September 24, 2020

1989-04-30 – Detroit Free Press

1989 04 30 Detroit_Free_Press_Sun__Apr_30__1989_ 2

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What s with Who? Original members plan a 25-city tour to recast band 8 image

See WHO, Page 1C

tees that this summers outing Will
produce a lasting reunion. Townshend,
in fact. will release his latest solo
album, “The Iron Man," just as the
tour gets under way.

'I‘ownshend is quick to explain the
reasons for this tour, however. There’s
the Who’s 25th anniversary as a re-
L‘ording act, “Tommy's" 20th birthday
rind a worthy cause. the Nordoff—Rob—
bins Music Therapy foundation for
'ttlilSth children. And he acknowledges
that there's money to be made for
himself and his bandmates.

But there's something else for
ll vwnshend. the Who's spiritual center
ind the member most concemed with
the band's image and legacy.

“The most important thing, really.
~ that we're looking for a new way of
~,pressiiig ourselves as the Who," he
.:_'s. “We've med to figure out why it

Nfis that we ended up only being :
'emembc red and only being valued for 3

me type of stage performance when in

not our resources and influences were ‘

w broad.
"Where did the humor go. for ex’

:mple: is it because when Keith Moon
lied he took :t all nth him? Where did 3
lie genuine iron) go in our writing and 1

r‘. performance Wh} :s it that the
glitness :t «mp h'Ke Behind Blue
‘ z'rs 11w turntc :z‘to .. pure bed-
In?

"We'w- kind at: (ilst‘tfl't‘l’t‘d the fact
itat possibly we Vzust ended up as an
mltatloi‘; [if the grosses! of our aspeCtS,
“ctther than 2::

whole selves. "

To that end. the Who's summer

~i‘:1:ws will be three-hour affairs, with :

'ntc-miissmn. that touch on an aspects
' he group a tareer as “P“ as Town-
hend a salt work A brass section
.. K- :1: '~. :hsts and a second gunar
,,:ii'e: Will help flesh tint the arrange-
.e::t.~ .lZ‘i'! achieve the subtleties the

M»: :xmw mlri create in its four-

piece configuration.

“What we ’re doing at the moment
is focused on what it was and how to
celebrate it.” says Townshend. adding
that Moon's replacement, Kenney
Jones. won't be on the tour because he
“stopped waiting for the Who” and
formed a new band with British singer
Paul Rogers last year.

The idea of the our cropped up
about two years ago as Townshend,
who edits for the London publishing
firm of Faber & Faber, listened to his
colleagues plan special editions for
various authors' birthdays A phone
call to Entwistle began the process of l
planning something — a record a
performance — to commemorate the E
event. 1‘

Eventually, Daltrey and manager I
Bill Curbishley proposed performing

“Tommy” as a chanty benefit. That l
piqued Townshend 5 interest. 5

:i representation of our 7

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“Then what really hit me was the
economic significance of it " he says.
“Ifwe didashowof‘Tommy'..."
would probably get quite expensive. If
we were going to do it for charity, how
would we make sure that the charity
would earn any money? The way
we would pay for it would be to tour.
That's what I resisted for a long time. "

Eventually, however he agreed to a
full-scale tour with one major condi-
tion. Townshend suffered severe and
permanent hearing damage during the
Who's heyday. and he's directed the

tmn'ssoundomnpanytodevisea

methodofonstage amplifimtion that
wouldnotcausehimanymorehann.

All indications are that the tour will
become a headline-grabbing event in a
summer that also will host reunion
tours by such Who contemporaries as
the Rolling Stones, the Jefferson Air-
plane, the Doobie Brothers and ex-
members of Yes. The Los Angeles
“Tommy” show —— which will feature
guest stars, including Elton John —
probably will be filmed for a home
video, and MCA Records is contem-

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plating a seven-record Who retrospec-
tive, but the band members offer no
promises of future Who activities.
“What's so nice about now is that
none of it matters," Daltrey says. “All
that matters now is that we have a

greatparty partyon this tour, play some

great music, show people that we ’re
still here, still alive and as individual as

ever. If anything else happens, we'll
see. but right now, this (the tour) is all

that matters."

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