September 23, 2020

2001-01-02 – Tampa Bay Times

2001 01 02 Tampa_Bay_Times_Tue__Jan_2__2001_ 2

Townshend mm m

tem. and the daily lifestyle that supports it.
echoes my own needful situation.

It is worth then quoting some relevant SCC-
tjons from Cyril Connolly's book entitled
Enemies ofPromise. . . .

On playing songs with the Who that were all
written 20 or 30 years ago he says this:

"Ihe best work explodes with a delayed
impact. There is EM. Forster, who has only
produced two books since the war. yet he is
alive because his other books which are from
twenty to thirty years old, are gaining ground
amongr intelligent readers."

The Who's early work complies with this and
eonfimis it. But in my own life I have eontinued
to write. with less statistical success.

C omniercial success must never be the pn'nei—
ple measure of an artist's worth. . . .

()f the publicity machine C onnolly says this:
"Ihe public can be fooled deliberately by
advertising and publicity or it can be fooled by

accident by the writer fooling himself."

Not again. Never again.

Of the mtique of the wise or powerful. or the
opinions of his audience C onnolly advises the
writer thus:

“The artist should keep himself tree from all
creed. from all dogma. front all opinion. As he
accepts the opinions of others he loses his tal-
enL all his feelings and ideas must be his ovm."

I've fought hard to work with journalists. but
increasingly as one grows older one becomes
less careful about whether one I them off
or not. I stick to my own ideas today, totally. . . .

Many journalists reviewing these current
shows seem suspicious of my motives in the
past I, in turn. am suspicious of their suspicion.
If I say. quite simply — and without any under-
hand reason that I can see —— that I stopped
touringr with the Who in 1982 because our stu-
(lio work was going downhill; that dark patches
of rock related deaths around me had sullied
me; that my ears were ringing (lay and night:
that I neulul to review my entire life — why
not believe me? Why not believe me when I
state the facts. And these are the It‘AtVlH not a
skeptical journalist's readingr of a history eon-
jured like a (lead rabbit from the wn'nkletl top
hat of a newspaper’s own archive of by-lines.
Between 1982 when I left the Who (with
Roger's uneasy blessing) and last yetug there
have been two reunions. Count them. 'I‘wo.
'lhat is. one every nine years. Hardly a Q'nieal
exercise in comebacks whenever We needed to
make money. In 1989 we were quite .s‘ineerely
celebrating our 25 years in rock ’u' roll. ln I997
(with Quadrophenia) we were exploring ways to
reapproaeh touring as older. wiser wobblier

There is no question that in 1989 we made a
lot of money. But in 1997 we did not. In neither
case was money the object. 'Ihe money we
made was useful. especially to those of us who
could not sell Who songs to Nissan. but it was
not the reason we confronted our Uitl audience
We did so at those times because we telt com-
pelled to do so. I was always torn about this. ()n
the one hand compelled, by love and gratitude.
()n the other eonstrainmi by artistie vanity and

'Ihe t'VIllt‘lSIIl ~ All. t II“ II — is on the part
ot‘jourualis‘ts. not niyselt‘or the Who We have
not made eotiiebaek alter eouiehaek in order to
make money. We have in truth made no eouie
haeks‘ at all ’lhink about it We never realh‘
eame btiek.

Despite the “Ito‘s ix-rennial ‘ttt‘t't'ss‘ none til
us are rieh like the Stones. the Beatles, Sting.
lh‘uee. I": We missed the hit: lllll. We really

(lid. Money has sitiiply never been an iueeutne
in my life. When I said I Wt )lliti never Work
again with the Who I meant it. At the time I
eoultl see no way it would be possible \llilt'lll
making myselttleat lhtmlx tioil tor the tlelieht
lttilV smoothing etteet ot IIlltitllt' age. .tllti t he:
ishetl tiientlships ot the kiml w in the Win
iliin always had tilestnite the mess It‘Iit'JiiilL' tut
nausuun that We Wt'lt‘ ithmi's at «m h :tlilt'l s
tltrogitst We il.|‘t‘ been til'aIWIl lt'L‘t thei through
.ihie‘hei‘ low- t‘hantt 7 anti nnehrealtstht
hotul when hiatus ot it. but no iuuttei was
what brought this pui'tieulai iinutt‘tiatimt ot the
Who together Wt kept it simple .llltl eheae tutti
streamlined tor l.uj'‘tllt .lllti lx‘ohui lluoti
lhezi H‘ n aliseil it Wil out too loud. Ilwi reulh
imam Iltillix not loud eneueht .lilti m eoulil
tillt'l'ti tn liti Itlt ut'e shims him this

I‘m wt murst Litrh hiiiii'x m not (t‘llllltj
good i‘et'ieus Hut m u sniut et thus that
I‘tl'zlht' us to ilt .tt'll rexuil .i ‘wl: titleute :iuahts

.i desire to ,seolil. suu-t' iust .i little W'ilt'ti
they speak ot the tare tillti lllt‘t'ti'h eelwht'utoix
reunions ot 1939 AIM I‘M," lit sin h tlisiuii'ag‘iue
tones leanuot revisi histei‘x espetialh net tho

Times photo -— THOMAS M GOETHE

Pete Townshend, playing in Tampa in September. says of the 1997 Ouadrophen/a
tour, "We were exploring ways to reapproach touring as older, wiser, wobblier men,"

I't‘t‘tll‘tit‘ti internal history of the dumb press
who go haek and back to their ovm titlieulous
m't't‘lllh‘tl (lllti overexalted files for their mm
titheulous «ageei'atir ttts .uul reexageetuitious
.lIlti exert then again remirmtatetl exaegem
tious .‘ti‘t rut huw mam times the Who him
mute melt and ho“ Ili;U1'«ll‘t‘lIt‘lY;l lm-
tit‘t‘ttlillldlllt'ti 11st Hit this latter -~t‘elies::';il
yumt I think the)‘ haw eoutusmi lx’oe'ei g .i:%«’
1m tlit-\~t)I-iirt‘lViilt'\-iltE ""11”“ ‘. liILI' .1
mm- teelittiealit" It l with tor om; mug
iii‘i‘k/t tines Iltttt (list‘t‘ifltlit 1m elliit‘ts us .1 st 1‘.
nus notelist“

l'iiittlh. lilt'lt' is the ultimate slut lheic is
the uitereiit'e that anyone whe titN“ ‘\'il.'ti w
ihtVt‘ tletit in th« inst uheii w m It euiie
.lliti hmu is lit seine mu t. he "ithli usteii if
m shoultl Vls‘i. to Hi I mu 1: iiieiic iron: our
popular .u‘t I o tlltlt'llll‘i this .ispersiv ill mthi tut
hesitation, l illiti .t nghr 7-» emh iilt slam iiitlli
Ii tight to lean it I haw .i melt} it' remit! to it
It is the .iutlieuee who eitiiit on th. stage ot
Journalists or enties. It I .1111 lIIWlt‘ti to th. stage
I hare .i titflll to tieeliut to take it I tun i Ililiit‘ti
it! watt until the lllllt is lttIill. l’ntil I am ready