Pete Townshend Says Touring Is ‘No Fun’
Pete Townshend described touring as a “crock way to earn a living,” even though the Who are planning to hit the road again next year.
He recently completed a run of dates that saw the band performing with an orchestra, and now he’s looking forward to having no live commitments until March 2020.
“I’ve been away now for 65 days,” Townshend told Rolling Stone in a new interview. “I’m coming up to 75 years old. This is a crock way to earn a living. I might as well go live on an oil rig. It’s no fun.”
Outlining their plans for next year, which include U.K. dates in the spring followed by some U.S. dates, Townshend said the Who "were hoping to tour in Europe in June. That’s not going to be possible for various reasons, mainly for Roger [Dalttrey]’s need for vocal rest. So we’re probably going to push that back to September.”
In a separate interview with the Irish Times, Townshend discussed his motivation behind continuing to tour. “I still perform partly because of my ongoing, developing and increasingly affectionate relationship with Roger," he noted. "It's been a surprise and a delight to us both that we found this because we didn't expect it. We are really comfortable with each other. He says, 'You've got your guitar and your pen, I've got my voice'. We meet in the middle and it just happens to be performing.”
Asked about the possibility of retiring, Townshend said he wondered "why this is such an issue. There are so many other things that are happening. We are serving our aging fan base, but we are also playing to kids who aren't over the age of 14, and they scream at me throughout the whole concert. It's the music, the history, the legend.”
The guitarist also responded to a fan query on Instagram who asked about the possibility of a California appearance in the coming months. “No," Townshend said. "But Vegas in April.”