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Pete Townshend Thinks the Who Are Finished (For Good This Time)

Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images

Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey have been clear about the Who‘s 50th anniversary dates marking the end of the band’s large-scale touring, but in a new interview with MOJO, Townshend goes a step further, suggesting he’s ready to close the book on the group completely.

“I think I will stop after this year,” mused Townshend, although he’s quick to point out that he’d still like to “do odd things” with Daltrey when the mood strikes. “I hope that one day I can write him an album of songs that suit him and the record company won’t demand that we call it the f—ing Who, but I’ve got a bad feeling about it,” he admitted. “I think that if I wrote Roger a bunch of good songs, our manager would say, ‘Why not call it The Who? We’ll sell double as many records!'”

Townshend also stresses that putting the Who to rest doesn’t mean his occasionally tempestuous relationship with Daltrey is in a bad place — in fact, he says they’ve reached an “acceptance of each other’s eccentricities and differences” that has cemented “a really genuine and compassionate relationship, which can only be described as love.”

So while he and Daltrey may indeed “go our separate ways” after the close of the tour, it doesn’t necessarily mean this will be the last time we hear from the longtime partners. Townshend’s comments would seem to contradict Daltrey’s recent words regarding a new Who LP, but they mainly reinforce Townshend’s confessions of boredom with the band and awareness of the legacy that goes along with the Who name. At this point, perhaps a duo project might be more fulfilling.

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