10 Stories Behind ‘My Generation’ That You Probably Didn’t Know About

10 Stories Behind ‘My Generation’ That You Probably Didn’t Know About | I Love Classic Rock Videos

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Perhaps one of The Who’s most recognizable songs of all time, “My Generation” is an exposé of condensed lyrics about youthful rebellion in rock music. It is also identified to be one of punk’s forefathers since its tone bears a resemblance to the earlier bits of the genre. But do you know all the information that surrounded this quintessential rock tune? Below, we’ll take you to a dive on the 10 stories that defined The Who’s greatest hit.


  • Roger Daltrey stuttered throughout most of his childhood, yet he doesn’t have one when he sings. For this song, however, he sang the lead vocals with such, which was unusual. It was Kit Lambert’s (The Who’s manager) idea to let Daltrey sing it that way as if the singer was “on a pill.”
  • Pete Townshend, the primary songwriter for the group, wrote this with the “mods” in mind. Mods are a subculture in England, where it focuses on music, fashion, and “getting high.”
  • The famous line from the song “I hope I die before I get old.” It has been referenced and been used several times. The Who’s drummer, Keith Moon have fulfilled this one, when he died on drug-related matters.
  • The song was evolved many times before it got its iconic gritty, angsty tune. It first emerged as a slow song with a bluesy vibe, and at one point had clapping and key changes. It was Lambert’s idea to produce the song at a much faster pace.
  • This is the highest-charting The Who song in the UK. In the US, however, The Who is not so popular, so it barely made a spot on the charts.
  • The BBC, known for being conservative, refused to play the song first since it might make a big fuss about people with stutter problems. However, when the song became insanely popular on the charts, they eventually agreed.
  • This contained one of the first bass solos in rock music. John “thunder fingers” Entwistle was an underrated player for the group, so during their earlier performances of this song, cameras would often show Townshend instead rather than the former since bass playing wasn’t quite popular then.
  • The Who was initially planning to release a full album with cover songs, until music journalist John Emery reprimanded its “lack of originality.” So, Townshend took the writing job and wrote 8 original songs for their album, wherein they only added three covers.
  • Singapore magazine named BigO is named after a line from this song, “before I get old.”
  • Back in September 1967, The Who performed the song live on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. In the performance, Pete Townshend’s hair got burned and had also damaged his hearing when Keith Moon and the technical crew exploded the set of drums Moon was using.