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“Give Blood” is from the album White City: A Novel by Pete Townshend of The Who, released in 1985 on Atco.
The title refers to a story (called a “novel” in the album title) that accompanies the album, and which takes place in a low-income housing estate in the West London area of White City, near where Townshend grew up. The story tells of cultural conflict, racial tension and youthful hopes and dreams in the 1960s — a world of “prostituted children”, “roads leading to darkness, leading home” and despairing residents living in “cells” with views of “dustbins and a Ford Cortina”. The song “White City Fighting”, which features David Gilmour’s guitar work, tells listeners that the White City was “a black, violent place” where “battles were won, and battles were blown, at the height of the White City fighting”. The album opens with crashing guitar chords that capture a feeling of urban chaos, leading into “Give Blood”, a song with Townshend’s trademark, moral lyrics demanding listeners to “give blood, but you may find that blood is not enough”.
Pino Palladino (born 17 October 1957) is a Welsh bass guitarist who gained fame playing primarily rock and roll, blues rock, and rhythm and blues music, although he has been lauded for his ability to play most genres of popular music, including jazz, neo soul, and funk. His career has spanned several ensembles, including the John Mayer Trio and The RH Factor, a band mixing elements of soul, jazz and R&B, which he formed with jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove. He was also Pete Townshend’s and Roger Daltrey’s first choice to fill the position left by John Entwistle as the bassist for The Who. Adding to an eclectic grasp and melodic approach on his instrument, he has become one of the most sought-after session players on the bass and has played on a large number of recordings by some of the world’s most successful entertainers, in part, by mastering a variety of techniques on both his late 1970s fretless Music Man StingRay bass guitar and, later in his career, adding fretted Fender Precision and Jaguar basses. His playing has earned him custom instruments bearing his name.