Rock Opera
by The Who
Played by: Gail Sullivan

Album Cover Main Quote:
"Deaf Dumb and Blind Boy lives in a quiet vibration land
Strange as it seems, his musical dreams ain't quite so bad
Sickness will surely take the mind where minds can't usually go
Come on the Amazing Journey and learn all you should know."

Relationship to the Core Wave:
"How can we understand the outside world without first mastering the inside world?"
-- g. s.

Game I Core Wave: "The primary distinction between inside and outside."

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Full Album Cover

Connection Tunnels

  • Madness
  • Poetry

    Highlight Quotes

    "He stands like a statue,
    Becomes part of the machine.
    Feeling all the bumpers
    Always playing clean."


    See me, feel me
    Touch me, heal me.
    See me, feel me
    Touch me, heal me!

    Tommy can you hear me?
    Tommy can you hear me?
    Tommy can you hear me?
    How can he be saved?"

    "Listening to you I get the music.
    Gazing at you I get the heat
    Following you I climb the mountain
    I get excitement at your feet!

    Right behind you I see the millions
    On you I see the glory.
    From you I get the opinions
    From you I get the story.

    "If I told you what it takes
    to reach the highest high,
    You'd laugh and say 'nothing's that simple'
    But you've been told many times before
    Messiahs pointed to the door
    And no one had the guts to leave the temple!

    I'm free-I'm free
    And freedom tastes of reality
    I'm free-I'm free
    And I'm waiting for you to follow me."

    No machine can give the kind of stimulation
    Needed to remove his inner block.
    Go to the mirror, boy!
    Go to the mirror, boy!
    I often wonder what he is feeling.
    Has he ever heard a word I've said?
    Look at him in the mirror, dreaming.
    What is happening in his head?
    (Tommy sees his four and ten-year old selves in the mirror.)
    THE TWO YOUNG TOMMYS Listening to you, I get the music;
    Gazing at you, I get the heat.
    Following you, I climb the mountain. I get excitement at your feet!
    Right behind you, I see the millions;
    On you, I see the glory.
    From you, I get opinions;
    From you, I get the story.
    What is happening in his head?
    Oooh, I wish I knew...
    I wish I knew.
    -----Pete Townshend

  • Highlight

    Pinball Tommy is an excellent example of the distinctions between inside and outside. While lost "in a quiet vibration land" this deaf, dumb and blind child manages to see himself in a mirror. But he is unable to respond to anything else. Through his infinite contact with himself he becomes a fully-realized person while still cut off from society as a whole. Once his mother breaks the mirror he sets out on a journey as a new messiah, attempting to lead others down the same path to enlightenment. (The movie sucked, though. Listen to the music.

    -- Gail Sullivan


    The band

    Follow Ups

    I think that one of the keys to understanding "Tommy" is that you can see your own reflection in a pinball. The ball becomes a metaphor for the self as it is bounced around from bumpers to pins and back. Our control of the fate of the ball/self is limited to the flippers and small movements that we can induce in the machine as long as we don't "tilt" or "drain."

    Connection to Spirtuality and Zen:

    The "gatha" of Shen-hsiu:
    The body is the Bhodi-tree.
    The mind is like a mirror bright;
    Take heed to keep it always clean
    And let not dust collect upon it.

    The reply of Hui-neng:
    there is no Bhodi-tree,
    Nor stand of mirror bright.
    Since all is void,
    Where can the dust alight?

    In a sense, Zen transceds the inner/outer distinction of mind and world. Phenomenon do not exist "out there" neither do they exist "inside the mind" They exist as they are, without discrimination. The "breaking of the mirror" is enlightenment. When we stop to reflect on our selves and see the world "as it is" then we can say "I'm Free and I'm waiting for you to follow me." Whether or not we wish to become Messiahs is a matter of choice (see Richard Bach's "Illusions"). --From Follow Up played by Basho

    Mirror A poem by Andy
    added as a follow up to Tommy -- R.C. C.- G.M. Game One.

    The Mirror

    just look at the mirror
    you see yourself
    but then look deeper
    look at your inner self
    swim through your thoughts
    gape at your imagination
    wonder at the infinite fields of your mind

    stare out over the endless horizon
    feel the wonderfulness of your dreams
    be blinded by your souls powerful light

    gaze at your minds throne
    stare at the unlimited, blue sky
    feel the warm sun of your self

    then come back to the mirror
    and look at your face again
    and then be marveled by the difference of your face and mind
    one others see
    and one only you can see
    -- Andy

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