Pete Townshend reviving Quadrophenia writing process for new demos

The Who guitarist has been assembling an all-tape home studio while in lockdown.

Pete Townshend has shared an update on his songwriting activities while in lockdown, revealing that he’s been busy assembling an all-tape home studio for recording new demos.

On Instagram, the Who guitarist shared, “In lockdown I’ve been writing. But also finishing off a small but powerful old style new home studio at the very top of the house. All my first studios in the ‘60s were on top floors. This studio has taken me a very long time to complete and I’m still waiting to bring up the central 24 track tape machine.”

Earlier this year, Townshend made it known that he had been working on material for the follow-up to 2019’s Who while in lockdown. Now, he’s opened up on his plans to revive the demo-making workflow that he employed for The Who’s iconic 1973 double album.

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“Why tape? Not for the sound,” Townshend explained. “Rather for the process of recording demos in layers. I want to emulate the work I did on the demos of Quadrophenia. A lot of that work would have been much easier with a computer, but maybe less loose and edgy.”

Quadrophenia was the only Who record written entirely by Townshend and was the group’s second rock opera, set in London and Brighton in 1965 and immersed in the mod culture of the time. Townshend’s Instagram post also noted that his new tape studio would utilise “the same kind of equipment” used to record Quadrophenia.

The full post can be seen below.

View this post on Instagram

In lockdown I’ve been writing. But also finishing off a small but powerful old style new home studio at the very top of the house. All my first studios in the ‘60s were on top floors. This studio has taken me a very long time to complete and I’m still waiting to bring up the central 24 track tape machine. Why tape? Not for the sound. Rather for the process of recording demos in layers. I want to emulate the work I did on the demos of Quadrophenia. A lot of that work would have been much easier with a computer, but maybe less loose and edgy. Using the same kind of equipment I used to write Q. Needless to say carrying all this gear up 100 stairs has kept me fit. Do any of you modern studio producers still work with tape? EVER!!? . . . . . . #oldschoolrecording #multitracktaperecording #studiointheattic #quadrophenia #arp2600 #emsvcs3 #lowreyberkshire #gibsonj200 #gibsonsg

A post shared by pete townshend (@yaggerdang) on

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