Before I Get Old by Dave Marsh

Before I Get Old

Before I Get Old is one of the best books ever written about rock’n’roll, discarding much of the mythology that often surrounds a lesser informed appraisal of the Who. It tells the story of six personalities – songwriter and guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle, drummer Keith Moon and singer Roger Daltrey, plus their original managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp.Here are the band’s origins within the steamy nightlife of London...

Details Before I Get Old

TitleBefore I Get Old
Release DateSep 16th, 2003
PublisherPlexus Publishing
GenreMusic, Biography, Nonfiction, Rock N Roll, Culture, Pop Culture

Reviews Before I Get Old

  • Carol Storm
    Rock good! Thinking bad! Unquestionably the WHO were one of the top five rock and roll bands of all time. There never was a lead singer as tough and sexy as Roger Daltry. Or a songwriter as sensitive and thoughtful as Pete Townsend who could also play guitar almost on an Eric Clapton/Jimi Hendrix level. Keith Moon was the most colorful rock drummer of all time, and John Entwistle went beyond the "silent bassplayer" archetype to write some of the ...
  • Dr. Detroit
    Talk about an epiphany. On the day “Quadrophenia” was released, me and Coop hauled ass up to Dearborn Music and both plunked down what we thought at the time was long green (probably about $6.99 each) for our own personal copies, then raced back to my house, went up to my room, locked the door, opened a window, fired one up, slit the shrink wrap, and powered up my old Marantz receiver, Dual turntable, and Advent speakers. About halfway throug...
  • Mike
    Dave Marsh is a self-important hack, which unfortunately is the main thing that comes across in this far-too-lengthy book.
  • Mark R.
    "Before I Get Old" tells the story of the Who, and ultimately the story of rock n roll's development in the sixties and downfall in the seventies, as the disconnect between bands and audiences grew and rock n roll became more of a spectator sport than something personal between band and audience.Marsh focuses on Pete Townshend, which is appropriate, as he was the main songwriter, and more or less leader, of the band. Townshend's musings, frequent...
  • Barry
    As much as I looked forward to reading this at the time, I wound up incredibly disappointed. The scope of the book remains mainly during the Who's early days, and it primarily focuses on Pete Townshend. The Who was made up of some pretty interesting characters besides Townshend, in particular drummer Keith Moon. Most of the bands story is told pretty quickly, following the release of Tommy. Considering the amount of material the band released in ...
  • Ron
    Whatever made The Who exciting and relevant can't be gleaned from this book. Marsh sucks the joy right out of it.
  • Lynn
    The definitive biography on the group. Dave Marsh takes some side trips and explains some social phenomena necessary to understanding much of the Who's work, such as pirate radio, mods and British conformity, Mehrer Baba and others. Occasionally Marsh's opinions interfere with his appreciation of the Who's work, but this is actually something of a benefit; it never becomes a hagiography (unlike his Springsteen bio). The timeline extends through 1...
  • minnie
    Can't remember much about this as I read it so long ago, but I would recommend for Who fans new and old as a well researched fairly exhaustive look at The Who's career.
  • Fox
    I'm a bit biased in my five star rating of this book, being as huge a Who fan as I am. Nevertheless, I do believe that this book deserves all five stars in spite of its faults.Dave Marsh's biography on The Who is often seen as the definitive Who text, though some would argue in greater favor of Richard Barnes's Maximum R B. Where Richard Barnes tends to focus a great deal more on Pete Townshend than the rest of the band in his account (and quite ...
  • Michael Lovito
    It's funny reading all of the other reactions about this book, which either laud it as the definitive chronicle of the Who or condemn it as Dave Marsh shitting on what many people consider to be the greatest band of all time. There's no question that this book is not only too long but also improperly balanced, and in more ways than one. The book spends the bulk of it's time in the 1960s and the band's pre-Tommy and Tommy contemporary years and on...
  • Jeremy Levine
    This book was almost a shoe-in to be totally interesting, because The Who is one of the most interesting bands in the history of music, but David Marsh essentially ruined the whole thing. He: - Could not separate his critical writing from his biographical writing. At best, this leads to a couple of haphazard explanations of why certain tours or records did not go well. At medium, it's represented in the assumption that everyone has the same opini...
  • Steve Parcell
    Outstanding commentary of the rise of the Who.Dave Marsh delves deep in to each band member. The drive and sobriety of Daltrey amongst the excesses of the others and the lengths he would go to protect his interests and the Who.Townsend's descent in to depression and angst whilst trying to continually produce hits and then albums of sufficient quality for his own very high standards.I would like more about John Entwistle but the Ox was always the ...
  • Kirk
    The first edition of this came into my hands on Christmas day 1983, back when the Who still mattered. I read it all day and walked away thinking I needed a life. Not that it's not a good book---it's the best Who bio you'll find. But I read it at a stage where I was ready to give up a lot of my adolescence, and, alas, my reverence for Townshend/Daltrey/ Entwistle/Moon was fading because my tastes were changing. (I was also outraged that I paid $15...
  • Scott Golden
    This book is a lot like the band that it profiles: Great and Sloppy, Repetitive but Fascinating, Tiresome in its Uniqueness, Insightful and Pretentious. In telling the story of The Who's career, and the impact that they had upon their fans & society in general, Dave Marsh (the ultimate American 'Who fan-boy' among rock music critics) veers from reportage to unadulterated praise to expressions of disappointment to apologia to a type of 'analysis' ...
  • Mark Stalcup
    In the early 80s, when I was just a mere pup, I caught the Who's Farewell Show at Toronto on HBO. That, and a mention of them on WKRP in Cincinnatti, spurred me to snag this book, which is extraordinarily well written as a piece of critical reportage with the full cooperation of the band. While some might fault it for ending with the final show of the farewell tour, the stuff which followed - countless"reunions" even as half the band was dead; th...
  • Troy
    This is the definitive story of the Who from there very beginning through about 1980-1981. One of the cool things that Dave Marsh does in this is to explain English youth subculture in the 60's, especially the Mods, and how the Who became popular with that group. He also explores the individual members of the band, filling out some nice to know facts about them. There is also a lot said about the dynamics in the group as well as a lot of time spe...
  • Richard Motroni
    Sometimes pretentious and maybe a bit too obsessive with Pete Townshend, rock critic Dave Marsh still paints an interesting protrait on how four thugs from Shepherds Bush became the ultimate kick ass rock and roll band.
  • Mike Bloom
    Dave Marsh drives me absolutely crazy. He writes very well, but his egocentric opinions and attitudes can be downright offensive. If you can get beyond Marsh's self-proclaimed status as THE oracle on good Rock and Roll, this is a great book about The Who and rock music in general.
  • jacky
    I read almost all of this as an eighth grader to do my big research project that year. I chose to research Pete Townshend. I took it out from the library many times to reread certain parts until I found my own copy while in college. I learned the majority of my Who knowledge from this book.
  • Caesar Warrington
    Originally read Marsh's book when it was first published in 1983. It remains one of the best biographies on this band I have ever had the pleasure to read.
  • Chris Johnsen
    Simply put, I think Dave Marsh did a terrific job on this biography. After I read it, I didn't feel the need to read any other bio on the band.
  • Chuck
    If you are a Who fan this is a must read! Tremendous book.
  • Dan Jones
    A great read for any fan of rock music and the Who. Lots of great stories and insight into the music and it's inspiration.
  • Jason
    Informtion overload! Some great parts, mostly about the songs & the relationships between the band members, and of course the insane & sad antics of Moon.
  • The Black Cockie
    Through telling the story of The Who up till 1983.
  • Mary
    I read the first publication of this, the one written in 1983.
  • Chris Leib
    Marsh gets a little too hypercritical for my liking of the best band there ever was (outside of The Beatles), but good history of The Who, especially the early years.
  • Clemmie
    I read the first publication of this, the one written in 1983.