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 Une nouvelle interview de Pete

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Nombre de messages : 1567
Age : 62
Localisation : Somme
Date d'inscription : 09/07/2006

MessageSujet: Une nouvelle interview de Pete   Sam 9 Sep - 5:20

Rockers back on the road
Friday, September 8, 2006

The Who kicks off its first North American tour in four years Tuesday with a sold-out show at Philadelphia's Wachovia Center. The band returns to the region for a Nov. 24 date at Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa, and another sold-out Wachovia Center show the following evening.

As was the case in 2002, charter members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey will be joined by drummer Zak Starkey, bassist Pino Palladino, keyboardist John "Rabbit" Bundrick and guitarist Simon Townshend, Pete's brother.

According to a band publicist, Towshend, the group's guitarist and composer, spends a good deal of his time online. Which is why it wasn't surprising that he consented to an interview only if it was conducted via e-mail:

Q: According to your Web site, this tour is showcasing new material -- the first time that's happened in many years. Does performing new songs make touring more enjoyable?

A: It makes it less predictable. So many of the classic Who songs we play affect our audiences in the same way every time. New stuff challenges us, and our audience, to connect on a different level. We have to make space for each other.

Q: What can you tell us about the new album? What will it be called? Were the songs written in a relatively short time period, or have you been working on the material for many years?

A: The album I called Endless Wire and all the songs have been written in a four-year period. The majority of the material for the "Mini-Opera" segment of the album, that comprises about 50 percent, was written this year.

Q: What are the subjects (for songs) that interest you nowadays? Are they essentially the same as they've always been, or do you find yourself drawn to topics you didn't address in the past?

A: I have been stuck in a groove since I was 19 years old and got a hit with The Who with one of my first songs, "Can't Explain." This song was inspired by "Young Man Blues" by the jazz singer Mose Allison (Chrissie Hynde told me that the Kinks first big hit, "You Really Got Me" by Ray Davies was inspired by the same song).

That groove begins with the strange, bleak mood of post-war Britain. There was a lot of pride in what we'd done, but for us younger ones trying to see what had happened there was a lot of denial. So I suppose my entire work is dedicated to trying to overcome that denial, to break out and help our fans -- and me too -- to face what happened, and how we should go forward.

Who are my targets? Many of them are now my age, old men and women from 50 to 70 years old. And yet in all of them I see children with unanswered questions. I don't blame parents or grandparents. They were heroes. In any case without the "Great Silence" of the post-war years, rock music as we know it today would never have been born. We'd still be dancing to saxophones and living in romance.

Q: Has getting older affected you as a composer?

A: Hardly at all. I've always been ambitious -- sneered at for my pretensions -- and don't regret trying new things. But I've always known that I can do several things better than almost anyone else on the face of the earth, so I am less of a willing Polymath (Renaissance man) than some of my ex-art school buddies.

On our new album I've based many of the songs on a story about three young kids from my childhood neighbourhood who would have been the ages of my own first children -- so about 25 years younger than me. They are from different backgrounds, and religions, but meet and share dreams and secrets and later form a band that becomes successful.

They then grow older, become decadent, powerful and finally get very old indeed. I write songs for all of them. So I get to cover all the bases.

For myself (and thus for Roger Daltrey) I write songs from the hip -- I try not to think too much about it. We are both happy to sing songs about being older. I'm not quite sure why we in rock should worry about this so much, but we do.

Q: What goes into putting a Who tour together -- beyond the logistics of having everyone available?

A: Logistically we just haul ourselves around. I jet in and out from whichever major city I choose to base myself in. You know, I leave the details to my people, we have great managers. It is all so easy these days, we are treated with such generosity and grace. It feels dignified. But the moment we walk on stage we pick up the old baton -- and try to answer some of those unanswered questions, try to help our audience forget themselves for a couple of hours.

Q: How is the set list determined?

A: Roger decides how it flows and he uses old-school showman's instinct that usually work very well. We get advice and ideas from fans too. Ending the show with the prayer from the end of Tommy ("Listening To You") was an obvious idea that we had stopped using.

Q: What do you do to keep yourself in the kind of shape it takes to go out and jump around for the better part of two hours four or five nights a week?

A: It's more about what I don't do. I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't have a lot of sex. I don't take risks. I eat carefully (with enjoyment). I sleep quite long hours. I try to stay calm whatever I'm faced with. I work a lot to help other people face their troubles, that keeps my mind of my own.

Truth is, my mother is in her 80s and broke her hip at Christmas and we thought she was done for. She healed up in a month and is back out there causing trouble again. She'll probably show up with a new boyfriend soon. So a lot of it is genetic. My father died of colon cancer when he was 69, so I am aware I need to be careful.

Roger would have a very different answer to this question. We are very different in our approach to health, but we very much respect the simple fact that whatever each of us got wrong, or right, we are still here.

Q: Any time an act of your stature and longevity hits the road, the "this could be the last time" conversation takes place among fans. How much longer do you see The Who touring, assuming health is not an issue?

A: That's right. I was happy to quit back in 1982. Happy not to tour. Now I'm happy to be back. I may come and go all over again. But this is a big tour because we've made a new album and I want people to hear it, so we're going everywhere we can.

Prior to making that album, and sensing it might not land, Roger and I agreed we might never tour again, but we agreed we would always be friends, always support each other in charity events, and always be ready to play old Who songs whenever it felt appropriate. With Sept. 11 coming up you have to know that for us coming to New York and playing to our friends in the Northeast meant more to us than it did to the folks who saw us. (The Concert for New York City in October 2001) was one of our last big shows with John Entwistle.

Q: Bob Dylan recently had some harsh remarks about the current music scene. Do you agree there is nothing of value out there today? If not, what contemporary artists do you think are making quality music?

A: I didn't read that. I have heard some tracks from his new record and I like them. I had a good experience being one of the hosts on In the Attic, the Webcast music and chat show ( My partner, Rachel Fuller, is the principal host and we got to meet a whole bunch of relatively new musicians. Kooks, Editors, Fratellis, Ed Harcourt, Zutons, Regina Spektor, The Magic Numbers and many others with chart success in the U.K.

They all seemed to me to be playing music just for the sake of it, with enjoyment and passion. They were all great people, content, hard-working and grateful to have made it. Some of the older acts that appeared, like Flaming Lips, Martha Wainwright, Shack, Eels and Chris Difford, were mind-blowing. Right now I listen to Sufjan Stevens and Sigur Ros. These two artistic projects on their own will last me a lifetime
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Nombre de messages : 1567
Age : 62
Localisation : Somme
Date d'inscription : 09/07/2006

MessageSujet: Re: Une nouvelle interview de Pete   Mer 13 Sep - 7:17

Intéressante, instructive et parfois amusante... comme d'habitude !

Last Sunday's Observer newspaper listed Endless Wire as one of it's '10 Albums You Must Hear This Autumn'.

This coming Sunday's Observer (17/10/06) contains the OMM magazine, which has Pete and Roger adorning the cover and features an exclusive interview with them inside. The Observer have kindly let us print an extract - the full interview will be available online after the weekend HERE


OMM cover

Generation Terrorists

It seemed like it was all over for the Who, one of rock’s defining acts. But with their first studio album for 25 years, and a series of blistering live shows, Pete Towshend and Roger Daltrey are back and as vital as ever. From Live8, the internet and Pete Doherty to the dramas and tragedies that they’ve survived and their own explosive relationship – the Sixties icons talk candidly to Simon Garfield about what drives them forward.

About three years ago, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey had a conversation that went -something like this.

Daltrey: ‘Whatever you do, Pete, I’ll support you!’

Townshend: ‘Great, because I’ve got this idea that I want to do this musical in Las Vegas called The Boy Who Heard Music.’

Daltrey: ‘Where?’

Townshend: ‘Las Vegas.’

Daltrey: ‘I’m not going there.’

Townshend: ‘But you said you would support me in whatever I want to do.’

Daltrey: ‘Except Las Vegas.’

Townshend: ‘But it’s only in Las Vegas that we’d get the 200 million dollars that I’d need to make my exploding Mirror Door moment.’

Daltrey: ‘Yes, but whatever else you want to do, I will completely support you.’

A short while later, Townshend gave him some early chapters of his novella about three kids in a band.

Townshend: ‘Well, could you read the story, because I want to write some songs about it?’

Daltrey (after reading it): ‘It’s the same old shit, isn’t it? Come up with something new!’

Townshend: ‘But this is it. This is me. I only have one story, one thesis. I’m a cracked record, and it’s going to go round and round and round until I die.’

Such, at least, is Townshend’s recollection of the conversation. He had endured these sorts of dispiriting exchanges with Daltrey before, and decided to press on regardless. One of the first songs he wrote was called ‘In the Ether’, which, like many of his compositions, appears to be about spiritual awakening and the expiation of pain. Townshend considers it, without question, one of the best things he has ever done, proclaiming, ‘I am writing better Stephen Sondheim songs than even Stephen Sondheim is writing!’ Initially, Daltrey was less convinced. ‘I played it to Roger,’ Townshend recalls, ‘and about a month passed. In the end, I got on the phone and said, “So, what did you think?”’

Daltrey: ‘It’s a bit music-theatre. Maybe if you didn’t have piano but just had guitar…’

Townshend: ‘Yeah, and maybe if it was three guitars and was rock’n’roll and sounded like “Young Man Blues” it would be OK.’ And then Townshend put the phone down. ‘I was really, really hurt,’ he says.

But three years later, and 25 years since the last one, we have a new studio album by the Who. Endless Wire contains 19 tracks, 10 of them comprising what Townshend calls a ‘full-length mini-opera’ entitled Wire & Glass. Its creator is 61. He looks his age as he walks into his recording studio in Richmond at the end of August with the latest mix of the CD in a bag over his shoulder, but he looks good with it, not excessively ravaged, grey in a dignified way. He puts the CD into the mixing desk, and Daltrey’s voice fills the air: ‘Are we breathing out/ Or breathing in/ Are we leaving life/ Or moving in/ Exploding out/ Imploding in/ Ingrained in good/ Or stained in sin.’ It sounds like they’ve never been away.

‘In the Ether’ soon follows, as do several love songs, several songs of yearning, and several very angry songs.
The angriest is called ‘A Man in a Purple Dress’, an attack on the trappings of organised religion written after watching Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. ‘It is the idea that men need to dress up in order to represent God that appals me,’ Townshend explains. ‘If I wanted to be as insane as to attempt to represent God, I’d just go ahead and do it; I wouldn’t dress up like a drag queen.’

The song ‘Mirror Door’ imagines a place where legendary musicians gather after their death to drink and discuss the value of their work. Elvis and Buddy Holly are mentioned, alongside Howling Wolf and Doris Day. It was only after the recording was finished that someone mentioned to Townshend that Doris Day was still alive. ‘I was absolutely convinced she was dead,’ he admits. ‘But I went to the internet and there she was – a fucking -happening website!’

When the album is over, Townshend offers me tea in an upstairs room overlooking pleasure boats and rowers on the Thames. It is time for something he does better than almost any rock star of any age – the analysis of his craft, the opening of a vein in the process of confession. It is hard to imagine that anyone has thought deeper about their role in popular music, or produced such honest appraisals of triumphs and failures.
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Nombre de messages : 983
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Date d'inscription : 17/04/2006

MessageSujet: Re: Une nouvelle interview de Pete   Mer 13 Sep - 7:43

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Nombre de messages : 1567
Age : 62
Localisation : Somme
Date d'inscription : 09/07/2006

MessageSujet: Re: Une nouvelle interview de Pete   Mer 13 Sep - 8:40

Ronan a écrit:

Mais... c'est avec palisir... Wink

J'ai bien aimé la conversation téléphonique. Laughing
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