December 11, 2012 |
Pete Townshend was 28 in 1973 when The Who released Quadrophenia , the rock opera about a 1960s teenage Mod named Jimmy, whose fractured self reflected the personalities of all four members of the explosive British band. The windmilling Who guitarist, the most self-consciously analytic of the great baby-boom-era songwriters, had hardly reached the old age that eight years earlier, in "My Generation," he would have hoped he'd die before attaining. But when Townshend wrote Quadrophenia - which he performed Saturday in its entirety along with front man Roger Daltrey and eight other musicians at a sold-out Wells Fargo Center - he was nearly a decade removed from the torturous teenage subject matter he chronicled in the most highly ambitious song cycle of his career.
September 14, 2006 |
It's been 40 years since Pete Townshend wrote "My Generation," unwittingly giving critics barbs with which to mock him decades later. "Hey, didn't you hope you'd die before you got old? So why don't you f-fade away?" The Who haven't. Instead, they have kept coming back, long after promising to leave for good - even though by now half the foursome is in the grave. So when Townshend and Roger Daltrey took the stage of the sold-out Wachovia Center Tuesday night for the first show of their U.S. tour, hanging in the air was the question of whether these two sexagenarians could even come close to mustering the majestic power that marked them as one of the greatest - and loudest - of rock bands.
September 12, 2006 |
The Who have released dribs and drabs of new material since the galvanic British rockers went out with a whimper in the early '80s, most recently two new songs on the compilation Then and Now: 1964-2004. Wire & Glass (Polydor . ), which is now available as an import EP, is a taste of something more substantial. It's a six-song excerpt from a 10-song "mini-opera" that will be included on Endless Wire, due Oct. 31, the first new studio album by The Who since 1982's justly forgotten It's Hard.
September 12, 2006 |
If Betty Townshend hadn't broken her hip, The Who would not have recorded Endless Wire, its first album of new material in 24 years. And Betty's son, Pete, and his sole surviving original bandmate, Roger Daltrey, wouldn't be leading The Who - or "The Two," as fans have cheekily dubbed them - into the Wachovia Center tonight for the first date of their North American tour. Of course, just by giving birth to the now 61-year-old Pete, Betty Townshend can be credited as the source of one of the most brilliant resumes in popular music.
July 29, 2002 |
The Who wore black at the Tweeter Center on Saturday, and their humor matched their attire. "John Entwistle, wherever you are, get well soon," Pete Townshend said during a galvanic performance before a sold-out crowd, to the bassist who died last month at 57 of a cocaine-triggered heart attack just as the band was about to head out on tour. Townshend acknowledged that Entwistle's last-minute replacement, Pino Palladino, had "saved our bacon. " And he introduced drummer Zak Starkey as the replacement for "another Who corpse," Keith Moon, who died in 1978.
July 10, 2002 |
IN CANNES this year to serve as a film fest juror, Sharon Stone bemoaned the fact that she couldn't get any good film roles. Well, the squeaky wheel has once again gotten the grease. After a two-year absence from the big screen, Stone is set to star in two indie features. "A Different Loyalty" is the story of British spy/traitor Kim Philby, who sold secrets to the Russkies for three decades. Rupert Everett will play Philby. Stone will play his third wife. The film starts shooting in Prague this fall.
February 20, 2000 |
At some point in the 21st century, rock will undoubtedly go the way of the dinosaurs, and archaeologists will be able to learn about the species only from the fossilized droppings left behind. The lucky ones will find The Who's BBC Sessions (MCA . . ), a 26-track collection of previously unreleased Radio One performances that contains the Jurassic artifacts of a vanished rock-and-roll animal: Pete Townshend's windmilling power chords and peerless rhythm playing, Keith Moon's falling-down-a-flight-of-stairs drum fills, John Entwistle's boombastic bass salvos, and Roger Daltrey's singing like there's a riot goin' on. A worthy bookend to the band's Live at Leeds, BBC Sessions, which came out Tuesday, is flush with sterling live takes of classic Who material, rare covers, and interesting odds and sods.
November 19, 1996 |
On one side of the CoreStates Center stage stood Who guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend. Looking haggard and dour, he sang the refrain "Why should I care?" as if he really needed a good reason and was counting the minutes until his chore of a performance was over. A few feet away, his longtime sidekick Roger Daltrey stood stock-still, consumed by his mission. His eyes fixed on a faraway point, Daltrey sang the life story of a troubled boy named Jimmy as though the tale offered urgent insights.
November 15, 1996 |
The Who bring Pete Town-shend's Quadrophenia to the CoreStates Center on Sunday, performing the brilliant but often-overlooked rock opera in its entirety in what is likely a test run for Broadway. Before debuting it in London's Hyde Park in June, the English classic rockers had never done the complete 1973 album live. Since then, though, they have brought it to New York's Madison Square Garden for five shows, followed by a U.S. tour that was expected to be one of the fall's hot tickets but has struggled to sell out arenas.
July 10, 1989 |
After 10 weeks of British rehearsals, then 10 North American dates, the Who was surely primed and ready to rock Philadelphia last night. So too was the crowd of 55,000 fanatics that packed Veterans Stadium for the first of two sold-out Who dates here (the second is tonight). The showgoers were howling and waving banners a good half-hour before the rock legends hit the stage at 8 p.m., and they didn't budge till 11:40 p.m., as the last notes of "Summertime Blues" were ringing in their ears.