Bargain by The Who, 1971
Pete Townshend, lead guitarist for the Who, wrote this as an ode to Meher Baba, who was his spiritual guru. Meher Baba was from India, where he worked with the poor and served as spiritual adviser to Mahatma Gandhi. He developed a worldwide following by the ’60s, and died in 1969 at age 75.
No disrespect to Gandhi, Meher Baba or spirituality, in fact, I’ve experienced the theme of “Bargain.” Losing everything materially, to recover taking a new form. No longer living as a warrior, reluctantly even painfully walking away from the community tore at me. This song fits right with my experiences. Much from choices I made though were beyond my control. Meaning, I couldn’t sit in place and take hit after repeated hit. A choice had to be made, some were not made wisely. One of the choices was to get Jojo. It’s the way I handled that choice. Losing her when I lost everything led to new-found rage and conflict within me that knew no right from wrong. No matter how bad situations became, Jojo’s memories pushed me through the worst where I endured. That choice to leave her was only meant to find her and Little Man again. To win them, meant I had to first find myself. Unfortunately, yet fortunately, I had to lose everything I owned. Do it all over again, giving up everything for just one chance with her and Little Man, you are damn right I would. Their relationships mean that much to me. That experience and the risks are my bargain.
Just take a moment listen to the words to see what I mean. It’s all about a woman.
“I’ve got to lose me to find you. To catch you, I gotta run and never stop.”
“I’d pay any price to get you…I call that a bargain, the best I ever had”