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The Who Plan New LP And Accompanying North American Orchestral Tour

Friday, 11 January 2019 Written by Jon Stickler

The Who are plotting a new LP and a symphonic North American tour for later this year.

The veteran British rockers look set to collaborate with local symphony orchestras for 29 North American shows, kicking off in New York in April and travelling around the Northeast on an initial 14-date leg. Specifics regarding dates and venues are still to be confirmed although the band are plotting to return in September and October for Canadian shows and dates in the western United States. 

As reported by Rolling Stone, the idea came from vocalist Roger Daltrey after the band spent summer 2018 on the road performing ’Tommy’ accompanied by an orchestra. He said:

"I’ll be 75-years old in March and this feels like a dignified way to go and do music. That’s all we’re really left with. We’re old men now. We’ve lost the looks. We’ve lost the glamour. What we’re left with is the music and we’re going to present it in a way which is as fresh and powerful as ever."

Iconic guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend, meanwhile, wasn’t as keen on the idea initially. When his management communicated Live Nation’s offer he said he’d only be part of it under one condition.

"I said I was not going to sign any contracts unless we have new material. This has nothing to do with wanting a hit album. It has nothing to do with the fact that the Who need a new album. It’s purely personal. It’s about my pride, my sense of self-worth and self-dignity as a writer."

The band are also planning to play summer festivals in the UK but quashed rumours of a return to Woodstock for the 50th anniversary event at Watkins Glen, New York in August. Daltrey said:

"What would be the point? I can’t work outside in the heat anymore like that in August. It’ll kill me. I got really big problems with heat now due to my meningitis. But I think they should do it with young bands. I don’t see why they should have us there."

Townshend has 15 demo tracks that are ready to go and hopes that Daltrey will lay down vocals soon. The record is expected to arrive later this year and will mark the band’s first full length since 2006’s ’Endless Wire’.  

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