(Topic ID: 212436)

Bally Table King. WTF?

By o-din

1 year ago

Topic Stats

  • 22 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by gweempose
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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Topic poll

“Which Bally single player games of that era could have been used to make Tommy more authentic?”

  • El Toro 2 votes
  • Dixieland 4 votes
  • Hay Ride 3 votes
  • Op Pop Po 4 votes
  • Bon Voyage 3 votes
  • Happy Tour 0 votes
  • King Rex 2 votes
  • Monkey Bash 2 votes
  • Trail Drive 2 votes

(Multiple choice - 16 votes by 0 Pinsiders)

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#7 1 year ago

Odin, you will be interested in the true story below then! Gottlieb was the original table king

Published on January 5, 2017

Michael Gottlieb

In the late 1960s, the management of The Who contacted my Father on behalf of Pete Townshend. He was writing a "rock opera" and he wanted approval of the lyric in "Pinball Wizard":

"I thought I was The Gottlieb table king, but I just handed my pinball crown to him."

Well my Father was a WW2 Navy veteran and child of the depression. He did not understand "long hairs", "hippies", or even rock and roll for that matter so he said absolutely not.

So the Who went to Bally and they were fine with it which is why in "Pinball Wizard" Roger Daltrey sings:

"I thought I was The Bally table king, but I just handed my pinball crown to him."

But Pete Townshend's reference to one of his favorite pinball machines was left in the "rock opera" in the song "Acid Queen".

Pete was born in 45' and Gypsy Queen was 55' so he would have been 10 or a little older when he started playing this game:

Years later, the originator of pinball machine licensing, Tommy Nieman, did a licensing deal for the 1975 film Tommy and two legendary games came out of it. "Wizard" in 1975 and "Captain Fantastic" in 1976.

This was the beginning of the golden era for Bally Pinball where they embraced licensing and had one hit after another.

Of course, The Who themselves chose Gottlieb machines for the movie "Tommy" which is why Elton John and Roger Daltrey compete on a "Kings and Queens" and "Buckaroo".

But at the end of the film "Tommy", a lot of Pinball Machines get destroyed:

Ultimately, no matter how good of an opportunity, I could have never seen it working out between D. Gottlieb & Co. and The Who.

However, it would have been entertaining to see my Father meet Keith Moon.

On second thought, much better than it never happened......


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