Incensed, Walker kills his rival; however, his young son Tommy (who was born when he was off to war) witnesses the act. The parents tell him “You didn’t hear it”; “You didn’t see it”; and “You won’t say nothing to no one.” Forced into silence, Tommy retreats into his own post-traumatic shell and becomes the deaf, dumb, and blind kid – who later excels at pinball by sense of touch.
Pete Townshend sings lead on “1921” and is joined by Roger Daltry in a duet later during the song’s chorus. While concept albums had been released for several years, “Tommy” introduced the rock opera idea. “Got a feeling '21 is going to be a good year.”