In 1971, John Lennon traveled to Ann Arbor, MI, to appear at a combination benefit concert and political rally organized around the cause of freeing activist and author John Sinclair, who had been arrested for possession of marijuana, and ended up with a ten-year sentence for holding two joints. (It was Sinclair's third conviction on marijuana charges.) Midway through a short set of political songs, Lennon stopped to address the crowd, saying "I'm here to say, apathy isn't it...So flower power didn't work. So what? We start again." Lennon was hardly the only rock star having such feelings about where the counterculture that had so quickly bloomed in the late '60s was headed in the new decade; in the wake of Kent State, Altamont, and the escalating Vietnam War, it had become increasingly difficult for anyone to remain optimistic about the hippie movement, and as Lennon succinctly put it, what most people called "flower power" had ceased to be a force to be reckoned with. Pete Townshend seemed to be having similar feelings in 1971 as he was recording what would become the album Who's Next, and the set's final song, "Won't Get Fooled Again," seems to be a more thoughtful -- and more cynical -- variation on Lennon's statement. "Won't Get Fooled Again" records the thoughts of one musician as he watches the changing of the political guard; revolution brings down the old leaders and the new firebrands take over, but very little actually changes besides the faces and the names. Bemused, our protagonist declares, "I'll tip my hat to the new constitution/Take a bow for the new revolution/Smile and grin at the change all around/Pick up my guitar and play/Just like yesterday/Then I'll get on my knees and pray/We don't get fooled again." Townshend seems to take the view that there's little we can do to change the system, that power will inevitably corrupt even the most noble, and so rather than change the world around us, perhaps we need to begin by changing ourselves. While Townshend's view appeared to be that widespread political change could only accomplish so much, the performance of "Won't Get Fooled Again" burns with the passion of a true believer. Townshend's pioneering use of sequencers and synthesizers gives the song an air of mystery at first, and then a rock-solid pulse that at once imposes an unusual degree of discipline upon drummer Keith Moon, and makes his bursts of tom-tom fire all the more furious. Meanwhile, Townshend's crisp, precise guitar chords and John Entwistle's fluid but thundering bass rock with both muscle and a keen intelligence, while Roger Daltrey's howling vocal is one of his finest moments on vinyl. The song became the standard closing number at the Who's concerts, and has popped up on any number of Who compilations over the years; it's also appeared on Townshend's collections of material related to the ill-fated Lifehouse project, and Pete also recorded a live acoustic version for a benefit album with some help from classical guitarist John Williams.