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November 8, 2012

Pete Townshend – Tour Diary 7th November, 2012


Great to be in the USA on election day. I would have been happy for either candidate to win. There are pros and cons. The only longing I have is for the President to work more closely with the UK than he appears to have done before. As unpopular as they ended up with the deep thinkers, George W Bush and Tony Blair were friends, and that – to me – exemplified what I feel is most important about the relationship between the UK and the USA. We are above all else friends. Friendship is not ‘special’ (as in the ‘special relationship’), it is normal, and accepting…


And so the Who tour kicked off in the teeth of a hurricane, and our immediate duty to our millions of fans in the NorthEast is to promise that we will hopefully do more than just offer our prayers. While we’re here we’ll try to do something practical, as I am certain will all of our rock and pop buddies. Watch this space.


The shows so far? I’m doing great. The stage level is very quiet, and that suits me. I want to hang on to my hearing, which is still good enough to mix music like I did for the Quadrophenia Director’s Cut, and to cut my own demos at home. Roger is singing incredibly well. His vision is an interpretation of Quadrophenia rather than a straight narrative, and that seems to suit the period we are in as the two surviving members of the old Who, and our age. It FEELS great to me (I can’t see the screens behind me and I haven’t been able to see the entire set of projections because I was working right up until rehearsals) and that is the best measure for me. Roger and his creative team have clearly done a great job.


The audiences so far have been wonderful, and the shows promise to continue to improve. It’s great to see some old faces, but as always I’m glad to see a few younger people in the crowd, and I hope they haven’t been dragged along to check us out by nagging parents (or grandparents!).


Thanks to all of you who have bought my book.


Pete Townshend November 7th, 2012

For thewho.com

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127 Responses to Pete Townshend – Tour Diary 7th November, 2012

John says: November 16, 2012 at 7:01 pm

The DC show was fantastic! The sound was great. The screens were great. You guys won me over, again, with the warmth and passion that filled the stage. If I had only planned accordingly I would have seen you in NY whilst I was there the next day on business. It was my 15 year old’s first Who show. My fav was the 5:15 mix with John sync’ed up from the 2002(?) tour. My son’s fav was Dr Jimmy…ugh, can’t wait to see how that influences him, lol. Thanks again for stopping by…next time, maybe retire some of the “and More” classics for some deeper cuts?

Mackey Williams says: November 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Thanks for your balanced and refreshing commentary and perspective on the US Presidential Election. Unfortunately, given the vitriolic political discourse that is now so prevalent here in the States, it’s impossible to state any opposition to the President’s policies without being branded a racist homophobic misogynist. I wish I was being melodramatic. Many of us are hopeful that a reputable third party alternative will emerge some time in the not too distant future. I hope I live long enough to vote for one. Missed you in Brooklyn the other night but hope to make amends by catching the NYC/MSG gig. Did you know the Brooklyn Academy of Music did a run of Who-related movies while you were here? Great stuff. I caught a screening of Quadrophenia. Hope you continue to enjoy the tour. Love the book, mate. Mackey

Jim McCall says: November 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm

I got to see the boys play in Atlanta the night before our election. What a relief from politics and what a spectacular show! Very special to me as I took my little brother six years ago to see them at the same venue. He has since departed this world, but I know his spirit was there. Thanks guys for a special show.

Colin Dougherty says: November 15, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Thousands of Townshends and Townsends in U.S. phone books. Daltreys, Moons and Entwistles too. Went to high with a Frank Entwistle. Great big tall fellow. Yes. We are connected.

One of my great-great grandfathers was a Townshend. His folks came to NYC in the 1630s from Norfolk. Had a tannery down near City Hall. One of his descendants was Major Andre’s heart throb. He blabbed to pretty young Miss Townshend about giving up West Point with Bendict Arnold. She told George Washington. And that was the end of that. All related to the current Marquess. Descendants of younger brothers of younger brothers of Roger Townshend appointed a judge by Richard III in 1485. They dropped the “h”. It was the American thing to do.

Yes. Great Britain and the U.S. are connected. No doubt. We are your cousins here.

Enjoyed the memoir. Well written. Gracious and affectionate to family, friends, co-workers, fans and fellow travelers. Everyone came off well and seems likeable. Even Grandma to whom you were generous despite it all. The boy who heard music. Birth of a personal aesthestic. Riding bikes. Delivering newspapers. Choir singing. Kirk and Jarrett. Priceless.

If the Honours Committee doesn’t get it’s act tgogether, Springsteen will crown you Duke of Earl in Newark. Home of the Four Seasons. T’would be fitting. The Who is white boy Methodist strong backed coal worker earnest mechanic gospel music. Maximum R&B. Yup. All ya gotta do is ask.

Will attend MSG or Prudential show. No need for encores. Saw Neil Young and Crazy Horse do Greendale some years back. Show was complete in and of itself. Then they went on with an hour’s worth of “hits.” Me and the rest of the crowd enjoyed the hits, but it was un-necessary.

Have work the next day and a home to go to. Not getting any younger. I’m 57. Seeing Quadrephenia performed would make me happy without an encore. Saw it first in 1973 at the Boston Garden. We both had hair.

A 7:30 start. Sensible shoes. Early to bed and early to rise.

Hey, aren’t you a Labour Party supporter?

Iggy says: November 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Hi Pete: I’m quite intrigued by your comment about Roger interpreting Quadrophenia rather than narrating it, and I can’t wait to see it live (again). It must be very poignant to tell this story of your youth from your current point of view. My first show was December ’79 in Chicago(six days after Cincinnati; it’s a miracle my parents allowed it). The Punk Meets the Godfather was the high point of that show for me, and the song was only six years old then! Like a fine wine, I will savor it again in two weeks here in Chicago.

Long Live Rock!

PS – I am really enjoying your book


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