TJLY99 at aol.com TJLY99 at aol.com
Mon May 19 13:47:23 CDT 2008


Happy Birthday to Pete Townshend, who turns 63 today (May 19th). Townshend, 
who is the primary creative force behind the Who, wrote nearly all of the 
band's music and has been responsible for crafting the stories and themes behind 
such rock classics as Tommy, Who's Next, and Quadrophenia. 

After a 24-year-wait, Townshend wrote and produced the Who's 2006 comeback 
album Endless Wire. Despite the album hitting Number Seven in the U.S. charts, 
Townshend has stated that he felt the album fell short of his commercial 
expectations, and complained that none of the songs garnered the level of airplay he 
had come to expect with previous Who projects. 

Last month, Townshend posted a long message on the Who's official website 
(thewho.com) and explained that he was pulling out of planned upcoming recording 
sessions for an R&B covers album and a series of fall dates. Townshend wrote 
in part saying that he felt clueless as to where he should lead the band 
artistically, writing, "I don't know if I can come up with some idea, some story, 
some angle, that will make me feel good about being the writer for the Who. Most 
important of all I don't know if I write something whether I should try to 
force the Who to carry it. With (the novella) The Boy Who Heard Music squashed 
into what became 'Wire & Glass' on Endless Wire I was happy with what we did, 
but sad to lose drive on the bigger story, the bigger idea." 

Townshend went on to write: "I really do have to be strong enough to admit 
that today I really do not have a clue what to do next. Something will come. It 
always does." 
Last month Townshend and Roger Daltrey performed for the first time as a duo 
at London's Royal Albert Hall. The show was a benefit for Britain's Teenage 
Cancer Trust. Townshend and Daltrey -- who were billed as the Who -- played 
acoustically for over a half an hour and performed several cuts from Endless Wire 
including "Mike Post Theme," "Tea And Theatre" and the group's premiere of 
"2000 Years," with help from Townshend's younger brother and Who touring 
guitarist Simon Townshend. Townshend and Daltrey also treated the crowd to such Who 
classics as "Let's See Action," "Behind Blue Eyes," and "Won't Get Fooled 
Townshend was asked why he needs grand concepts such as Tommy, Quadrophenia, 
and the recent Wire And Glass mini-opera, behind most of his work: "I just 
write. I'm just a songwriter, you know that's what I do. Which is why it's very 
important for me to have some kind of concept to hold me down, some kind of 
concept to give my work shape, focus, and direction. Because I don't feel that 
the Who ever had a clear brief (on what to write for them), ever, ever, ever, 
Townshend says that he makes no apologies for veering away from rock music to 
dabble in theater, films and novels: "You know, some of those people that 
still to this day regard me as being pretentious because I aspire to live my life 
as an artist rather than a 'cash is king' rock and roll performer. If that's 
pretentious, so be it." 
The Who's only other scheduled appearance of the year is set for July 12th in 
Los Angeles when the band receives the only award at the 2008 VH1 Rock 
Honors. The show will be broadcast on VH1 on July 17th.

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