Site hosted by Build your free website today!
The Evolution of Uncle Ernie

In Pete Townshend's mind, the evolution of "Uncle Ernie" is extraordinarily apt. Ernie started life as a bad joke. Now he has necessarily become real, believeable, and unacceptable. Some people still feel they are expected to laugh when they see the new (polliticly correct?) Uncle Ernie sit down next to young Tommy. The gross satire produced by Kieth Moon (drummer for The Who and "Uncle Ernie in the film) in the film verson of Tommy was obviously ment to be surreal; the question now is wheather such an approach is acceptable any more. Now so many people have had the courage to come out in public and speak about child abuse, we have to be more direct in the portrayal or symbolism of the abuse itself and perhaps less specific about the emotional and traumatic results. Some people seem to survive cathartically, others by repression and some simply curl up and die.

Townshend: "What is certain now is that the moment on stage when Tommy gets up from the bed and returns to the mirrior, to the safety of his own reflection, we not only have a moving moment, but an elegant truth. This is what I believe happens after experiences like this: until children can articulate what has happened they can only help themselves by creating an alternative reality. It is poignant and tragic at once."

Uncle Ernie 1975

Uncle Ernie 1993