"I've been touring for the money": Pete Townshend opens up as he considers one final tour world from The Who before they "crawl off to die"

Pete Townshend onstage in 2023
(Image credit: Anna Kurth via Getty Images)

Pete Townshend has revealed that he'd like The Who to play one final world tour, while admitting that he plays live mainly to support his lifestyle. Townshend made the revelations in a new interview with the New York Times, when he was asked if the band had any unfinished business.

"I do and I think I will," says Townshend. "It feels to me like there’s one thing The Who can do, and that’s a final tour where we play every territory in the world and then crawl off to die. I don’t get much of a buzz from performing with the Who. If I’m really honest, I’ve been touring for the money. My idea of an ordinary lifestyle is pretty elevated."

Elsewhere in the interview, Townshend reveals that he's built up a stock of 500 unreleased songs in various states of completion, and he's considering making them public.

"I’ve got about 500 titles I might release online, mostly unfinished stuff," he says We're not making Coca-Cola, where every can has to taste the same. And it's turned out, surprise, surprise, that rock'n'roll is really good at dealing with the difficulties of aging. Watching Keith Richards onstage, trying to do what he used to do – it’s disturbing, heart-rending, but also delightful."

Townshend also has some thoughts on AC/DC, telling the newspaper, "AC/DC made 50 albums, but all their albums were the same. It wasn’t the way The Who worked. We were an ideas band."

This week Townshend's bandmate Roger Daltrey finished his final week as curator of the annual Teenage Cancer Trust gigs at Royal Albert Hall with a spectacular, all-star finale, joined onstage by Robert Plant, Eddie Vedder, Glen Hansard and Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones for a climactic cover of The Who's Baba O'Reilly

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.