The Who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year the way only a rock band can — with a world tour. Dates will start in the U.K. around Christmas and then come to North America in 2015. Pete Townshend tells Billboard, “I’m not crazy about going on the road, but I’m in good shape and once I start doing it — and I’m still very good at it — I’ll take some pleasure from it.” READ FULL STORY
Tag: The Who (1-10 of 10)
Wednesday night’s 12-12-12 benefit concert for Sandy relief was an unqualified success: Before even a single note was played on stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden, more than $30 million had already been raised for the Robin Hood Foundation through ticket sales, merchandise, and corporate pledges.
As a charity event, 12-12-12 was a slam dunk. As a musical entertainment endeavor, it was more of a mixed bag, full of plenty of glorious, triumphant moments for sure, but also bloated with curious choices and inexplicable performances.
Bruce Springsteen had the honor of kicking the show off, beginning his band’s brief set with “Land of Hope and Dreams.” As Jersey’s greatest ambassador for well over three decades, Springsteen sweated and howled through the opener’s anthemic refrain, only to raise the stakes on “Wrecking Ball,” a defiant anthem of hope from the album of the same name.
“Wrecking Ball” started a running theme of transformation through out the night: Familiar songs became re-packaged and recontextualized, and themes of renewal and rebirth crept up during the finest performances. READ FULL STORY
It’s official: the 12-12-12 concert at Madison Square Garden is the most rockin’ relief effort since Live Aid.
The Rolling Stones announced on Twitter that they’ll be performing at the event on Dec. 12, adding their names to an already-stacked lineup that includes Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, and Roger Waters. And The Who. And Paul McCartney. And Kanye.
U.K. rockers Muse will play the closing ceremony of the London Olympics, the band’s drummer told music magazine NME Wednesday. Muse, who also wrote the song “Survival” in honor of the Olympics, will perform the song at Saturday’s event.
READ FULL STORY
The Who haven’t windmilled their way through North America in four years, but that drought is about to come to an end. The surviving members of the band — guitarist Pete Townshend and singer Roger Daltrey — announced today that they will be embarking on a tour through the continent showcasing their legendary 1973 rock opera Quadrophenia.
Though Tommy has always had a much greater following (and had a genuine hit attached to it in “Pinball Wizard”), it’s only one of a series of rock operas constructed by the Who over the course of their career. Quadrophenia doesn’t have as clean a narrative as Tommy, but it does showcase the band’s legendarily dynamic sound. Set in London in the ’60s, it’s an exploration of mental illness told through the eyes of a British teenager.
The jaunt is set to kick off on Nov. 1 in Sunrise, Fla., and continue into 2013. READ FULL STORY
In the wake of Steve Jobs’ passing, there have been an awful lot of tributes to the genius who gave the world a staggering amount of technological gadgets that we didn’t know we needed until we had them.
But the Who guitarist Pete Townshend won’t be casting vote for Jobs’ sainthood; he recently declared iTunes “a digital vampire” that ultimately hurts musicians.
During a lecture at Britain’s 2011 Radio Festival earlier this week, Townshend threw out fighting words about a whole bevy of music industry-related issues, including iTunes, one of Jobs’ most influential creations. He referred to the music store as a “digital vampire,” gradually bleeding musicians dry by taking a cut of every download sold on the site.
His comments about Jobs seemed especially mixed; while he at one point referred to him as “one of the coolest guys on the planet,” he also admitted that he once “wanted to cut his balls off,” though that was all under the guise of Townshend’s “inner artist,” which made frequent appearances throughout the speech.
The central idea that concerns Townshend is a solid one — fundamentally, that artists should be compensated for their work no matter what the means of distribution are. “Whether the public listen or not, creative writers and musicians should get paid if their work generates money by virtue of its mere existence on radio, television, YouTube, Facebook or SoundCloud,” he explained. “If someone pretends to be me, or pretends that something I have created should be available to them free (because creativity has less value than an hour’s work by me as a musician in a pub) I wonder what has gone wrong with human morality and social justice.” READ FULL STORY
Roger Daltrey of the Who certainly belongs alongside Robert Plant, Mick Jagger, Ozzy Osbourne, and the like on the Rock Frontmen Mt. Rushmore. So when he comes out and says there aren’t any real lead singers out there any more, we have to at least consider the idea.
In a conversation with the Associated Press, Daltrey dismissed the lot of current singers, especially those who show up on network television. “A lot of the new people they choose on shows like American Idol and things like that — I don’t ever hear lead singers,” Daltrey said. “They always seem to choose to pick people that are great singers, fabulous singers, but they’ve never got the voice that makes a great lead singer.”
Daltrey noted that these younger acts lack the distinction possessed by some of his great peers. “You hear 10 seconds of Rod Stewart, you know it’s Rod Stewart,” he explained. “Ten seconds of Mick Jagger, that’s Mick Jagger. Ten seconds of Eddie Vedder, you know that’s Eddie.” He also allowed that Adele is “the real deal.”
There’s a lot to unpack there, so why don’t we take some time out to watch seven minutes of Daltrey screaming in between David Caruso saying pithy things on CSI: Miami. READ FULL STORY
Why did I volunteer to write about the Super Bowl halftime show? Because I was looking forward to making some cheap gags about old age, decrepitude, and people who threaten to leave us before they get old, and yet never do.
Alas, Brett Favre didn’t make it to the Super Bowl. So, let’s talk instead about The Who, the latest in a now fairly long line of veteran rockers entrusted with the task of entertaining an audience of millions without repeating Janet Jackson’s mistake of flashing too much flesh.
Actually, it could be argued Who guitarist Pete Townshend failed on the latter point given he repeatedly exposed his stomach as the band performed a set that included snippets from “Pinball Wizard,” “Baba O’Riley,” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” But mostly it seemed to me that the whole shebang served as a reminder of what a terrific live act they remain, as well as freshly proving there are few things cooler than drum cymbals decorated in a “mod”-stylee.
What about you? Did the British legends talk to all the generations out there? Or was this just The Who by the numbers?
(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)
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A child advocacy group is distributing over a thousand “sex offender registry advisory” postcards to homes in Miami Gardens, Fla. this week to warn them of an allegedly dangerous man who is expected in the neighborhood soon (hat tip to Gawker). Their target: Pete Townshend, lead guitarist for the Who, the halftime band for Super Bowl XLIV at nearby Sun Life Stadium on Feb. 7. This comes a few weeks after similar groups asked the NFL to ban Townshend from performing at the Super Bowl, to no avail.
All this commotion stems from the guitarist’s 2003 arrest for accessing child pornography on the Web. Townshend admitted he had done so, but maintained that he was only conducting research for a memoir about his own history of abuse as a child; London police ultimately declined to file charges. It was an unfortunate episode, to be sure, but the idea that local residents need to worry about Townshend marauding their streets seems a little far-fetched, no?
We’ve reached out to the child advocacy group and the Who for comment. In the meantime, what do you think of this story?
(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)
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