He was asked about his "perspective on the current economic meltdown" to which he said, "The people I am most concerned about are the blue-collar guys and families who depend on the house market being buoyant. Many of these hard-working decent people are our fans, and I hate to see them struggling. I have no idea how it happened."Townshend was called to task about saying back in the mid-'80s that "hope and optimism" were two "filthy and disgusting words." He was asked if he's changed his opinion now that President Barack Obama has inspired millions with those same words. Townshend responded: "I was probably being ironic. Hope and optimism had been thrashed out of we British by (former Prime Minister) Margaret Thatcher. The words had been devalued I suppose. As for (President) Obama, I'm in music not politics and I think he's a pretty good dancer."
When asked about his musical relationship with Track Records labelmate Jimi Hendrix -- as well as Hendrix's spiritual beliefs, Townshend explained, "I knew Jimi only slightly. I helped him with his amplifiers when he first came to London. I jammed with him backstage a few times. Back then I wasn't keen on jamming and I'm not mad about it today. I have no idea what he believed in. I think reincarnation is a possibility, but it isn't useful to worry about it because it can't be proved."
A fan asked him if maybe composing someplace away from home might spur him on to recording and releasing more music, Townshend snapped: "I am doing fine. I don't need advice or help, but thanks. I have a feeling that retreating to a warm island would not help me compose another 'WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN.'"
He shed light on the meaning behind the title to the Who By Numbers classic "Blue Red & Grey," explaining, "This song is about the difference between me and most other musicians of my era. They tended to stay up all night. I had children pretty early in my life, and I wanted to be their father not an absent rock 'n' roll ghost, and didn't live that way. The colors mentioned are those of the sunset, sunrise and grey gloom of the early hours in this country."
When asked about his "kind decision" to perform the Who's 1975 classic "Slip Kid" during their Christmas London shows ending a 32-year moratorium on the tune, Townshend joked, "I don't know about fans, but Roger (Daltrey) has asked to play 'Slip Kid' in every rehearsal for the last thirty years. I just gave in, but you're right, I made a very kind decision."