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Pete Townshend No Longer Finds the Who’s Concerts ‘Fulfilling’

Cedric Ribeiro, Getty Images

Just because you’re great at something doesn’t mean it’s fun for you. Just ask Pete Townshend.

The Who co-founder, currently in the midst of the band’s 50th anniversary tour, admits in a new interview with Uncut that he no longer gets much of a thrill from playing their classics in front of thousands of screaming fans — even if he can’t deny it’s one of the things he’s best at.

“The shows? I don’t like them. I don’t find them fulfilling. But I’m brilliant at it. I find it incredibly easy. I drift through it,” shrugged Townshend. “I get out the other end and the next day, somebody comes up to me and says, ‘You were f—ing amazing yesterday!'”

At this point, suggests Townshend, fronting the Who is just like any other job — albeit one for which he’s spent a lifetime building a fundamental understanding of the craft.

“It’s like being able to make a pair of shoes and knowing that you’ve got to a point that whenever you make a pair of shoes for somebody they’re going to last them for life,” he explained. “I don’t get particularly excited about it, but I do find it easy.”

Townshend’s Who-fueled ennui may be a part of why the band is calling its 50th anniversary trek their final large tour, and perhaps one of the reasons why his partner Roger Daltrey has suggested that future shows could take the form of acoustic theater residencies. The duo is also eyeing a new Who LP, which would presumably be more exciting for Townshend than yet another performance of “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

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