Pete Townshend: “I Think The Who Will Stop After This Year”

The Who man speaks exclusively in the new issue of MOJO, dedicated to the band’s 50 Greatest Songs.

The Who in 1966

THIS WEEKEND’S GIGS, at London’s Hyde Park on Friday (June 26) and the Glastonbury Festival on Sunday (28) could be the last The Who play on home turf, reveals Pete Townshend in the latest edition of MOJO magazine (on sale in the UK from Tuesday, June 30).

The cover of MOJO 261, featuring The Who's 50 Greatest Songs
The cover of MOJO 261, available in the UK from Tuesday, 30 June 2015.

In an issue dedicated to The Who’s 50 Greatest Songs, the guitarist and songwriter holds forth in an extensive, career-spanning interview.

“I think I will stop after this year,” he explains, though he stresses it won’t be the end of his collaborative relationship with Who singer Roger Daltrey.

“I think Roger and I will do odd things together,” he tells MOJO’s Alan Light. “I hope that one day I can write him an album of songs that suit him and the record company won’t demand that we call it the f***ing Who, but I’ve got a bad feeling about it. I think that if I wrote Roger a bunch of good songs, our manager would say, ‘Why not call it The Who? We’ll sell double as many records!’”

At the same time, Townshend insists his relationship with Daltrey is stronger than ever, dismissing speculation that the pair have fallen out (again).

“We’re lucky that we’re not in some old people’s home.”

Pete Townshend

“Roger and I were both so upset when the English newspapers decided that we were feuding – big headlines: ‘Roger And Townshend Feuding.’ Because it’s just not the case,” says Townshend. “The acceptance of each other’s eccentricities and differences has brought us to a really genuine and compassionate relationship, which can only be described as love. And that’s something to demonstrate, because this is two old guys in rocking chairs. As Roger says, we’re lucky that we’re not in some old people’s home and that we can do this now.

“Because when this tour is over, we’ll probably both go our separate ways. So it’s to demonstrate that even this particular gang can grow old – not necessarily gracefully, but can grow old ungracefully, or whatever it is that we’re doing.”

Get the new MOJO from Tuesday for the full interview and The 50 Greatest Who songs as chosen by MOJO’s panel of experts.

Also in the issue: a full tribute and guide to the music of the late great B.B. King, features on St Vincent, Charlie Watts, Urge Overkill and Peggy Seeger, plus 142 reviews including albums by Tame Impala, Neil Young and The Strands.

PHOTO: Alamy