Behind Blue Eyes

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The Belgian single sleeve, which does not feature a behind-view of blue eyes.

"Behind Blue Eyes" is an autobiographical song by English classic rock band The Who, released in 1971. It was the eighth track and second single from their traditional studio album Who's Next, but was originally part of Pete Townshend's sprawling Lifehouse project, about converting people into song form and whatnot. It is one of The Who's most overplayed songs on the radio and has been covered by many artists, most infamously Limp Bizkit. Oddly, it was one of the few Who singles that never became a CSI theme.


A superhero-themed interpretation of the lyrics.

No one knows what it's like...[edit]

Most people don't know what's behind blue eyes — a badman, a sadman, the brain, a soul, a One Note, a clenched fist, a Meher Baba prayer, or an empty dark void full of Teddy Terry Riley synthesiser loops? Whatever it is, we don't know what it is, and the more you know, the more you know you don't know, you know. Anyway, there is much that we don't know that exists and there is much that we don't know that doesn't exist, but we must find out both, in the name of science!

The Sea[edit]

Behind blue eyes may lay the sea. In the words of Pete Townshend, "I am the sea." One report said a groupie drowned in a man's eyes; later she stated that she was in love with him and simply was lost in his eyes, and that the media should leave her and him alone. A search started for that girl, but the eye doctor said everyone looking for her was crazy and should get a life. The girl, now mad, punched a random man in face (unfortunately, that man happened to be her boyfriend Pete), and water squirted out of his blue eye.

The Sand[edit]

Of course, scientifically the sand is supposed to be behind (or in front of) the sea, although only one case of having sand fly out of someone's eye after being punched was reported. A man punched Pete Townshend in the eye to check, but soon remembered Townshend's short temper; Townshend got mad over being punched in the eye so much, and whacked that man in the stomach with his guitar. On an unrelated note, 10 minutes later, a stoned hippie reported seeing a tiny human in the blue crater that was Townshend's eye. The stoner thinks that this and the missing girl are connected, and that Townshend ran into his own eye to hide from the law. Police are currently looking into this and trying to find Townshend. On an unrelated note, Townshend said he feels very uncomfortable having someone stare in and/or punch his eye for two-and-a-half hours.

The Song??[edit]

For the religious among us who choose to believe lies, the self-proclaimed experts at Wikipedia have an article about Behind Blue Eyes.

Or was this article supposed to be about the song? I don't know.

The Song[edit]

Of course, the song shows that Jumbo (aka Brick) was behind blue eyes. Jumbo was the villain of Townshend's aborted rock opera Lifehouse, wherein he was the proprietor of the Grid, a '70s precursor to the modern Internet. The Grid controlled the Earth's plugged-in population via Lifesuits, and was run by a group called Plusbond (a '70s precursor to Microsoft). Jumbo was a lonely badman and sadman whose love was unfree vengance; he was hated by the Musos (a cult of the musically-inclined "happy ones"), but believed himself to be doing the right thing. During the opera's climax, protagonist Bobby would attempt to punch Jumbo in his blue eyes, mirroring real-life incidents where Townshend suffered.

Limp Bizkit cover[edit]

The cover of Limp Bizkit's cover, which actually does feature blue eyes (but not a behind-view of them).

"Behind Blue Eyes" was famously covered to great effect by nu-metal band Limp Bizkit, after a rather successful wild party in their own studio. Superstar vocalist and savior of metal, Fred "Durpy" Durst, told the press that he was inspired to cover the song after he went to check in his refrigerator for bottles of hot dog-flavoured water, but when there was no more left, he cried and started to wallow in his own emotions.

It was the band's most popular single, selling a wholesale amount of 2.5 copies worldwide. The Who (now minus John Entwistle and Keith Moon) have tried to recover their own song, but it has failed to impress people with real musical taste and a good taste for hot dogs. It is also known that after this incident, Limp Bizkit changed their name to Limp Bleuzkit and went on their Blue Way '03 tour, playing classic hits such as "Enter Sadman", "Blue Flow", and "American Badman".

See also[edit]