Wednesday’s press conference with The Who yielded more than dirty talk and big tour news. Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, who announced The Who’s Quadrophenia tour this week, also discussed the UK’s biggest cultural event since last year’s Royal Wedding: the London Olympics.

The Who will close out the Olympics closing ceremony, as part of a performance that will celebrate British music throughout the last 50 years and include the likes of George Michael, Annie Lennox and the Pet Shop Boys. During the press conference, Who frontman Roger Daltrey seemed surprised that their Olympics appearance was public knowledge but delved into a few details regardless.

“We have recorded a piece of music that is a fabulous ending for the Olympics… and just shows the great music that has come out of this country,” Daltrey said. “This country has put some fabulous music out into the world.”

But why would the band need to record new music instead of just writing it? As Townshend and Daltrey explained, they won’t be performing live – they have to “mime,” i.e. lip-synch. Their reasons: “It’s not a rock show, you can’t do it live,” citing technical difficulties.

As if The Who needed to prove their legend status, Daltrey wanted to make it clear that the Olympics appearance wasn’t about them or their many hits. “This isn’t about The Who being on a TV show,” he said, “it’s about making great music that is apropos to the event.”

The London Olympics closing ceremony will take place on August 12th and be broadcast live to billions worldwide. Another British rock icon, Sir Paul McCartney, will also play the London Olympics, closing out the games’ opening ceremony on July 27. MTV UK reports the leaked setlist for the Olympics ceremony here.

The Who will kick off their 37-date North American Quadrophenia tour on November 1st.

– Jillian Mapes, CBS Local


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