“When I did my interview with Uncut I was asked what might change when I turned 70. I replied that I want to stop telling lies. I laughed and said that for example I would play crap gigs and tell Who fans to fuck off. I don’t really want to do that today. I hope it’s clear that I have not done that yet on this tour. I have done it many times in the past (especially in the late ’70s) and it didn’t make much difference to Who fans – I think they knew I was playing a role. I have no intention of doing that after my birthday on May 19th. I’m out here on our 50th because I am sincerely pleased to see old faces, old friends, and do my best to be as much of an asshole as ever. I know I’m good. I don’t need to play games. I really hope I’m not playing one now!

I really don’t want Who fans to think that the ‘truth’ for me is that I hate them. I have sometimes hated the fact that Who were so successful, and nothing I can ever do can top that, but that isn’t the same.

Some shows are tougher than others. Funnily enough you might see me appear to have a better time during what is a harder show, that’s because I sometimes find what we find so serious on stage to be ridiculous. Who cares if we sound like shit? We are The Who.

So, to all Who fans who are coming out to see us, front rows or back rows, you are all welcome, and I am happy you are there. I’ve come too far now with my old buddy Roger to pick holes in what happens when I do interviews – but if I’ve upset anyone I apologise.

As for Classic Quadrophenia, it’s different. It needs to be approached with an open mind. If I have any truth to speak about it, it is that I think it is amazing. Remember this is not my work, it is Rachel Fuller’s and Alfie Boe’s. I’m stunned by it and I hope that despite the fact many of you may always prefer to hear the 1973 Who album, that you will enjoy this version too.”

Pete Townshend, 27 April 2015





  1. Ron Cianciaruso says:

    Pete, your fans love you for who you are, not what we expect you to be. Your formula works very well, don’t ever change. As for Rachel’s Quadrophenia, I am certain it will be amazing, just like Rachel. Keep on being yourself.. we love you !

  2. Brian Cady says:

    I certainly agree with you that lightening up on stage when things go wrong is the right thing to do. You and Roger have nothing to prove and getting together with the two of you, hearing some great music, even with a few bum notes or train wreck endings, is wonderful. Tell Roger not to sweat it. It’ll be fine.

  3. Yumiko Wordley says:

    We ( I,a mad fan for more than 40 years and my two teenage sons) Love you! We love the Who. Both of my boys are studying classical music too. I bought a copy of ‘Uncut’ yesterday. We all love what you are. Always love your expression about your candid feeling and good sense of humour.

  4. Duke says:

    I live in San Francisco so I don’t have easy access to the Uncut interview yet, but I did read the quote on the Facebook. Rest assured, even if it was serious, I couldn’t have been done away with that easy…

  5. stepee says:

    Happy birthday for May Pete. I enjoyed the British shows and I hope you did too?

  6. Izio says:

    …puoi fare quello che vuoi…sei Peter Townshend e quello che voglio sentire…finché sarà possibile…è quello che fai…Be Lucky è la prova…fate un nuovo album…per un Fan…sarà sempre fantastico!…vi ho visti a Londra il 23.03.2015…e tutto quello che ho visto e sentito…è quello che volevo…grazie di esistere!

  7. Hugh says:

    Thanks Pete…See you in Columbus on the 15th. I’ll be celebrating my grandaughter’s b-day on the 19th!

  8. David says:

    Pete The Who are simply the greatest rock band there has ever been. Your music is inspiring,powerful and timeless.It has always been amazing to watch The Who live being the innovative electrifying band they are. I had a piece in my local press in 2007 stating these facts and I am so glad you and Roger are still on the road, still playing brilliantly and after being at O2 in March I can’t wait for Hyde Park.You are still the greatest! Long live The Who!

  9. Pete Oswald says:

    Hey Pete thanks to you, Roger, John, Keith and the rest of crew for all you’ve done for music and the charity’s you all support. See you in Las Vegas and Portland Best wishes be safe Pete in Cheyenne, Wyoming

  10. Yumiko Wordley says:

    We ( my two teenage sons & me, living in Exeter ) went to the Who gigs in Birmingham, Cardiff, and twice in London. My lucky boy jumped high and got your hat, Pete! We are going to Hyde Park too. I’m skint now and can’t afford to go to USA. However, we never missed any activities in UK, relating the Who, you, Roger, and Simon, as long as financially possible for me! We’ll never stop being mad on you! My boys are 16& 14. They will carry on loving you, even when they become your age. Your music is so precious for the boys, just like to me, ever since I was a teenage girl in Japan!

  11. Sixie says:

    2015. Amy and I are following again. Tampa was an enthusiastic and fun Tour Opening Show. But I noticed in Jacksonville, Magic Bus was starting to get stale and you turned towards the center of the stage, jumped and slammed a power A chord to stop it! An intense moment to say the least and I felt a little trepidation from the band after. “Behind Blue Eyes” was kind of tense, but was followed up with “Join Together” and the band’s magic flamed to a higher level than before. You turned and glazed at Zak and I have never seen or heard him hit the skins so loud! That is Pete Townshend! That is what we endure, respect and expect !
    Had the pleasure of viewing and listening to the new Classical ” Love Reign o’er Me”! I was blown away… Wow. Hat’s Off to Rachel, Mr. Boe and of course the Genius whom created it. Can’t wait to see you guys again in St. Louis and remember always, Life Starts at 70:-)

  12. dave says:

    Pete, My son and I are leaving Sheridan, Wyoming today to see the Dallas show. This will be my 10th Who show, and my son’s second, the Quadraphenia show in Denver being his first. It was magnificent. Nothing gives me more pleasure than taking him to see the 50th Anniversary tour, and seeing The Who perform live!

  13. Great statement Pete. We don’t care if you’re an “asshole” you’re Pete fucking Townshend. I met you at the NY public library for your conversation about your book “Who I am”. I tried so hard to get a pic with you that night..and you told me to piss off. You telling me to piss off…was better than any pic I could have ever gotten. Sure…friends would have seen me with my idol..but my idol told me to piss off. That is better to me than any pic I could have gotten that night. Thank you Pete! Really…thank you! My wife..I and our 7 year old son who is obsessed with The Who will gladly support you in Queens NY later this month. God bless you and Roger!

  14. Tim says:

    Hi, Pete

    I saw you at Barnes & Noble in NYC’s Union Square when you were signing CD inserts for Classic Quadrophenia. I told you that Quadrophenia is my favorite work of art and asked you if you’d heard Jon Astley’s orchestration of “I Can See For Miles.” You replied that you had heard it, but thought it was orchestrated by Jon’s father Ted. According to the Who’s Serious liner notes, it’s orchestrated by Jon with assistance from Ted. Anyway, I told you it sounded like Grieg to me. At Forest Hills the next day you compared “I Can See For Miles” to Bach, Beethoven and Mozart, so point taken, sir! I adore Grieg, though. Anyway, I didn’t get to say the one thing I most wanted to say to you, so here it is: Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, for bringing back THE WHO. The Who Hits 50 shows have been an absolute joy.

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