Pete Townshend has issued an apology after he swore at a 7-year-old girl during his performance of "Quadrophenia" in Hamilton, Ontario on Feb. 19.
Video footage from the concert shows just how unimpressed the 67-year-old musician was when the young fan held up a sign that read, "Smash Your Guitar, Pete!" The former The Who guitarist did not take the demand to demonstrate his signature move lightly, and slammed both the girl and her father from stage.
"Go away with that sign please, just go away with it,” Townshend said. “Don't bring your children [or] use them. I want to tell you two words but I can't because you've got a child there." While he didn't say it aloud, he clearly mouthed the words, "f**k off" in their direction.
News of the incident spread after the father of the young fan complained to the press about Townshed, explaining that his daughter is a huge Who fan, and just really wanted to see the rocker perform his signature move.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Townshend issued a letter of apology to the family with the help of a local Toronto DJ. It read:
Apologies and condolences from my side, and very best wishes to you and your family.
I asked my friend Mike Tyler to find you so I could tell you that I am so sorry the story about us blew up the way it did, but also to tell you that I sympathize 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.
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. I had a job to do (to announce our musicians) 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 Guardian reports that the rocker plans to connect with the family in April.