Pete Townshend can still ''feel the ghosts'' of his dead bandmates when he plays.

The Who guitarist can sense the presence of drummer Keith Moon - who died of an overdose of prescription medicine in 1978 - and John Entwhistle, who passed away in 2002 from a cocaine induced heart attack, when he takes to the stage with singer Roger Daltrey perform live.

He told Rolling Stone magazine: ''We feel the ghosts of Keith and John.''

Referring to drummer Zak Starkey - son of The Beatles legend Ringo Starr - who has played with the group since 1996, he added: ''The second phase of the Who was really when we started to tour again around the year 2000, 2001.

''We were still able to evoke the sound, particularly with Zak Starkey. Now it's much more difficult even though Zak's there. John's sound was very big and rich and organic. When John died, there was a hole in the sound onstage and I was able to grow into that and find space.

''And I have to say as a guitar player, I prefer working without John. But as a member of The Who creating the incredible, powerful, driving, visceral sound, he's gone. I can't really do that again.''

Pete is currently concentrating on writing a musical, but also still writes plenty of new songs.

He said: ''I write lots of music, I record lots of music. I probably write a song every couple of days. I have a very big archive of unfinished material.''