Can you see the real Who? Can you? At an online “virtual press conference” on Wednesday, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend announced plans for a North American arena tour of the band’s epic 1973 rock opera Quadrophenia. The tour commences on Nov. 1, in Sunrise, Fla., with Canadian dates to include Montreal (Nov. 20), Ottawa (Nov. 21), Toronto (Nov. 23) and Hamilton (Feb. 19, 2013).
“We’re anxious to work together before we drop dead,” said Townshend, 67, when asked why the twosome decided to hit the road. Added 68-year-old Daltrey, the other remaining founding member of the iconic maximum R&Bers: “I don’t know how many more years I can sing this type of music.” The tour announcement arrives ahead of next week’s one-night showing of a making-of-the-album documentary, The Who: Quadrophenia – Can You See The Real Me?, which is set for theatre screenings on July 24 in the United States, and Aug. 1, in Canada. For details: FathomEvents.com (U.S.) and cineplex.com/events (Canada).
The Who, who performed Quadrophenia in its entirety for charity at the Royal Albert Hall in 2010, last toured the piece in 1996 and 1997. That tour featured guest singers; the upcoming shows will not, according to Daltrey, who is charge of the show’s presentation. Asked about an expansive production similar to Roger Waters’ giant concert presentations of The Wall, the songwriting Townshend said that he would consider it, but that Daltrey would not. As for holograms of deceased bandmates Keith Moon and John Entwistle, the curly-locked Daltrey admitted he had thought about, but that it was a “gimmick,” that it was expensive, and that “everybody’s doing it.”
The press conference’s most riotous moments came when Townshend was asked about his forthcoming memoir, and specifically if the book would cause a rift similar to the one caused when Keith Richards’ autobiography infamously brought the derogatory term “tiny todger” into semi-popular lexicon. “What I remember of the size of Mick Jagger’s penis,” said the guitarist, “I remember it as being huge and extremely tasty.”
Moving on, the pair spoke of the Who’s involvement in the upcoming Olympic Games in London. Daltrey said the band had recorded a sort of medley, involving the “great music” that has come out of Great Britain. The taped piece is to be presented as the Olympics’ lip-synched grand finale.
For the North American Quadrophenia tour, the Who, as they were on the 2008-09 greatest hits tour, will be rounded out with Zak Starkey (drums), Pino Palladino (bass), Simon Townshend (guitar/backing vocals) and Chris Stainton (keyboards). Tour details can be found at thewho.com/tour.