The Brain of The Who Speaks!

Scott Schrade schrade at
Mon Jun 28 17:23:53 CDT 2004

.....and here's a somewhat pissy Pete in a recent interview for that all-Who 
issue of Q Magazine:

How did it feel performing live without John Entwistle for the first time, & 
how long did it take you & Roger to decide to continue without him?

"It was good to perform without John.  It was different, challenging, & quite
stimulating for me as a musician.  But as someone who loved John as an old
friend it was very hard.  I had to push down a lot of emotion.  Roger let me
decide whether to go on with the tour.  It took me all night to decide."

How often do you listen to those old Who albums?  Are there any you never
play, & if so, why? 

"I never listen to any of them.  I listen to my SCOOP albums sometimes.  I
suppose because they are so unfamiliar still."

Could you envisage a complete album of new Who material?

"I am working on it.  The problem I have is calling anything 'Who' material.
I have never really written anything for The Who.  I have just written.  The
'Who' problem is one that occurred after the WHO ARE YOU album.
Around the time I began doing solo work.  Everyone decided that a song
written by me was either a Who song or not.  I'm not sure what the criteria
is.  My brother Simon got me to play guitar on RGLB that went 'Yagadang!'
So that makes it a Who song?"

After the SACD release of TOMMY, which Who album is next on the list?

"Definitely QUADROPHENIA, which was conceived to be four channels."

In hindsight, did you ever think it would have been better for The Who to
take time off after IT'S HARD rather than announce that they were splitting?

"Yes.  But I was recovering from drug addiction & extreme alcoholism.  
None of The Who's business really, but I didn't want any contracts hanging
over me.  In hindsight maybe we should have stopped when Keith died.
Who cares now?  Roger & I are variously 60ish.  When I first saw John Lee
Hooker play at the Flamingo in 1964 I thought he must be dead at 55."

Can you guess which song fans have voted as their favourite Who song of
all time in our reader's poll?  (Clue:  It's "Won't Get Fooled Again.")

"I probably would've guessed.  Wouldn't it have been nice if it was 'Tattoo,'
or 'Odorono,' or 'Little Billy,' or 'Boris the Spider?'"

Have you watched the reissue DVD of TKAA?  If so, is there anything that
struck you now that you hadn't noticed before?

"No.  It's all very clear to me.  I joined the wrong group."

Critics always knock FD & IH.  What are your opinions of these albums 

"I am not crazy about them, either.  But having worked on them you end 
up with a strange view - it's hard to be properly objective.  FD was pres-
sured.  Our producer came from the USA & had limited time with us.
IH was a mistake.  I was fresh out of rehab & went straight into the band
who were already recording without me.  They didn't understand the depth
of my problem."

You've been quoted in the past as saying you could no longer write songs
for Roger Daltrey's voice.  What's changed now?

"Nothing.  I am not trying to write for Roger's voice.  I'm trying to write
for two old fucks from Acton who should be dead, but, thankfully, are not."

When you were arrested last year, did fans get in touch with you to offer
support or criticism?

"Many people wrote positively.  I received very few negative letters, about
six maybe, but none of them bore addresses."

At the risk of sounding flippant, did any of the police officers involved tell
you they were Who fans?

"No.  But they were very kind to me."

You told The Observer that if you had a gun at the time of your arrest you
would have committed suicide...  That's one hell of a statement.  Do you
really think you would've gone through with this?

"Probably not.  I suppose, even without a gun, I could've thrown myself
under a train.  I was trying to get over to the writer how panic stricken I
was prior to my arrest.  After I read the tabloids I thought they or the 
police would frame me.  In the end both camps treated me as one would
expect.  They stuck to the facts.  I was not framed."

If Keith Moon had survived, do you think the original Who would have
carried on making records into the '80s?

"Yes.  Keith was getting better when he died.  He was softening, becoming 
loving & joyous to be with.  His playing was going downhill, but that would
have come back."

You're touring again, & you first did all this nearly 40 years ago.  How
different does it feel now?

"I've always hated it.  But it's worth doing because I'm so fucking good at
it.  I have such great people around me.  They don't seem to mind as long
as I play my guts out."

Could you ever envisage playing a pub gig again?  We're thinking maybe
the Railway in Harrow & Wealdstone could use the extra business.

"It's been demolished, you twats."

How easy is it to agree on a set list with so much to choose from?  Does
Roger ever suggest anything off-the-wall?

I have nothing to do with the set list.  Roger does it.  It probably has more
to do with what is good for him to sing than what the public want.  But
Roger is always trying to squeeze in new songs.  It's just that he picks ones
that are nasty to play, like 'Slip Kid.'"

In the '60s you were lumped in with the so-called mod scene.  Did you
ever find that a hindrance?  

"I was a mod.  That's all there is to it.  I believed in it.  When my life story
is published you will learn why I believe this & you will be very, very sur-

- SCHRADE in Akron

John Kerry For President

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