Pete Townshend has apologised to a seven-year-old fan and her father after he mouthed the words ‘fuck off’ at them during a gig.
The Toronto Sun originally reported that the rocker had mouthed the obscenity at the pair after he spotted them near the stage during the band’s show in Ontario, Canada, where they were playing their album ‘Quadrophenia’ in its entirety.
Jenny Costello – who was accompanied by her father Eric – was holding a sign which said ‘Smash your guitar, Pete!’. When the guitarist spotted it, he 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.” He then mouthed the swear words.
Now, the Sun News Network says that Townshend penned a personal letter of apology to the family to atone for the incident. “Apologies and condolences from my side, and very best wishes to you and your family,” he wrote, before asking if they could “meet and be friends and put this behind us”.
He also said he was “sorry the story blew up the way it did” and that he sympathised “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 went on to add: “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.
“I thought your placard was fun,” he continued. “I had a job to do and I didn’t want to lengthen the show by trying to deal with you directly and in detail. I 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.”
The Who are set to bring their ‘Quadrophenia’ tour to the UK and Ireland this June. The band will also play a selection of their other classics during the 10-date trek, which kicks off in Dublin on June 8 and wraps up in Liverpool on June 30.
The Who will play:
Dublin The O2 (June 8)
Belfast Odyssey (10)
Glasgow SECC (12)
London The O2 (15)
Sheffield Motorpoint Arena (18)
Newcastle Metro Arena (20)
Manchester Arena (23)
Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (25)
Birmingham LG Arena (28)
Liverpool Echo Arena (30)