The Age on Who presser
brianinatlanta2001 at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 23 10:32:17 UTC 2009
Who legends still a sensation
March 23, 2009 - 3:41PM
With their greying hair and conservative attire, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend look more like a pair of retired accountants than rock gods.
But give them a microphone and The Who legends show they can still pull a crowd.
Gearing up for their performance on Sunday at Melbourne's Grand Prix, Daltrey and Townshend say they aim to "take it up a notch" in a show to rival American rockers KISS, who set the bar at last year's event.
"I don't know anything about KISS," Daltrey fires at the media when asked today how they would outdo the make-up adorned musos.
"With my eyesight, I barely see anything!"
The British rockers last toured Melbourne and Sydney four years ago - and before that their last national tour was 41 years ago in 1967.
"It was a bit of a shock to come back and see what I'd been missing," guitarist Townshend says.
"I had a ball on the trip in '67... I met a girl I nearly married - I had a lovely time."
When asked what happened to his Australian love, Townshend smirks: "I went home."
"And I also had a steady girlfriend in England who I just moved in with," he recalls.
But it was enough of a fling to inspire the song Sensation, which was about "how sensational she was".
"Yes - I deeply, deeply regret not coming back sooner."
The controversial guitarist and songwriter famously took a 14-year hiatus from the band, after deciding in 1982 he needed a break. Their subsequent tours continued, but without drummer Keith Moon, who died in 1978 from an accidental overdose.
With the death of their troubled but fondly remembered band mate, The Who's antics settled somewhat.
"With Keith Moon we had cherry bombs, and occasionally Keith used to get hold of a gun. Anyway, he's no trouble to us now," Townshend slyly remarks.
The newest drummer in the band is Ringo Starr's son Zack Starkey, who was given his first drum kit by his Who predecessor.
Townshend remembers Moon's account of the Beatle's reaction to his son's newfound interest.
"I invited you round for a drink and you convert my son into a f---ing drummer," he laughs.
The Who play at the Grand Prix on Sunday, before dates in Sydney and Perth.
-Brian in Atlanta
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