The Who guitarist Pete Townshend is trying to remain positive about his escalating deafness, insisting being a musician who can't hear is like being an ageing sports star.

The I'M A BOY hitmaker is thankful for his long, illustrious career as one of Britain's greatest rock heroes, and intends to continue his rampaging success, at a slower pace.

And the 60-year-old is currently resting his ears prior to the rockers' upcoming world tour this summer (06).

He explains, "This is, I suppose no worse than being a sports person or dancer who knows they have a limited working span. The rewards are great - money, fame, adulation and a sense of achievement, but music is a calling for life. You can write it when you're deaf but you can't hear or perform it.

"I am forced to continue to take my time. Those long hearing rests are infuriating now that the tour is announced - frustrating but compulsory.

"If you stop to rest your ears, and you need to for 36 hours to do any good, you lose the current performance. It's a tough call."