The Who have announced the first dates of their 50th anniversary tour, The Who Hits 50, at a press conference Monday in London.
They will start in Dublin, Ireland on November 26th and work their way through the U.K. winding up on December 17th in London. The U.S. will follow in 2015. Prior to making the announcement at Ronnie Scott's jazz club in London, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend did an acoustic set of "Substitute," "Bargain," "The Kids are Alright" and "Won’t Get Fooled Again."
Commenting on the milestone tour, Daltrey says, "This is the beginning of the long goodbye. It will have a finality to it. We’ll stop touring, I’m sure, before we stop playing as a band, but just like Eric Clapton just said, it’s the grind of the road, it’s incredibly tough on the body..."
Townshend says, "Trying to stay young. Not wearing socks. Growing a great big woodcutter's beard. Might even wear a check shirt on stage and get a tattoo of a Union Jack. Always a fashion victim. But under no illusions. We are what we are, and extremely good at it, but we're lucky to be alive and still touring. If I had enough hairs to split I would say that for 13 years since 1964 The Who didn't really exist, so we are really only 37."
In addition to their anthems, Townshend says they hope to dig deeper into their catalog. "We could play 'Dogs (Part 2),' 'Dogs (Part 1),' 'Now I’m a Farmer.' We’re hoping there will be a few nice surprises for people that have seen us many times over the years."
We may also hear some new tunes as Daltrey and Townshend will hit the studio this summer. "I gave Roger three demos of three rough songs and happily he likes them," says Townshend. "I really liked the pub rock sound of the album [Daltrey] did with Wilko [Johnson] [2014's Going Back Home] and we may try to make the record in a slightly more basic way than we normally work, although a lot of my writing these days is pretty complicated. It’s more prog rock than pub rock!”
The Who's last album was Endless Wire in 2006.