The Who's Pete Townshend on retirement: 'I don’t want to be like one of these guys that dies on tour'

The band kicks off their 2022 tour in April
Pete Townshend
Photo credit Getty Images

58 years after first getting together as The Who, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend are gearing up to hit the road once again. As Townshend’s set to turn 77 years old while out on tour, he has some thoughts on when he might unplug his guitar for good.

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Townshend took part in a lengthy interview with Rolling Stone as he was asked whether or not he thinks his upcoming tour with The Who will be his last one.

“We’re not saying that,” Townshend said right off the bat. “But what’s interesting is I had a conversation with Roger. I said to him, ‘I don’t want to be like one of these guys that dies on tour.’”

Townshend clarified that he does want to retire, but it doesn’t mean that he’ll be permanently leaving music forever. “By ‘retire’ I don’t mean retire from being a musician or artist or creator, but retire from the idea that it requires me to say yes to touring for a load of people to get a smile on their face and go home to their wife and go, ‘Hey, honey! Everything is fine! The Who are going back on tour!’” He said.

Townshend then opened up about the philosophical differences between himself and frontman Roger Daltrey. “Roger is of the opinion that he wants to sing until he drops,” he said. “That’s not my philosophy of life. There are other things that I want to do, still want to do, and will do, I hope. I hope I’ll live long enough to do them.”

At the time The Who announced their 2022 tour dates, Daltrey issued a statement that was beaming with excitement about the prospect of performing live again. “Pete and I said we’d be back, but we didn't think we'd have to wait for two years for the privilege,” he said.

“This is making the chance to perform feel even more special this time around… We’re gearing up for a great show that hits back in the only way The Who know how. By giving it everything we got.”

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