The band's first album, No Name Face, first came out Halloween of 2000, with lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Jason Wade. The rest of Lifehouse, which started out in L.A. consists of; Sergio Andrade, Bass; Rick Woolstenhulme, Drums; and Stuart Mathis, guitar, who helped out on the bands promotional cd, is not on the album, but rather joins the band when on tour. Their hit song Hanging By a Moment, went #1 in 10 weeks, and has also been featured on the T.V. show "Roswell" on the WB.

Lifehouse, No Name Face

Don't forget the twelfth track on No Name Face, "Everything," which is probably one of the better songs on No Name Face. The lyrics have already been noded here, so I won't bore you with redundancy by retyping them.

The band was founded in 1996 under the name BLYSS by Jason Wade (vocals, guitar) and Sergio Andrade (bass). Three new musicians were added into the mix: Jon "Diff" Palmer (drums), Collin Hayden (guitar), and Aaron Lord (strings). In its earlier years, they served as the worship band for their church youth group FKA (short for Formerly Known As). Many of the songs on No Name Face are songs that were used in those Friday night worship services.

Prior to the release of their debut album released on DreamWorks, the group changed its name and switched around some members. Stuart Mathis replaced Collin and Rick Woolstenhulme replaced Jon. Stuart has since left the band to rejoin modiphyde and was replaced on the tour with one Joerg, who, I'm sure you can tell by his name, is of German descent. The band's official site currently lists only three members: Jason, Sergio, and Rick.

Incidentally, here's a fun Lifehouse fact: Lead singer Jason Wade toured the far east with his parents before settling in Hong Kong for four years. There, the locals suspected Jason and his family of being witches. Jason says, "They lit firecrackers at our door every morning, and they actually stole our cat, cooked and ate it!" Now how many of us can say that?

Sources: (WARNING: hideous wallpaper on this one)

"I was at my most brilliant and I was at my most effective and when people say I didn't know what the fuck I was talking about what they're actually doing is revealing their own complete idiocy, because the idea was SO FUCKING SIMPLE! It is not complicated."
-- Pete Townshend

Lifehouse would have been the third rock opera written by Pete Townshend and performed by the Who, but due to politicking by such figures as the Who's manager Kit Lambert and Universal Pictures, the album was not released in the manner Townshend had intended.

The story behind Lifehouse (or the basic one anyway, over the lifespan of the project the story evolved into many many different mutations) is similar to the Who's other operas, in that it is a story of youth's struggle to define itself and mature, but the Lifehouse project had a distinctly harder science fiction edge. It goes something like this:
The story is set in the near distant future, where an ecological disaster has caused pollution levels to rise such that human beings can no longer exist in the normal atmosphere and must live inside of "lifesuits". These suits would allow individuals to experience anything possible on the outside world without leaving the confines of their lifesuit, and are plugged into a Grid which is owned, maintained and controlled by a company called Plus Bond. This corporation patrols the Grid and the streets, ensuring that everyone within high pollution areas stays within their lifesuits.

The protagonist of the story, Bob Snow is fighting against the control of Plus Bond. He breaks into the Grid and discovers a way to broadcast a live concert to the residents of the Grid, whose experiences are mostly pre-recorded. The concert, which will be staged at the Cut theatre (or the Life House), will allow the band and the audience to "merge" and therefore, release the minds and bodies of those who are trapped inside the Grid with the help of others who either lived as drifters or as farmers on the outskirts of civilization.
Although the story behind Lifehouse is interesting, the events which transpired during the production are even more so. Townshend began writing Lifehouse as not only a concept album, but a concept album with an integral film counter-part. His motivation for this was two-fold. Firstly, he wanted to branch out personally and creatively into venues which he felt would more accurately portray his artistic vision. Secondly, he and the rest of the band were looking for a way to take an extended break from their grueling touring schedule without simply abandoning their fans.

While their management was eager to give the Who and Townshend the room to create new material, their manager Kit Lambert was hell-bent on releasing Tommy the motion picture (the script to which he wrote) to such an extent that he was willing to go ahead with the project without Townshend's involvement. Townshend, however, was adamant that he would do no more with Tommy because he was "sick of the deaf, dumb and blind boy." As a consolation, Lambert pitched Universal Studios with the prospect of two pictures featuring the Who, one being Tommy and the other a yet unnamed project which was Lifehouse. When relations between Lambert and Townshend degraded, Townshend feels that Lambert sacrificied the concept of Lifehouse in order to get Tommy produced. Tommy, the motion picture, ended up being made and being made quite badly.

Despite the politics between management and Universal Studios, the Who continued producing the project. Townshend made major investments in it, such as buying high-tech hardware and synthesizers, which he felt would be the link between the audience and the experience the Who were trying to convey onstage. He also chose the Young Vic Theatre to be the filming location for the Cut and made arrangements for the Who to perform there, unannounced. He felt that this would allow the band to present the work in progress in front of an unbiased crowd, one which was not expecting the traditional power-packed Who experience. Townshend felt that these performances would concretize the film script, which was recently finished but which he was unsure of. He felt that the audience would, in some respect, take over the performances and that their experiences might be included in the fiction of the film. The audience, however, had no idea what they were supposed to do and as such neither the band nor the audiences came away from those performances satisfied.

At this point, more than a few people were having their doubts, including Townshend. Universal Studios, who had agreed to fund the project along with the motion picture release of Tommy, never put up the money they had promised and thus the Who could not complete the film aspect of Lifehouse. They did, however, record some of the material which Townshend wrote for the project and released it as the album Who's Next, which is considered to be a landmark album.

The Lifehouse project remained dormant for many years. In 1999, the BBC released the project, along with Townshend, as a radio play. This version is, supposedly, accurate to the vision Townshend had for the project, less the film aspect obviously. To coincide with the airing of the radio play, Townshend released the Lifehouse Chronicles through his record label, Eel Pie. The six CD box set contains all tracks even remotely thought to be connected with the project, as well as multiple versions of Teenage Wasteland/Baba O'Reilly, experimentations by Townshend related to the project, the full orchestral versions of the songs used in the radio play and the radio play itself. The box set is available exclusively at
Originally conceived as the follow-up to The Who's Tommy-a groundbreaking form of theatre within itself- "Lifehouse" was a rock opera dealing with a futuristic world in which people lived inside sealed suits to protect them from the polluted world. They experienced life through virtual reality-type performances on a world wide web-like network called The Grid. This is a controlling network where music is outlawed. It's like communism...or...Pete Townshend invented the internet, yes he did. Ok, maybe not...but still.

Lifehouse was to be a multimedia experience, reflecting every listener. It was a storyline, mixed in with actual Who performances. This would-be "total music" experience was staged for a few days at the Young Vic theatre in February of 1971. These were more like rehearsals that the public just walked in on.

Townshend intended in touching every member of the audience personally, making the songs reflect them. Which is...exactly what they do anyway, at least for me. He, however, wanted this in a literal sense. The Young Vic shows didn't last long enough to Townshend's liking, and more disagreements with Kit Lambert, the Who's manager, cascaded the project into murkier waters.

The Storyline:
When an artist (Bob Snow) breaks out of prison, he stages a concert that spiritually saves the audience. He breaks into the network of the grid to stage this concert from the Life House. The message of Lifehouse, put inside a very small nutshell, is that rock and roll can save the world.
This concert allows the audience and the entertainers to "Join Together". When this occurs, everyone is "in tune" and therefore would be set free from "The Grid". He believes that finding the "one note" ("Pure and Easy"), coming from everyone's biorhythms, performance, and spirituality, will create "a celestial cacophony of sound" to free them from mind control.

The outsiders are also part of the breakthrough from the Grid-These outsiders are too rebellious or too poor to live within the Grid's power. They live on the outskirts of the earth.

Ray is another character who is searching across the wasteland for his daughter, Mary, who has run away to attend the concert. He and his wife Sally, who are farmers, travel south from Scotland across the wasteland of middle England in a caravan. Yes, Baba O'Riley, in fact, is about farmers.
In their search, they get caught up in a disc jockey, who is calling everyone to the Lifehouse. So, they arrive at the concert early, as Bobby does experiments (sort of like Pete did with Meher Baba) with people's biorhythms.

As the day of the concert begins, a small army sent by the government appears, but are not let in. They finally break in though, but the ordeal has already reached it's zenith- everyone in the building and "watching" at home dissapears. This is not meant to say that they all died-it's just the concept of music being able to set the soul free. It's like a rapture of sorts.

Lifehouse was supposed to be staged just as Tommy album, in this case, a double or triple album, and a film. But it all went terribly wrong. Townshend didn't want this just to be another "rock opera". He wanted it to be a full-blown experience, with audience participation, input, and music (like "Baba O'Riley"'s synthesizer beginning-inspired by the biorythms of Meher Baba). He filmed a series of performances in London as an experiment, he ultimately, as I said, wanted the audience to dictate what they were hearing.

Townshend was to get 2 million dollars from Universal Pictures to make this into a film, but it never materialised. In a hurry to release some "Lifehouse" material, Pete and The Who recorded Who's Next. However, with the failure of Lifehouse to emerge as he intended, Townshend had a nervous breakdown, and produced Quadrophenia, his next rock opera, as a complete entity-with the music was sound effects, an autobiography of the main character (ghostwritten by Townshend), and a picture book. He feared that this too would never get produced.

Songs that didn't appear on Who's Next appeared as singles, like "Join Together", B-sides, and also on Pete's solo albums, especially 1993's Psychoderelict, which resurfaces some of Lifehouse's themes. Townshend staged Lifehouse as a concert on 25 February, 2000 at Sadler's Wells, and appeared in 1999 on the BBC2 as a radio play.

The Lifehouse Chronicles were released in 2001, the first 4 discs being demos and songs by Townshend, the fifth and sixth discs being the radio play by the BBC.

The Lifehouse Chronicles

CD 1: The Lifehouse Demos

1. Teenage Wasteland
2. Goin' Mobile
3. Baba O'Riley
4. Time Is Passing
5. Love Ain't for Keeping
6. Bargain
7. Too Much Of Anything
8. Music Must Change
9. Greyhound Girl
10. Mary
11. Behind Blue Eyes
12. Baba O'Riley (instrumental)
13. Sister Disco

CD 2: The Lifehouse Demos continued...

1. I Don't Know Myself
2. Put The Money Down
3. Pure and Easy
4. Getting In Tune
5. Let's See Action
6. Slip Kid
7. Relay
8. Who Are You
9. Join Together
10. Won't Get Fooled Again
11. Song Is Over

CD 3: Lifehouse Themes & Experiments

1. Baba M1 (2nd Movement)
2. Who Are You (Gateway remix)
3. Behind Blue eyes (new version)
4. Baba M2 (2nd Movement Pt.1)
5. Pure and Easy (reworked original demo)
6. Vivaldi (M5)
7. Who Are you (Live at Shepherd's Bush Empire November 1998)
8. Hinterland Rag
9. Pure and Easy (new version)
10. Can You Help The One you Really Love (demo)
11. Won't Get Fooled Again (Live at Shepherd's Bush Empire November 1998)

CD 4: Lifehouse Arrangements & Orchestrations

1. Townshend: One Note - Prologue
2. Purcell: Fantasia Upon One Note (Quick Movement)
3. Townshend: Baba O'Riley
4. Scarlatti: Sonata K:212
5. Townshend: Tragedy
6. Corette: No. 4 Aria
7. Corette: No. 2 Giga
8. Corette: No. 6 in D Minor
9. Corette: No. 3 Adagio and Allegro
10. Townshend: Hinterland Rag
11. Scarlatti: Sonata K:213
12. Purcell: The Gordian Knot Untied
-- Overture
-- Allegro
-- Air
-- Rondeau minuet
-- Air
-- Jig
-- Chaconne
-- Air
-- Minuet
-- Overture Reprise
13. Townshend: Tragedy Explained
14. Townshend: One Note - Epilogue
15. Purcell: Fantasia Upon One Note

CD 5 and 6: Lifehouse Radio Play

According to Townshend, he intends to stage a concert similar to Bob's. "It's almost as if, if you switched on all of the pop music, all the rock, all the music there is, what you would actually hear is silence," he suggests. "It's silence music is striving for. I don't know whether that sounds too arch, but I understand what I'm saying. If this concert could happen in reality, what you'd hear is something like the sea, something quite soft, gentle, fractal and natural."

"There once was a note, pure and easy, playing so free, like a breath rippling by..."

and the lifehouse booklet

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