Very early draft of the final track on Tommy, Townshend's lyrically blunt rejection of the status quo of both the ruling elite and counter-culture
"...written before Tommy had actually been formed as a total idea, and that particular song wasn't about Tommy's devotees at all. It was about the rabble in general, how we, myself as part of them, were not going to take fascism, were not going to take dreary, dying politics; were not going to take things the way they were, the way they always had been and that we were keen to change things." (Pete Townshend)
Beyond the general rejection of hippie complacency, (for instance the lines as recorded of "Hey you gettin' drunk / So sorry, I got you sussed /Hey you smokin' mother nature / This is a bust" are here as "Hey you getting drunk in Charlies / I’ve got you sussed / Hey you gettin’ stoned at a party / This is a bust") the present working draft follows much more closely to the original vision that Townshend describes above:
"I travelled to New York on Tuesday
They know me there
Wednesday we hit Kansas and the barman
Wouldn’t give me beer
On Thursday we got home to London
No better I fear
For the young man is a stung man
If he don’t lend an ear
But were not gonna take it
Not from them or anyone
We don’t have to take in
Gonna breath in
Gonna shake it
It won’t be done.
Hey you getting drunk in Charlies
I’ve got you sussed
Hey you gettin’ stoned at a party
This is a bust
Hey hung up old mister normal
Don’t try to trust
Cos we ain’t gonna do it none of your ways
Just because you think we must
We don’t have to take it
We’re not going to follow any of you
Tho’ you think we must."
By the time "We're Not Gonna Take It" evolved into Tommy's last track, intertwined with the epic "See Me Feel Me" the song became much about the disillusionment inherent when the transcendence an audience hopes for from the new Rock performers proves to be less than expected.
"They've paid their money and they've walked in the door thinking they're going to get a shortcut to God-realization. [Tommy] starts to make the rules hard. He says 'you can't drink, you can't smoke dope, you can't do this, you can't do that, you've got to play pinball, you've got to do it my way; if you don't do it my way, you're out.' And he starts to get so tough that they rebel. 'We don't want your religion. What we want is a shortcut away from all our problems.' That's what they really want." (Townshend)
The song was issued as a B-side to "I'm Free" in addition to its album appearance.
A rare draft from Tommy in a radically different form from its final version as released.
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