I was watching a documentary on The Who again last night. This time around I noticed how the band members related to each other over the years, despite intense and sometimes physical conflicts.
Some of the band members had gigantic substance abuse problems. This was bound to at times exacerbate conflicts; I know that when I drink too much I can say some stupid things that cause me no end of trouble. Some of these guys added coke and heroin and speed and lsd and everything else they could to the mix, at life threatening and even eventually mortal doses.
And yet when the basist, John Entwistle, had extravagantly blown through all his money, the bandmates got together for another tour. Just to help him out. Pete Townsend put it succintly “Where would I be without him?”
At the end of the documentary, Roger Daltry says of his relationship to Pete, “No matter where we are in our relationship ups and downs, what matters most is that once we are on stage we collaborate beautifully and make thousands of people happy”.
Throughout the documentary Pete mentioned several times that his personality could not have been more different than any of the other band mates. He hinted at friction and possibly even dislike. But he also talked about how dearly he loved them, and how they were there for each other, no matter what. And the ones who died he missed them horribly.
Guys work best together when they are collaborating on something. Guys can bond and have each others backs. There will be petty squabbles, and sometimes even gigantic blow ups. Differences of opinion or even just plain stress can lead guys to come to physical blows.
But when you are in a team, you get bonded, and you don’t sweat the small stuff. The point is you’ve got each others backs. The point is your collaboration.