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December 9, 2012

Pete Townshend: Tour Diary – December 10th, 2012

The Clown who plays Ukelele.


It occurs to me that Roger’s first Teen Cancer America ‘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





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14 Responses to Pete Townshend: Tour Diary – December 10th, 2012

stevefromny says: December 12, 2012 at 12:01 am

Anticipating what I might have considered to be one of the greatest music nights of my 51 years, was an understatement. Picture this. After winding through a dark, smoky filled gambling mecca, an Indian casino, and overfull from the buffet, and after losing fifteen dollars on one fifteen second hand of Blackjack, sorry,Dad, I walked to the line that would erase the evening’s bummers and leave me with a grin that has left more creases on may face that I feared wouldn’t show up until next year. Nonetheless there I finally stood. I was now in line to enter an arena that would present itself musicians that influenced rock music history. Who? That’s right. THE WHO. Sitting at the very top row next to me was my wife on one side and two strangers on the other, I think they were at the wrong show by the way, my standing and swaying appeared to annoy them, or they lost all of their money too. Getting to the music, AMAZING, getting to the the sound, more AMAZING, getting to my comment on two old guys playing old music, FANTASTIC !!.. Never sounded better, Daltry and Townsend sounded CRISP and STRONG. The band’s timing was on, the lights and video complimented the sound and I was able to see it all, us old folks watch the Show without recording it with raised arms. The evening was now complete after a few encores. I still can’t believe I was there. It was worth the long drive, Blackjack disaster and bloated gut. I thank the Band for their Cancer awareness programs and my permanent invisible grin. DO NOT MISS THIS BAND. PERIOD.

EM says: December 13, 2012 at 12:51 am

My husband and I were also at the Mohegan Sun show and I am just so totally grateful that Roger and Pete are still out there doing their thing for us life long Who Fanatics! For me, seeing the show was a dream come true and I still can’t believe I was there! I am now plotting how I can possibly see them again…perhaps in NH in Feb 2013 although it would be a huge logistical and financial challenge. We also saw Roger’s out of this world performance of Tommy at the Htd Civic Center in Sept 2011 from the 3rd row center with tickets we only paid $125 for!!! Floor tickets for Mohegan Sun were astronomically priced by the demon scalpers! May they (the scalpers) suffer eternal damnation! In answer to the question, Who Are You? You are the best rock and roll band of all time!

don in CT says: December 10, 2012 at 11:10 pm

Pete……..thanks for last night. 30 years in the making, but I finally got to see you live. You must be on special vitamins or something after seeing you last night. Don in CT

velma mcdaniel says: December 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I worked with Sarah’s dad, Mike for ten years & have known Sarah since she was two years old. Though we aren’t as close to her family as we used to be, I have folliwed Sarah’s journey throughout her illness & recovery. You couldn’t have picked a better spokesperson for your charity. God bless you all for all the good you are doing.

Janet Massaro says: December 10, 2012 at 5:59 am

Sarah, I’m sure if that “clown” was Jake Shimabukuro, you’d be entirely captivated by the sound & by Jake! Hope you’re feeling better!
Pete, Sorry I missed your concert here in the DC area (but have seen you many times before!), however, a friend in Connecticut tried to connect me to your concert tonight over the phone as a surprise – there was so much distortion, I could hardly make out what was happening, but did finally discern that it was you guys! Fantastic! Keep up the good work, all of you! And keep on rocking in NYC on Wednesday night! Cheers!


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