Flashback: Pete Townshend Recruits Phil Collins For 'Slit Skirts' in 1982

This week, the Who released a limited edition can of Heinz Beanz as they prepare to reissue The Who Sell Out. “I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like Heinz Beanz,” Roger Daltrey said in the press release, who famously sat in a bathtub of beans on 1967 cover. “They’re so simple; you put your eggs on, you put your toast on, you click your toaster, you time your eggs, and you put the beans in a pan, and it all comes together all in one lump. It’s great.”

Sadly, the beans sold out immediately, soon to emerge on eBay for an exorbitant price. But the reissue itself is still available, including a deluxe edition that contains 112 songs — 46 of which have never been released. It follows the deluxe edition of 2019’s Who, which featured a live album recorded prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Unable to tour, the Who recently dropped a vintage concert series on YouTube that kicked off with a 1982 show on their “farewell” tour that coincided with the release of It’s Hard. That same year, Townshend released All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes, his second solo album that concludes with “Slit Skirts.” The track opens with a glittery piano as he sings steamy lines about romance, aging, and unfulfillment: “And I know that when she thinks of me, she thinks of me as him/But, unlike me, she don’t work off her frustration in the gym.”

Although Townshend hasn’t performed “Slit Skirts” since 2001, it remains a fan favorite, and in the video above you can watch him tear through it in 1982 at a charity concert for the Prince’s Trust. He’s joined on drums by Phil Collins, who also appeared at the event.

Collins and Townshend later recalled that the drummer almost joined the Who following Keith Moon’s death in 1978, but Kenney Jones had already been recruited for the job. “Phil Collins called me and offered his services, and I knew he would make a great drummer for us,” Townshend wrote in his 2012 memoir Who I Am. “But he was building a solo career, and was still touring and recording with Genesis. How could it work? He assured me he could do it. But I wanted Kenney Jones. He was my friend, I had worked with him quite a bit, and I liked the idea of having a drummer who kept strict time so I didn’t have to do it.” Added Collins last year: “I said to him, ‘Have you got anybody to play the drums? Cause I’d love to do it. I’ll leave Genesis.’ And Pete said: ‘Fuck, we’ve just asked Kenney Jones.’”

Hopefully the Who will announce a tour as more bands return to the stage this year. Genesis’ reunion shows have been postponed several times, currently scheduled to kick off in September.

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