The Who Announce 50th Anniversary Tour and Plans to Retire

'This is the beginning of the long goodbye,' says Roger Daltrey.

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The Who have announced details of their 50th anniversary tour – and confirmed that they are starting to think about retirement.

As NME notes, the nine-date tour, dubbed "The Who Hits 50," will encompass songs dating back to the band's original name of the High Numbers. Starting in November, it features hits and songs which guitarist Pete Townshend described as "hits, picks, mixes and misses."

Confirming that the band have begun to consider retiring, 50 years after they formed in Acton, west London, singer Roger Daltrey said: "This is the beginning of the long goodbye." Townshend added: "Trying to stay young. Not wearing socks. Growing a great big woodcutter's beard. Might even wear a check shirt onstage 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."

Referring to the band's hiatus from 1983-1996, Townshend added: "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."

After recording classic albums such as "Tommy," "Who's Next" and "Quadrophenia," drummer Keith Moon died of a drug overdose in 1978. They recorded two albums with former Faces drummer Kenney Jones. Since reforming in 1996, they have released just one new album, 2006's "Endless Wire." Original bassist John Entwistle died of a heart attack in 2002.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Well deserved retirement.
    I was just about to post the same exact thing. Normally I get bummed when bands retire, but better now while they still got it than after 10 years of horrible shows and album releases.
    and for those wondering where they are playing... The Who will play: Glasgow SSE Hydro (November 30) Leeds First Direct Arena (December 2) Nottingham Capital FM Arena (5) Birmingham NIA (7) Newcastle Metro Arena (9) Liverpool Echo Arena (11) Manchester Phones 4u Arena (13) Cardiff Motorpoint (15) London O2 (17)
    It's one of those things, where I'm not even that big a fan, but the experience alone and purely because I at least appreciate the hell out of this band and all the ways they've pretty much indirectly influenced me musically, I can't help but consider going to see them. It'd be a hell of an experience
    UG, you cannot post a story like this without posting the tour dates. Props to JAHellraiser.
    I wanna see them... I hope tickets are cheap and that they play somewhere in the States... Or hopefully to come to Costa Rica!!
    I saw them back in 2008. Amazing how they can put on a great show after all these years.
    Well I'll definitely have to go see them the next time they're playing near me. I missed them a year or two ago when they did the Quadrophenia tour.
    They were retiring when I saw them at the Hollywood Bowl 10 or more years back (don't recall when I saw them). I think bands get bored... get back together and do another tour. It's what they know.