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Pete Townshend Brings Peace to the Twitterverse

Pete Townshend
Rick Diamond

British boy band One Direction may have lifted a riff from the Who‘s songbook for their latest hit, ‘Best Song Ever,’ but Pete Townshend isn’t getting upset about it.

Similarities between ‘Best Song Ever’ and the classic Who track ‘Baba O’Riley’ were pointed out by a critic at ClickMusic recently, sparking a tidal wave of frantic tweets from One Direction fans who incorrectly assumed that there was a campaign underway to have the song banned. Using the hashtag #donttouchbestsongever, defenders posted outraged tweets like, “They worked hard for it! The who are just some old men now! Why cant they go and play some i dt knw eh somewher else!”

But there’s no need for alarm. As ‘Baba O’Riley’ songwriter Townshend pointed out in a statement in response to the brouhaha, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery — and something that he, as well as just about every other artist on the planet, does on a fairly regular basis.

Claiming that he likes One Direction, as well as their latest hit single, Townshend wrote, “The chords I used and the chords they used are the same three chords we’ve all been using in basic pop music since Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and Chuck Berry made it clear that fancy chords don’t mean great music — not always. I’m still writing songs that sound like ‘Baba O’Riley’ — or I’m trying to! It’s a part of my life and a part of pop’s lineage.”

Pointing out that both bands are part of one big musical spectrum, Townshend continued, “One Direction are in my business, with a million fans, and I’m happy to think they may have been influenced a little bit by the Who. I’m just relieved they’re all not wearing boiler suits and Doc Martens, or Union Jack jackets. The funniest thing is that in Canada this year I met with Randy Bachman, once the leader of the Guess Who, who told me that he not only copied ‘Baba O’Riley’ for their hit ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,’ but he even called his band after us. Why would I not be happy about this kind of tribute?”

Next: 'Baba O'Riley' - Top 100 Classic Rock Songs

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