The Who, foundational UK rock-monsters and noted weed haters, have never been cute. That has never been their appeal. Instead, they’ve always been a primal-scream sort of band — miserable bastards with prodigious pill appetites who have always used all the technology at their disposal to make colossal, elemental noise. But right now, the Who — or surviving original members Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey, anyway — are working on a new album and undertaking a US tour. And even though you’d think their incomparable back catalog and their Scrooge McDunk buildings full of CSI money would make it unnecessary, they apparently still feel like they need to promote their shit. Combine that urge with Jimmy Fallon, a man with an insatiable urge to transform every living classic rocker into a viral birthday-party entertainer, and you get something like this.
On his Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon does a regular bit where he and his famous guests join the Roots, the show’s house band, to play some iconic song, new or old, on dinky toy instruments. Usually, it’s pretty fun! But when the song in question is the epochal 1971 rage-out “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” it’s hard not to wonder what we’re even doing here.
So: Jimmy Fallon, the Roots, Pete Townsend, and Roger Daltrey played “Won’t Get Fooled Again” on classroom instruments. Townsend had an inaudible ukulele. Daltrey had a tiny tambourine. In the role of Keith Moon, we got a synth preset and ?uestlove with some bongos. If you really need to see a generational anthem reduced to campfire-singalong quasi-joke, go ahead. And while you’re at it, listen to the original. They’re both below.
How did they not do “Magic Bus”? You obviously do “Magic Bus” in this situation.