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Pete Townshend Suggests the Who Only Have One More 'Farewell Tour' in Them

'It feels to me like there’s a final tour where we play every territory in the world and then crawl off to die,' the guitarist told NME.

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Pete Townshend admits he's been touring with the Who 'for the money' in a recent interview.

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On December 17, 1982, Pete Townshend stood on the stage of Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario, and said, “This is it.” By “it,” he meant “the very last show the Who will ever perform.”

It wasn’t, of course. Not by a long shot. But the actual last Who show may well be forthcoming...and for real, this time.

No, seriously.

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Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend have each pondered the likelihood of one last Who tour in recent weeks.

In an interview with the New York Times, Townshend was asked if he wanted to create new music, to which he responded in the affirmative.

“I do, and I think I will,” said the guitarist. “It feels to me like there’s a final tour where we play every territory in the world and then crawl off to die. I don’t get much of a buzz from performing with the Who. If I’m really honest, I’ve been touring for the money. My idea of an ordinary lifestyle is pretty elevated. I’ve been immensely creative and productive throughout that period, but I haven’t felt the need to put [new music] out. And if I can make it personal, I don’t care whether you like it or not.”

The question about new music from Townshend is a fair one: since the aforementioned “last show” by the band in 1982, the Who has only released two new studio albums. The first, Endless Wire, came out in 2006, and was notable for being the band’s first new LP since the death of longtime bassist John Entwistle, while the second, 2019’s self-titled release, was better received both critically and commercially than its predecessor.

Of course, the idea of new music from Townshend could well prove to be a new solo album, although it’s been decidedly longer since he’s released one of those: his most recent endeavor under his own name was 1993’s Psychoderelict.

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As far as this purported "final tour" that Townshend suggests, he also made a point of underlining that the current incarnation of the band, i.e. himself and frontman Roger Daltrey and the other musicians who join them on the road, isn't exactly the definitive lineup. “The Who isn’t [Roger] Daltrey and Townshend onstage at 80, pretending to be young," he told the New York Times. "It’s the four of us in 1964, when we were 18 or 19. If you want to see the Who myth, wait for the avatar show. It would be good!”

Whether or not the Who gets back on the road isn't strictly up to Townshend, of course, and Daltrey hasn't exactly left fans feeling optimistic about the fact that there'll even be another tour. In an interview with The Times, he said he was "happy" that "that part of my life is over," although he did concede that the official decision about such matters was one that would have to be made during a proper sit-down between himself and Townshend.

In other words, it's all down to waiting and seeing what the Two - sorry, that should read the Who - decide to do.

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