Pete Townshend reveals The Who have one last task before they “crawl off to die”

Posted On
Posted By admin

It appears that the story of The Who is nearing its end. While this reality has been implied by a series of recent takes by the remaining band members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, a new comment from the latter suggests the finish line is firmly on the horizon.

Notably, on March 18th and 20th, The Who performed with an orchestra and were supported by special guests, Squeeze, at London’s Royal Albert Hall as part of the series of shows supporting Teenage Cancer Trust. This duo of performances were significant for the band, as frontman Daltrey announced in January this year that he would also be stepping down as curator of the charity concerts held at the historic venue, just as the lineup for 2024’s edition was revealed. 

The vocalist had been the driving force behind the concerts since they commenced in 2000. He has booked an array of prominent acts to take to the stage under the TCT banner including, Oasis, Paul McCartney, and The Cure. From 2025 onwards, guest curators will organise the all-star lineups of the show.

However, the departure of Daltrey from the TCT gigs also suggests that he might be moving away from music, especially when noting his comments from an interview in January this year with The Times, where he said his life in the Who was practically “over”. The frontman admitted: “I don’t write the songs. I never did. We need to sit down and have a meeting, but at the moment, I’m happy saying that part of my life is over.”

This followed a statement from Townshend the previous month, where he said he and Daltrey needed to sit down for lunch following the group’s final orchestral tour date in the summer at Sandringham Estate. The ‘Baba O’Riley’ songwriter told Record Collector that it felt like the “end of an era”.

Furthermore, Townshend’s new interview has heightened the sense that The Who might be drawing to a close. Following his comments late last year, Daltrey echoing them and stepping down from the TCT role, and the fact they have no other shows booked on their website, the guitarist has explicitly stated that the last thing they have to tick off their list is a farewell tour, then they can “crawl off to die”.

During a chat with the New York Times, it was put to Townshend that there have only been two new albums by The Who since 1983, and that his last solo album arrived in 1993. He was then asked if he wanted to be creating new music.

Townshend solemnly responded: “I do and I think I will. It feels to me like there’s one thing the Who can do, and that’s a final tour where we play every territory in the world and then crawl off to die. I don’t get much of a buzz from performing with the Who. If I’m really honest, I’ve been touring for the money. My idea of an ordinary lifestyle is pretty elevated.”

Townshend maintained that he’s been “immensely creative” and productive throughout this long period, but hasn’t felt the need to put music out. This feeling of indifference about releasing new music materialised after he released his fourth solo album, White City, in 1985, and sales were slow, as consumers “wanted the old Pete”.

The guitarist concluded by claiming AC/DC made 50 albums but “all their albums were the same. It wasn’t the way the Who worked. We were an ideas band.”

It certainly seems that The Who have no new ideas and that Daltrey and Townshend are looking to other areas as creative outlets. However, before they end their iconic story, it looks like fans will be given one final opportunity to wave them off into the sunset.

[embedded content]

Related Topics

Related Post