The Who

Are You Kidding [DVD]

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This bootleg DVD has a wealth of 1965-1969 Who clips, with about 25 songs taken from over a dozen separate television broadcasts. Since archival footage of the Who has already been used pretty extensively in documentaries, particularly The Kids Are Alright, it could be fairly asked: why pick up this as well? Well, because much (though by no means all) of this stuff doesn't appear in the official historical videos, or at least not in as complete form as it does on this DVD. Where else, for instance, are you going to see the band do "Bald Headed Woman," the B-side of their first single (as they do, albeit lip-synced, on a 1966 Swedish telecast here)? Enough Who footage has turned up on various legitimate videos that it's hard to say authoritatively what might have never been issued officially, but certainly there are some fairly little-traveled songs, though some of them are lip-synced rather than live. Among such highlights are a live 1965 "My Generation" that predates the official release of the single by months, and is considerably less wild than the familiar arrangement; a 1965 live Ready, Steady, Go! version of James Brown's "Shout and Shimmy," the British B-side of "My Generation"; a quite odd segment of the group laying down vocals for "Bucket T" in the studio over a backing track; "Happy Jack" and "So Sad About Us," live at the Marquee; a destructive finale to "My Generation" in Peoria, IL, in 1968 that's as chaotically violent as almost anything they committed to celluloid; and mimed performances to relatively obscure early tracks like "It's Not True," "Out in the Street," and "Heatwave." The image quality is variable, though generally pretty good; it's a little shaky on the Swedish 1966 segment, but then again this might be about the only place you can see that particular footage. It's also a little frustrating that, as verified by consultation with Who reference books, there's additional material from some of these broadcasts that is not included on this DVD, and that some of the song clips are incomplete.