"There will be a tour," he insisted. "We already have European festival dates slotted in June and July."

Pete Townshend took to his official Web site yesterday (Feb. 1) to squash rumors that the Who's planned 2006 tour might not get off the ground after all. "There will be a tour," he insisted. "We already have European festival dates slotted in June and July."

Townshend said the Who will then head to North America for a tour that will feature "three -- or even four -- legs" and run from September to December. "We go on to the rest of the world in 2007," he added.

Of perhaps most interest to observers is Townshend's claim that the Who's first new studio album since 1982's "It's Hard" will be released "sometime in the early summer. I know I've cried wolf a few times, but this time I have committed because I have about enough music for a new CD, and I'm still producing."

In a switch from previous comments to the contrary, Townshend said his girlfriend, singer/songwriter Rachel Fuller, will come along for the tour and stage her popular Internet show, "In the Attic," before each concert. "This will prevent me becoming bored," he said.