story by Michael Todd | photo by Angie Norman
Ask Ted Baer what he has been looking for the past 34 years, and he'll be honest: "Everything."
It's not a matter of what he's collecting, though, but rather The Who. Since 1978, Baer, an Omaha businessman, has amassed shelf- and tubfuls of LPs, 45s, CDs, radio promo and foreign releases. His basement's walls are lined with posters and guitars, one being the guitar played on a version of "Behind Blue Eyes," though in its state now (shown above), it might not sound the same.
"Pete Townshend is one of the few, if not the only, where his smashed guitars are actually worth more than the ones that aren't," Baer says with a laugh.
While he's proud of his collection, Baer says he doesn't get the opportunity to talk about it that often. There's a reverence in his voice when he recalls the first time he heard Quadrophenia, during a thunderstorm, and it's clear, after so many years, that he still appreciates the deal he found when he traded his Beatles lesser-knowns. Each Beatles release gained him three by The Who.
Above all, it was the emotion that drew him to the band, and judging from the way he's organized, framed and presented his collection, that emotion has stayed with him. Take a look at just a few walls of memorabilia and his stacks of music as Baer gives us an opportunity to see his collection:
shot by Angie Norman and Michael Todd
interview by Andrew Norman
edited by Michael Todd
includes a portion of "Won't Be Fooled Again" by The Who
Michael Todd is Hear Nebraska's managing editor. He suggests that interviewees bring along their pets for all future videos. Reach Michael at email@example.com.