Pete Townshend 2/6/19

It’s great to have Pete Townshend back! After a year laying low, Townshend is posting frequent updates on and chronicling the current round of sessions for the Who‘s upcoming untitled album currently being recorded at London’s British Grove Studios.

Townshend shared photos of some of the gear being used during the sessions, and wrote: “They say now that most people only listen to the first two to five seconds of a track online before they move on. It has to connect very quickly. So one way to connect is to use an old sample of something everyone already knows. So every one of the tracks on the next album starts with the guitar from ‘Pinball Wizard.’ Seriously, trying to make a record that sounds the way a Who album should, and yet be sharp enough to catch the attention of someone surfing through a bunch of songs online, is a challenge. While this is happening, everything is changing.”

He went on to write: “Apparently young people are starting to listen to radio again, and music podcasts as well. I think it might be because the algorithms online think they know what we like, so if we want to hear different stuff by accident we have to avoid the algorithms. So what we need to do today may not be what we need to do in a year’s time. I always knew music streaming was coming, even back in the ‘80s I could see it was inevitable one day. What I didn’t know was that different styles of music would be listened to in entirely different ways, and in different contexts.”

During a chat on the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast, Pete Townshend shed some light on how the music for the new Who album has its foundation in his own studio-quality recordings: [“They’re very, very good demos. Y’know, I’ve got five recording studios and I use them all the time, so, they’re very high quality. All Roger really has to do is sing; we’ll have to tweak a few things. Zak (Starkey’s) going to help me with the percussion, my brother Simon (Townshend) will help with shaping and arranging. And then we may hand everything over — when Roger’s done his vocals and I’ve done my vocals, if that’s what I’m gonna do on any of the songs — to a remix engineer.”] SOUNDCUE (:23 OC: . . . a remix engineer)

  • The Who tour dates (subject to change):
    May 7 – Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena
    May 9 – Buffalo, NY – KeyBank Center
    May 11 – Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live
    May 13 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
    May 16 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
    May 18 – Noblesville, IN – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
    May 21 – Chicago, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
    May 23 – Maryland Heights, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre St. Louis
    May 25 – Philadelphia, PA – Citizens Bank Park
    May 28 – Detroit, MI – Little Caesars Arena
    May 30 – Pittsburgh, PA – PPG Paints Arena
    June 1 – Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena
    September 6 – St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center
    September 8 – East Troy, WI – Alpine Valley Music Theatre
    September 10 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH – Blossom Music Center
    September 13 – Boston, MA – Fenway Park
    September 15 – Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
    September 18 – Atlanta, GA – State Farm Arena
    September 20 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – BB&T Center
    September 22 – Tampa, FL – Amalie Arena
    September 25 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center
    September 27 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
    September 29 – Denver, CO – Pepsi Center
    October 11, 12 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl
    October 13 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl
    October 16 – San Diego, CA – Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl San Diego State University
    October 19 – Seattle, WA – T-Mobile Park / Home of the Seattle Mariners
    October 21 – Vancouver, BC – Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
    October 23 – Edmonton, AB – Rogers Place


  • With so much footage and discussions about how artists record these days, has it detracted from how you enjoy the music?
  • For instance, Pete Townshend has been quite open regarding how 2006’s Endless Wire and the Who’s upcoming album is being built upon his self-produced demos with musicians adding overdubs — and Roger Daltrey entering the studio later on without Townshend to finish it off.
  • Despite the fact that Daltrey has always recorded vocals this way — does knowing that the band aren’t tracking take after take for each song and rubbing shoulders in the studio lessen the music’s impact?