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Pete Townshend Discusses Writing TOMMY On New Super Deluxe Edition

October 25
5:43 PM 2013

Pete Townshend Discusses Writing TOMMY On New Super Deluxe EditionLegendary front-man and songwriter for The Who, Pete Townshend talks about the state of desperation that led to his penning of one of the most unique and unclassifiable musical pieces of the 20th century with his rock opera TOMMY as part of a new radio documentary special feature on the fully-loaded Super Deluxe Edition available now for pre-order.

Townshend relates, "When I got to TOMMY, I thought, 'Well, this isn't working anymore.' You know, I did 'I Can See For Miles', it didn't hit in the UK, it hit quite well in the States, but I always thought that it was going to be kind of be my global number one, and it wasn't - it was just another song which was obviously charting our slow decline."

Furthermore, Townshend remembers that he told manager and producer Kit Lambert, "I am never, ever, ever going to be able to top this song - I can never write a better song than 'I Can See For Miles'. What am I gonna do? What are we gonna do?"

Then, the idea for TOMMY arrived - though Townshend does not actually recollect who initially inspired the notion of a full-length, sung-through musical experience on the order of the rock opera eventually released in 1969.

"I don't know whose idea it was... but, we decided to do an opera," Townshend says.

Additionally, he says, "It felt not only a dangerous thing to do, but it did actually feel like an exception to the rule. I felt like I was stepping outside my job - I was abandoning my rock n roll legion. I was leaving my boys behind."

TOMMY: Super Deluxe Edition will be released on November 11.

For more information on TOMMY: Super Deluxe Edition, check out the band's official site here.

Additionally, check out The Who's official Facebook page for an interactive ad for TOMMY: Super Deluxe Edition, available here.

Pre-order TOMMY: Super Deluxe Edition here.

View the new bonus feature preview from the Super Deluxe Edition of The Who's TOMMY below.

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Pat Cerasaro Pat Cerasaro contributes exclusive scholarly columns including InDepth InterViews, Sound Off, Theatrical Throwback Thursdays, Flash Friday and Flash Special as well as additional special features, world premiere clips and extensive news coverage. His work for the site has appeared in The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, US Weekly, The Biography Channel, NBC and more. He also wrote and directed two sold-out 2014 BroadwayWorld charity concert events featuring all-star casts, EVERYTHING'S COMING UP BROADWAYWORLD.COM: A JULE STYNE TRIBUTE and THE LORD & THE MASTER: BROADWAYWORLD.COM SINGS THE MUSIC OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER & STEPHEN SONDHEIM.