Empty Glass

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What do the movies Jerry Maguire, Look Who’s Talking, Dan in Real Life and TV shows like The Goldbergs, Grace and Frankie, and Californication have in common? They all lifted the ballad, or “ditty” as Pete Townshend called it, Let My Love Open The Door from his 1980 solo album Empty Glass. The song was the second single released from the record and well played back then, eventually reaching #9 on the Billboard Charts. Now days it is popularly partaken as lighthearted desert, the Jello Pudding, used to accent romantic comedies and roll credits. But its origin, like most of the subject matter from Empty Glass is rooted in the pain, confusion and despair that engulfed Townshend at the time. He was embattled with drug and alcohol addiction, marital problems, the fear of becoming old and insignificant and suffering with the loss of his close friend and band mate Keith Moon.

Empty Glass was a dark journey into the violent angry world of Punk, Jools and Jim. It was also misinterpreted as an exploration into homoerotica because of songs like Rough Boys, And I Moved, but mostly it was an exercise and exorcism of the personal demons that had tormented Townshend’s personal life throughout of the 1970’s.

“I called it Empty Glass, ’cause of this idea that when you go to the tavern – which is to God, you know – and you ask for His love – He’s the bartender, you know – and He gives you a drink, and what you have to give Him is an empty glass. You know there’s no point giving Him your heart if it’s full already; there’s no point going to God if your heart’s full of Doris.” – Pete Townshend

Thirty Five years later Townshend, who is still a heavyweight in the rock arena, is doing just fine. You could say his glass is more than half full. He has survived the pitfalls of a Rock & Roll lifestyle, and is now “taking it to the bank”. A new generation, with marketing money in their pockets to spend, are discovering and recycling his work by the light of a new Day – Doris. Today, Townshend penned songs appear everywhere from TV ads selling cars to prime time CSI. And let’s not forget syndication.

For me? I still prefer Pete on the rocks, in his original LP form. Riding a G.S. scooter with his hair cut neat, wearing a wartime coat in the wind and sleet.
Drink up and enjoy!

Empty Glass
1.    Rough Boys
2.    I Am an Animal
3.    And I Moved
4.    Let My Love Open the Door
5.    Jools and Jim
6.    Keep On Working
7.    Cat’s in the Cupboard
8.    A Little Is Enough
9.    Empty Glass
10.  Gonna Get Ya

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