Pete Townshend answered claims that the Who has taken exception at the similarities between teen boy band One Direction's hit single "Best Song Ever" and the Who's 1971 classic "Baba O'Riley." A false report that the band is trying in some way to block the pop hit has started what Uncut.co.uk has dubbed a "twitter storm" by the singing group's young fans.
Pete Townshend nipped the controversy in the bud by issuing the following statement:
"No! I like the single. I like One Direction. The chords I used and the chords they used are the same three chords we've all been using in basic pop music since Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and Chuck Berry made it clear that fancy chords don't mean great music -- not always. I'm still writing songs that sound like Baba O'Riley - or I'm trying to! It's a part of my life and a part of pop's lineage. One Direction are in my business, with a million fans, and I'm happy to think they may have been influenced a little bit by the Who. I'm just relieved they're all not wearing boiler suits and Doc Martens, or Union Jack jackets. The funniest thing is that in Canada this year I met with Randy Bachman once the leader of GUESS WHO who told me that he not only copied 'Baba O' Riley' for their hit 'You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet,' but he even called his band after us. Why would I not be happy about this kind of tribute?"
Pete Townshend told us that although "Baba O'Riley" has been a concert staple for the band for decades, most of the Who's fans still don't understand what the song is really about: "'Baba O'Riley,' y'know that song was meant to be the opening music, the back story to the movie that was going to be Lifehouse. So it's not about getting wasted, it's about the fact that we, at that time, back in those days, we seemed to as a society (to) have our way of giving our young people a sense of value."
Photo Courtesy of PRPhotos.com