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Posterazzi Pete Townshend in Mid-Jump Photo Print (8 x 10)

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Atkins, John (1 February 2000), The Who on Record: A Critical History, 1963-1998, McFarland & Company, ISBN 9780786440979 , retrieved 18 June 2016 I don’t exercise. I walk quite a bit, but my hobby of choice is sailing, and that’s not very physical. It’s mainly looking at the wind and trying to figure out where to steer. But that’s my main sport hobby, which I do and I love doing it. I do it as much as I can. With respect for new music for the Who, one of the issues is that when we did … this is quite touchy stuff, so I don’t want to be unkind to anybody. But when I said to Roger, “I’m not going to go on tour with you until you get in bed with me and we make a new album,” we were given a million dollars by Universal/Polydor to make it. I’ve just done the score for Robin Robin, which is an animated film. I think it’s up for a couple of awards. Their work is just fabulous.

It’s never easy to spot Townshend’s contributions when listening to some of The Who’s classics. While he contributed an odd line or two to some of their best material, there was no real need for someone like Townshend to step up to the mic when they had someone like Roger Daltrey delivering some of his generation’s most muscular vocal lines. Then again, the only way to appreciate what Townshend gave to the band is to put his voice beside Daltrey’s on ‘The Song is Over’. How will Covid impact the way you tour? I know that Elton John and the Rolling Stones have been forced to basically create a traveling Covid bubble. Will you be doing something similar? I’ve been reading about a Keith Moon biopic for about 20 years. It seems like it’s finally happening now. Because I don’t think, at the moment, I need to do that. I think I need to finish The Age of Anxiety… My original idea was the novel would come out, I’d put out an album, and then I’d do an art installation. What actually happened was I put the album out, and then the pandemic hit and there was no question of putting an album out. There’s been a big gap between the publication of the novel and the possibility of putting out an album of music. And so I need to find a new bridge, in a sense, and I’m still thinking that through, getting advice from various people. To be relieved of that responsibility, in a sense … because Roger is of the opinion that he wants to sing until he drops. That’s not my philosophy of life. There are other things that I want to do, still want to do, and will do, I hope. I hope I’ll live long enough to do them.With the orchestra, it’s a similar effect. It’s almost like I could stand there for a good 50 percent of the show and play nothing at all. What’s interesting about that is that it gives me a chance to make sure what I do play, what I do do, where I look, how I behave on the stage, is more connected with the people around me, with the audience, and with, I suppose, to get prosaic about it, an inner sense. In other words, I don’t lose myself the way I did when I used to jump around, have a big adrenaline rush, and then come off the stage and someone would say, “Great show,” or someone would say, “Terrible show,” and I wouldn’t really know what I had done, to be honest, since I was like someone running a marathon. So the orchestra gives me space. Being set in the future where everyone lives in different robotic suits, Townshend penned this song as an ode to the travelling lifestyle, painting the picture of a commune where he and his friends all drive around together in a mobile unit. In the context of the story, this would be some innocent fun to break up the story of Bobby as he tries to find some salvation through a single musical note.

So by the time we got to Monterey in ‘67, Pete’s going, ‘Well, that’s my whole show! And it was always a great finale.” We were intending to do a U.K tour after our last tour in America with the orchestra. And we hope we will reach new people with it. And listen, two years of pandemic have kind of aged me, I think. I was getting old anyway. I feel that working with the orchestra is a good way to work. He was a great manipulator, and a great character, a great showman. He brought a lot of joy, but he also brought a lot of hardship and difficulty. I’ve always been honest about that. It will be interesting to see how that evolves. In a sense, one of the things that my generation of musicians has has to cope with is the ground, the moral ground, the political ground, the legal ground, but particularly the moral ground, moving under us to such an extent that we have to accept that our rage against not being noticed after the Second World War was probably a little overdone. I have somewhat of a random question, but I just re-watched Freaks and Geeks. They used a ton of your songs in really poignant and interesting ways. I’m wondering if you ever saw it.Yes, I did. It was a real buzz. I remember being very moved by it and very honored. It was a dark comedy show with deep, swinging connotations about performance and education and all the things I’m talking about. The uses were very, very smart. In a sense, it redeemed and gave credence to the fact that I’ve always felt the worst person … Let’s get into real trouble here. The worst person to have control of Neil Young’s catalog is Neil Young. [ Laughs] Give it to me. I just think there’s so much stuff there that could be just turned into joy. He’s such an incredible writer, and so much of his stuff is just unknown, partly because he keeps it tied so tight to his chest. So we thought, well, we’re gonna get slaughtered if he goes on before us. Because that’s our whole show, done. So Pete and Jimi flipped a coin and Pete won and we chose to go on first. Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrateded.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p.312. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. What happened was that everything went very well until the people at Polydor suggested that we need a producer. We got a producer [Dave Sardy] in and he spent a million dollars. [ Laughs] He made a great record, of course. I think it was a better record than had I produced it because I certainly wouldn’t have done a lot of the things that he did. I’m very pleased with the record.

verifyErrors }}{{ message }}{{ /verifyErrors }}{{ We have no choice, unfortunately. The insurers are the ones making these dictates. This is not the Rolling Stones or Elton John [making these calls]. This is the insurers. They are insisting that they won’t pay out if you cancel because of Covid. That’s the first thing. And secondly, if they do pay out, they only pay out 85 percent. And thirdly, they up their charges from 2.5 percent to 5 percent and now to 8 percent of the gross income on a tour. It’s absolutely brutal. In some cases, we need musicians of the Joni Mitchell and Neil Young era, the Stones, the Beatles, the Who, and everybody to remember that there are loads of people that just haven’t heard anything that they’ve done. They are buzzword names. They don’t know.I have to confess here that our insurance company here in the U.K., our agent as it were, Robertson Taylor, is a kind of friend. [ Laughs] We’ve been working with him since the very beginning. I’ve got no sympathy with the insurance companies, but there you go. You turn 80 in about three years. Do you still want to be onstage then, or do you view that as a time when you might step aside? Pete Townshend of The Who has revealed Keir Starmer was the lawyer who challenged him in Townshend’s infamous child pornography case. We live in a very polarized society. As musicians, we really sincerely hope that music brings the two sides together. If we can do that, that would be great. If we can’t, so be it.

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