(Topic ID: 155835)

Pinball Wizard origin??


By Floyd

3 years ago



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  • 16 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Floyd
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    #1 3 years ago

    I was listening to the Who's Tommy today and I thought about the term "pinball wizard". I was born in 1980 so I wasn't around during this extraordinarily time in music and pinball, but I was wondering if Pete Townsend coined the phrase or if "Pinball Wizard" was around before the song?? The term pinball wizard is now pretty entrenched in pinball culture. I spent some time online doing research but really didn't find anything predating the song. I'd be interested to know more about the origins of the term "Pinball Wizard".

    #2 3 years ago

    You may want to reflect on some of the other songs.... "Acid Queen"....

    They had a lot of help in the 'creative' department.
    faz

    #3 3 years ago

    I've done so much "reflecting" to that album!

    I can only imagine that the song Pinball Wizard influenced "wizard mode" in modern pinball games?

    #4 3 years ago

    Townshend once called it "the most clumsy piece of writing [he'd] ever done"

    #5 3 years ago

    1975 was the peak of pinball, glad I was there to enjoy it as a 14 year old kid. The Tommy scene with Elton John and Roger Daltry was awesome! My favorite machine was and still is Wizard!

    #6 3 years ago

    There is a 3 part interview, (You Tube) with Pete Townshend. Discussing the Tommy Rock Opera. He mentions Kit and him going over the Tommy idea, Kit and Peter had been playing pinball. Kit figured the Opera needed something more. Pinball came up, and Pete rewrote a few lines in various songs to include a pinball reference, and came up with Pinball Wizard song.

    In the interview Pete references Nik Cohns' novel, 'Arfur Teenage Pinball Queen'. Although that book is copy written in 1970. Tommy Rock Opera was being created in 1968, and finished in 1969.

    #7 3 years ago

    So basically Pete created the Pinball Wizard, and now we have neon signs, T-shirts, and wizard mode. I don't think Pete Townsend gets enough credit for his role in shaping pinball! Dude is a genius!!! I'm looking forward to adding Captain Fantastic to my collection some time in the future.

    #8 3 years ago

    Yup, Pete coined the Cliché'

    #9 3 years ago

    I'm happy to have the Trifecta in my basement....WIZARD, CAPT. FANTASTIC, TOMMY. Lovin' them all.

    #10 3 years ago

    Puddles Pity Party has a decent Pinball Wizard - Johnny Cash Smash up.

    The Elton John version is the only Who cover song that had got to a Top 10 chart position.

    #11 3 years ago
    Quoted from Floyd:

    So basically Pete created the Pinball Wizard, and now we have neon signs, T-shirts, and wizard mode. I don't think Pete Townsend gets enough credit for his role in shaping pinball!

    Yes, he created the expression and introduced it into popular culture. He DOES get adequate credit in my presentation called "The History of Pinball Fandom" (given at Expo and Pintastic). In my telling of the history of pinball, "Pinball Wizard" as a hit song was the first positive mention of pinball in mass media (since 1931!) that actually shifted public attitudes on a mass scale. I was into pinball before April 1969 and can personally attest to the attitude shift.
    .................David Marston

    #12 3 years ago

    The Who also arguably have the first Punk song with My Generation.

    #13 3 years ago
    Quoted from dmarston:

    Yes, he created the expression and introduced it into popular culture. He DOES get adequate credit in my presentation called "The History of Pinball Fandom" (given at Expo and Pintastic). In my telling of the history of pinball, "Pinball Wizard" as a hit song was the first positive mention of pinball in mass media (since 1931!) that actually shifted public attitudes on a mass scale. I was into pinball before April 1969 and can personally attest to the attitude shift.
    .................David Marston

    I would be great to hear (or view) your presentation! It is hard to believe that pinball was viewed by many as a "bad thing". I don't get it. Good for Pete to turn pinball into something special and give us a HERO in Tommy! I was looking at some images of the Pinball battle between Rodger and Elton John in the movie Tommy. Tommy was playing a Kings and Queens EM pin, and I couldn't make out the game Elton john was playing. He had a piano for a lock down bar which is a pretty cool mod!

    tommy-pic-4_(resized).jpg

    #14 3 years ago

    I love The Who and have all the "vinyl" to back it up.

    Pete Townshend is a genius. All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes got played 1000 times when I was in college.

    I happened upon this... worth reading!

    http://www.thewho.net/sites/default/files/1974_10_05+radio+times.pdf

    faz

    #15 3 years ago

    "Maximum R&B"

    Rodger is playing Kings & Queens. Elton is playing a Buckaroo.

    #16 3 years ago
    Quoted from Darcy:

    "Maximum R&B"
    Rodger is playing Kings & Queens. Elton is playing a Buckaroo.

    Good eye Darcy! I bet those machine would be worth some serious coin in the collectors market.

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