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Townshend Planning Who's Next

New studio set would be band's first in two decades

October 14, 2002 12:00 AM ET

Surviving Who members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey are ready to begin work on their first new studio album in more than twenty years.

"I do not want to write with Roger so we can pass ourselves off as a 'new' Who," Townshend writes in a Web post. "I want to see if he and I have anything we can say together, that we could not say separately. Whether we call an album a Who album is not the point."

According to Townshend, his friend the longtime sound engineer Tom Wright, put the idea in his head: "[Tom] feels Roger and I need to make a 'last' album. One that is real, passionate, earthy, and innovative -- but also accessible."

The news continues a year of dramatic ups and downs for the legendary British rockers. They recently wrapped an emotional three-month-long summer tour without founding bassist John Entwistle, who died of a heart attack in Las Vegas on June 27th, just prior to the outing's originally scheduled kickoff. In 1978, the Who lost their original drummer, the mercurial Keith Moon, to a drug overdose.

Although the new Who material will be collaborative, guitarist/songwriter Townshend and singer Daltrey will not abandon their traditional roles. "I am not shying away from the usual division of labour," Townshend writes. "Roger is more of a singer than a writer, and I am claiming to be more of a writer than a performer. What I am shying away from is trying to pick up the Who recording legacy where it was dropped in 1976."

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

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Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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