February 17, 2008

Mystery Solved

While watching a documetary on the making of The Who's "Who's Next" I noticed that most of Pete Townshend's guitars carried a number ranging from 1 to 9. Not sure how I have missed this after years of seeing Who photos and live footage but none the less I became aware of it tonight and decided to look up what the numbers were all about.

I have since learned that Pete numbers his guitars according to the special tuning requirements used in each of his songs. Brilliant! I wonder if Polvo or Sonic Youth ever worked out such a system. I am thinking no for Sonic Youth because when they had all their gear stolen in 1999 it rendered them nearly crippled. Fifteen years worth of weirdo alternate guitar tunings and harware modifications were lost forever; making it nearly impossible for the band to recreate those early songs written and played on those guitars ever again.

Anyhow, Who by Numbers takes on an entirely new meaning now.

1 comment:

  1. i seem to remember sonic youth having notes or something on the back of the headstocks behind the tuning pegs