"Who Are You" is a song by The Who. It was released as a Rock Band downloadable single and as part of The Best of The Who: Rock Band Edition on July 15, 2008.
This song is based on a day in the life of Pete Townshend. It began with a very long meeting dealing with royalties for his songs: "Eleven hours in the Tin Pan, God, there's got to be another way." The "Tin Pan" he is referring to is "Tin Pan Alley" which is the name given to the collection of New York City-centered music publishers and songwriters who dominated the popular music of the United States. After this excruciating meeting he received a large check for royalties, left and went to a bar and got completely drunk. In that bar he encountered Paul Cook and Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols, who thought very highly of Pete for paving the way for Punk rock music. Townshend was conflicted because he feared The Who had sold out, and seeing The Sex Pistols, who were icons of rebellion, exasperated him even more. Pete left that bar and passed out in a random doorway in Soho (a part of New York). A policeman recognized him ("A policeman knew my name") and being kind, woke him and and told him, "You can go sleep at home tonight (instead of a jail cell), if you can get up and walk away." Pete's response: "Who the f--k are you?" (thanks, Tim - Waterloo, Canada)
According to the 1985 Pete Townshend "My Generation" radio special, the song came out different than intended when Roger Daltrey sang it. Townshend said the song became a prayer from a destitute man. The man is on the street, looking up to the sky and asking God, "Who are you?"
The cover picture on the album features the band with drummer Keith Moon sitting on a chair that has the words "Not to be taken away" on the back of it. Moon passed away weeks after the photo was taken, and this was his last album. (thanks, Frank - Brandon, Canada)
Daltrey says the F-Word twice in this song - "Who the f__k are you." It can still be heard today with the expletive in it on many Classic Rock stations. (thanks, Conrad - Los Angeles, CA)
This is the theme song for the TV show CSI (although when the huge "YEAAAHHH!!!!" is heard it's actually from "Won't Get Fooled Again," also by the Who, which was is spliced in). When CBS created spin-off shows, they used more Who songs: CSI New York uses "Baba O'Riley" and CSI Miami uses "Won't Get Fooled Again." The Who performed at a presentation for CBS executives and advertisers in 2004. (thanks, Mason - San Antonio, TX)
The documentary The Kids Are Alright shows The Who in a studio recording this song. John, Keith, and Pete do the clapping part, but John comes in early, which leads the rest of the group to laugh hysterically. John also amuses Keith by twirling his hands between claps. Pete mocks Keith fixing his hair, and at the end holds his hand out for a high five, and you can hear a smack and him screaming, "OW!"