The Who talks about 'Quadrophenia' rock opera ahead of BOK show Thursday
BY JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
Thursday, February 14, 2013
2/14/13 at 4:34 AM
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Legendary English rock act The Who is bringing its “Quadrophenia and More” tour to Tulsa — just in time for Valentine’s Day.
It’s just one more in a long line of megawatt music acts that have played Tulsa, especially in recent years. In many ways, this show is a love letter to lifelong concertgoers, as it’s a blow-out production of a band that spans the life of rock ’n’ roll itself.
The band performs 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the BOK Center. Band co-founders Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend discussed the tour during a live, virtual press conference with media from their home base in London after the announcement of the tour.
Released in 1973, “Quadrophenia” is the sixth studio album from The Who. The double album was the rock group’s second rock opera, following “Tommy,” though it wasn’t a sequel.
Daltrey was struck by “how much of the historical significance of it and the things going on at the time are apropos today,” he said at the press conference last year.
The opera is set from a teenage boy’s perspective in London and Brighton in 1964-65. A film adaptation was released in 1979.
Hits from the album include “The Real Me,” “I’m One,” “Quadrophenia” and “Love, Reign o’er Me.”
Nearly four decades after the album’s release, “The story is easy to understand. … You’re trying to find out who you are. Hopefully you find out soon out of your teens,” Daltrey said.
“I love performing it,” Townshend added. “I’m very aware that it’s a taxing vocal piece.”
Both admitted frustration at the technology at the time the album was released, which limited its live reproduction.
“What Roger is doing these days is actually
creating a new way of putting it across,” Townshend said.
The Who toured behind the album for a short time after its original release, but the complex tracks forced them to stop playing many of the tunes. They played the full album live for the first time in 1996.
The time is right for a “Quadrophenia” tour for several reasons.
“As an album, this holds together the most,” Daltrey said. “It’s obviously Pete’s pinnacle.”
Said Townshend: “I’m very proud of it. … It’s quite an extraordinary album.”
The band also will perform a roster of classics. It’s been more than four years since the band last toured.
The Who formed in 1964 in London. “We were just kids,” Townshend said. “And our audience, some of them, were even younger.”
This album put the band back in touch with those fans in the ’70s, he said.
“To a sense, we felt liberated. … I’m not saying what I do now is better now than it was then,” but there is more freedom to explore the work done in his earlier days, Townshend said.
For this tour, Daltrey and Townshend will be joined by Zak Starkey (drums), Pino Palladio (bass), Simon Townshend (Pete’s younger brother, on guitar/backing vocals), Chris Stainton (keyboards), Loren Gold (keyboards/backing vocals) and Frank Simes (musical director, keyboards/backing vocals).
“Extraordinary moments — that’s what I hope for,” Townshend said.
THE WHO ‘QUADROPHENIA AND MORE’
with special guest Vintage Trouble
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: BOK Center, 200 S. Denver Ave.
Tickets: All-ages. $39.50, $59.50, $82.50 and $129.50, plus fees, available at tulsaworld.com/bok, the Arby’s Box Office at the BOK Center and all Tickets.com outlets, by calling 1-866-726-5287
Original Print Headline: Legendary rockers
Jennifer Chancellor 918-581-8346
Pete Townshend (left), Roger Daltrey and the rest of The Who will play “Quadrophenia” and more on Thursday at the BOK Center. KRISTA NILES / Associated Pressfile