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Classic Quadrophenia makes American debut at Tanglewood. Pete Townshend Q&A with The Boston Globe

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Since "My Generation," Pete Townshend has been a writer first, a guitarist second.

An art school student turned pioneering Rock Opera Poet, Townshend, 72, conceptualized The Who's pivotal "Tommy" in 1969 before working on "Lifehouse" - his 1971 dystopian science fiction rock opera about computer grids that feels eerily on-point - then writing every song on the 1973 double-album "Quadrophenia." The latter is the story of Jimmy, an angst-ridden young mod living in 1960s West London, who finds escape, for a time, through drugs and music.

Now, in an extremely limited tour - four shows in three US cities - "Classic Quadrophenia" will make its American debut in Lenox. The Boston Pops will accompany Townshend, Billy Idol, and Tony Award-winning actor and singer Alfie Boe for "Classic Quadrophenia" at Tanglewood Sept. 2. Tickets go on sale June 13.

We called Townshend at his home, just outside London, for a wide-ranging interview, from why he wrote "Quadrophenia," to how he met Billy Idol, to his banishment from Holiday Inns.    READ Pete Townshend Q&A with The Boston Globe