if you wear a shirt like that, I would think you’d need to do a substantial amount of man-scaping in case a wardrobe malfunction occurs. So, at the end of the day, the hassle-to-benefit ratio does make that shirt seem worth it.

    As for the poll, I think the boiler suit was the last decent Look that anyone on the band had. They are serious contenders for the Biggest Band With The Worst Look world champions.

  4. alexmagic

    When I was watching this on Saturday in the venue it was likely always meant to be screened, I had two thoughts about the shirt: first is that it’s kind of like the polar opposite of the open vests and flowing fringe jackets that Daltery is often remembered for sporting. Second is that the shirt has a real nautical vibe going, the same vibe that I always got from the late ’70s Washington Bullets uniforms that the Wizards re-adopted with Michael Jordan and will return to next year.

    Come to think of it, wouldn’t this performance have been captured around 1978, right in the middle of the “Miracle Season” when the Bullets won their lone NBA title? Maybe Daltrey was a big Wes Unseld fan and was paying tribute here.

    Also, the experience of wearing this shirt and being trapped in it probably served as the inspiration for “Free Me”.

  5. Hey, it’s still better than most of the post-Nirvana bands who look like they get their fashions at the final-clearance tables at the outlet mall.

  6. BigSteve

    That style of shirt used to be like a thing. It’s partway between a sleeveless T and a regular T with sleeves, but I think I recall that they were never solid-colored, always some kind of stripe pattern. And as Mod points out, there was never anything to tuck in. What the hell was that style of shirt called anyway? A vestigial-sleeved T? It was much favored by guys who thought they were macho and believed they had the build to carry it off.

  7. Oops, should have read “the hassle-to-benefit ratio does NOT make that shirt seem worth it”

  8. That’s a valid opinion, tonyola, but I urge you to put yourself in the man’s shirt and explain how it makes you feel.

  9. You’re a tall man, but definitely fit and trim enough to wear it while avoiding gut ride. How might it make you feel? I really hope to explore how this shirt would make each of us feel if we were wearing it. Thanks.

  10. misterioso

    Well. I would say that the Who had tremendous stage presence but this footage–which I love, mind you–catches them at an awkward moment. Even more evident if you watch the “rejected” footage released a couple of years ago as The Who at Kilburn 1977. The band was rusty and out of synch.

    But the shirt: I admit I have never thought critically about the shirt qua shirt. But I assume Roger kept it on and in place through sheer pectoral and abdominal muscle strength. He was that ripped.

  11. It wouldn’t have bothered me all that much to wear it onstage in 1978. Hey, it’s rock and roll. Nothing wrong with showing off your guns if you got them. Out on the street would have been a different story – it looks a little on the West Hollywood side.

  12. alexmagic

    But I assume Roger kept it on and in place through sheer pectoral and abdominal muscle strength.

    I agree. Wearing that thing and using every muscle in his torso to lock it down was probably a tremendous workout, but it does lead to a logic loop: the only way to get into the proper physical shape to wear that shirt is to wear that shirt and thus get into the proper physical shape. Logically, it’s a Who Ouroboros. A Whouroboros.

  13. I guess I would pretty much feel like a smacked ass. And that’s coming from a guy who’s wearing a seersucker suit today.

  14. THIS is yet another reason why I look forward to entering the Halls of Rock each day.

  15. BigSteve

    I would feel like ‘where’s the rest of my shirt?’

  16. misterioso

    How was that never a Who lp title?

  17. bostonhistorian

    Nothing wrong with a seersucker suit. I wore one to a wedding Charleston last week.

  18. I’ve yet to work up to the white bucks and bow tie. You?

  19. tonyola

    Oh, it will – it’ll end up on one of the endless series of Who compilations that have been cranked out in the last 20 years. Which brings up a potential question for RTH: Which artists have been most shameless in recycling old materials in “greatest hits” packages? It won’t be easy to beat the Who.

  20. misterioso

    Yes, they are in the Premier League for that.

  21. Good question. Between various hits packages and live albums maybe the Stones would give them a run for their money.

  22. bostonhistorian

    Sometimes a bow tie, black and white spectator shoes almost always. I had an elderly African-American gentleman tell me that I looked “sharper than a broke dicked dog.”

  23. bostonhistorian

    Madness would win for the number of times re-releasing the same album, I think.

  24. Damn, not I’ve got to get a bow tie.

  25. Oops, should read: “NOW I’ve got to get a bow tie.”

  26. Some of those shirt bon mots weren’t my quotes. I think I joined CDM and Plurbs in mid-disection of the shirt. If I’m meant to be a composite character, then, well done.

    I’d be thinking, “I wonder how much of my armpit hair is hanging out these holes? Can you see my Arm & Hammer deodorant caked on? “I wonder if? …shit, I missed the middle eight!

    Good point about the shirt being nautical. That’s not a look you should want to get on purpose.

    PPS: Spirit in the Sky on the ride home from work today.

  27. My apologies if I’ve mischaracterized any parts of this important discussion or those participating in this stimulating analysis. Kudos to all.

  28. ladymisskirroyale

    Wasn’t Daltrey’s other primary role in the Who, “The Official Beefcake”? This shirt cements any audition for said role. Nice stripes to emphasize the expansive chest, cap sleeves to highlight those arm muscles. I would add an excellent wardrobe choice that Mark Wahlberg should have studied for “Boogie Nights.”

    And by the way, a little double sided tape does wonders for keeping clothing options in the preferred location.

  29. shawnkilroy

    i would feel confident and sexy in that there shirt.

  30. BigSteve

    Cap sleeves, is that what they’re called? Thank god ladymiss is here.

    I can honestly say I have never taped any of my clothes to my body.

  31. Long live ladymiss! Without you I doubt we would have ever known what to call those sleeves. Like BigSteve, I have never taped clothes to my body, but maybe I should try it some day.

  32. Although I’ve never taped clothes to my body, I do have a suit that is completely covered in duct tape (complete with matching telecaster).

  33. Taped to the suit?

  34. I think I would feel like the sentient version of a poorly made, over-stuffed sausage, in danger of splitting its casing at any second.

    Wait a minute. The Who had “the most terrible stage presence” of any major band!?!?! I’ve got to believe we have wildly different definitions of “stage presence” for that statement to make even the slightest bit of sense to me.

  35. No, but that’s a good call.

  36. Not “the most terrible stage presence”, the worst Look.

  37. The Who had great stage presence: Daltry, Townshend, and Moon are all great fun to watch.

    From about Tommy onward, they had pretty bad clothes. I picture John in those tight polyester-type pants that seemed to be hot, itchy and uncomfortable on stage. Wished they’d just stuck with the mod look, but then we might be criticizing them about that now.

  38. New topic: My Life in John Entwistle’s Pants?

  39. bostonhistorian

    Yes, I really meant worst look, but their stage presence ain’t great.

  40. bostonhistorian

    To be clear, I’m talking post Keith Moon “The Who Literally Sell Out” phase….

  41. Well, to my way of thinking, the band ceased to exist in all but name once Moon was gone.

    Yeah, great Mod look, but after that they stopped bothering with cool clothing (though Pete had a small period at the end of the 70s/very beginning of the 80s where he got it together again-got rid of the beard/wore military-looking jackets & Doc Martins. Rog just cut his hair & wore black t-shirts and jeans, which was fine. Entwistle’s taste in suits really was pretty awful)…BUT, I don’t really think the members of most late 60s-into-70s bands really did much better, unless it was an actual costume. The major part of the 70s wasn’t exactly a high water mark of sartorial sharpness for most people…and the 80s wasn’t much better, esp. for anyone over the age of 30.

  42. Credit where due, I did learn “Can’t Explain” from the little snippet of musical notes that accompanied each song on the lyric sleeves of “Hooligans.”

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