Townshend, famed for his demonic guitar-smashing antics, admits his mindset has changed since his anguished youth - and he is desperately fighting his artier side in a bid to create Who-friendly rock.
He says, "I have only one problem, and that is writing for what The Who fans - and that includes me - call The Who.
"People say 'just write' and that's what I do, but then I often end up with what sounds more like BRECHT and WEIL or Serge Gainsbourg than the old Who.
"I know what people want but I can't seem to control my creative side. If it comes out a bit arty-farty, then that's all I can do."