All six Desert Trip rock superstars put considerable sweat into performances in Indio over the last two weekends, and some even inspired tears from fans. But only one appeared to literally draw blood
That was the Who’s lead guitarist and chief songwriter Pete Townshend, who managed to nick his forehead to bring forth a trickle of blood over his right eye during the band’s set on Sunday, which he noted also was the final date of their extended 2015-2016 world tour.
The injury became apparent during the mini-set of “Tommy” numbers, as singer Roger Daltrey belted out “See Me, Feel Me” and the show’s high-resolution video cameras made Townshend’s wound visible to all 75,000 festival-goers as his face was magnified on screens around the grounds.
A spokeswoman for the band said “His guitar tech did it as he was changing guitars” between songs. “Blood, sweat and no tears.”
But getting a little messy is nothing new for Townshend, who came onto the vibrant English rock scene more than 50 years ago when he helped create the template for young, loud and snotty rock musicians, the proto-punk teen rebel who hasn’t mellowed a whit with age.
“Are you [expletive] tired or something?” he asked of the audience before him, whose average age is 51, compared to the average of 72 for the show’s headline performers. “’Cause we’re not!”
Near the end of the two-hour set, Townshend paused to thank fans for coming, explaining that “we’ve all been doing this for more than 50 years, and we all know each other really well, and there’s no competition and it’s just all peace and love.” Waiting a beat, he forcefully added, “Like …. !”
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5:41 p.m.: This article was updated with an explanation from the Who’s management on how the injury occurred.