Townshend happy to carry boomer flag at Super Bowl

Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:25pm EST
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By Ray Waddell

NASHVILLE (Billboard) - The Who has played countless stadiums over the decades. On February 7, led by surviving members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, the British rock outfit will perform during halftime at Super Bowl XLIV in Miami.

Billboard: How did you and Roger Daltrey ultimately decide to play the Super Bowl halftime show?

Pete Townshend: We thought about it quite hard. I think Roger was doubtful that we should do it this year. We were going to play at Coachella, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, we had all kinds of things planned, so I persuaded Roger we should do the Super Bowl to kick those events off. And then I decided that I couldn't do that work later this year because I had to continue to write.

Billboard: Most bands that play the Super Bowl use it as a platform to announce other projects.

Townshend: The only two shows Roger and I are committed to together so far are the Super Bowl and then a concert version of "Quadrophenia" at Royal Albert Hall in March (for the Teenage Cancer Trust). My hearing trouble makes it quite difficult for me to work in a studio for long periods of time. I have to be quite careful not to work too much or not to tour too much.

This show, for us, is an example of what he and I can do together, waving the Who flag, carrying the flag for the boomer generation, just as Paul McCartney, Tom Petty and the Stones have done previously.

Billboard: It seems the Who's music is everywhere these days.

Townshend: I broke up the Who in 1981 -- we did a tour in '82 to say goodbye, we got back together in '89 to reminisce -- but I had that long period between 1982 and 1989 where all I did was work on some solo stuff. But I was also learning how to run my catalog, learning how to be a publisher, learning how to make money outside of records and touring.   Continued...