The Who: “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

Posted: February 28, 2018 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
Tags: , , , , ,
Tune du Jour: “Won’t Get Fooled Again” – The Who
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Richie Havens vs. Skrewdriver  vs. Wave Mechanics Union

Broccoli For Miles
And Miles And Miles
And Miles And Miles …
Oh Yeah!



“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”

Isaac Asimov


Won’t Get Fooled AGAIN?!!? That’s right, we’re going around the horn once more with our all-time favorites …

The Original


The Who:


THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


Richie Havens vs. Skrewdriver vs. Wave Mechanics Union
Richie Havens:


Wave Mechanics Union:


Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. It is your solemn responsibility to decide which cover song prevails. In other words … Which Side Are You On?!!? 


  1. Cuspid says:

    More so than Baba O’Riley, I think this is really the Who’s anthem of the generation. What “Stairway” is to Led Zeppelin, this song is to the Who.

    I’ve heard many Richie Havens’ covers. Nearly all of them are very good. This one here is merely good. Skrewdriver exhibits what was in 1977 a prototypical punk cover of rock dinosaur song. The music is fine, but the vocals are lousy. I was expecting nothing from the Wave Mechanics Union, and was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. So they get my vote.

  2. Kerry Black says:

    I’ve always like Richie Havens. Never among my top tier of artists, but I have a couple of LPs I’ve had since college. He sings with conviction and could play the heck out of the guitar, as we all saw in the “Woodstock” film.

    Didn’t think much of the second act, but I’m not big on that sound.

    Third act got off on the wrong foot with me from the beginning, then, to my surprise, by mid-song I realized I was enjoying it despite myself. They get points for making very significant changes to an old favorite. But Richie Havens still wins today’s vote.

  3. RDubbs says:

    I wanted to vote for Skrewdriver but did not care for the vocals. Wave Mechanic Union’s version had some good moments as well as some mediocre. Richie Havens is a reliable source for covers. His voice suits the lyrics. He got my vote. Well that was fun. Back to divorce documents …

  4. Arnold Plotnick says:

    Huh. Wow. Very interesting CMI today. As y’all know, I’m a huge Who fan, and when listing my desert island songs, I agonized between this one and Baba O’Riley. It is indeed the definition of “anthem”. I liked all three versions, which is more of a reflection of just how great a song this is than anything else. Screwdriver played really well, but as Cuspid pointed out, their vocals were really boring. No distinguishing features about it. As for Wave Mechanic’s Union, the thought of turning this song into a sultry, weird jazzy thing initially had me horrified, but like the rest of y’all, I was surprised at how much I kinda enjoyed it. Again, I think it might just be that this song is so great that as long as competent musicians tackle it, the power and majesty of the song will shine through. In the end, I gave it to Richie Havens. He’s got that soulful sixties thing going, and I love the way he puts this one over. I played it twice, in fact. Interesting note: I have a good friend here in New York named Robb. He’s a nurse. A few years ago he told me that he was taking care of a patient who is “apparently a pretty famous musician”. I asked him who it was. He couldn’t remember. Then the next day he texted me. “Richie Havens”. Sadly, Mr. Havens never left that hospital bed.

  5. Pete Black says:

    There are things I like about all three versions but ultimately I think Richie Havens did a very nice job. The album this is from was recorded in 2007. He doesn’t sound much different than he did 38 years earlier. My sentiments about the jazz version are about the same as other comments here. When I looked up Skrewdriver I was stunned to see that they are as Allmusic describes “the proud poster boys for the racial-hate movement in the U.K.” Their leader built the Nazi skinhead movement. He wrote articles for political magazines while spending a year in jail for a racially motivated fight. He referred to himself as a patriot and a martyr. when he got out they were bigger than ever. He also had a rockabilly band called The Klansmen.

    • Arnold Plotnick says:

      Really! Sheesh! Okay, I immediately take back anything at all that I said that might have been even a tad complimentary, and now I’m furious at Richie for giving them a platform here. How dare he!!

  6. Pete Black says:

    The leader, Ian Stuart was killed in a car accident in 1993. There was talk of vehicle tampering but no definite answer released. Some subsequent skinhead punk musicians with no attachment to racial hatred tried to free themselves from this specter but he had established it so firmly they were frustrated.

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