Belfast Telegraph

Pete Townshend to play Parkinson's fundraiser in father-in-law's memory

The Who guitarist Pete Townshend is to perform at a charity concert for Parkinson's research in tribute to his father-in-law, who died of the disease.

Townshend has joined the line-up of Parkinson's UK's Symfunny No 2 at the Royal Albert Hall, alongside comedian Rob Deering and host Jason Manford.

The musician's father-in-law, composer Edwin Astley, died from a Parkinson's-related illness in 1998 while Deering's father has been living with the condition for the past 18 years.

Music stars Katie Melua and Collabro, comedians Josh Widdicombe and Jack Dee plus the I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue team are also on the bill.

They will all be accompanied by the Symfunny Orchestra and Choir, while further acts from the worlds of comedy and music are to be announced ahead of the event.

The fundraiser, hosted by Parkinson's UK, was founded by conductor, composer and producer James Morgan and his partner Juliette Pochin.

Morgan, who worked with Townshend on his Classic Quadrophenia album, was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson's in 2012.

The Who star said: "I'm pleased to work with my friend and colleague James Morgan in the Symfunny concert.

"My beloved father-in-law Edwin Astley, who helped me break into orchestral arrangements for some of my songs in the 1980s, suffered and eventually died from supranuclear palsy which is a horrible type of Parkinson's disease.

"Together we collaborated on several songs, one very silly fugue called Football Fugue which I will perform on the night. If I'm allowed to speak, I can be funny, too."

The first Symfunny was held at the Royal Albert Hall in 2014.


From Belfast Telegraph