Slice of Life Story - The Primacy Effect

Legendary rock band, The Who have arrived in Melbourne to play a one off concert as part of the Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix racing circus. I have never been a fan of Formula One racing. It does nothing for me and it costs taxpayers money to stage it. It takes over city streets and is environmentally unsustainable.

On the other hand I have always loved the music of The Who. As a teenager I loved the teen anthem, My Generation and the lyric line of Substitute fired my imagination every time it played out.
"You think we look pretty good together
You think my shoes are made of leather..."

The first time The Who toured performed in Australia they performed at Festival Hall in Melbourne. Festival Hall was little more than a glorified barn and the acoustics were not state of the art as they are today. As a teenager, I thought the concert was amazing. The sound the band produced, seemed to my young ears to faithfully replicate their record sound, and their stage energy and presence was something to behold. There was also a sense of anarchy as guitars were destroyed at the conclusion of the performance like a kind of sacrifice to the musical Gods. I never quite understood that bit about all that stage managed destruction though. They quickly left that part of their act behind as the music began to assume greater importance.

Sadly since those days two original band members have left this mortal coil, with only Pete Townsend and Roger Daltry surviving. They have endured like their music.

Throughout our lives we encounter lots of firsts. The Who were my first live rock and roll concert and like many of those first times we experience, the memory holds fast. First times often provide great fodder for writing. They run through our memories in such a rich vein.

Music has always commanded a big part in my life. The first album I bought was Bob Dylan’s classic double album, Blonde on Blonde. I’ll stop there. Those ‘firsts’ are beginning to flood in quicker than I can type. I need to create a list of them in my Writer’s Notebook for posterity and future writing ideas.


  1. Hi Alan,
    I'm just about ready to welcome in my guitar teacher for a lesson, but first this note to you. I am with you. I remember the Who vividly, but not as intimately as you do. And I feel same way about the racing sport.
    Firsts as flooding my mind now and so many are connected to music,

  2. I loved reading this, Alan. It made me remember some of my firsts, too. Like your, like Bonnie, so many are connected to music. I would love to have seen The Who perform in a space the old Festival Hall. That must have been unbelievably fun!


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