Picks and Pans Review: Before I Get Old: the Story of the Who

updated 11/14/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/14/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Dave Marsh

The title refers to a line from The Who's watershed song My Generation, and the quote is "Hope I die before I get old." Obviously, The Who—except for the late drummer Keith Moon, who died of a drug overdose at age 31—did not follow their own advice and are, in fact, hanging on almost to the point of wearing out their welcome. Guitarist/ theoretician Pete Townshend, in particular, has turned rock pomposity into an art at times. Still, the group has earned its huge following, and rock biographer Marsh does a good job of presenting all there is to know about the rock band that will never get over growing up in the shadow of the Rolling Stones. Roger Daltrey's mother relates, for instance, how he was born in an underground air-raid shelter during World War II. There are interviews with just about everyone who has ever heard a Who record. The book errs on the overkill side, but Who fans will eat it up. (St. Martins, $10.95)

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