Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pete Townshend: Save It For Later

Last week with our feature on I.R.S. Records, I discovered a rendition of an English Beat (AKA The Beat) song that had been performed both live and recorded in the studio by Pete Townshend of The Who. The basics of the song “Save it for Later” was written by Dave Wakeling when he was about 18 years old and it finally made it to vinyl on the final album by The Beat/The English Beat named “Special Beat Service” that was released in 1983.

One evening while Wakeling was entertaining guests, he received a phone call from Townshend who wanted to know what tuning was used on the song as he wanted to perform it. Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour was with Townshend at the time and their combined knowledge of the guitar, which is extensive, could not successfully determine how Wakeling played the tune.

Realizing that a modal tuning was employed, they attempted to play the song on the popular DADGAD tuning, but it just didn’t sound right. Wakeling explained that he intended to use DADGAG but had mis-tuned the guitar to DADAAD. The two “As” on the second and third string were in unison. This gave the tune its unique sound. Apparently, as Townshend explains on the live version of the song, The Velvet Underground also employed this tuning at times.

For our Wooden Music Wednesday, we feature that master of the guitar Pete Townshend with both a live and a studio version of this song. He really does it justice and I like it much better than the original.

Live Version by Pete Townshend's Deep End

Recorded live at Brixton Academy in London on February 11, 1985, its lineup include an all star cast of performers including David Gilmour, Rabbit Bundrick, Simon Phillips, The Kick Horns, and many others. I love Tim Sanders’ tenor sax solo on this number.  It appeared on the LP "Pete Townshend's Deep End Live."


Studio Version

The studio version of the song was recorded during the sessions for the original album of “White City: A Novel” that was released in 1985. It did not make the final cut for the vinyl release. In 2006, the song was resurrected as a bonus track for the CD version of the album. This version has more of a Who sound to it with the piano that joins midway through the cut. “Save it for Later” was probably cut from the original as ATCO had released it on the live album.

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