Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Meaty, Beaty, Big and BouncyReleased: 1967Charted:
Pete Townshend wrote this because he wanted to see a song about masturbation become a hit. He would later write another song on the topic: "Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand," which appeared on their album The Who Sell Out.
This tells the story of a father who gives his son dirty pictures, including one of a movie star from long ago. The son becomes particularly enamored with the photo of the movie star, and all goes well until he finds out she is dead.
This was banned by many radio stations for it's sexual content.
The Who put this song in their setlist for some shows in 1989, and revived it when they toured in 2014-2015.
Bass player John Entwistle had beef with this song. He told Mojo in 1994: "The thing I hate about 'Pictures Of Lily' is that bloody elephant call on the French horn. I also hated the backing vocals, the mermaid voices, where we'd sing all the 'oooooohs.' I hated 'oooooohs.'"