Jools And Jim

“I wrote the song after someone from the Guardian wrote an article about them to promote their book, and he got very animated about how they didn’t give a shit about Sid Vicious going down. And then Tony brought up Keith as well and said, ‘Fuck Keith Moon, we’re better off without him. Decadent cunt driving Rolls Royces into swimming pools, if that’s what rock and roll’s about, who needs it?’ And to a certain extent I agreed with a bit of it, but I feel that it was a bit of opportunist cock. I don’t know if they care, but I’d like to see this fucking Rolls Royce in the swimming pool. I spoke to the guy who bought his house, the drummer from 10cc and he said there was one in there, but I get the feeling that someone wheeled it in just to validate the story. The most interesting Keith Moon stories aren’t about Rolls Royces being driven into swimming pools. The secret of Keith Moon’s driving problems was that he couldn’t steer. When he was behind a steering wheel and he wanted to go left he used to turn it the wrong way, so he only used to drive cars in his own garden. I just wrote the song as a reaction. I rang Tony up the day after I’d written it and said that I’d written it and explained. I was going to send him a copy, and then I decided I wouldn’t send him one until it came out after I’d decided that it was a good song to go on the album. I thought, ‘Fuck it, he’ll get it in the end.’ I only read their book the other day, and I quite liked it. I changed the title from ‘Jools And Tone’ to ‘Jools And Jim’ because it’s not directly about them; it’s about ever taking a stance and believing what you read. It’s just another ‘Don’t Believe What You Read’ song. I think it’s one of the best songs on the album.”Pete Townshend (1158)

Empty Glass

“The spark-off for the song was when I read Ecclesiastes again and it was so powerful it just reminded me of the way Britain was today. Everyone walks around complaining about one thing and another, but when they’re talking about futility, if you’re talking about Britain as a country with a history and an empire, they’re talking about futility after a consummation. Bringing it closer to home, to my age group, after winning the war you end up with fuck all. You got King Solomon talking about how after he’s fucked everybody and had everything and gone through everything, the only piece of advice he’s got is that life is useless. But it also contains some great inspirational poetry: “There is a time” and all that but it really reminded me of a lot of Persian Sufi poetry, that it’s only in desperation that you become spiritually open. I don’t know what religion is. It’s a machine that surrounds spiritual need. Spirituality is the need, and religion is the junk food, really, and what’s amazing about finding something like Ecclesiastes in the Bible is to realise that what it is is a refutation of religion as society and junk food, if you like. It’s to say ‘Listen, you won’t get what you want through sex, through people, money, through over-eating, through triumph, through anything. The only way you’ll get it is by getting on your hands and knees and asking for it’. Spirituality to me is about the asking not the answers, and I still do find it a very romantic proposition, that you hold up an empty glass and say, ‘Right. If you’re there, fill it’. The glass is empty because you have emptied it. You were in it originally. That’s why it’s only when you’re at your lowest ebb, when you believe yourself to be nothing, when you believe yourself to be worthless, when you’re in a state of futility, that you produce an empty glass. Because normally, you occupy the glass. By emptying or vacating the glass, you give God a chance to enter it. You get yourself out of the way. In a sense, it’s to do with semantics, but ultimately, you vacate. You ask for help. I can’t back this up, but I think that when I’ve sincerely prayed, I’ve got an answer of some sort. Not in the ways that I’ve ever imagined I’d get an answer, but I’ve got one. If you go on challenging life, saying ‘Why won’t life do something for me? Why am I the one who’s always losing?’ then all you’re doing is perpetuating life as is, the idea that life revolves around you as the centre of the universe, which is not true. It’s not realistic and it’s not practical. You’re just another fucking cog in the wheel and you’re nothing. You only mean something – and you only become something when you believe yourself to be nothing. That’s why I put that little footnote on the cover, which was only a repeat of something Meher Baba said: “If you want nothing, then you’ve got everything”.”Pete Townshend (1158)

And I Moved

“I don’t really know what that’s about. Originally I wrote it as a song about a voyeur, but it went through some permutations. A lot of people feel that it’s about me and my father or me and Meher Baba or me and a relationship with a woman, but I listened to it last night because I was checking the pressings, and I thought it was a bit like an admission of homosexual tendencies.”Pete Townshend (1158)

My Baby Gives It Away

“Take ‘My Baby Gives It Away’. That’s actually a song about my old lady, and she didn’t think it was sexist; she was the first person I played it to. I suppose it was a song about me. About my realizing what idiots men really are for chasing after what they have in their own backyard; chasing after trouble; chasing after wounding relationships; hurting people. Of course, women are half to blame for that as well. I think maybe you don’t realize until you’re getting to the point where you begin to think you might be past it. You start to think about what is wound up in a casual affair, a quick one-night job with some bird in some hotel room. What is it? What does it mean? The spiritual ramifications are one thing, your own moral values are another. It’s a declaration of mistrust but most of all, most important, is that for the sake of a physical thing you’re going into another human being, becoming enmeshed with them and then tearing yourself away. It’s just the craziest thing to go around doing – crashing into things, literally. It doesn’t detract from the beauty of the experience or from the joy of sex as God bloody handed it down. It’s just that – well, teenage promiscuity is one thing – experimentation – but when you get to be 22, 23. 24, by that time if you haven’t got your shit together, forget it. ‘My Baby Gives It Away’ is really about that. I suppose it is openly sexist, but it’s not a self-conscious statement. It’s sexist in that it says ‘I am a married man and my old lady loves me enough to let me have it when I want it – which is a bloody lie.”Pete Townshend (1165)