MSO PRThe Who launches its Quadrophenia and More Tour of North America Thursday in Sunrise, Florida. The trek will encompass two legs, the first winding down on December 9 in Uncasville, Connecticut, and the second running from a January 28 concert in Anaheim, California, through a February 26 stop in Providence, Rhode Island.
As the name of the outing suggests, the legendary British rockers' classic 1973 rock opera, Quadrophenia, will be a centerpiece of the upcoming shows. The band also will play a selection of its other well-known songs during the performances.
In a recent Q&A event at the New York Public Library to promote his new memoir, Who I Am, Who guitarist/songwriter Pete Townshend explained the concept behind Quadrophenia, which is set in 1965 and focuses on a teenage fan of the group who exhibits aspects of the personalities of each band member.
"This cipher, this Jimmy character that I'd created…was this simulacrum," says Townshend. "It was the four guys in The Who when they were young, and who they reflected in the audience, in the way that the audience made us…into something else. So there's this cycle of identification and change and nurturance from the audience to the band and back."
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer notes that the song "I'm One" from Quadrophenia is a good example of a tune that portrays the conflicts Jimmy is dealing with, including trying to be accepted as a ***, fighting with his father and being let down when a character he admires ends up with the girl he loves.
"The song is just about this feeling…that sense of 'yes, I am something,'" Pete points out. "That kind of thing that you have when your two-year-old child kind of goes, 'I want, I want, I want something'…But, this boy, he's trying to work out what it is that he means when he's singing 'I'm One.'"
Townshend also suggests that fans of The Who during the band's early days would have related to the adolescent insecurity and confusion expressed in "I'm One."
"They would have got that song," he maintains. "They would have said, 'Yes!' in the same way that they did when I wrote 'Can't Explain.'"
The visit TheWho.com to check out the band's entire North American tour schedule.
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