By Brian Ives
They went on their first farewell tour in 1982, but they’ve played over 400 gigs and released a new album in the decades since, so it has indeed been a “long goodbye” for the Who. And now, on the eve of their 50th anniversary as a band, it looks like Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey are planning what really (really!) will be their last tour (but perhaps not their final performances).
A press release that came out earlier today (June 30) announced “The Who Hits 50!” British/Irish tour, which kicks off Nov. 26 at the O2 in Dublin, Ireland. The tour, according to the release, “will see the band take their audience on an ‘Amazing Journey’ through their entire career from the days of the High Numbers to classic albums such as Who’s Next, Tommy,Quadrophenia, My Generation, Live at Leeds up to the present day.”
The High Numbers were one of the band’s early names: they released the mod-era single “Zoot Suit” (written by their original manager, Peter Meaden) with the B-side “I’m the Face” (adapted by Pete Townshend from the Slim Harpo song “I Got Love If You Want It).” They also recorded a cover of the early Motown song “Leaving Here” as the High Numbers.
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Daltrey added, “This is the beginning of the long goodbye.”
Last year, the legendary vocalist told us about the 2015 tour, but that they’d still consider performing beyond that: “We’ll still do events, and we will find new ways to perform, whether it’s sitting down in smaller venues for a week, so we don’t have to do the schlepping. It’s the schlepping that’s killing us.”
Currently, the only scheduled tour dates are in the United Kingdom and in Ireland, running through Dec. 17 in London.