THE WHO's PETE TOWNSHEND On Fallen Bandmates KEITH MOON And JOHN ENTWISTLE - "Thank God They're Gone... They Were F#@king Difficult To Play With"
November 26, 2019, a year ago
With the two surviving members of The Who - Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey - set to release a new album, entitled WHO, on December 6 via Polydor Records, Rolling Stone has issued an extensive feature in which the pair talk up the new album and discuss their legendary career.
With The Who’s current shows featuring two video screens full of vintage shots of Moon and Entwistle, Rolling Stone asked Townshend if he ever got nostalgic looking up at the pictures of his fallen bandmates. He snorted like an old horse.
“It’s not going to make Who fans very happy, but thank God they’re gone,” says Townshend
Because? “Because they were fucking difficult to play with. They never, ever managed to create bands for themselves. I think my musical discipline, my musical efficiency as a rhythm player, held the band together.”
Townshend took on his bass player first... “John’s bass sound was like a Messiaen organ,” he says, waving his angular limbs. “Every note, every harmonic in the sky. When he passed away and I did the first few shows without him, with Pino [Palladino] on bass, he was playing without all that stuff…. I said, ‘Wow, I have a job.’ ”
Moon was an easier target; he once passed out during a 1970s show in San Francisco, forcing the band to pull a drummer out of the crowd. “With Keith, my job was keeping time, because he didn’t do that,” says Townshend. “So when he passed away, it was like, ‘Oh, I don’t have to keep time anymore.’”
Read the full feature at RollingStone.com.
"I Don't Wanna Get Wise", a song from The Who's upcoming new album, is available for streaming below.
The Who have one of the greatest rock legacies in music history, they’re one of the all-time great live bands, have sold over 100 million records world including nine US and ten UK top ten albums and 14 UK top ten singles in a career spanning six decades.
Now 55 years after they made their first recordings, The Who are back with their first new album in thirteen years, entitled WHO, due for release on December 6 via Polydor Records. Pre-order WHO here.
The eleven-track album was mostly recorded in London and Los Angeles during spring and summer 2019 and was co-produced by Pete Townshend and D. Sardy (who has worked with Noel Gallagher, Oasis, LCD Soundsystem, Gorillaz) with vocal production by Dave Eringa (Manic Street Preachers, Roger Daltrey, Wilko Johnson).
Singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend are joined on the album by long-time Who drummer Zak Starkey and bassist Pino Palladino along with contributions from Simon Townshend, Benmont Tench, Carla Azar, Joey Waronker and Gordon Giltrap.
The artwork for WHO (see below) was unveiled last night in New York at the opening of the brand new eight-storey Pace contemporary art gallery where the band also performed a short acoustic set. The album cover has been created by famed Pop artist, Sir Peter Blake who first met the band in 1964 at a taping of the legendary TV show Ready Steady Go! Sir Peter designed and contributed a painting for the sleeve of The Who’s album Face Dances in 1981.
The songs on WHO cover a myriad of subjects including the Grenfell Tower fire, musical theft, spirituality, reincarnation, the power of memory and ‘an old rock star that has lost his marbles’. Singer Roger Daltrey rates it amongst their strongest “I think we’ve made our best album since Quadrophenia in 1973, Pete hasn’t lost it, he’s still a fabulous songwriter, and he’s still got that cutting edge.”
Pete Townshend: “This album is almost all new songs written last year, with just two exceptions. There is no theme, no concept, no story, just a set of songs that I (and my brother Simon) wrote to give Roger Daltrey some inspiration, challenges and scope for his newly revived singing voice. Roger and I are both old men now, by any measure, so I’ve tried to stay away from romance, but also from nostalgia if I can. I didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. Memories are OK, and some of the songs refer to the explosive state of things today. I made new home studio demos of all these songs in the summer of 2018 using a wide collection of instruments old and new. We started recording as The Who in March 2019, and have finished now in late August just in time to make some vinyl... maybe even some cassettes... ready for release in November.”
"All This Music Must Fade"
"Ball And Chain"
"I Don’t Wanna Get Wise"
"Beads On One String"
"Hero Ground Zero"
"I’ll Be Back"
"Break The News"
"Rockin’ In Rage"
"She Rocked My World"
"I Don’t Wanna Get Wise":
"All This Music Must Fade":
"Ball And Chain":
The Who are to play a 10-date UK and Ireland tour in the spring of 2020. Dates below:
16 - Manchester Arena
18 - Dublin 3 Arena
21 - Newcastle Utilita Arena
23 - Glasgow SSE Hydro Arena
25 - Leeds First Direct Arena
30 - Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
1 - Birmingham Resorts World Arena
3 - Nottingham Motorpoint Arena
6 - Liverpool M&S Bank Arena
8 - London SSE Wembley Arena
Tickets on sale at livenation.co.uk.
(Photo - Rick Guest / NEC Group)