The who

The death of the live album

Next week The The release The Comeback Special, a 24-track live album documenting the band’s concert at the Royal Albert Hall in June 2018. Meanwhile, Steely Dan’s last man standing, Donald Fagen, has just released two live albums recorded in 2019. Their musical qualities notwithstanding, these releases feel like relics from a lost world. Much like the fondue set, the live album is much reduced from its 1970s and 1980s heyday, when a pretty blonde sideman-turned-solo artist called Peter Frampton could somehow shift eight million copies of the anodyne Frampton Comes Alive! The stand-alone contemporary live album is now an endangered species; MTV’s Unplugged series in the 1990s offered a

Why I’m worried about the teenage cancer generation

As I sit here writing this, it’s just over one year ago since the first lockdown was imposed, without which I would have been touring with The Who. That included our annual concert for the Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Albert Hall. Now, one of the UK’s premier calendar events has been cancelled for the second year running. It leaves a gaping £3 million deficit in the charity’s funding. Likewise, Teen Cancer America, the charity I founded with Pete Townshend in the United States, has lost $4 million in revenues we would have raised if our tours had not been cancelled. It’s heart-breaking to see so many charities in