The Who’s Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend are taking Quadrophenia and other Who classics on the road for a US tour this autumn, but first plan what Daltrey calls a great finale for the Olympic Games in London.
“We have recorded a piece of music that is a fabulous ending for the Olympics ... and just shows the great music that has come out of this country. This country has put some fabulous music out into the world,” Daltrey said Wednesday as he sat next to Townshend. Both are British.
The Who’s Olympic performance will be a tune-up of sorts for their American tour, which kicks off on November 1 in Sunrise, Florida, and will end in Providence, Rhode Island, on February 26.
The last time they toured the US was in 2008.
During a wide-ranging video conference, during which they took questions that were sent in ahead of time, the surviving members of the legendary band were asked if they were planning to use holograms, such as Dr Dre did to lifelike effect with the image of Tupac Shakur at Coachella in April, for the late members Keith Moon and John Entwistle.
“I thought about it, but everybody is doing it now,” Daltrey said. “I don’t know whether we need it. And it’s only a gimmick. We were very good on gimmicks in the 1970s, but I think we can leave it alone now.”
He also said the band did not plan to have guest singers as they did on their previous tour.
The double album Quadrophenia, released in 1973, was The Who’s second acclaimed rock opera (Tommy being the first). Written by Townshend, Daltrey called it “Pete’s pinnacle”.
The band will play the album in its entirety. A documentary about the making of the album, The Who: Quadrophenia - Can You See the Real Me? will be shown on July 24 in theatres across the country.
The London Olympics start July 27 and will run until August 12.
Their Olympic gig will put them on an even bigger stage than their half-time performance at the Super Bowl in 2010. Daltrey said the closing performance “is not about The Who being on a TV show, it’s about making great music that is apropos to the end of that event. ... I’m extremely proud of it.”
Townshend also said he is working on new music. However, he added: “I don’t know whether you can rubber-stamp it as The Who music.”