March 30, 2020

2015-06-27 – Star Tribune

2015 06 27 Star_Tribune_Sat__Jun_27__2015_

AMY SUSSMAN . Invision via AP
Pete Townshend,1eft, and partner Rachel Fuller pro-
moted“C1assic Quadrophenia”, a “symphonized” ver-
sion of The Who’s landmark “Quadrophenia.”

The Who’s hit gets
classical treatment

On a rare day off from the first leg of The Who’s
50th anniversary tour, Pete Townshend punctually
enters the room with longtime partner Rachel Fuller

to discuss “Classic Quadrophenia.”
The symphonic release of The Who’s 1973 con-

cept album came out earlier this month and includes
music by the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

and vocals by classical tenor Alfie Boe, rocker Billy
Idol, and Townshend. There’s also a one—night only

performance in London set for July 5.
Townshend, 70, has always felt The Who’s music

was very orchestral for a rock band. But for this per-
formance, there’s an entire orchestra and choir to
perform his composition. That doesn’t faze him a bit.

“They are brilliant, brilliant, brilliant trained musi-
cians,” he said.

Townshend had previously dabbled With alter-
native musical concepts — including bringing rock
opera to the masses With “Tommy” in 1969, a proj-
ect that launched The Who into superstardom. The
album spawned a 1975 movie and a Broadway music a1.

Townshend said that writing “Quadrophenia,”
ac ted as a form of salvation that helped counteract the
spoils of success after “Tommy” and the 1971 release
“Who’s Next.”

“We were in real trouble,” Townshend says of the
period in the early 1970 3. “Keith Moon had become
this kind of clown. Roger Daltrey had become this
rock god.” Bassist John Entwistle “was dressing up in

spider costumes with silver spiders round his neck,”
recalled Townshend.