From their early days as The Detours, the friendship between Townshend and Daltrey, and their inevitable struggles along the way with Keith Moon, Paul Crowder’s “Amazing Journey” is the fantastic story of The Who and how they were formed into this opposite teaming of talented musicians. Like “The Kids are Alright,” Crowder examines the foursome as a more than human rock band whose music was only half of what made them so incredible on stage.
Crowder thankfully sets forth to explain much of the band’s legendary quirks, like the origin of their name, and how they began smashing their instruments on stage after a performance. It’s a gimmick that basically every band subsequent their rise to fame has mimicked with little success. We’re given an inside glimpse at Daltrey who wanted to be the next Elvis, and felt frustrated at the direction of the band in the early days, there’s a very good look into Entwistle and his ability to play straight man on stage and still feel like a natural fit for the band.
“Amazing Journey” is a tight documentary, but a little too polished to really take with spoonfuls, thus I was never overwhelmed as I was with other glimpses into the life of The Who. But the truly wrenching aspect that Crowder takes note of pointing out is the constant criticisms of Townshend and Daltrey continuing on without the other two late members in tow. Even with all the docs out there, there just isn’t enough material about The Who, as there’s still a rather fantastic story to tell about possibly one of the best rock bands that ever existed.
The foursome behind the Who were not just a rock band, they were a spectacle. They were four men who complimented each other immensely on stage with their opposite performing techniques. Crowder’s story of the loudest band in the world is in its own right a fantastic exploration of the four young men who simply wanted to rock, and as the years pass, The Who threaten to be around decades after we’ve all come and gone. I’m fine with that concept.