Townshend walks off – because it’s too loud
If it's too loud... Pete Townshend
The Who guitarist Pete Townshend walked off stage near the end of a show at the weekend – because it was too loud.
In 1976 his outfit claimed the title of Loudest Band In The World after being measured producing a volume of 126db.
But in Sunrise, Florida at the weekend, Townshend became angry with sound techs as he played You Better You Bet – then marched off without saying anything to his bandmates.
After the show, the first on The Who’s Quadrophenia And More US tour, guitarist Simon Townshend tweeted: “Pete walked off tonight because it was too loud. Was a good show but had some technical problems.”
Townshend has had hearing problems since drummer Keith Moon blew up his drumkit on the Smothers Brothers’ TV show in 1967. In recent years he’d discussed the possibility of retiring if his tinnitus couldn’t be dealt with, but has since found a monitoring system he’s happy with.
The band’s record of 126db is higher than the point at which sound causes pain. Modern health and safety rules forbid exposure to 115db for more than 15 minutes a day.
Meanwhile, former Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing says he was honoured to appear on Who Are You: An All-Star Tribute To The Who, released last month.
Downing was asked to record a track for the version of Eminence Front featuring John Wetton of Asia on vocals and Derek Sherinian of Black Country Communion on keys.
The guitarist says on his Downing Street blog: “I knew this would be somewhat different for me, which is always good as it would be a new challenge and not something I could just go ahead and wail away doing.
“After hearing the track it was obvious I had a treasure in my hands – a legendary song from one of the all-time great legendary bands in the world. Now I had the great privilege to have a connection with it. You can just imagine how nervous but excited that made me feel.
“I’m extremely happy with the result and also very happy to have had the opportunity to have been a small part of this giant album.”