In a detailed letter, The Who guitarist Pete Townshend has apologised for his appalling behaviour after mouthing the words “fuck off” to a 7-year-old girl and her father at a recent gig, attributing his manners to being caught in “rock star mode”. The iconic rocker came off as very unimpressed during the show in Ontario, Canda when a fan and his 7-year-old daughter approached the stage with a sign that read “Smash Your Guitar, Pete!” and, in a moment of self-confessed egoism, the star mouthed the words “fuck off” to the pair, before continuing with the gig.
In a letter sent directly to the family, Pete sends his “apologies and condolences from my side”. He continues to sympathise “with you both, and your daughter’s mother, and that I am most certainly not angry. I was not angry on stage either. I was in rock star mode, the big mouth.” He continues:
“I could have handled it differently. I thought of sending someone to find you both and telling you I was not upset, but we were flying to New York straight after the show, and had no time to spare. I wish things had been different. It would have saved you from all this furor.”
The Who were in the middle of a performance for their album Quadrophenia from start to finish when Townshend noticed the fan’s sign and, according to NME, reportedly said, “Go away with that sign, please, just go away with it, just go away with it. Don’t bring your children, use them… I want to tell you two words but I can’t because you’ve got a child there.” It was then that the ageing rocker apparently mouthed the vulgarities.
As per the letter, Pete “was also worried that your daughter looked a little frightened as the crowd started to follow you down the aisle. The ushers should not have let you leave your seats and walk forward. All that said, you did nothing wrong.” Townshend even goes as far as to ask if they can perhaps “meet and be friends and put this behind us”. That’s nice.