In this exclusive audio clip, Townshend discusses his Broadway experience and a chance encounter in 1993 with the late Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim.
Says Townshend, "Anybody that writes songs, anybody that writes musicals, in particular, he is our God, he was our God, he still is our God in a sense. He's our professor, he's our mentor, he's somebody that's really nailed it, and has upheld the art … so there is no silliness about anything that he ever does." Listen below to find out what advice the late composer-lyricist gave Townshend.
In volume 27 of Audible’s Words + Music series, Townshend takes listeners through the period between the 1978 death of Who drummer Keith Moon and the 2002 loss of bassist John Entwistle. During these 24 years, The Who enjoyed its greatest popularity—and broke up. Townshend punctuates his memories with the songs that came out of his life in that time—“Let My Love Open the Door,” “Slit Skirts,” “You Better You Bet,” “Eminence Front,” and more.
The Who's Tommy, which was based on the Tommy concept album by the British rock group The Who—about an alienated, abused child who, despite having lost his sight, speech, and hearing at an early age, becomes a pinball wizard and youth culture icon—was adapted by The Who's Townshend and director Des McAnuff into a stage musical. It ran for more than two years on Broadway and won Tonys for McAnuff's direction and Townshend's score, in a tie with John Kander and Fred Ebb's Kiss of the Spider Woman.
The Words + Music initiative marries music and storytelling in audio experiences. For more information click here.
The Who is currently on the first leg of a North American tour running through May 29. Visit TheWho.com.