Rachel Fuller is the long time, significant other, heterosexual life partner of Pete Townshend from the legendary rock band The Who. Several years ago, she released an album that was not as well received, critically and commercially, as she had hoped and was looking for a way to connect to a wider audience. Thus “In the Attic” was born.
It started with a web cam in the home studio (always a risky proposition) with her and some folks talking about music and occasionally playing some tunes. In 2006-2007 when The Who decided to tour again (Exactly how many farewell tours have they pulled off?), Rachel got the idea to take a traveling studio to the various festivals The Who played and invite other artists, who played the festivals, to come in and chat, perform a song or two and stream it over the miracle of the World Wide Web. This worked well for the European leg of the tour and had gained quite a following. As The Who made plans to tour North America, a new plan was needed as the logistics and expense of shipping and traveling in the studio were apparently prohibitive.
Once in the U.S., Rachel decided to go to local small clubs that had an intimate feel, 250 person max capacity, and have a variety of artists that she and Pete were fans of, both up and coming and established, perform a song or two with her and Pete. Which brings me to the real point of this blog, this live series of shows is captured and packaged on two CD’s and one DVD , I paid $15 at Best Buy, and you should own it. The set list for both the DVD and CD’s is comprised of shows from “The Hotel Café” and “Joe’s” Pub. The list of artists is as follows:
- Tenacious D
- Joe Purdy (and his dad Dave on one song)
- Ben Harper
- Alexi Murdoch
- Amos Lee
- Rachel Yamagata
- Jimmy Fallon (yes, Jimmy Fallon of moderate SNL fame)
- Lou Reed
The fascinating part of the DVD is being able to see the star struck eyes of the performers as they play with the great Pete Townshend. At one point in his performance, Amos Lee, “dudes” Pete, Ben Harper is wide eyed and pointing at Pete as they arrange for a duet, and as Joe Purdy and his father, Dave, are preparing to play, Pete fixes Dave’s mic stand and Joe looks on in awe and comments “Hey dad, Pete Townshend is fixing your mic”. What a moment that must have been for father and son.
The performances are acoustic and raw, with little or no production value and capture the intimacy of the moment for each artist. Pete also takes the stage on occasion and performs some of his own material and songs from The Who.
This collection is well worth the investment of time and money.
Great music awaits!