The Who’s “Pinball Wizard” Isolated Guitars

The Who’s Pinball Wizard was released as a single in 1969 and reached No. 4 in the UK charts and No. 19 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. When you listen to Pete Townshend’s isolated guitars, you’ll hear there are two acoustic guitars, one playing the low 8th note pedal note on the intro parts, which then doubles the other acoustic during the strumming. The electric guitar, which plays on the intro, first verse and chorus.

Townshend once called Pinball Wizard “the most clumsy piece of writing [he’d] ever done.”

Rod Stewart performed the song for the 1972 orchestral version of Tommy, and it is included on several of Stewart’s greatest hits compilations. According to the book The Duh Awards by Bob Fenster, Rod Stewart asked Elton John if he should accept an offer to sing in a film version of “Tommy.” John replied no way, “Don’t touch it with a barge pole.” A year later, The Who asked John to sing the same song, and he agreed. “I don’t think Rod’s quite forgiven me for that,” he commented years later.