My Generation - The Who

100 Great Songs From The British Invasion: 1963-1966- My Generation- The Who. While it wasn’t a hit in the US- only reaching #74- The Who’s ‘My Generation’ is certainly one of the most iconic songs from not only the British Invasion but in all of Rock and Roll History. Rolling Stone ranked it #11 in their 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time list- and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has it among its 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. The song of youthful rebellion- was also a big influence on the punk rock movement in the mid-70’s.

The song was written by Pete Townshend on a train. He was inspired to write the song after The Queen Mum had his 1935 Packard hearse towed from the streets of the Belgravia section of London- because she was offended by it during her daily drive through the neighborhood. Pete has said the song is about trying to find a place in society. It also contains one of the most famous lines in rock and roll- with Roger Daltrey sneering “I hope I die before I get old.”

My Generation- is also one of the most famous stuttering songs in rock history. According to Roger Daltrey- he hadn’t rehearsed the song before singing it and was nervous. He was unable to hear his own voice through the monitor and he stuttered due to trying to fit the lyrics to the music. Producer Shel Talmy liked the results and they went with it. At first the BBC wouldn’t play the song because they didn’t want to offend people who stuttered- but when the song became popular they began to play it.

The Who never had a #1 hit in either the US or their native UK- the closest they got in the UK was with ‘My Generation” and ‘I’m A Boy’- both peaking at #2.

  • Single: ‘My Generation’- The Who
  • Record Company- Decca
  • Genre: Rock
  • Written by Pete Townshend
  • Time: 3:18
  • B-side: ‘Out In The Street’
  • Album- My Generation
  • Grade: A+
  • Peaked at #74 in US Billboard Hot 100 #2 in UK Singles Chart.


  1. Oh, that Queen Mum packing a sad over an offensive-to-ones-sensiblities Packard had me sputtering into my English Breakfast tea. What a great piece of trivia!
    I’d read somewhere that Daltrey stuttered deliberately as a nod and a wink reference to stuttering brought on by youthful over-zealous consumption of Amphetamines.

    • That was another theory on the stuttering- probably after all these years he can’t recall the true reason for it. I think you are probably correct on that.

  2. I think we talked about this on of the over Who songs in this series but it’s amazing to me that this song was t more popular in the US and that they never had a number one.

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