“I was being sarcastic”: Pete Townshend says a farewell tour with The Who is unlikely

Townshend recently floated the idea that the band would “play every territory in the world and then crawl off to die”.

Pete Townshend of The Who

Pete Townshend of The Who performs with The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra at Royal Sandringham Estate on August 28, 2023 in Sandringham, Norfolk. (Photo by Katja Ogrin/Redferns)

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Pete Townshend has shot down any suggestion of there being a farewell tour from The Who, saying he was “being sarcastic” when he first raised hopes about the idea.

A few weeks ago, Townshend told the New York Times he hoped to work on music and wrap up his time with The Who with one last world tour.

“It feels to me like there’s a final tour where we play every territory in the world and then crawl off to die,” he said. “I don’t get much of a buzz from performing with The Who. If I’m really honest, I’ve been touring for the money. My idea of an ordinary lifestyle is pretty elevated.”

However, according to a new interview on the Sound Up! Podcast, Townshend seems to dash hopes of a final tour. “I’m not doing a farewell tour,” he says. “I think I was being sarcastic about it.”

Pete Townshend
Pete Townshend. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/WireImage)

This comes after Townshend’s bandmate Roger Daltrey said he was “happy saying that part of my life is over”, but maintained that it would be Townshend who would have the final say over the future of the band.

“I don’t write the songs – I never did,” he told The Times. “[Pete and I] need to sit down and have a meeting, but at the moment I’m happy saying that part of my life is over.”

Meanwhile speaking to Record Collector last year, Townshend hinted that the future was unclear; “I think it’s time for Roger and I to go to lunch and have a chat about what happens next,” he said. “Sandringham shouldn’t feel like the end of anything, but it feels like the end of an era.

“It’s a question of, really, what is feasible, what would be lucrative, what would be fun?” Townshend added. “So, I wrote to Roger and said, come on, let’s have a chat and see what’s there.”

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