March 6, 2013 at 3:15 PM ET
Who frontman Pete Townshend has apologized for mouthing a profanity to a 7-year-old girl and her father who attended one of his "Quadrophenia" performances in Canada on Feb. 19.
The little girl, Janey Costello, apparently was holding a sign that read, "Smash Your Guitar, Pete," referring to the musical destruction for which Townshend used to be well-known. In a video of the incident, Townshend spots the sign and addresses the girl's father, Eric Costello.
“Go away with that sign please, just go away with it," Townshend says. "Don’t bring your children -- use them. I want to tell you two words but I can’t because you’ve got a child there." He then clearly mouths "F--- off" while the audience claps and cheers.
Eric Costello told the Toronto Sun that his daughter had begged to attend the concert. "I expect a 70-something-year-old man to respect the fact there's a seven-year-old girl standing in front of him," he told the paper. "I'd like him to know in some small way he broke a little girl's heart."
The Sun also quoted nearby fans who said they were shocked by Townshend's response to the sign.
"I did kind of think the (dad) was being overbearing, but it doesn't make it right to say that kind of thing," Kayvon Zahedi told the paper.
An Ontario DJ and friend of Townshend's helped the rocker locate the family, and Townshend has now sent the Costellos a letter offering "apologies and condolences from my side, and very best wishes to you and your family."
He also said, "I thought your placard was fun."
Townshend has made arrangements to meet with the Costellos in April, the newspaper reports.
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