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So Sad About Us

This song was originally written in the living room of the home of my friend Speedy Keen’s parents in Hanwell, West London. At that time in 1966
he was driving me in my Lincoln Convertible to shows around Britain. He was a
talented drummer and emerged
as a great writer as soon as I
opened my ears to him properly.
( He wrote the song SOMETHING
IN THE AIR, which I produced
for the band THUNDERCLAP
NEWMAN, it got to number
one in Britain). I recorded the
demo a few months later to play
to our manager Kit Lambert who
was producing a band called the
MERSEYS. They already had a
number one hit with SORROW in
the UK and their version of my
song did quite well. The Who recorded the song later in the year for their second album, A QUICK ONE. The demo was made straight onto a Vortexian machine at my home studio in Chelsa.

PETE TOWNSHEND
From www.eelpie.com

Speedy Keen Obituary

Last updated 21 March 2002

Speedy Keen 1945 - 2002

We’re saddened to learn of the unexpected death of John ‘Speedy’ Keen. Born in Ealing on March 29 1945, Speedy was well known to Pete and The Who. In his notes to So Sad About Us on Scoop, Pete writes, “This song was originally written in the living room of the home of my friend Speedy Keen’s parents in Hanwell, West London. At that time in 1966 he was driving me in my Lincoln Convertible to shows around Britain. He was a talented drummer and emerged as a great writer as soon as I opened my ears to him properly. (He wrote the song SOMETHING IN THE AIR, which I produced for the band THUNDERCLAP NEWMAN, it got to number one in Britain).” He subsequently persuaded The Who to record his track ‘Armenia City In The Sky’, which was included on their 1967 album ‘The Who Sell Out.’ This was the only time the band recorded a song written specifically for one of their albums penned by someone from outside the group.

As Pete mentioned in his Scoop notes Speedy went on to form the band Thunderclap Newman, along with Andy Newman and Jimmy McCulloch. The group produced just one album ‘Hollywood Dream’ before disbanding. Best known for the chart topping single ‘Something In The Air,’ the album is now considered a lost classic. The band performed rarely live (only five times by all accounts). The attached poster was for one of those rare shows.

After leaving Thunderclap Newman, Speedy released two solo albums ‘Previous Convictions’ and ‘Y’know Wot I Mean’ (which included contributions from John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick). Whilst never repeating the success of Thunderclap Newman the albums contained lots of interesting work. Speedy worked with an eclectic mix of musicians in his time ranging from Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers on their storming debut album LAMF through to The Muggers, the project he did with Philthy Phil of Motorhead fame. He will be sadly missed in the music world.

MATT KENT