WHO GUITARIST AND SONGWRITER Pete Townshend has revealed that he and singer Roger Daltrey plan to make another record together and that he has already given the vocalist three demos to listen to. The two surviving Who members were speaking at a press conference to announce a series of nine UK arena dates later this year to mark the 50th anniversary of the group’s naming. The shows, billed as The Who Hits 50 tour, will take place in November and December 2014 and according to Pete Townshend will feature “a few nice surprises” in the set list.
When asked whether The Who will record again, Townshend answered with an emphatic “yes”, explaining that he and Daltrey might approach the record in a more “basic” way, citing Going Back Home, Roger’s recent collaboration with ex-Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson, as a possible parallel. Going Back Home was recorded in 10 days at a small studio in East Sussex, though Townshend admitted it was unlikely to be recorded quite so quickly.
The lunchtime press conference, held at the legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in central London, featured Townshend and Daltrey performing a four-song acoustic set, before answering questions from an invited audience of journalists.
After details of the dates were announced, a short film comprising clips of The Who performing throughout their half-century career was shown, though due to a technical hitch there was initially no sound – prompting Townshend to quip from the side of the stage, “We were louder than that!” The two men then played spirited acoustic versions 0f The Who classics Substitute, Bargain, The Kids Are Alright and Won’t Get Fooled Again.
Townshend also made clear that he was excited at the prospect of touring again so soon after last year’s Quadrophenia And More tour, saying the reason for performing the dates wasn’t just to commemorate the band’s 50th anniversary, but simply that “I wanna do it”. Meanwhile, Daltrey admitted he wanted to sing The Who’s songs while he was still able to, predicting “the band will [eventually] stop playing live before they stop recording”.
During a lively question-and-answer session, Townshend demonstrated his folk finger-picking style on an acoustic guitar, berated trolls who left disparaging comments about him on the Guardian newspaper’s web site and reminisced about the last time The Who played at Ronnie Scott’s, premiering their Tommy album there in May 1969 with full stage amplification.
“I’m surprised the journalists had any hearing left,” he laughed.
For more information about the The Who Hits 50 tour go to thewho.com.