Tuesday, October 29, 2013

SEE THEM, BUT YOU WON'T GET CLOSE ENOUGH FEEL OR TOUCH THEM:  Only 33 years after their 1982 farewell tour, Roger Daltrey says he really means it when he claims that 2015 will mark The Who's last big tour. As for what they'll play, no one's getting fooled:
"People don't want new stuff," says Daltrey. "The fans might want that, but most people that want to come to a show want to hear what they grew up with. Let's not kid ourselves. We will always sell more tickets if we play the hits. That's a fact. The economics of the road, obviously, demand that you sell a lot of tickets."
Fans hoping to hear the Who break out rarities like The Who by Numbers deep cut "Slip Kid" are going to be disappointed. "It's easy for fans to stick their heads in the sand and not understand the economics of touring," Daltrey says. "It's incredibly expensive to put on a show, so you have to put bums in seats. There might be 40,000 total people in America who want to hear 'Slip Kid.' That won't be enough to put us on the road. That's the problem."


  1. The Pathetic Earthling9:16 PM

    I've never seen The Who in concert but I'm really surprised that "Slip Kid" isn't on the regular set. It's one of my favorite Who songs and doesn't seem particularly obscure.

  2. Adam C.1:08 PM

    Next summer, it'll be 25 years since I first (and last) saw The Who live (setlist: http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/the-who/1989/tampa-stadium-tampa-fl-7bd5fa88.html). Which means they'd been around for about 25 years before I saw them.
    Daltrey's right, of course, if you're putting on a two-hour arena or stadium show with a catalog like theirs. If you're putting on a three-hour show in those venues, you can toss in deeper cuts with some regularity. Springsteen does it with a deeper and still growing catalog, and it doesn't seem to hurt his touring revenues (then again, he's a slightly younger man). That said, there are a ton of reasons a song doesn't crack the set list; when Wikipedia says that "Slip Kid" spent 32 years out of their set list (played in 1976 a few times, popped up in a truncated version in 1979, and then not played again in full until a London show in 2008), seems to me that there's likely a story behind it.

  3. The Pathetic Earthling2:48 PM

    The Grateful Dead used to play "St. Stephen" from Aoxomoxoa on a pretty regular basis -- it's a well liked song -- but never played it once after 1983.

  4. Mr. Cosmo3:32 PM

    You seem to be implying that Dead songs performed live sound distinct from each other.

  5. Adam C.3:40 PM

    Similarly, Bruce did "The Price You Pay" through the first couple legs of the River tour in 1980 and 1981, then dropped it midway through his 1981 European leg and never played it again until he dusted it off as a special treat to open his final show at the Spectrum in 2009. Maybe they get tired of a particular song, or don't like the way it plays live, or maybe the touring band personnel or their own abilities just aren't suited for it any longer.

  6. Adam B.3:49 PM

    Similarly, he didn't play "Lost in the Flood" from 1978 until the last show of the 99-00 Blood Brothers tour, which I attended at MSG. And now it's regularly in the rotation again.

  7. Jim Bell10:56 AM

    Thats a freaking long song list.

  8. Jim Bell12:23 PM

    That is a really really long and very interesting set list. I'm envious that you got to see that!