The most famous and potent of all Who songs, "My Generation" wasn't an easy record to cut.
It took no less than five separate studio sessions before the original Brunswick version was perfected.
Following two attempts in the Marquee Studio, The Who decided the scrap the results and re-arrange the song to incorporate those now all-too-familiar John Entwistle dive-bombing solo bass runs.
However, to achieve the required sound, Entwistle had, first, to locate an imported Danelectro electric bass - popularized by The Ventures. Because it was kitted out with extremely thin, pliable strings it was the only instrument capable of producing that distinctive twang.
Unfortunately, during the abortive third session, Entwistle snapped all the Danelectro's strings. To his horror, when it came to purchasing a new set of strings, he discovered that in the whole of London not one instrument dealer stocked replacements. With another session to contend with, Entwistle had no option but to cough-up L6O for another fully equipped Danelectro bass. Yet again, the session proved unproductive and Entwistle was now the frustrated owner of two stringless Danelectros.
"As it was decided to press on and record 'My Generation' for a fifth time," recollects Entwistle, "I had no alternative but to go out and buy a third Danelectro bass".
Thankfully, for the dwindling Entwistle bank account, it was this fifth session, which produced the master version for The Who's third single.
Upon its release on October 29, 1965, not only was "My Generation" promptly extolled as an instant classic, but also established its presence as being the only rock song to ever accurately encapsulate a specific, workable and alternative youth lifestyle.
However, before The Who's meisterwerk "Tommy" thrust the group to the very forefront of international acclaim in the summer of '69, Townshend often held this somewhat flippant view of "My Generation."
"Along we go. We play through out LP tracks and we do our joke announcements, and we do our commercial numbers and we do our movements. And then it comes to the end and we do 'My Generation', and we fucking smash everything up!"