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'This is the beginning of the long goodbye,' says Roger Daltrey

The Who have announced details of their 50th anniversary tour – and confirmed that they are starting to think about retirement. O2 Priority Tickets for The Who are available from 9am on July 2.

The nine-date tour, dubbed ‘The Who Hits 50’, will encompass songs dating back to the band’s original name of The High Numbers. Starting in November, it features hits and songs which guitarist Pete Townshend described as “hits, picks, mixes and misses”. Tickets go on sale on Friday (July 4).

Confirming that the band have begun to consider retiring, 50 years after they formed in Acton, west London, singer Roger Daltrey said: “This is the beginning of the long goodbye.” Townshend added: “Trying to stay young. Not wearing socks. Growing a great big woodcutter’s beard. Might even wear a check shirt onstage and get a tattoo of a Union Jack. Always a fashion victim. But under no illusions. We are what we are, and extremely good at it, but we’re lucky to be alive and still touring.”

Referring to the band’s hiatus from 1983-1996, Townshend added: “If I had enough hairs to split, I would say that for 13 years since 1964 The Who didn’t really exist, so we are really only 37.”

After recording classic albums such as ‘Tommy’, ‘Who’s Next’ and ‘Quadrophenia’, drummer Keith Moon died of a drug overdose in 1978. They recorded two albums with former Faces drummer Kenney Jones. Since reforming in 1996, they have released just one new album, 2006’s ‘Endless Wire’. Original bassist John Entwistle died of a heart attack in 2002.

The Who will play:

Glasgow SSE Hydro (November 30)
Leeds First Direct Arena (December 2)
Nottingham Capital FM Arena (5)
Birmingham NIA (7)
Newcastle Metro Arena (9)
Liverpool Echo Arena (11)
Manchester Phones 4u Arena (13)
Cardiff Motorpoint (15)
London O2 (17)

O2 Priority Tickets for The Who are available from 9am on July 2.

O2 PriorityGet Priority tickets to thousands of gigs up to 48 hours before general release, on O2 – text TICKETS to 2020.