Pete Townshend Forced to Issue Statement Saying He Likes One Direction

Boy band's fans freak over allegations that "Best Song Ever" copied the Who's "Baba O'Riley"

The Who Pete Townshend One Direction Best Song Ever Baba O'Riley
Pete Townshend is not your enemy, One Direction! Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images
Dan Reilly WRITTEN BY
Dan Reilly

Just weeks after One Direction fans threatened GQ editors with all manner of unspeakable tortures, the Who co-founder Pete Townshend is feeling their wrath on the Twittersphere. According to NME, a rumor got started that the legendary protopunk rippers were trying to get the boy band's "Best Song Ever" removed from the internet because it sounds too similar to the classic 1971 hit "Baba O'Riley."

Apparently a negative review on Click Music started the insanity after a writer said, "We find the 1D team resorting to plagiarism once again as the Who's 'Baba O'Riley' is sterilized and repackaged for fans who probably don't know any better." How this turned into the takedown rumor is unclear but, as they do, One Directioners took to Twitter to stick up for their heroes, using the hashtag #donttouchbestsongever

Here's a sampling of what the fans said, which thankfully involved a great deal less sodomy this time:

- "you are inviting trouble we are a dangerous lot we even have news reports and documentary we are the al qaeda of 2013"
- "You should be afraid, we're psychotic. If you delete it, you don't wanna know what'll happen;)"
- "I'LL KILL UR FIRST BORN I DIDN'T SLEEP JUST TO BEAT THAT RECORD FOR THE BOYS 3RD YR ANNIVERSARY HOW DARE U"
- "! I will catch you , and i will kill you if you do it !! :'("
- "The who you're stupide, you would remove Best Song ever? Okay, you wish the 3rd world war???? One Direction Power!"
- "I swear to god, if u touch this song we will kill u and eat ur fucking head, bitch! So Calm Your Tits And STFU!!" [Note: This girl tweeted this 39 times in a row]
- and, of course, "Who the hell is 'The Who'"

Not wanting to die at the hands of flesh-hungry teenaged monsters (or perhaps simply wanting to clear things up), Townshend released a statement on the matter:

No! I like the single. I like One Direction. The chords I used and the chords they used are the same three chords we've all been using in basic pop music since Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and Chuck Berry made it clear that fancy chords don't mean great music – not always. I'm still writing songs that sound like 'Baba O'Riley' – or I'm trying to!

It's a part of my life and a part of pop's lineage. One Direction are in my business, with a million fans, and I'm happy to think they may have been influenced a little bit by The Who. I'm just relieved they're all not wearing boiler suits and Doc Martens, or Union Jack jackets. The funniest thing is that in Canada this year I met with Randy Bachman, once the leader of The Guess Who, who told me that he not only copied 'Baba O'Riley' for [Bachman-Turner Overdrive's] hit 'You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet', but he even called his band after us. Why would I not be happy about this kind of tribute?
 
As of now, the Directioners are still tweeting about this as if it's real. Check out both songs below to see how they compare (go to the 2:20 mark of "Best Song Ever" to avoid the video's opening skit).

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