Pete Townshend

Pete Townshend pressing forward with new Who album

Pete Townshend is working full throttle on the upcoming Who album — which could be out by this spring. Townshend has been posting on about his current overdub sessions for the album — and the planning of the album cover art. Townshend even posted a 30-second clip of an unfinished track for the album featuring noted guitarist Gordon Giltrap supplying a flamenco-like nylon string guitar line. Townshend went on to post on the website about working with famed pop artist Sir Peter Blake — best known for designing the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as well as the Who’s Face Dances — about providing the artwork for the new Who album: Townshend wrote, “Today (January 24th) I met with Peter Blake the artist at his studio in London to discuss what he might do to create album art for the next Who album, We are old friends, going back to 1964 when we met on the set of the Ready Steady Go! TV show. Peter also studied with, and knew well, many of the lecturers who taught me at Ealing Art School between 1961 and 1964. It was great to see the amazing collection of art and sculptures he has. It’s colorful, exciting and stimulating. I shot a video with my new Vlogging camera. Sorry about the shaking — I will get better. By the way, with the help of a friend from Texas who will remain nameless but for the fact that he has a website called theentiref*** gave us an idea for a name for the album. Quite simply ‘WHO’. Might take us right back to the beginning, who knows.” Pete Townshend gave us the back-story on what will be the Who’s first new studio set in nearly 13 years: “I had said to our managers that I would like to tour, but only if we had a new album out. And because I had made that condition, I spent from May, June, July — and quite a chunk of August — working on 15 tracks and wrestling a few tracks from ancient history, and submitted them in the beginning of September.” Townshend told us he’s planning on adding musicians to his studio tracks to flesh out the songs: “Maybe with Pino Palladino on bass and Zak Starkley on drums to replace the bass and drums elements on the recordings that I’ve made, so that it feels more like a band. We shall see. But we’ve started, y’know, we’re in the process. Roger listened to my songs. He came back with a plan, which is, he’s away for six weeks — or nearly, eight weeks, now — when he comes back he’s going to start working on the vocals.” In celebration of their recently announced 2019 North American MOVING ON! Tour, The Who have launched a series of pop up Magic Buses straight from the 60s in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. The buses are inspired by The Who’s iconic song “Magic Bus” and compilation album, Magic Bus – The Who On Tour from 1968. Fans in New York City can see the double decker buses now through February 10th as they hit the streets all over Manhattan from Harlem to Midtown, down to Chelsea and Greenwich Village. Fans who spot the bus can also enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win two premium tickets to The Who’s tour stop nearest to them. To enter, fans can post a picture of the bus on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #MagicBusEntry and follow + tag @LiveNation in the image.

How cool is that?!?  🙂

The Who’s Pete Townshend opens up about past alcohol abuse

The Who legend Pete Townshend described his past alcohol abuse and how the “ridiculous job” of being a rock star fuels addiction before a starry crowd including Joan Jett and Bruce Springsteen at the MusiCares MAP Fund benefit. “I didn’t do drugs for a long, long time,” British guitarist and frontman Townshend told the audience, which also included his bandmate Roger Daltrey, Billy Idol and Willie Nile. “When I was at art school, I smoked a bit of grass . . . I realized — and I don’t want to offend any pot smokers in the audience because I know it’s the great new thing — but it felt to me like every time I listened to a record, I went back to the same place . . . Then LSD came along, and I had two or three trips that weren’t particularly good. I saw those funny colors,” Townshend said. “So for the next 15 years, I just drank a lot. And anybody that did a lot of drugs, I used to feel a bit superior to them. Filthy drug addicts. At one time I was doing about three bottles of brandy a day . . . I didn’t drink any water, I didn’t drink any tea, I didn’t drink Coca-Cola. I don’t think I ate. I just lived on cognac.” The now-sober Townshend — who was honored with manager Bill Curbishby told The New York Post, “I think . . . people that are famous often have other s - - t going on. If you look at Hollywood, if you look at Robin Williams . . . it’s like you have to accept that possibly there was something he was carrying in him that had never ever been dealt with, and maybe that’s what made him so funny . . . As rock performers, it’s a lonely job, and there are times when it’s a ridiculous job . . . And that can cause a tremendous feeling of being . . . isolated, even neglected. So you can be in front of a huge audience and . . . you find yourself saying, ‘Would they really like the real me?’” Roger Waters, Joe Walsh, Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger and Elton John gave video tributes. The finale included Townshend bringing Springsteen, Idol, Daltrey and Nile onstage to jam while Steven Van Zandt was seen furiously urging the crowd to get on their feet.

Congrats to Pete for this major achievement/award!  Glad he’s beaten his deamons, and continues to keep on rockin after recently turning 70!  Go Pete!   🙂

The Who’s Legendary Guitarist, Pete Townshend, Turns 70

One the most famous lines Pete Townshend ever wrote was “Hope I die before I get old.” Thankfully, that didn’t happen. The Who’s guitarist, main songwriter and creative mastermind turns 70 today. Speaking to the BBC a couple of years ago about the sentiments he expressed in “My Generation,” Townshend admitted, “That phrase was taken out of context. We’ve never fought with that issue but…the song was more about refusing to grow old.” He added, jokingly, “That’s why I’m so proud of having the physique of a 16-year-old boy.” Pete and The Who — whose classic lineup also featured singer Roger Daltrey, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon — emerged on the U.K. rock scene in 1964 and began making a name for themselves thanks to their dynamic, destructive concerts and Townshend’s witty and quirky pop-rock songs like “My Generation,” “I Can’t Explain” and “Substitute.” Pete himself became known for his iconic windmill strumming and regularly smashing his guitar to pieces during shows. After grabbing the attention of U.S. audiences with an incendiary performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop festival, the band became an international sensation thanks to Townshend’s imaginative 1969 rock opera, Tommy. Townshend solidified his reputation as one of the rock world’s great songwriters with The Who’s classics-filled 1971 album Who’s Next and the acclaimed 1973 rock opera Quadrophenia. Tommy and Quadrophenia ended up being turned into movies in 1975 and 1979, respectively. After Moon’s untimely death in 1978, The Who continued on for a few more years with founding Faces drummer Kenney Jones, while Townshend also began focusing simultaneously on a solo career that included hits like “Let My Love Open the Door,” “Rough Boys” and “Face Dances, Pt. 2.” The Who essentially disbanded after a 1983 “farewell tour,” but the band re-formed sporadically for special events like Live Aid in 1985, and for tours in 1989 and 1996 during which they played Tommy and Quadrophenia, respectively. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Although Entwistle passed away in 2002 on the eve of another reunion trek, Townshend and Daltrey have continued to perform together regularly under the band’s name, accompanied by a touring band. Meanwhile, Townshend also struck gold when he turned Tommy into a Broadway musical. The production took five Tony Awards in 1993, including a Best Original Score honor for Pete. Last year, Townshend and The Who embarked on a tour celebrating the group’s 50th anniversary, and which both Pete and Roger have revealed will be the band’s last major outing. However, Townshend has expressed interest in continuing to play shows with Daltrey, and also says he’d like to record new original music projects, both with the band and solo. The Who’s next show is scheduled for this Wednesday in Uniondale, New York.

I hope that current tour makes its way through the Rockies..  As many of you know, The Who is my all-time fav rock band, and I’ve had the thrill of seeing them live on several occasions.  Now it’s just the Pete and Roger show.  But, its cool those two are still at it after all of these decades.  Thanks for the tunes, Pete!  And Happy Birthday!   🙂

The Who’s Pete Townshend: ISIS Makes It ‘Very Important That We keep Our Ammunition Ready’

In an interview published by Rolling Stone on May 7th, the Who’s Pete Townshend said ‘it’s very important that we keep our ammunition ready.” He said this in response to a question about the Islamic State jihadist group — a question seeking his take on the state of a world in which ISIS and other terrorist groups play a growing threat. Rolling Stone asked Townshend: “While we’re on the subject, when you look at ISIS and Boko Haram — and even what Putin has been up to, to some extent — do you worry about the state of the planet?” Townshend responded by saying he hopes his answer does not earn him the label “neocon” again, by “Arianna Huffington… that dimwitted woman.” He then said, “I do think it’s very important that we keep our ammunition ready. I do feel there is nothing to worry about as long as we’re willing to protect ourselves.” He continued: Had America not interceded in World War II, Germany would have taken over the whole of Europe. I think the most important thing is that we remember that. But also remember that we don’t need to act until this shit comes to our door. When that happens, whether it comes to our door in a Charlie Hebdo scenario or in a 9/11 scenario, we need to keep calm and to honor our own sense of values and justice and law and the way that we want to live. Townshend and his fellow bandmates are practicing now for the upcoming launch of their 50th anniversary tour.

The great Pete Townshend is exactly right!  He’s old enough to understand history..  Good for him for saying something as politically incorrect as that!!  As an aside..The Who are my all-time favorite rock band.  Glad to see Pete and Roger still touring together after all these decades..