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The Who’s Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend have an incredibly busy 2019 lined up for themselves with a unique North American tour involving local symphonies on tap, as well as new music.

The two gave an interview to Rolling Stone where they detailed their plans. This new 31-date Who tour will find the band teaming up with the symphonies in each stop’s city to perform Who classics.  Daltrey said of the partnership, “I’ll be 75 years old in March and this feels like a dignified way to go and do music. That’s all we’re really left with. We’re old men now. We’ve lost the looks. We’ve lost the glamour. What we’re left with is the music and we’re going to present it in a way which is as fresh and powerful as ever.”

While exact tour dates have yet to be announced, Townshend said the first leg of shows will begin in April at Madison Square Garden and make its way through Chicago and Detroit, while the second leg will take place in September and October with stops in Canada and the western part of the United States.  

As for the new music, that was a condition Townshend told his management had to happen if he and Daltrey were to tour.

Townshend said, “I said I was not going to sign any contracts unless we have new material.  This has nothing to do with wanting a hit album. It has nothing to do with the fact that the Who need a new album. It’s purely personal. It’s about my pride, my sense of self-worth and self-dignity as a writer.”

There might be an issue with the new music, however; it seems as though Daltrey doesn’t care for it.  When Townshend sent him some demos to listen to, Daltrey never responded with feedback.

“I had to bully him to respond and then it wasn’t the response I wanted,” said Townshend. “He just blathered for a while and in the end I really stamped my foot and said, ‘Roger, I don’t care if you really like this stuff. You have to sing it. You’ll like it in 10 years time.’”

So what do the new tunes sound like?  Townshend said his demos include “dark ballads, heavy rock stuff, experimental electronica, sampled stuff and cliched Who-ish tunes that began with a guitar that goes yanga-dang.”

Well, like many things with The Who, we can always count on them for one thing:  They’re never boring.


Erica Banas is rock/classic rock news blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.

Erica Banas is rock/classic rock news blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.