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Townshend Returns To Woodstock

August 16, 1998

BETHEL, N.Y. (AP) _ The Who guitarist Pete Townshend returned to Woodstock for its 29th anniversary show even though he had a ``rotten time″ at the original 1969 rock music festival.

``What brought me back is a sense of looking at the reality of the whole thing and how it related to my career as an artist,″ Townshend said Saturday before taking the stage. ``It was the most important concert (the Who) ever played.″

Up to that point, Townshend said, the Who was more of a ``singles band.″ The 1969 release of the album ``Tommy″ and the exposure from Woodstock sparked U.S. interest.

``Tommy″ sold more than 10 million copies.

``What happened at (the original) Woodstock is that people remembered `Tommy’ and people remembered the Who,″ Townshend said.

Part of the reason Townshend didn’t enjoy the original concert was because he wasn’t doing drugs at that point in his life and they were being abused all around him. So, ``I just sneered at everything.″

Townshend, appearing solo at the weekend anniversary show, said he doesn’t see much a future for the Who anymore.

``It hasn’t really existed for me since 1982,″ he said. ``Creatively, it’s dead, dead, dead. I don’t see anything there at all.″

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