Letter from the i editor: An odd choice


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The Independent Online

It was such an innocent letter that poor Jackie Keene had the temerity to write (5 September). Jackie dared to question the Olympic organisers’ choice of aged rockers The Who to headline next year’s closing ceremony.

She may have a point, but whatever neutrals thought of her “no wonder young people are disaffected” line, she destroyed her own argument with a “world-famous contemporary British artists” list that included not only your Adele, Take That, and Coldplay – so far, so good – but also Tinchy Stryder, The Wanted and Jessie J? There was Leona and Jay Sean too, and Kings of Leon, who I believe are more Tennessee than Tennyson. The Wanted and Tinchy? Cue the angry letters.

But The Who are an odd choice. Some time back I did pledge that i would be supportive of 2012, but it can’t be blind faith. I respect The Who’s longevity and understand that they’re icons and that “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, “Who Are You?”, “Baba O’Reilly” and “I Can’t Explain” spoke to a generation, but it’s certainly not “My Generation”.

The Who haven’t really done anything since 1978’s “You Better You Bet”, sadly the year the late, great Keith Moon passed. Roger Daltrey has had severe vocal problems and Pete Townshend is more than a bit deaf. Surely if we are going to pick an ancient Brit it has to be Paul McCartney (maybe with old Ringo on drums just this once) or Led Zeppelin or the still awesome Stones? Otherwise pick someone with modern resonance like an Adele or Take That.

That Beijing double-decker was bad enough after all the incredible Chinese festivities. And, it’s not as if we’re handing on to a young, vibrant city that might show us up at all. It’s only Rio de Janeiro!