Pete's Blog

TOUR DIARY – November 14, 2012



Wow! Roger did such a powerful and passionate presentation yesterday at the National Press Club Luncheon in Washington, DC that it brought tears to my eyes. Much of what he said was as new to me as it was to the audience. For me, Teenage Cancer has always been about raising money through shows and personal donations to buy and run head and body scanners. The emphasis has now shifted.


Two young people I met within minutes of arriving at the event were Sarah Sterner TCA’s first ‘ambassador’, and Hunter Brooks, who is keen to sign up. They both confirmed what Roger was saying. They both had brain tumours, and were brilliantly treated medically speaking and are both on the way to the healthy future. But they each had stories to tell about being treated in paediatric wards (with young children) and how different it could have been had they known each other. Sarah’s funniest story was the fact that one day – for live music – a clown came into the ward and played a ukelele. (That was Eddie Vedder in disguise we think!)


What is clear is that dedicated wards for teenagers from 14 through to 24 or thereabouts should be made available wherever possible. We can’t preach to the USA about its cancer successes. Their statistics are significantly better than ours in the UK. But we now do better caring for our teenagers, and that was Roger’s message last night.


His plea is that the music industry in the USA swings behind this work, doing what we started for Teenage Cancer Trust in the UK with the concerts at the Royal Albert Hall ten years ago. My first donation to Teenage Cancer Trust was in 1996 when Broadway Tommy opened in London to fairly dismissive reviews (read about it in my book, available in all good bookshops, on eBay, Amazon, skips, dumpsters and trashcans all over the world.) Since then Roger has driven the concert series, and raised awareness and money at the same time. He deserves his gong for all this – he is tireless and convincing. I’m glad to be by his side on this.


For those of you coming to the shows, we are in the groove now. Thanks for your support, and I hope you enjoy Roger’s Quadrophenia spectacle. I’m enjoying standing in front of it wondering what the fuck is going on behind me.


Pete Townshend – November 14th 2012



24 thoughts on “TOUR DIARY – November 14, 2012”

  1. Pauline (Emma and Kester William friend) LOL!! says:

    Hiya Pete, It’s the first time I have ever looked at a Blog! I can’t imagine the presentation about children with cancer…you are right even the thought brings tears to my eyes…
    Hope to see ET and Kester asap
    Reading your Blog now officially whenever I can ! Must get to work now
    Pauline xxx Hug hug hug

  2. Nacho says:

    Hi Pete, i am glad for you guys, getting into the groove, makin’ music. I am reading your book now. Is great. I hope that The Who come to South America this time, specially Chile. Rock on.

  3. Lisa Ann Volpe says:

    It’s great to hear about all the good work the Teenage Cancer Trust is doing, especially the personal stories and Roger’s tireless efforts.

    Glad to hear you guys are in a groove. Can’t wait to see tonight’s show and maybe I’ll actually look up this time at the backgrounds and see myself what’s going on behind you. I know I will not be able to when I’m back in my closer seats for other shows. It’s just too captivating watching the whole band play that I forget there is anything else.

    with deep affection,
    Lisa Ann Volpe

  4. Cherie Helms says:

    It was an emotional talk for so many of us to watch…and thank you both for giving your time and major efforts to the TCA. Thanks, too for prompting other rockers to get into the ring with this cause!

    Glad you are doing OK on the tour now, as we were all concerned about the noise level you’ve had to deal with. I look forward to the Denver Pepsi Center show…and I know my art sensibilities will enjoy Roger’s ‘spectacle’.

    Cheering you on down the road,

  5. Paul Fitzgerald says:

    Can’t wait for the show in Philadelphia on 12/8. I think my wife bought me “Who I am” for Christmas today. Can’t wait for that either.

  6. LyndaGrace says:

    haha, your book can be found “everywhere”;). your so funny.

    Anyway, Teenage Cancer Trust and Roger’s tireless work is so wonderful. It really is amazing, he has made me aware of the need. (unfortunately)(the need, I mean).

    Glad to hear you are in the ‘groove’, I shall be coming to one of the shows here soon. Not soon enough!
    I ll be having a view at what’s behind you, but more importantly, I’ll be watching what’s infront of it! Enjoy!

    xo Lynda Grace

  7. LyndaGrace says:

    PS: This Tour Diary is very exciting.
    I have missed your Blog, when you did so frequently.

  8. Joe Trester says:

    Just finished your book. Thank you for the memories. We grew up at the same time and your music influenced me greatly. Your musical passion and ability to bare your soul certainly shine through in your work. Thank you for sharing your life with the world .

  9. Jackie Case says:


    I am heading to Boston in a couple of hours to take my 21 year daughter to The Who concert tomorrow night. I have never written to a recording artist before, but this deserves recognizing, especially since you are recognizing someone who has cancer.

    The Who were my late husband’s group for all time. He say you in your glory years, and I believe he saw the original Quadraphenia Tour. When we were dating we saw you play at RFK in DC two nights in a row for a reunion tour. We joked about giving our child the middle name of TheWho. My husband passed away six years ago, before we had the chance to take our only child to a Who concert. He died of lung cancer at the age of 53.

    We have had a rough couple of years since. She was great during his illness, but about a year or so his passing she began her rebellion. Things are turning around and she is back in college in Boston. When your concert posted on FB, I thought it would be a cool idea to take her to see her father’s favorite all time group.

    Call it freaky, meant to be, …..when I looked to see if The Who were playing either in Boston or the Balto/Washington area when she would be on break, much to my surprise you were playing one night in Boston….on my late husband’s birthday…..later I realized it would have been his 60th.

    So, tomorrow night, I will be in Boston sharing a moment with my daughter and two of her close friend who stuck by her through the rough times and are very much part of the reason she is back at college.

    Additionally, I would like you to know, you were his all time favorite artist….he often made me laugh by striking “windmills” followed by a hugh laugh himself. He thought your lyrics made The Who, who you are. There are two songs that make me think of him…..Behind Blue Eyes, as he played it for me when we first dated (I have blue eyes) and what I believe was his favorite….Love Reign O’er Me. I know these have been in playlist and I will be looking forward to sharing them with my daughter.

    Of course, my favorite of all time, was your hallmark, Won’t Get Fooled Again….tomorrow night, please do a windmill for him…as he was one your greatest fans.

    Jackie Case

  10. Jim says:

    Hey Pete – You guys did it justice last night – Hope you saw the review in the Daily News – I also loved your book – Looking forward to MSG!

  11. Richard says:

    I’m looking forward to your performance in Denver in February. I last saw you and Roger perform in Omaha, NE in 2006 on the Endless Wire tour, which I enjoyed immensely. Prior to that, in ’81 at the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1981. Your autobiography was very inciteful and enjoyable to read. I was impressed with your honesty and candidness in the way you expressed the events of your life. I wish you continued success and happiness in your endeavors and best wishes to you and all who matter in your life.

    A final note to this. At the time Quadrophenia was release in 1973, I happened to be reading the works of British author, Allen Sillitoe — “Lonliness of the Long Distant Runner” and “Saturday Night, Sunday Morning.” So happened that Mr. Sillitoe was at my school, the University of Nebraska, doing a guest lecture series about his work and the environment of post-war Britain. He was a quiet, understated man, but quite interesting. I had the opportunity to speak with him after his lecture. I had seen many parallels in his main characters and in Jimmy from Quadrophenia. At the time he wasn’t familiar with the album, but found it interesting a student from middle America had found such comparisons. Are you familiar with his work? Thanks, Richard

  12. Carolyn Marosy says:

    Pete, I thoroughly enjoyed Quadrophenia at Barclays center in Brooklyn. It has been a long time, and well worth the wait to see it again. I loved te music and the visuals, but I have to be honest- during one segment the video is obviously showing clips of things through history during the time of the Who, but I feel that showing a clip of 911, with the Towers crashing down, during your encore- was quite disturbing and unnecessary. As a New Yorker, living in NYC at the time, experiencing it and smelling and seeing it that day, it did not bode well, or in my opinion- fit into a Who show. It actually took away from the drama that IS the Who, and lessened the celebration of the music, with overtones of sadness. After having been hit with Hurricane Sandy, which left more destruction than even 911 in alot of ways, I just think this 911 reminder should be left out of the show. As New Yorkers, we are resilient but we are dealing with one catastrophe and don’t need a reminder of another, especially during THE greatest rock show ever. It would kind of like be revisiting the Cincinatti show in a visual- just painful. I truly love what you put together, but I felt this was worth mention. Aside from that, absolutely brilliant work! I LOVED the video intertwining of Keith and John- brought tears to my eyes- bittersweet, but appropriate. It was a pleasure meeting you on your book tour. All the best, see you at MSG!!!

  13. Susan M says:

    Hi Pete!

    I’ve come to know the Who around 1976 when I was still in high school but at that time I was more into Led Zep & Queen. Through the years, however, I heard The Who more by listening to the only rock radio station in the Philippines during the Seventies & early 80s, where they play whole rock albums mostly during the evenings. That’s where I heard a lot of songs from Who Are You, Face Dances, and It’s Hard. I loved the songs but was distracted with other bands that I managed just to let my dad buy me a casette tape of It’s Hard and shelved my plans of buying Who albums for later.

    22 years later, I’m now living here in the Netherlands & got a family of my own. When I saw you & Roger performing at the London Olympics, I thought to myself, Omg, are these Roger & Pete? They’ve aged, but they STILL ROCK! That was the beginning of my love for the Who. From then on, I pledged to collect all your albums. Surprisingly, & unknowingly, the 2 Cds I bought were during the high points of the band, “Tommy” & “Who’s Next”, fantastic music I missed during the 70s! Next purchases were Who Sell Out, Who Are You, Face Dances, Live at Leeds, Odds and Ends, Quadrophenia, & the Cd version of Its Hard. I’ll be buying the rest soon.

    Pete, I don’t know what this is but I never felt a connection with any band before, but there’s something endearing with The Who. I never really thought of you as rock stars, but just regular people like us who just happen to make this incredible music. And now, my admiration and respect for you, Roger, and the whole band has grown even more when I heard of your work with the Teenage Cancer Trust…you and Roger really have a good heart.

    I’ve finished reading your memoir 2 weeks ago and I must say it was well written, and very candid. It takes a lot of courage to open your life to the public. We fans are grateful that you shared with us not only your personal life, your awareness of God, but also the background stories behind your music, and the creative process that went with it. When I was near the end, I said , gosh, I don’t want this book to end…keep on talking Pete..I felt like you are a close friend of mine telling me your stories and I dont want you to stop..I was teary eyed at the end..but closed the book truly inspired by your advice to the artist in all of us, and your last words, which I will always keep in mind: ‘When in doubt, just play’.

    I’m currently reading Anyway,Anyhow, Anywhere by Matt Kent & Andy Neill.

    I really wish the Who would come to tour Europe, and if ever you do, please come to the Netherlands, I’ll surely be there! For the time being, I’m content to be an armchair Who fan, listening to the music, watching videos of the past & present, reading books on the band, and dreaming of watching you live one day….God Bless you, Roger, the rest of the band, and enjoy the American tour!

  14. charles bennett says:

    Enjoyed your return to Greensboro last Friday. The stage show was fabulous, and even though Keith & John were there in ’75 for “the Who by Numbers” this was the most enjoyable yet. The balance between you & Roger (finally) produces a more enjoyable product! It seemed a quite “comfortable” show, and my 16 year old son (also a huge fan of the Band and decent guitarist himself) got to share it with me, which was the real treat for me! I have no doubt that you are supremely pleased, and probably even surprised that this has come off as well as it has. The show itself is nearly as perfect as the album, and if this is the curtain call, it is a fitting end! Kudos and thanks to you, Roger, and all the team for bringing this to all of us who have supported you through the years!
    ps–have always thought you guys could do a smashing rendition of Alice Cooper’s “Eighteen”…a tailor made song for Roger! Again, thanks Mate!

  15. onestep says:

    An enjoyable show, found Rogers voice to be superb, much better than in recent years, especially on Reign O’er Me…fantastic. I felt that Pete was performing this piece for Roger, actually, just a feeling. His guitar playing was awesome at songs that moved him, and the perfect studio musician at other times. A wrenching rendition of Sea and Sand….where Townshend was the master of his guitar, his soul portrayed in the power chords of the song near the end, to the point where he hurt his hand, sucked something out of it, and spat it onto the stage…….without hardly a wince.

    The encores really need to be the fan favorites, in my feeling…because some of the pieces in Quadrophenia are obscure to goers. An awesome concert, with some hitches, microphone levels, guitar levels, monitor placement….not one that I felt took away from the concert, really added to the charm of the humanity performing it. Pete was kicking his montor into a place more to his liking, Roger was giving angry looks to the soundboard occassionally…..but a charming show, with an emotional ending, in the song Tea and Theater.

    Not disappointed one single bit. More people need to know The Who.

    My .02 worth

  16. Alyssa Bee says:

    Hello there,

    I am not sure where to post this but I see this journal appears to be upkept and this particular entry is somewhat on the same page as what I am about to say. Our Dad was diagnosed with cancer and died 6 weeks later during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy which hit our home state New Jersey pretty badly. Once we had the diagnosis he was already too sick to do anything one would wish to do before they die. However he was hopeful that with treatment he would get better so, when he found out that The Who was playing the Quadrophenia live it made him absolutely giddy and happy and he was so excited to purchase 3 premium tickets- for himself, my brother, and I- for the Atlantic City show. The only other time I saw him smile in the last days was when he got his Medical Marijuana card in the mail, he died before the first treatment center opened and was too proud to start smoking the stuff off the street;) and sadly he never got the chance to blaze. but, anyways, The reason I’m saying all this is cuz I just wanted to let u’s know that he was really excited and has loved The Who his whole life (he was born in 1949) and it was his last wishes that if he did not make it to the concert date, that us kids go anyhow so thanks for playing and doing your thing… you guys make people more happy than u may imagine <3 see u's in A.C.

  17. James Marceda says:

    I caught the DC show this past week and I was so impressed and uplifted. I have seen you guys five times and this was simply the best. Quadrophenia has always meant so much to me because I understood it even as an American kid of a – slightly – younger generation.

    I grew up on Staten Island a block up from the beach and I and my friends spent so much time there. Quadrophenia spoke to me and my teenage experience. Now at 47, I heard it as I always imagined it and I remembered – again – what is now gone. Yes, there is a bit of sadness in those memories but I made it and I am doing alright. In some small way you helped make that possible, fun and interesting. Thank you and God Bless!

  18. Barbara Jacobs says:

    Miss Bee:
    That is quite a touching story and my condolences to you in memory of your dad.

    The Who’s music has the power to heal your soul during times of tragic loss.

    Their music has done so for me many times during my 54 years of life.

    Rock on, for your Pop!

  19. Stephanie Thoma says:

    Dear Mr. Townsend: Thank you for all you do for young people with cancer. My 12 year old joy of my life is a cancer survivor, having taken 2.5 years at chemo from ages 4-6 1/2. Along the way, we met many friends in the hospital, who were teens embarking on a tough road and of course, many who would never bring the welcome angst of the teen years to their parents.

    Tonight, I dropped her and a friend at a middle school event, and was glad to give her the 7th grade boy primer. Many thanks to you and Mr. Daltry.

    (Great book, btw, reading presently…remembering your leaping picture in my locker in high school is one memory I can savor from a time in life a friend desribed to me as “The Wallpaper Years”. Good to laugh now!


    Steph Thoma

  20. Lydia says:

    Pete Hi! We met at your book signing in Philly. I gave you the scarf. I will be at Wells Fargo Center 12/8 to see you. I put my concert information behind the bow on the scarf. I’d be honored to meet you, just to say Hi! Lydia

  21. darren81 says:

    pete do you think you’s will ever come to northern ireland?

  22. Janice Hussock says:

    I saw rhe teenage cancer event at the National Press Club via C-Span. Roger knew his facts and had such enthusiasm. He was more convincing than any politician. Wonderful presentation.

  23. Mary says:

    Hello, Pete.

    Your true love says, “Hi.”


  24. Tina says:


    I have adored you since I was younger and I think you are the most awesome artist in the world.

    Much Love

    Tina XoXoX

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.