Thursday, October 11, 2012

Who I Am: Pete Townshend

Look who's next on my reading list. 

Earlier this week I stood a few inches away from Pete Townshend, who was in town promoting his new book at Barnes and Noble.  Actually, I have Matthew, a long time fan, to thank for my being there.  It turned out to be a fun evening, and Pete had to be pleased to see hundreds of his die hard fans eager to meet him after so many years in the business.  Luckily, we got in.  Many fans didn't. [I have to give a shout out to new friends and fellow fans, Siobhan, Kevin and Kara!]

Now I'm looking forward to starting his book.  I know The Who's music.  Their hits are a part of the soundtrack of our lives, as well as, the theme songs of all the CSI television shows.  (CSI's creator is a big Who fan.)  But, I don't know all that much about Pete Townshend, up close and personal.  I know he is literate, a respected guitarist, the group's second vocalist and its principal songwriter.
Roger Daltrey (lead singer), Pete Townshend (guitarist), Keith Moon (drummer) and behind, John Entwistle (bassist)
However, I don't know much about his English family, musical influences, the dynamics of the band, nor have I heard all of The Who's Rock and Roll antidotes (other than, Pete was permanently banned from all Holiday Inns from coast to coast. Due to Keith Moon's craziness, hotels in New York City wouldn't let the band check-in. They had to lodge outside the city when they played here).  So his autobiography should be a riveting one.  I also like the fact that he waited until the age of 67 to publish it.  Writing about events with a bit of perspective and the wisdom that comes from living a full life makes an interesting read.

At the book signing, we were treated to songs played on his acoustic guitar, which at the end of the set, remained intact.  Pete said the first time he smashed his guitar on stage, it was an accident.  Now in his fifth decade of performing, Pete Townshend is looking and sounding spectacular.  And the man has a great sense of humor.  After signing so many books, I wonder how Pete's hand feels.  I imagine he won't be touching a guitar for several days. 

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  1. You are dating yourself here- but, then again, so am I- saw them at the Fillmore East way back when. Looking forward to your reports on the book.

  2. Classic rock doesn't date anyone. It becomes part of the culture. I think teenagers know The Who due to the CSI shows that run currently.

  3. I won't get fooled again!!!

  4. The Wall Street journal has a nice review of the book, sort of excerpt/ interview style:

    We've come a long way from the Fillmore East to the Wall Street Journal- reflecting the role/ status of rock musicians (and the vicissitudes of Rupert Murdoch). To quote another rock icon- "...what a long strange trip it's been..."