Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pete Townshend’s Ode to Cleveland

Pete Townshend - of The Who and also a very successful solo artist in his own right - said that he only wrote one song about one city, and that city was Cleveland. It’s one of my favorite tunes from Townshend’s solo career, titled "Sheraton Gibson," appearing on his “Who Came First” album that was released in 1972.

Here are a few versions of the song performed by Townshend. The first is a live version (from a concert with the Who in Cleveland in September of 2000) where he explains that he wrote the song after an afternoon at a barbecue with the members of the James Gang (also Cleveland favorites).

So here are a few versions for your listening pleasure. The lyrics are listed below so you can sing along if the urge strikes you.

Live Version performed by Pete Townshend in Cleveland


Live verion performed by Pete Townshend


Live Version, performed by Eddie Vedder and Pete Townshend




Lyrics
Sheraton Gibson
From “Who Came First” by Pete Townshend

I'm sitting' in the Sheraton Gibson playing' my Gibson
And boy do I wanna go home.
I'm sitting' in the Sheraton Gibson playing' my Gibson
And boy do I feel all alone.
Cleveland, you blow my mind.
Cleveland, I wish I were home this time.
Don't want to be unkind .

But I'm sitting' in the Sheraton Gibson playing' my Gibson
Thinking' 'bout a sunny barbeque
I'm sitting in the Sheraton Gibson playing' my Gibson
And my mind is a Cleveland afternoon.
Cleveland, you blow my mind.
Cleveland, I wish I were home this time
Don't wanna be unkind.
Cleveland, you blow my mind.
Cleveland, I wish I were home this time.
Don't wanna be unkind.

Oh Cleveland, you blow my mind.
Oh Cleveland, I wish I were home this time
Don't wanna be unkind.

But I'm sitting in the Sheraton Gibson playing' my Gibson
And boy do I wanna go home.



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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I knew Townshend was a rock god, but paying homage to our hometown confirms it!!

Anonymous said...

Just saw this. The truth is..look at the last verse.

"boy do I wanna go home"

He didnt want to be unkind. This is no tribute. It was probably a dismal gray day and he was stuck in his room..doing nothing, just playing his Gibson, just like he said. Not a complement for Cleveland nightlife or downtown activities.

Perhaps that will change with the advent of the Casino and the resurgence of the Flats business investment...whenever that happens.

~JmB

Chris F said...

No, you fool! Pete wrote this song in his hotel room in Pittsburgh, and he was lamenting that he had to leave Cleveland where The Who had just had a great time at a picnic with the James Gang at promoter Mike Belkin's country house! Cleveland ho!

rocco jibraltar said...

sorry, kidz... the sheraton-gibson hotel was in cincinnatti, ohio, not cleveland, ohio.

the cleveland hotel was named the sheraton-cleveland.

no, no... don't take my word for it... search for yourselves...

you'll find post cards and/or newspaper and magazine ads from back in the day showing either or both of these 100-year-old hotels.

All Things Cleveland said...

Listen to the first video from the live performance in Cleveland. Pete himself explains it was a song he wrote after an afternoon at a BBQ just outside Cleveland with members of The James Gang. Their manager, Mike Belkin, threw a party and they all got close and have been friends even since. He said he then went to Pittsburgh, where he though the Sheraton Gibson was at – then says maybe it was Philadelphia, he could not remember. He says there is a Sheraton Gibson somewhere and he was sitting in there and “I wanted to come back to Cleveland…that’s the story of the song. “ It sounds like Pete enjoyed his time here - with his new friends - enough to write about it. It really doesn't matter where he wrote it, as far as the topic of my post is concerned.