The Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’ Is Named After 2 People


  • Pete Townshend named The Who’s “Baba O’Riley after two people.
  • Townshend was a follower of one of them.
  • The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” turned a modest hit.
The Who at a table during the "Baba O'Riley" era
The Who | Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty Pictures

The Who’s Pete Townshend turned a follower of a well-known non secular chief. Subsequently, the chief impressed some of the well-known traditional rock songs of the early Seventies: The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.” As well as, one other musician helped encourage the tune’s title.

An avant-garde performer impressed The Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’

Terry Riley is an avant-garde composer. His album A Rainbow in Curved Air is taken into account a landmark of digital music. Throughout a 2001 interview by JazzHouston posted on Mark Town’s website, he mentioned “Baba O’Riley.”

“I had a good friend who was doing the light shows for The Who, and he turned Pete Townshend on to A Rainbow in Curved Air on an [LSD] trip,” Riley mentioned. “The song ‘Baba O’Riley’ was dedicated to both me and Meher Baba. Pete has always said that I had a big influence on him.” Rolling Stone reviews Townshend mixed the names of Meher Baba and Riley for the title of “Baba O’Riley.” The “O’” in “O’Riley” was a nod to the Irish influences within the tune.

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How The Who’s Pete Townshend turned acquainted with Meher Baba and his views on the cosmos

Who precisely was Meher Baba? He was a guru who taught that he was god in human type. In his 2012 e-book Who I Am: A Memoir, Townshend mentioned turning into acquainted with Meher Baba.

“Mike tossed me a book called The God Man, written by an eminent British journalist of the ’30s called Charles Purdom,” Townshend wrote. “I opened the e-book and noticed {a photograph} of a strange-looking, charismatic fellow with a big, reasonably flattened nostril, flowing darkish hair and a beneficiant moustache. 

“He was an Indian trainer, Meher Baba, which implies ‘Compassionate Father,’” Townshend continued. “I read a few lines, and found that everything Meher Baba said fitted perfectly with my view of the cosmos.” Townshend became one of Meher Baba’s most high-profile followers. 

Meher Baba | Bettmann / Contributor

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How ‘Baba O’Riley’ and its dad or mum album carried out on the charts in the USA and the UK

“Baba O’Riley” was not a single in the USA so it didn’t chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The tune appeared on the album Who’s Subsequent. The album reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 42 weeks.

“Baba O’Riley” turned way more well-liked in the UK In line with The Official Charts Company, the monitor hit No. 55 within the U.Ok., staying on the chart for one week. In the meantime, Who’s Subsequent peaked at No. 1 for one week, staying on the chart for 18 weeks altogether. The tune would later seem in Robotic Rooster‘s parody of Star Wars.

Meher Baba and Riley may not be family names however they impressed considered one of The Who’s most well-known songs.

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