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December 9, 2012

TOUR DIARY – December 9th, 2012

The Clown who plays Ukelele.


It occurs to me that Roger’s first TCA ‘ambassador’ Sarah Sterner, who tells a funny story about being entertained by a clown playing ukelele when she was recovering from cancer treatment, might not be so funny for the clown in question. She did not sneer at this clown. She used him as an example to make a distinction between what little kids enjoy in hospital, and what teenagers prefer.


I have repeated the story a few times, playing it for laughs. Then I suddenly remembered that once or twice in my life I have portrayed myself as that very clown, pounding stages.


The volunteer, dressing up and going to paediatric wards to entertain children, does so out of love and duty, and I must be careful to make very sure here that I do not sneer at what this clown, who volunteers to entertain and nurture young people in hospital, is doing. It is a high calling.


Roger’s pitch is that Sarah says she needed something different, more grown up, more TEENAGED.  Sarah agrees, so we must accept their mission.


A young woman recovering from cancer might prefer the clown to go in without the costume, dressed in his street clothes, with a guitar rather than a ukelele, reveal himself as a bit of handsome dude, gaze in her eyes, and sing her some of his coolest love songs……..Sarah is certainly beautiful enough to merit the music.


You know what I mean. But if you’re a little kid, a clown with uke is very cool. If you’re a teenager God only knows what you’ll think is cool.


- Pete Townshend. December 9th, 2012

For www.thewho.com






53 Responses to TOUR DIARY – December 9th, 2012

Ron Barth, Jr. says: February 18, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Hi, Pete,
Since you’ve posted no more recent comments than this one, just thought I’d try to reach out to you here. Saw you in Vegas 8 days ago, and really enjoyed the show. Finally, I can say I’ve seen The Who. Carried my ticket, so as not to have it damaged, in your book. Also, I figured there’s an outside — way outside — chance that I might meet you and ask you to sign it; hell, I met Tom Morello at one of his SSSC gigs in Santa Barbara strictly by chance a few years back, so anything’s possible.

As it was, my ticket remained unscathed, and I saw your brother Simon, milling about the lobby, taking pictures, autographing for fans/acquaintances. Not knowing him, and not having the immediate connection of a shared sport team (Chicago Cubs) rooting interest like with Morello, I was too shy to approach him to ask if he could facilitate something.

In any case, thanks for the show; I was glad to see you seemd to be enjoying yourself. I particularly enjoyed your horizontal hand swipe after you guys had done the last song, letting everyone know, “It’s over. Go home.”

Bets wishes,

Ken Whitson says: February 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm

My wife and I dated while listening to The Who. We saw you in Phoenix Wednesday night. Great show!!! I don’t know how you still have the guts to do those windmill moves, especially after impaling your hand. I tried it once and raked my fingers so hard – I won’t get fooled again.

My spirituality is at a low point today, and I have to play in church tonight. I keep thinking of your phrase “why should I care”? I know the reason – because God has been good to me – do it for Him – but it’s still hard to care about people who don’t care about me.

Have a great remainder of the tour. The Who has been my favorite band since Woodstock.

Lynda Grace says: February 3, 2013 at 4:24 am

Dear Pete,

Thank you. Thank you for an amazing evening of music. It was so much fun last night. And to see you having so much fun, all of you on stage, was a thrill and a delight, as always!! It was my one stop on this Tour, and so blessed to be there.
I hope that you will make some more Tour Diaries on this second leg.
xox Lynda Grace


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