When The Who started making waves in the music world in the mid-'60s, they were explosive. Jeff Stein's documentary "The Kids Are Alright" proves this by opening with their 1967 appearance on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour". As Rock and Roll legend tells it, drummer Keith Moon loaded his kit with three times the gunpowder than was necessary for the show. Instead of a small pyrotechnics display, their performance of "My Generation" that evening ended with a major explosion, leaving leader Pete Townshend dazed, confused, and suffering from hearing problems for the rest of his life. But that was The Who. No other band in their prime was better able to summon the spirit of balls-to-the-wall Rock and Roll. "The Kids Are Alright" is not exactly a revealing documentary. It's nothing more than a bunch of performance clips, intercut every so often with snippets of interviews. The audience for this is simply Who fans. If you like The Who's music, you'll enjoy this movie. I happen to love the music of The Who. There's not really a whole lot to learn here. This doesn't chronicle the recording of an album, the falling apart of the group, or their therapy sessions. (Although the timing is right. The movie was released in 1979, the year after Moon's death. The Who would never be the same again.) We get scenes of Townshend - who loves his own voice - talking and raging about one thing or the other. He'll tell you The Who's music has no quality and is nothing more than "musical sensationalism," then follow this in another interview by saying, "Pop music is crucial to today's art, . . . crucial it should progress as art." It's obvious he's passionate about both sentiments. We get several scenes of Moon, one of Rock and Roll's all-time clowns. Moon was always on, and always thinking of the next great prank. There's Keith Moon taking off his shoes and tossing his socks on interviewer Russell Harty. There's another interview he gives stripped to the waist, wearing a leather mask, while being whipped by a dominatrix. And, of course, there's a montage devoted to Moon's hotel problems. His destruction of hotel rooms was so problematic, in fact, it supposedly earned The Who a life-time ban from all Holiday Inns. There's not a thing done in Rock today that The Who didn't do first. In contrast to Townshend and Moon, lead singer Roger Daltrey and bassist John Entwistle are fairly quiet. Daltrey pops off a quote in an interview every now and then, but he's much better at expressing himself onstage. He doesn't even look like he's interested in speaking to Tommy Smothers. At the end, when all the band members provide a closing thought, Entwistle says, "I can't think of anything to say." It occurred to me then that we didn't hear him say a thing for the entire movie. But we don't come to this movie to hear Townshend talk, Moon act up, or Entwistle think. Not entirely, anyway. We come to hear the music. I like that it's not chronological. It gives a more off-the-cuff feel that way. The various clips give us plenty of opportunity to study what made The Who so good. You so rarely see bands that so completely throw themselves into a performance. Townshend's guitar playing is so widely imitated that many who copy it have no idea who did it first. But Townshend onstage, standing spread-eagled, arm upraised ready to swing down on the guitar, is a classic Rock and Roll image. Moon is himself a percussive instrument, and when he throws himself onto his kit, you get the idea that that's exactly the noise he intended to make. It's most fun to watch Moon. He has such a childish enthusiasm while playing. He's a man who has made the world his playground, so he has to look at his job as a time to cut loose. The happiness he displays while playing is infectious. Daltrey has one of the greatest voices in the business, and how fortunate that Townshend found just the right mouth for his words. In interviews, Daltrey stands back, almost out of shyness. When he's singing, he's delivering the most important sermon in the world. Then there's Entwistle, who just stands there while on stage. But take a look at those hands. His fingers are dancing so fast over his bass, they're practically a blur. Highlights in the movie include the closing hair-raising performance of "Won't Get Fooled Again" and a studio performance of the recording of "Who Are You". The band is as exuberant in the studio as they are on stage, and I don't believe it's just because there was a camera there. Another movie highlight is, of course, a montage of Townshend destroying guitar after guitar. Like I said, there's not a thing happening in Rock and Roll today that The Who didn't do first. Townshend and Daltrey are the only members alive today. We sadly lost Moon to an overdose of pills, and Entwistle died in a Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel room in 2002 with a prostitute on one side of him and a line of coke on the other. Sad, indeed, but so very Rock and Roll.