Pete Townsend: 50th Anniversary Will Mark The Who's Final Tour
Pete Townshend revealed that next year he and Roger Daltrey are eying a 50th anniversary Who tour, which might bring an end to the band's career on the road. Townshend spoke to Uncut and explained, "We will probably just tour and it'll probably be the last big tour that we do. I wasn't going to do a tour for the anniversary. I won't say I enjoyed Quadrophenia, but it was a successful tour. It was good for me because Roger did all the creative work. No, seriously, I just showed up and wanged away on the guitar. I enjoyed it. I wasn't particularly crazy about being up on the stage and on the road."
Townshend admits that over the decade he's softened regarding the Who and what the band means to its longtime supporters: "But with respect to the whole thing about, for me, having been through some real sh** in the last 15 years personally, one of the things that really means something to me is to have the affection of the public. This is not a rock star thing to say . . . But I think we do love it. So for me the important thing is that every time I would meet somebody in the street they would say, 'So, are you going to tour again?,' and I'd kind of go, 'No, not really.' As I said that, I'd realize they'd go 'Oh. OK, then.' Whereas if I was to say yes, I'd get all this wave of 'Oh, well, I'll come and see you!' I'd think, 'Why would you come and see us?' So, anyway, for our 50th anniversary I won't have much fun. But I think we need to go out, we need to celebrate it."
Pete Townshend shed some light on the Who's longtime relationship America: "For us, the U.S.A. is our primary market. And it's where we can do the most work in an intense period of time. But I think Roger and I get very envious of people like Tom Petty, and so on, that can, y'know, do a week's work and then go home. Y'know, in the old days, that's how we used to work here in the UK. We used to drive to Newcastle, do a show and then drive back that night and take the kids to school the next morning. Y'know, it felt as close to normal life as you were ever gonna get."
There's been no word about any 2014 road dates for the band, although several archival projects are currently said to be in the pipeline to mark the anniversary.
Pete Townshend remains hard at work on his latest multimedia project, called Floss. Townshend, who began work on Floss in 2008, has alternately said that the music would consist of material for the Who's followup to 2006's Endless Wire, and also denied that the music is appropriate for the Who.
Photo Courtesy of Rick Diamond