September 26, 2020

1989-04-25 – Hartford Courant

1989 04 25 Hartford_Courant_Tue__Apr_25__1989_

The Who to reunite,
play Hartford July 4

Associated Press

I The Who includes, from left, Roger balmy. Pete Townshend and John Entwistle.

By ROGER CATLIN
Courant Rock Critic

EW YORK — Seven years

after playing its farewell tour,

members of the Who

announced a major, 25-city

North American tour that will

bring the band to the Hartford
Civic Center July 4.

The announcement was made Monday at a
press conference and live broadcast at
Radio City Music Hall, where the seminal
British rock band will play a benefit
performance of its rock opera “Tommy”

J une 27,

“We did our farewell tour. We said
goodbye,” said band leader Pete Townshend,
43, who has a ponytail and flecks of gray in
his beard. “We’re coming together for a 25th
birthday party.”

Vocalist Roger Daltrey and bassist John
Entwistle, both 44, were also on hand for the
announcement of the series of mostly
stadium shows that will begin June 24 in
Toronto, the city where the band played its
“final” show Dec. 17, 1982 — one that '
Townshend admitted Monday was “a rather
inept performance.”

Each of the three-hour stadium shows will
feature “a good chunk” of “Tommy,” no
opening act and an original Who enhanced
by a new drummer, a second guitarist, a
keyboardist, a horn section, percussionists
and background singers.

Drummer Simon Phillips as well as
several of the other musicians are from
Deep End, a band with which Townshend has
recorded a solo album.

Kenny Jones, who drummed for the group
from 1979 to 1982, got frustrated waiting for

the band to reunite, Townshend said.

There is an inordinate amount of pressure
on the drummer, Townshend said, because
the Who “always begs the presence of Keith
Moon,” the groundbreaking drummer who
died in September 1978.

“When three gather in his name, he is
there,” Townshend said.

Besides the 25th anniversary of the band,
this summer is also the 20th anniversary of
“Tommy,” the ambitious rock Opera that is
more or less responsible for making the
band’s career in the United States.

The group played “Tommy” live in its
entirety only a few times, the last being at
the Metropolitan Opera House June 7, 1970.
In addition to the New York performance,
the band will also play “Tommy” in Los
Angeles at a date and place to be announced.
That performance will feature other
inductees into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame
and may be filmed.

The New York “Tommy” will be
broadcast live by the Westwood One Radio
Network.

The Who first made its mark as a loud
mod band, declaring prematurely in 1965’s
“My Generation” that “hope I die before I

get old.”

It was a pledge that did not go unnoticed
Monday.

“I’m absolutely obsessed with age,”
Townsend said, with just a touch of sarcasm.
“The passing of time is the only important
thing in life. Because if you can stay with it,
you’re in the present. ‘

“To deny it’s happening is a very
American thing. I don’t do it. I get old,” he

See The Who, Page C2