Friday, December 16, 2016

A Little Is Alright- The Who's Athena

Theresa Russell and Art Garfunkel in Nicolas Roeg's 1980 Horror/Romance Bad Timing
I've always had a soft spot for the Who's 1982 single "Athena" risible though some may find it and the LP it was featured on It's Hard. It's a record and a single that I was old enough to remember the release of and corresponding tour and so it had a lot of impact on me at a young age -what with its video arcade album cover so emblematic of the time of it's release. Yadda, yadda not making excuses I still like 'em both and feel that this record and its predecessor Face Dances are underrated to this day.

It was interesting years later to find out "Athena" was about Pete Townshend's obsession with and rejection by actress Theresa Russell (original title of the song was Theresa, natch) who would soon marry her director Nicolas Roeg (another fave of mine) who used both Ms. Russell and the Who's "Who Are You" to devastating effect in his film Bad Timing. I remember the first time I saw it I rented an old Disney flick the next night to sort of cleanse the palate and soothe my troubled mind. 

I've threatened for a while to assemble a soundtrack for Bad Timing, as the music is interesting, varied and plays an integral part in the effect of this harrowing film that stays with you for longer than you may like.  I still might do it! In the meantime here's "Athena", as well as the demo version, "Theresa", and the trailer for Bad Timing along with some stills of the star and her many transformations throughout the film.

More stills from Bad Timing below and the front and back cover of It's Hard

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