Pete Townshend admits he “doesn’t deserve to be alive”.
The Who guitar legend – who has battled alcohol and substance abuse in the past – has admitted he’s “not been a perfect man”, especially in his youth, and he says it will be a miracle if he reaches 80.
The 76-year-old rocker told Rolling Stone: “Eighty is a strange number. I didn’t expect … To be absolutely brutal, I don’t deserve to be alive today. I have not been a perfect man. I think what I have done in the past 20 or 30 years has probably much more useful to society than anything I did as a young musician. I know I can continue to do good work in society as someone involved in public service and education and all those things. If that sounds pompous, then f*** you. It’s the truth. It’s a “f*** you” truth that I have to accept about myself.”
He continued: “When I sit in the bathroom and I’m thinking, ‘Yeah, yeah Townshend, you’re going to become a doctor, are you? You’re going to become a professor? What the f***?’
But I have to say, ‘Listen, if I live to be 80, that’ll be one of the only useful things I’ll be able to do.’ [Laughs] I certainly won’t be able to jump seven feet in the air without wires.”
Despite approaching their 80s, the ‘My Generation’ hitmaker insisted The Who have no plans to quit touring in the near future.
Pete confessed he doesn’t want to “die on the road” but frontman Roger Daltrey, 77, would gladly “sing until he drops”.
He insisted: “We’re not saying that, but what’s interesting is … I had a conversation with Roger. I said to him, ‘I don’t want to be like one of these guys that dies on tour.’ I do want to retire. And by “retire” I don’t mean retire from being a musician or artist or creator, but retire from the idea that it requires me to say yes to touring for a load of people to get a smile on their face and go home to their wife and go, ‘Hey, honey! Everything is fine! The Who are going back on tour!’
To be relieved of that responsibility, in a sense … because Roger is of the opinion that he wants to sing until he drops. That’s not my philosophy of life. There are other things that I want to do, still want to do, and will do, I hope. I hope I’ll live long enough to do them.”
The ‘Baba O’Reily’ group’s UK shows were hit by several delays owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and they plan to complete the run in 2023.
Pete added: “No. It’s not a farewell tour. Apart from anything else, we still have people who have tickets for the U.K. 2019 tour. We’re very, very keen to do that tour and we’ll be doing that tour in 2023.”