It’s no secret to amongst family and friends that I’m a massive Who fan and that Tommy is one of my all time favourite albums (I listen to it at least a couple of times a week and watch the film every couple of months). I’ve always wanted to see them live but have never been able to afford it – the night they last played at Newcastle Arena I sat and had a little weep because I couldn’t be there.
A few months ago a friend messaged me a link to Whitley Bay Film Festival. They were showing Tommy followed by a Q&A with Roger Daltrey! We booked the ticket first thing the day they went in sale (I was later told that they had sold out remarkably quickly so was lucky to get a hold of one).
Saturday just gone, I went to see it and was incredibly excited. As an added bonus, Ian Le Frenais had turned up as Patron of the Film Festival! When the film started, I thought the volume levels were far too high. However once the music kicked in, you had the feeling of being at a gig. Seeing it on the big screen, with the music blasting so loud you could feel it was almost a spiritual experience. I fell in love with the film all over again (having never seen it at the cinema) and gained a new found appreciation for the film soundtrack. I’ve never applauded a film before let alone give it a standing ovation. But you can bet I rose to my feet with the majority of the audience.
Afterwards, Ian Le Frenais came on to introduce Roger Daltrey. I don’t mind admitting I had a couple of tears appear when he came on. He told a couple of very funny stories, gave some background info on a few scenes in the film and confirmed the existence of a film biopic of Keith Moon!
At the end, there was a mad rush of people to get autographs. He’d already stated that he was running out of time and had to get away. I was extremely torn between wanting to go and meet him and get his autograph and really not wanting to add to his already delayed schedule. I chose to leave (I later discovered the whole thing had turned into a signing session which made me thoroughly cheesed off and miserable I didn’t risk it and try to meet one of my favourite musicians/singers).
But at the end of the day seeing Tommy in its 40th anniversary year, on a huge screen with the music surrounding me, filling my soul is an experience I’ll never forget.
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