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Pete Townshend Reveals Secret Marriage, Announces Yearlong Sabbatical

Amy Sussman, Getty Images
Amy Sussman, Getty Images

Pete Townshend has gone public with news of his marriage to longtime partner Rachel Fuller, and revealed plans for an extended period of time away.

Townshend shared both bits of information on Facebook, writing that it “seems like a good time to tell everyone who doesn’t yet know” that he and Fuller were wed in a small private ceremony last December. Calling the step a “very, very happy thing for both of us,” he pointed out the couple had been together for more than two decades before visiting the altar and said they’d decided to keep their legal union “as quiet as we could” for much of 2017.

“Why did we keep it quiet? Really, we were being selfish,” wrote Townshend. “I have been away on tour so much in recent years, we just wanted to be together, and savour the moment.”

Calling the Who‘s summer 2017 tour dates “a kind of wedding blessing for us both,” Townshend added that he’d referred to Fuller as his wife onstage, and felt “the response has been great, and of course it is Rachel’s moment as much as it is mine.” But after they wrap up their touring obligations later this year, fans can expect to wait a while before Townshend announces his next creative move.

In a separate post, Townshend shared his plans to take a yearlong sabbatical, dryly musing that although the dictionary definition is “a period of paid leave granted to a university teacher for study or travel, traditionally one year for every seven years worked,” he doubts he’ll end up making his Who salary while he’s away. Of course, at this point, he can afford a little time off — and as he went on to add, this feels like a necessary step.

“The obvious problem for me working in the Who is that I am constantly playing music I wrote a long time ago – most of it over 35 years ago,” wrote Townshend. “I’m lucky in many ways, but there is a little piece of me that has an unusually loud voice. When I’m on stage it sometimes says ‘You were so brilliant young Pete.’ At other times it says ‘When are we going to play something difficult?’ Don’t worry, I know I’m lucky.”

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