Pete Townshend is busy reworking another one of his albums for the stage but not the one that many people expected. When the Who returned this summer to perform their 1973 landmark rock opera, Quadrophenia, at London’s Hyde Park and later at New York’s Madison Square Garden, there was some speculation that Quadrophenia was bound for Broadway, following in the footsteps of the 1993 staging of Tommy. According to a source close to Townshend, however, the piece that he is concentrating on is his 1993 solo album, PsychoDerelict, which could reach the Great White Way by the fall of ’97.
“He’s very proud of that early work [such as Quadrophenia and Tommy],” says the source. “But it’s important for him to live in the present, not the past.”
PsychoDerelict is the tale of an aging rock star who battles industry indifference. Townshend performed the piece, complete with actors, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, in New York, in ’93. That version later aired as a PBS special. The source says that there are tentative plans for a more fleshed-out stage show to debut in St. Paul, Minn., next spring, and then slowly make its way to Broadway.
This fall, the Who are continuing their Quadrophenia revival, taking the production to approximately 15 cities.
This story is from the October 17th, 1996 issue of Rolling Stone.