Pete Townshend
Pete Townshend

Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend (born 19 Might 1945) is an English musician, singer and songwriter. He’s co-founder, chief, guitarist, secondary lead vocalist and principal songwriter of the Who, one of the crucial influential rock bands of the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies.[2][3]

Townshend has written greater than 100 songs for 12 of the Who’s studio albums. These embody idea albums, the rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia, plus common rock radio staples corresponding to Who’s Subsequent; in addition to dozens extra that appeared as non-album singles, bonus tracks on reissues, and tracks on rarities compilations corresponding to Odds & Sods (1974). He has additionally written greater than 100 songs which have appeared on his solo albums, in addition to radio jingles and tv theme songs.

As an instrumentalist, though recognized primarily as a guitarist, Townshend additionally performs keyboards, banjo, accordion, harmonica, ukulele, mandolin, violin, synthesiser, bass guitar, and drums. He’s self-taught on all of those devices. He performs on his personal solo albums, a number of Who albums, and as a visitor contributor to an array of different artists’ recordings.

Townshend has additionally contributed to and authored many newspaper and journal articles, guide critiques, essays, books, and scripts, and he has collaborated as a lyricist and composer for a lot of different musical acts. As a consequence of his aggressive taking part in type and modern songwriting methods, Townshend’s works with the Who and in different initiatives have earned him essential acclaim.

In 1983, Townshend obtained the Brit Award for Lifetime Achievement and in 1990 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame as a member of the Who. Townshend was ranked No. 3 in Dave Marsh’s 1994 record of Finest Guitarists in The New Ebook of Rock Lists.[4] In 2001, he obtained a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award as a member of the Who; and in 2008 he obtained Kennedy Heart Honors. He was ranked No. 10 in’s 2011 record of the highest 50 guitarists,[5] and No. 10 in Rolling Stones up to date 2011 record of the 100 best guitarists of all time.[6] He and Roger Daltrey obtained The George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement at UCLA on 21 Might 2016.[7][8]

Youth and schooling

Townshend was born in Chiswick, west London on the Chiswick Hospital, Netheravon Street. He got here from a musical household: his father, Cliff Townshend, was an expert alto saxophonist within the Royal Air Drive’s dance band the Squadronaires and his mom, Betty (née Dennis), was a singer with the Sydney Torch and Les Douglass Orchestras.[9] The Townshends had a unstable marriage, as each drank closely and possessed fiery tempers. Cliff Townshend was typically away from his household touring along with his band whereas Betty carried on affairs with different males. The 2 break up when Townshend was a toddler and he was despatched to reside along with his maternal grandmother Emma Dennis, whom Pete later described as “clinically insane”. The 2-year separation ended when Cliff and Betty bought a home collectively on Woodgrange Avenue in middle-class Acton, and the younger Pete was fortunately reunited along with his mother and father.[10] His neighbourhood was one-third Polish, and a religious Jewish household upstairs shared their housing with them and cooking with them—a lot of his father’s closest associates have been Jewish.[11]

Townshend says he didn’t have many associates rising up, so he spent a lot of his boyhood studying journey novels like Gulliver’s Travels and Treasure Island.[12] He loved his household’s frequent excursions to the seaside and the Isle of Man. It was on one in every of these journeys in the summertime of 1956 that he repeatedly watched the 1956 movie Rock Across the Clock, sparking his fascination with American rock and roll.[13] Not lengthy thereafter, he went to see Invoice Haley carry out in London, Townshend’s first live performance.[14] On the time, he didn’t see himself pursuing a profession as an expert musician; as a substitute, he wished to turn out to be a journalist.[15]

Upon passing the eleven-plus examination, Townshend was enrolled at Acton County Grammar Faculty.[16] At Acton County, he was continuously bullied as a result of he had a big nostril, an expertise that profoundly affected him.[17] His grandmother Emma bought his first guitar for Christmas in 1956, an affordable Spanish mannequin.[18] Although his father taught him a few chords, Townshend was largely self-taught on the instrument and by no means realized to learn music.[19] Townshend and college good friend John Entwistle shaped a short-lived trad jazz group, the Confederates, that includes Townshend on banjo and Entwistle on horns.[20] The Confederates performed gigs on the Congo Membership, a youth membership run by the Acton Congregational Church, and lined Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball, and Lonnie Donegan.[21] Nonetheless, each grew to become influenced by the growing recognition of rock ‘n’ roll, with Townshend notably admiring Cliff Richard’s debut single, “Transfer It”.[22] Townshend left the Confederates after getting right into a battle with the group’s drummer, Chris Sherwin, and bought a “moderately good Czechoslovakian guitar” at his mom’s vintage store.[23]

Townshend’s brothers Paul and Simon have been born in 1957 and 1960, respectively.[24] Missing the requisite check scores to attend college, Pete was confronted with the choice of artwork faculty, music faculty, or getting a job.[25] He in the end selected to check graphic design at Ealing Artwork School, enrolling in 1961. At Ealing, Townshend studied alongside future Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wooden. Notable artists and designers gave lectures on the faculty corresponding to auto-destructive artwork pioneer Gustav Metzger.[26] Townshend dropped out in 1964 to concentrate on music full-time.[27]

Musical profession

1961–1964: the Detours

In late 1961, Entwistle joined the Detours, a skiffle/rock and roll band, led by Roger Daltrey. The brand new bass participant then instructed Townshend be part of as a further guitarist.[28] Within the early days of the Detours, the band’s repertoire consisted of instrumentals by the Shadows and the Ventures, in addition to pop and trad jazz covers. Their lineup coalesced round Roger Daltrey on lead guitar, Townshend on rhythm guitar, Entwistle on bass, Doug Sandom on drums and Colin Dawson as vocalist.[29] Daltrey was thought of the chief of the group and, in accordance with Townshend, “ran issues the way in which he wished them.”[30] Dawson stop in 1962 after arguing an excessive amount of with Daltrey, who subsequently moved to steer vocalist. Consequently, Townshend, with Entwistle’s encouragement, grew to become the only real guitarist. By Townshend’s mom, the group obtained a administration contract with native promoter Robert Druce,[31] who began reserving the band as a help act for bands together with Screaming Lord Sutch, Cliff Bennett and the Insurgent Rousers, Shane Fenton and the Fentones, and Johnny Kidd and the Pirates.[32] In 1963, Townshend’s father organized an newbie recording of “It Was You”, the primary track his son ever wrote.[33] The Detours grew to become conscious of a bunch of the identical identify in February 1964, forcing them to alter their identify.[34] Townshend’s roommate Richard Barnes got here up with “The Who”, and Daltrey determined it was your best option.[35]

1964–1982: The Who

Townshend (with Moon, rear proper) backstage earlier than a gig at Friedrich-Ebert-Halle in Ludwigshafen, Germany on 12 April 1967

Not lengthy after the identify change, drummer Doug Sandom was changed by Keith Moon, who had been drumming semi-professionally with the Beachcombers for a number of years.[36] The band was quickly taken on by a mod publicist named Peter Meaden who satisfied them to alter their identify to the Excessive Numbers to present the band extra of a mod really feel. After bringing out one failed single (“I am the Face/Zoot Go well with”), they dropped Meaden and have been signed on by two new managers, Chris Stamp and Equipment Lambert, who had paired up with the intention of discovering new expertise and making a documentary about them.[37] The band anguished over a reputation that each one felt represented the band finest, and dropped the Excessive Numbers identify, reverting to the Who.[38] In June 1964, throughout a efficiency on the Railway Tavern, Townshend unintentionally broke the highest of his guitar on the low ceiling and proceeded to destroy your entire instrument.[39] The on-stage destruction of devices quickly grew to become an everyday a part of the Who’s reside reveals.[40]

With the help of Lambert, the Who caught the ear of American report producer Shel Talmy, who had the band signed to a report contract. Townshend wrote a track, “I Cannot Clarify”, as a deliberate sound-alike of the Kinks, one other group Talmy produced. Launched as a single in January 1965, “I Cannot Clarify” was the Who’s first hit, reaching quantity eight on the British charts.[41] A follow-up single (“Anyway, Anyhow, Anyplace”), credited to each Townshend and Daltrey, additionally reached the highest 10 within the UK.[42] Nonetheless, it was the discharge of the Who’s third single, “My Technology”, in November that, in accordance with Who biographer Mark Wilkerson, “cemented their status as a hard-nosed band who mirrored the emotions of hundreds of pissed-off adolescents on the time.”[43] The Townshend-penned single reached quantity two on the UK charts, changing into the Who’s largest hit. The track and its well-known line “I hope I die earlier than I get outdated” was “very a lot about looking for a spot in society”, Townshend acknowledged in an interview with David Fricke.[44]

To capitalise on their current single success, the Who’s debut album My Technology (The Who Sings My Technology within the US) was launched in late 1965, containing unique materials written by Townshend and several other James Brown covers that Daltrey favoured.[45] Townshend continued to put in writing a number of profitable singles for the band, together with “Footage of Lily”, “Substitute”, “I am a Boy”, and “Completely satisfied Jack”.[46] Lambert inspired Townshend to put in writing longer items of music for the following album, which grew to become “A Fast One, Whereas He is Away”. The album was subsequently titled A Fast One[47] and reached No. 4 within the charts upon its launch in December 1966.[48] Of their stage reveals, Townshend developed a guitar stunt wherein he would swing his proper arm towards the guitar strings in a mode harking back to the vanes of a windmill.[49] He developed this type after watching Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards heat up earlier than a present.[50]

Townshend’s “windmill” approach

The Who commenced their first US tour on 22 March 1967.[51] Townshend took to trashing his resort suites, although to not the extent of his bandmate Moon.[52] He additionally started experimenting with LSD, although stopped taking the drug after receiving a potent hit after the Monterey Pop Competition on 18 June.[53] Launched in December, their subsequent album was The Who Promote Out—an idea album based mostly on pirate radio, which had been instrumental in elevating the Who’s recognition. It included a number of humorous jingles and mock commercials between songs,[54] and the Who’s largest US single, “I Can See for Miles”.[55] Regardless of the success of “I Can See for Miles”, which reached No. 9 on the American charts, Townshend was shocked it was not a smash hit, as he thought of it the very best track he had written as much as that time.[56]

By 1968, Townshend took an interest within the teachings of Meher Baba.[57] He started to develop a musical piece a few deaf, dumb, and blind boy who would expertise sensations musically.[58] The piece would discover the tenets of Baba’s philosophy.[59] The consequence was the rock opera Tommy, launched on 23 Might 1969 to essential and industrial success. In help of Tommy, the Who launched a tour that included a memorable look on the Woodstock Competition on 17 August. Whereas the Who have been taking part in, Yippie chief Abbie Hoffman jumped the stage to complain in regards to the arrest of John Sinclair. Townshend promptly knocked him offstage along with his guitar, shouting, “Fuck off my fucking stage!”[60]

In 1970, the Who launched Reside at Leeds, which a number of music critics cite as the very best reside album of all time.[61] Townshend started writing materials for one more rock opera. Dubbed Lifehouse, it was designed to be a multi-media undertaking that symbolised the connection between a musician and his viewers.[62] The remainder of the band have been confused by its convoluted plot and easily wished one other album. Townshend started to really feel alienated, and the undertaking was deserted after he suffered a nervous breakdown.[63] A lot of the fabric meant for Lifehouse was launched as a standard studio album, Who’s Subsequent. It grew to become a industrial smash, reaching primary within the UK, and spawned two profitable hit singles, “Baba O’Riley” and “Will not Get Fooled Once more”, that featured pioneering use of the synthesizer.[64] “Baba O’Riley” particularly was written as Townshend’s ode to his two heroes on the time, Meher Baba and composer Terry Riley.[65]

Townshend performing in Hamburg, Germany in August 1972

Townshend started writing songs for one more rock opera in 1973. He determined it could discover the mod subculture and its clashes with Rockers within the early Nineteen Sixties within the UK.[66] Entitled Quadrophenia, it was the one Who album written totally by Townshend, and he produced the album as effectively as a result of souring of relations with Lambert.[67] It was launched in November, and have become their highest charting cross-Atlantic success, reaching No. 2 within the UK and US.[68] NME reviewer Charles Shaar Murray known as it “prime lower Who” and “essentially the most rewarding musical expertise of the 12 months.”[69] On tour, the band performed the album alongside to pre-recorded backing tapes, inflicting a lot friction. The tapes malfunctioned throughout a efficiency in Newcastle, prompting Townshend to tug soundman Bob Pridden onstage, scream at him and kick over all of the amplifiers, partially destroying the malfunctioning tapes.[70] On 14 April 1974, Townshend performed his first solo live performance, a profit to boost funds for a London neighborhood centre.[71]

A movie model of Tommy was directed by Ken Russell, and starred Roger Daltrey within the title position, Ann-Margret as his mom, Oliver Reed as his step-father, with cameos by Tina Turner, Elton John, Eric Clapton and different rock notables; the movie premiered on 18 March 1975.[72][73] Townshend was nominated for an Academy Award for scoring and adapting the music within the movie.[74] The Who by Numbers got here out in November of that 12 months and peaked at No. 7 within the UK and eight within the US. It featured introspective songs, typically with a adverse slant.[75] The album spawned one hit single, “Squeeze Field”, that was written after Townshend realized tips on how to play the accordion.[75] After a 1976 tour, Townshend took a year-long break from the band to concentrate on spending time along with his household.[76]

The Who continues regardless of the deaths of two of the unique members (Keith Moon in 1978 and John Entwistle in 2002). The band is regarded by many rock critics as probably the greatest[77][78] reside bands[79][80] from the Nineteen Sixties to the 2000s. The Who continues to carry out critically acclaimed units into the twenty first century, together with extremely regarded performances at The Live performance For New York Metropolis in 2001, the 2004 Isle of Wight Competition, Reside 8 in 2005 and the 2007 Glastonbury Competition.

Townshend remained the first songwriter and chief of the group, writing over 100 songs which appeared on the band’s eleven studio albums. Amongst his creations is the rock opera, Quadrophenia. Townshend revisited album-length storytelling all through his profession and stays related to the rock opera type. Many studio recordings additionally function Townshend on piano or keyboards, although keyboard-heavy tracks more and more featured visitor artists within the studio, corresponding to Nicky Hopkins, John Bundrick or Chris Stainton.[81]

Townshend is among the key figures within the improvement of suggestions in rock guitar. When requested who first used suggestions, Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore mentioned:

Pete Townshend was positively the primary. However not being that good a guitarist, he used to simply kind of crash chords and let the guitar suggestions. He did not get into playing with the dials on the amplifier till a lot later. He is overrated in England, however on the similar time you discover lots of people like Jeff Beck and Hendrix getting credit score for issues he began. Townshend was the primary to interrupt his guitar, and he was the primary to do a whole lot of issues. He is excellent at his chord scene, too.[82]

Equally, when Jimmy Web page was requested in regards to the improvement of guitar suggestions, he mentioned:

I do not know who actually did suggestions first; it simply kind of occurred. I do not suppose anyone consciously nicked it from anyone else. It was simply happening. However Pete Townshend clearly was the one, by way of the music of his group, who made the usage of suggestions extra his type, and so it is associated to him. Whereas the opposite gamers like Jeff Beck and myself have been taking part in extra single word issues than chords.[83]

Many rock guitarists have cited Townshend as an affect, amongst them Slash,[84] Alex Lifeson[85] and Steve Jones.[86]

1972–current: solo profession

Along with his work with the Who, Townshend has been sporadically energetic as a solo recording artist. Between 1969 and 1971 Townshend, together with different devotees to Meher Baba, recorded a trio of albums dedicated to his teachings: Completely satisfied Birthday, I Am, and With Love. In response to bootlegging of those, he compiled his private highlights (and “Evolution”, a collaboration with Ronnie Lane), and launched his first major-label solo title, 1972’s Who Got here First. It was a average success and featured demos of Who songs in addition to a showcase of his acoustic guitar skills. He collaborated with the Faces’ bassist and fellow Meher Baba devotee Ronnie Lane on a duet album (1977’s Tough Combine). In 1979 Townshend produced and carried out guitar on the novelty single “Peppermint Lump” by Angie on Stiff Data, that includes 11-year-old Angela Porter on lead vocals.[87]

Townshend made a number of solo appearances in the course of the Nineteen Seventies, two of which have been captured on report: Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Live performance[88] in January 1973 (which Townshend organized to revive Clapton’s profession after the latter’s heroin habit),[89] and the Paul McCartney-sponsored Concert events for the Folks of Kampuchea in December 1979. The commercially out there video of the Kampuchea live performance reveals the 2 rock icons duelling and clowning[90] by way of Rockestra mega-band variations of “Lucille”, “Let It Be” and the “Rockestra Theme”; Townshend closes the proceedings with a attribute split-legged leap.[91]

Townshend’s solo breakthrough, following the dying of Who drummer Keith Moon, was the 1980 launch Empty Glass, which included a top-10 single, “Let My Love Open the Door” and “Tough Boys”. This launch was adopted in 1982 by All of the Finest Cowboys Have Chinese language Eyes, which included the favored radio monitor “Slit Skirts”. Whereas not an enormous industrial success, famous music critic Timothy Duggan listed it as “Townshend’s most trustworthy and introspective work since Quadrophenia.” By the remainder of the Eighties and early Nineties Townshend would once more experiment with the rock opera and associated codecs, releasing a number of story-based albums together with White Metropolis: A Novel (1985), The Iron Man: A Musical (1989), and Psychoderelict (1993).
Townshend additionally bought the prospect to play along with his hero Hank Marvin for Paul McCartney’s “Rockestra” classes, together with different rock musicians corresponding to David Gilmour, John Bonham and Ronnie Lane.

Townshend in live performance, 2008

Townshend has additionally recorded a number of live performance albums, together with one that includes a supergroup he assembled known as Deep Finish, with David Gilmour on guitar, who carried out simply three concert events and a tv present session for The Tube, to boost cash for his Double-O charity, supporting drug addicts.[92] In 1993 he and Des McAnuff wrote and directed the Broadway adaptation of the Who album Tommy, in addition to a much less profitable stage musical based mostly on his solo album The Iron Man, based mostly upon the guide by Ted Hughes. McAnuff and Townshend later co-produced the animated movie The Iron Large, additionally based mostly on the Hughes story.

A manufacturing described as a Townshend rock opera and titled The Boy Who Heard Music debuted as a part of Vassar School’s Powerhouse Summer season Theater program in July 2007.

On 2 September 2017 in Lenox, Massachusetts, Townshend embarked with fellow singer and musician Billy Idol, tenor Alfie Boe and an orchestra on a brief (5-date) “Basic Quadrophenia” US tour which ended on 16 September 2017 in Los Angeles, California.[93][94]

1996–current: newest Who work

From the mid-Nineties by way of the current, Townshend has participated in a sequence of excursions with the surviving members of the Who, together with a 2002 tour that continued regardless of Entwistle’s dying.[95]

In February 2006, a significant world tour by the Who was introduced to advertise their first new album since 1982. Townshend revealed a semi-autobiographical story The Boy Who Heard Music as a serial on a weblog starting in September 2005.[96] The weblog closed in October 2006, as famous on Townshend’s web site. It’s now owned by a special consumer and doesn’t relate to Townshend’s work in any manner. On 25 February 2006, he introduced the problem of a mini-opera impressed by the novella for June 2006. In October 2006 the Who launched their first album in 24 years, Infinite Wire.

The Who carried out on the Tremendous Bowl XLIV half-time present on 7 February 2010, taking part in a medley of songs that included “Pinball Wizard”, “Who Are You”, “Baba O’Riley”, “See Me, Really feel Me” and “Will not Get Fooled Once more”.[97] In 2012, the Who introduced they might tour the rock opera Quadrophenia.

The Who have been the ultimate performers on the 2012 Summer season Olympics closing ceremony in London, performing a medley of “Baba O’Riley”, “See Me, Really feel Me” and “My Technology”.[98]

On 22 March 2018, Townshend acknowledged {that a} new Who album ought to function unique songs by Roger Daltrey in addition to him.[99] That album, merely titled Who, was launched on 6 December 2019. It was the band’s second album as a duo, and their first in 13 years.[100]

Unfinished work

The Age of Anxiousness, previously Floss The Musical,[101] is the identify given to a work-in-progress by Townshend.[102] The musical has been a piece in progress at the least since 2009 with an unique estimated launch of 2011.[103] On 24 January 2012 Townshend offered the rights to all of his again catalog and far of his future work together with Floss The Musical whether it is ever accomplished.[104][105] He summarized the work in an interview with Sirius Satellite tv for pc Radio revealed February 2010.[106] In a 2015 interview Townshend acknowledged that the work was meant to be an artwork set up.[107] In March 2019 it was introduced {that a} work entitled The Age of Anxiousness can be revealed as a novel, with an opera to comply with.[108]

Musical influences

Townshend was born ten days after Nazi Germany surrendered within the Second World Conflict and grew up within the shadow of reconstruction in and round London. In line with Townshend, postwar trauma was the driving pressure behind the rock music revolution within the UK. “Trauma is handed from technology to technology”, he mentioned, “I’ve unwittingly inherited what my father skilled.”[109] Townshend notes that rising up on this interval produced the narrative that runs by way of his music of a boy misplaced within the stresses and pressures of postwar life.[110] In his autobiography, he wrote:

I wasn’t attempting to play stunning music. I used to be confronting my viewers with the terrible, visceral sound of what all of us knew was the only absolute of our frail existence—sooner or later an aeroplane would carry the bomb that may destroy us all in a flash. It might occur at any time.[111]

Though he grew up in a family with jazz musicians, Townshend absorbed a lot of his concepts about efficiency and rock music themes throughout artwork faculty. Townshend’s roommate at Ealing Artwork School, Tom Wright, had a big report assortment, and Townshend listened to and have become influenced by R&B and rock & roll artists like Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley, Booker T. & the MGs, Little Walter, and Chuck Berry.[112] He was additionally strongly influenced by cellist Malcolm Cecil, who typically broken his cello throughout performances, together with Gustav Metzger, pioneer of auto-destructive artwork. In gentle of those influences, guitar smashing grew to become not simply an expression of youthful angst, but in addition a method of conveying concepts by way of musical efficiency. “We superior a brand new idea”, he writes. “Destruction is artwork when set to music.”[111]



Townshend leaping into air in live performance

All through his solo profession and his profession with the Who, Townshend has performed a big number of guitars – principally numerous Fender, Gibson, and Rickenbacker fashions. He has additionally used Guild,[113] Takamine[114] and Gibson J-200 acoustic fashions, with the J-200 offering his signature recorded acoustic sound in such songs as “Pinball Wizard”.[115]

Within the early days with the Who, Townshend performed an Emile Grimshaw SS De Luxe and 6-string and 12-string Rickenbacker semi-hollow electrical guitars primarily (notably the Rose-Morris UK-imported fashions with particular f-holes). When the excited viewers responded enthusiastically after he unintentionally broke the top off his guitar on a low ceiling throughout a live performance on the Railway Resort pub in Wealdstone, west London, he included the eventual smashing of his instrument into the band’s performances.[116] Nonetheless, as instrument-smashing grew to become more and more built-in into the Who’s live performance units, he switched to extra sturdy and resilient (and, importantly, cheaper) guitars for smashing, such because the Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster and numerous Danelectro fashions.[117] On the Who’s The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour look in 1967, Townshend used a Vox Cheetah guitar,[118] which he solely used for that efficiency; the guitar was destroyed by Townshend and Moon’s drum explosion. Within the late Nineteen Sixties, Townshend started taking part in Gibson SG Particular fashions nearly completely. He used this guitar on the Woodstock[119] and Isle of Wight reveals in 1969 and 1970, in addition to the Reside at Leeds efficiency in 1970.

By 1970 Gibson modified the design of the SG Particular which Townshend had been utilizing beforehand, and he started utilizing different guitars. For a lot of the Nineteen Seventies, he used a Gibson Les Paul Deluxe, some with solely two mini-humbucker pick-ups and others modified with a 3rd pick-up within the “center place” (a DiMarzio Superdistortion / Twin Sound). He could be seen utilizing a number of of those guitars within the documentary The Youngsters Are Alright, though within the studio he typically performed a ’59 Gretsch 6120 guitar (given to him by Joe Walsh),[118] most notably on the albums Who’s Subsequent and Quadrophenia.[120]

Throughout the Eighties, Townshend primarily used Fenders, Rickenbackers and Telecaster-style fashions constructed for him by Schecter and numerous different luthiers. Because the late-Eighties, Townshend has used the Fender Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster, with Lace Sensor pick-ups,[118] each within the studio and on tour. A few of his Stratocaster guitars function a Fishman PowerBridge piezo pick-up system to simulate acoustic guitar tones. This piezo system is managed by an additional quantity management behind the guitar’s bridge.

Throughout the Who’s 1989 Tour Townshend performed a Rickenbacker guitar that was sarcastically smashed unintentionally when he tripped over it. As an alternative of throwing the smashed components away, Townshend reassembled the items as a sculpture.[121] The sculpture was featured on the Rock Stars, Vehicles And Guitars 2 exhibit in the course of the summer season of 2009 at The Henry Ford museum.

Townshend taking part in a Fender Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster

There are a number of Gibson Pete Townshend signature guitars, such because the Pete Townshend SG, the Pete Townshend J-200, and three completely different Pete Townshend Les Paul Deluxes. The SG was clearly marked as a Pete Townshend restricted version mannequin and got here with a particular case and certificates of authenticity, signed by Townshend himself. There has additionally been a Pete Townshend signature Rickenbacker restricted version guitar of the mannequin 1998, which was his most important 6-string guitar within the Who’s early days. The run featured 250 guitars which have been made between July 1987 – March 1988, and in accordance with Rickenbacker CEO John Corridor, your entire run offered out earlier than critical promoting may very well be achieved.

He additionally used the Gibson ES-335, one in every of which he donated to the Onerous Rock Cafe. Townshend additionally used a Gibson EDS-1275 double-neck very briefly circa late 1967, and each a Concord Sovereign H1270[122] and a Fender Electrical XII for the studio classes for Tommy for the 12-string guitar components. He additionally often used Fender Jazzmasters on stage in 1967 and 1968[123] and within the studio for Tommy.

In 2006 Townshend had a pedalboard designed by long-time gear guru Pete Cornish. The board apparently contains a compressor, an outdated Boss OD-1 overdrive pedal, in addition to a T-Rex Duplicate delay pedal.


Through the years, Townshend has used many kinds of amplifier, together with Vox,[124] Selmer, Fender, Marshall, and Hiwatt, sticking to utilizing Hiwatt amps for many of 4 many years. Across the time of Who’s Subsequent, he used a tweed Fender Bandmaster amp (additionally given to him by Joe Walsh in 1970[125]), which he additionally used for Quadrophenia and The Who by Numbers. Whereas recording Face Dances and the collaborative album Tough Combine, Townshend made use of a Peavey Classic 4×10 amplifier within the studio. Since 1989, his rig consisted of 4 Fender Vibro-King stacks and a Hiwatt head driving two {custom} made 2×12″ Hiwatt/Mesa Boogie speaker cupboards. Nonetheless, since 2006, he has solely three Vibro-King stacks, one in every of which is a backup.

Townshend figured prominently within the improvement of what’s broadly recognized in rock circles because the “Marshall stack”. He ordered a number of speaker cupboards that contained eight 12″ audio system in a housing standing almost six toes in top with the highest half of the cupboard slanted barely upward. These have been too heavy to maneuver simply, so Jim Marshall lower the huge speaker cupboard in half, on the suggestion of Townshend, with every cupboard containing 4 12-inch audio system. One of many cupboards had half of the speaker baffle slanted upwards and Marshall made these two cupboards stackable. The Marshall stack was born, and Townshend used these in addition to Hiwatt stacks.

He has at all times regarded his devices as being merely instruments of the commerce[126] and has, in latter years, stored his most prized devices effectively away from the live performance stage. These devices embody a number of classic and reissue Rickenbackers, the Gretsch 6120, an unique 1952 Fender Telecaster,[127] Gibson Customized Store’s artist restricted version reissues of Townshend’s Les Paul DeLuxe fashions 1, 3 and 9 as effectively his signature SG Particular reissue.


Townshend performed keyboards on a number of Who songs. On Who’s Subsequent, he started to work with analogue synthesizers, utilizing the ARP 2600 mannequin that he first encountered at Cambridge College.[128] He had this to say in regards to the instrument: “I like synthesizers as a result of they carry into my fingers issues that are not in my fingers: the sound of an orchestra, French horns, strings. There are devices on synthesizers that allow one to turn out to be a virtuoso on the keyboard. You may play one thing slowly and also you press a change and it performs it again at double velocity. Whereas on the guitar you are caught with as quick as you possibly can play and I do not play quick, I simply play arduous. So when it goes to taking part in one thing quick I am going to the synth.”[129]

The synths Townshend was referring to incorporate the EMS VCS3, the ARP Devices, Inc. ARP 2600, a few of which modified a Lowrey TBO Berkshire organ. Present images of his residence studio additionally present an ARP 2500. Townshend was featured in ARP promotional supplies within the early Nineteen Seventies.[130]

Because the late Eighties Townshend has predominantly used Synclavier Digital Audio techniques for keyboard composition, notably solo albums and initiatives. He at the moment owns three techniques, one giant Synclavier 9600 Tapeless Studio system, initially put in in his riverside Oceanic Studio, later transferred to a seagoing barge moored alongside the studio on the River Thames, and at the moment based mostly in his residence studio. He additionally makes use of a particular tailored smaller Synclavier 3200 system which could be transported, enabling him to hold on working away from his most important studio. This 3200 system was modified to be of comparable specification to the 9600, together with the addition internally of FM voices, stereo Poly voices and with the big VPK keyboard. That is the one Synclavier 3200 system of this specification in existence, custom-designed and constructed for Townshend by Steve Hills. The third system Townshend owns is among the first Synclavier II techniques ever constructed. The ORK (unique smaller) keyboard of which is on show in his firm’s head workplace alongside a pink Vespa scooter.

Literary work

Though recognized for his musical compositions and musicianship, Townshend has been extensively concerned within the literary world for greater than three many years, writing newspaper and journal articles, guide critiques, essays, books, and scripts.

An early instance of Townshend’s writing got here in August 1970 with the primary of 9 instalments of “The Pete Townshend Web page”, a month-to-month column written by Townshend for the British music paper Melody Maker. The column supplied Townshend’s perspective on an array of topics, such because the media and the state of US live performance halls and public deal with techniques, in addition to offering helpful perception into Townshend’s mindset in the course of the evolution of his Lifehouse undertaking.

Townshend additionally wrote three sizeable essays for Rolling Stone journal, the primary of which appeared in November 1970. In Love With Meher Baba described Townshend’s religious leanings. “Meaty, Beaty, Massive and Bouncy”, a blow-by-blow account of the Who compilation album of the identical identify, adopted in December 1971. The third article, “The Punk Meets the Godmother”, appeared in November 1977.

Additionally in 1977, Townshend based Eel Pie Publishing, which specialised in kids’s titles, music books, and several other Meher Baba-related publications. He additionally opened a bookstore named Magic Bus (after the favored Who track) in London. The Story of Tommy, a guide written by Townshend and his artwork faculty good friend Richard Barnes (now the Who’s official biographer) in regards to the writing of Townshend’s 1969 rock opera and the making of the 1975 Ken Russell-directed movie, was revealed by Eel Pie the identical 12 months.

In July 1983, Townshend took a place as an acquisitions editor for London writer Faber and Faber. Notable initiatives included modifying Animals frontman Eric Burdon’s autobiography, Charles Shaar Murray’s award-winning Crosstown Visitors: Jimi Hendrix and Publish-Conflict Pop, Brian Eno and Russell Mills’s Extra Darkish Than Shark, and dealing with Prince Charles on a quantity of his collected speeches. Townshend commissioned Dave Rimmer’s Like Punk By no means Occurred, and was commissioning editor for radical playwright Steven Berkoff.

Two years after becoming a member of Faber and Faber, Townshend determined to publish a guide of his personal. Horse’s Neck, issued in Might 1985, was a set of brief tales he’d written between 1979 and 1984, tackling topics corresponding to childhood, stardom and spirituality. On account of his place with Faber and Faber, Townshend developed friendships with each Nobel prize-winning creator of Lord of the Flies, Sir William Golding, and British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes. His friendship with Hughes led to Townshend’s musical interpretation of Hughes’s kids’s story The Iron Man, six years later, as The Iron Man: The Musical by Pete Townshend, launched in 1989.

Townshend has written a number of scripts spanning the breadth of his profession, together with quite a few drafts of his elusive Lifehouse undertaking, the final of which, co-written with radio playwright Jeff Younger, was revealed in 1999. In 1978, Townshend wrote a script for Fish Store, a play commissioned however not accomplished by London Weekend Tv, and in mid-1984 he wrote a script for White Metropolis: A Novel which led to a brief movie.

In 1989 Townshend started work on a novel entitled Ray Excessive & The Glass Family, a draft of which was later submitted to his editor. Whereas the unique novel stays unpublished, parts from this story have been utilized in Townshend’s 1993 solo album Psychoderelict. In 1993, Townshend authored one other guide, The Who’s Tommy, a chronicle of the event of the award-winning Broadway model of his rock opera.

The opening of his private web site and his commerce website, each in 2000, gave Townshend one other outlet for literary work. ( was closed down in 2010.) A number of of Townshend’s essays have been posted on-line, together with “Meher Baba—The Silent Grasp: My Personal Silence” in 2001, and “A Completely different Bomb”, an indictment of the kid pornography business, the next 12 months.

In September 2005, Townshend started posting a novella on-line entitled The Boy Who Heard Music as background for a musical of the identical identify. He posted a chapter every week till it was accomplished, and novella was out there to learn at his web site for a number of months. Like Psychoderelict, it was one more extrapolation of Lifehouse and Ray Excessive & The Glass Family.

In 1997 Townshend signed a take care of Little, Brown and Firm publishing to put in writing his autobiography, reportedly titled Pete Townshend: Who He? Townshend’s artistic vagaries and conceptual machinations have been chronicled by Larry David Smith in his guide The Minstrel’s Dilemma (Praeger 1999). After a prolonged delay, Townshend’s autobiography, now titled Who I Am, was launched 8 October 2012.[131] The guide ranked within the prime 5 of The New York Instances finest vendor record in October 2012.[132]

On 5 March 2019, Townshend introduced that his debut novel, titled The Age of Anxiousness, can be revealed on 5 November 2019 by Hodder & Stoughton imprint Coronet. Townshend known as the work an “prolonged meditation on manic genius and the darkish artwork of creativity.” The novel will probably be accompanied by an opera, which is at the moment in improvement, with an artwork set up to comply with.[108]


In 1967 Townshend had begun to discover spirituality.[133] Townshend swiftly absorbed all of Meher Baba’s writings that he might discover; by April 1968, he introduced himself Baba’s disciple. At about this time, Townshend, who had been looking the previous two years for a foundation for a rock opera, created a narrative impressed by the teachings of Baba and different writings and expressing the enlightenment he believed that he had obtained from them, which in the end grew to become Tommy.[134]

In interviews Townshend was extra open about his beliefs, penning an article on Baba for Rolling Stone journal in 1970 and stating that following Baba’s teachings, he was against the usage of all psychedelic medication, making him one of many first rock stars with counterculture credibility to show towards their use.[135]

Private life


Townshend met Karen Astley, daughter of movie composer Edwin Astley, whereas in artwork faculty. They married on 20 Might 1968 and moved right into a three-bedroom townhouse in Twickenham in outer south-west London that missed the Thames.[136] They’ve three kids: Emma (born 1969), who’s a gardening columnist, Aminta (born 1971), who works in movie manufacturing, and Joseph (born 1989), who studied graphic design at Central St. Martins.[137]

Townshend and his spouse separated in 1994. He has since been in a romantic relationship with arranger and musician Rachel Fuller. Townshend lived at The Wick, Richmond, London, England, however offered the home in August 2021 for greater than £15 million.[138] He additionally owns a home in Churt, Surrey, and in 2010 bought a lease of a part of the Nationwide Belief property Ashdown Home in Oxfordshire.[139] In line with The Sunday Instances Wealthy Checklist his belongings have been value £40 million as of 2009.[140]


In a 1989 interview with radio host Timothy White, Townshend apparently acknowledged his bisexuality, referencing the track “Tough Boys” on his 1980 album, Empty Glass. He known as the track a “popping out, an acknowledgment of the truth that I would had a homosexual life, and that I understood what homosexual intercourse was about.”[141] Nonetheless, in a 1994 interview for Playboy, he mentioned, “I did an interview about it, saying that ‘Tough Boys’ was about being homosexual, and within the interview I additionally talked about my ‘homosexual life’, which—I meant—was really in regards to the associates I’ve had who’re homosexual. So the interviewer type of dotted the t’s and crossed the i’s and assumed that this was a popping out, which it wasn’t in any respect.”[142] Townshend later wrote in his 2012 autobiography Who I Am that he’s “most likely bisexual”.[143] Townshend additionally acknowledged that he as soon as felt sexually drawn to The Rolling Stones lead singer, Mick Jagger.[143]

Authorized points

Townshend accepted a warning from the Metropolitan Police (the Met) as a part of Operation Ore, a significant investigation on baby pornography carried out in 2002–2003. The Met acknowledged that “it was established that Mr Townshend was not in possession of any downloaded baby abuse pictures”. Townshend was positioned on the intercourse offenders register for 5 years in 2003 after admitting he had used his bank card to entry a baby pornography web site.[144][145] Townshend initially claimed that he accessed the pictures as analysis in a marketing campaign towards baby sexual abuse;[146] in 2012, he wrote in his autobiography, Who I Am, that he had accessed the unlawful pictures to show that British banks have been complicit in channelling the earnings from paedophile rings.[147] An article by investigative reporter Duncan Campbell that was revealed in PC Professional journal revealed that police had no proof that the web site accessed by Townshend concerned kids and nothing incriminating was discovered on his private laptop.[148]

Listening to loss

Townshend suffers from partial deafness and tinnitus, believed to be the results of noise-induced listening to loss from his intensive publicity to loud music. The Who have been famend as a really loud band of their reside performances; some explicit incidents embody a Who live performance on the Charlton Athletic Soccer Membership, London, on 31 Might 1976 that was listed because the “Loudest Live performance Ever” by the Guinness Ebook of Data, the place the quantity stage was measured at 126 decibels 32 metres from the stage. Townshend has additionally attributed the beginning of his listening to loss to Keith Moon’s well-known exploding drum set in the course of the Who’s 1967 look on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.[149]

In 1989, Townshend gave the preliminary funding to permit the formation of the non-profit listening to advocacy group H.E.A.R. (Listening to Schooling and Consciousness for Rockers). After the Who carried out at half-time at Tremendous Bowl XLIV, Townshend acknowledged that he’s involved that his tinnitus has grown to such a degree that he could be pressured to discontinue performing with the band altogether. He instructed Rolling Stone, “If my listening to goes to be an issue, we’re not delaying reveals. We’re completed. I can not actually see any manner across the subject.” Neil Younger launched him to an audiologist who instructed he use an in-ear monitor, and though they cancelled their spring 2010 touring schedule, Townshend used the system at their one remaining London live performance on 30 March 2010, to determine the feasibility of Townshend persevering with to carry out with the Who.[150]

In March 2011, Roger Daltrey mentioned in an interview with the BBC that Townshend had not too long ago skilled gradual however extreme listening to loss and was now attempting to avoid wasting what remained of his listening to: “Pete’s having horrible bother along with his listening to. He is bought actually, actually dangerous issues with it…not tinnitus, it is deterioration and he is severely now fearful about really dropping his listening to”.

Referring to that, in July 2011, Townshend wrote at his weblog: “My listening to is definitely higher than ever as a result of after a suggestions scare on the indigO2 in December 2008 I’m taking excellent care of it. I’ve laptop techniques in my studio which have helped me do my engineering work on the forthcoming Quadrophenia launch. I’ve had help from youthful forensic engineers and mastering engineers to assist me clear up the excessive frequencies which might be out of my vary. The identical laptop techniques work splendidly effectively on stage, proving to be good for me when the Who carried out on the Tremendous Bowl and doing Quadrophenia for TCT on the Royal Albert Corridor in 2010. I am 66, I haven’t got good listening to, and if I hearken to loud music or go to gigs I do are likely to get tinnitus”.

Political beliefs

In 1998, Townshend was named in an inventory of the largest personal monetary donors to the UK Labour Occasion.[151] He refused to let Michael Moore use “Will not Get Fooled Once more” in Fahrenheit 9/11, saying that he watched Bowling for Columbine and was not satisfied.[152]
In 1961 whereas in artwork faculty, Townshend joined the Younger Communist League and was a distinguished determine of their 1966 “Development” recruitment marketing campaign. In a 1974 Penthouse interview he acknowledged that he recognised in apply he was a capitalist who was rewarded effectively for his work, however that his beliefs have been communist.[153]

In a broadly reported 2012 interview with ABC, Townshend described himself jokingly as being “a little bit of a neocon” stating that, “I like the thought of America because the world’s police pressure. Then we don’t need to do it. You guys type it out.”[154]

In a 2019 interview with The Instances, Townshend revealed he was in favour of the UK remaining within the European Union, stating, “I am a Remainer, he [Roger Daltrey] is a Brexiteer. I consider in God, he doesn’t.”[155]

Charity work

Townshend performing in Austin, Texas, as a supporting visitor of good friend and former Small Faces/Faces musician, Ian McLagan in 2007

Townshend has woven a protracted historical past of involvement with numerous charities and different philanthropic efforts all through his profession, each as a solo artist and with the Who. His first solo live performance, for instance, was a 1974 profit present which was organised to boost funds for the Camden Sq. Group Play Centre.

The earliest public instance of Townshend’s involvement with charitable causes was in 1968, when Townshend donated the usage of his former Wardour Avenue house to the Meher Baba Affiliation. The next 12 months, the affiliation was moved to a different Townshend-owned house, the Eccleston Sq. former residence of his spouse Karen. Townshend sat on a committee which oversaw the operation and funds of the centre. “The committee sees to it that it’s open a few days every week, and retains the payments paid and the library full”, he wrote in a 1970 Rolling Stone article.

In 1969 and 1972, Townshend produced two limited-release albums, Completely satisfied Birthday and I Am, for the London-based Baba affiliation. This led to 1972’s Who Got here First, a extra widespread launch, 15 % of the income of which went to the Baba affiliation. An extra restricted launch, With Love, was launched in 1976. A limited-edition boxed set of all three restricted releases on CD, Avatar, was launched in 2000, with all earnings going to the Avatar Meher Baba Belief in India, which supplied funds to a dispensary, faculty, hospital and pilgrimage centre.

In July 1976, Townshend opened Meher Baba Oceanic, a London exercise centre for Baba followers, which featured movie dubbing and modifying services, a cinema and a recording studio. As well as, the centre served as an everyday assembly place for Baba followers. Townshend supplied very economical (reportedly £1 per night time) lodging for American followers who wanted an in a single day keep on their pilgrimages to India. Townshend wrote in a 1977 Rolling Stone article:

For a number of years, I had toyed with the thought of opening a London home devoted to Meher Baba. Within the eight years I had adopted him, I had donated solely coppers to foundations arrange world wide to hold out the Grasp’s needs and determined it was about time I put myself on the road. The Who had arrange a robust charitable belief of its personal which appeased, to an extent, the sensation I had that Meher Baba would somewhat have seen me give to the poor than to the institution of one more so-called ‘religious middle’.

Townshend additionally launched into a undertaking devoted to the gathering, restoration and upkeep of Meher Baba-related movies. The undertaking was referred to as MEFA, or Meher Baba European Movie Archive.

Kids’s charities

Townshend has been an energetic champion of kids’s charities. The debut of Townshend’s stage model of Tommy happened at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse in July 1992. The present was earmarked as a profit for the London-based Nordoff-Robbins Music Remedy Basis, an organisation which helps kids with autism and mental incapacity.

Townshend carried out at a 1995 profit organised by Paul Simon at Madison Sq. Backyard’s Paramount Theatre for the Kids’s Well being Fund. The next 12 months, Townshend carried out at a profit for the annual Bridge Faculty Profit, a California facility for kids with extreme speech and bodily impairments, with concert events organised by Neil and Pegi Younger. In 1997, Townshend established a relationship with Maryville Academy, a Chicago space kids’s charity. Between 1997 and 2002, Townshend performed 5 profit reveals for Maryville Academy, elevating at the least $1,600,000. His 1998 album A Profit for Maryville Academy was made to help their actions and proceeds from the gross sales of his launch have been donated to them.

As a member of the Who, Townshend has additionally carried out a sequence of concert events, starting in 2000 to profit the Teenage Most cancers Belief within the UK, which raised a number of million kilos. In 2005, Townshend carried out at New York’s Gotham Corridor for Samsung’s 4 Seasons of Hope, an annual kids’s charity fundraiser. In the identical 12 months, he donated a smashed guitar to the Pediatric Epilepsy Venture.[156]

On 4 November 2011, Roger Daltrey and Townshend launched the Daltrey/Townshend Teen and Younger Grownup Most cancers Program on the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Heart in Los Angeles, to be funded by the Who’s charity Who Cares. The launch, adopted on 5 November by a fund-raising occasion, was additionally attended by Robert Plant and Dave Grohl.[157]

Drug rehabilitation

Townshend has additionally advocated for drug rehabilitation. In a 1985 radio interview, he mentioned:

What I am most energetic in doing is elevating cash to supply beds in clinics to assist those who have turn out to be victims of drug abuse. In Britain, the services are very, very, very lean certainly … though now we have a nationwide well being service, a free medical system, it does nothing notably for sophistication A drug addicts – cocaine abusers, heroin abusers … we’re making a whole lot of progress … the British authorities launched into an anti-heroin marketing campaign with promoting, and I used to be co-opted by them as a type of figurehead, after which the varied different individuals co-opted me into their very own campaigns, however my most important work is elevating cash to try to open a big clinic.

The “giant clinic” Townshend was referring to was a plan he and drug rehabilitation experimenter Meg Patterson had devised to open a drug therapy facility in London; nonetheless, the plan failed to return to fruition. Two early 1979 concert events by the Who raised £20,000 for Patterson’s Pharmakon Clinic in Sussex.

Additional examples of Townshend’s drug rehabilitation activism happened within the type of a 1984 profit live performance (by the way the primary reside efficiency of Manchester band the Stone Roses), an article he wrote a number of days later for Britain’s Mail on Sunday urging higher look after the nation’s rising variety of drug addicts, and the formation of a charitable organisation, Double-O Charities, to boost funds for the causes he’d not too long ago championed. Townshend additionally personally offered fund-raising anti-heroin T-shirts at a sequence of UK Bruce Springsteen concert events and reportedly financed a visit for former Conflict drummer Topper Headon to bear drug rehabilitation therapy. Townshend’s 1985–86 band, Deep Finish, performed two advantages at Brixton Academy in 1985 for Double-O Charities.

Amnesty Worldwide

In 1979 Townshend donated his providers to the human rights organisation Amnesty Worldwide when he carried out three songs for its profit present The Secret Policeman’s Ball – performances that have been launched on report and seen within the movie of the present. Townshend’s acoustic performances of three of his songs (“Pinball Wizard”, “Drowned”, and “Will not Get Fooled Once more”) have been subsequently cited as forerunners and inspiration for the “unplugged” phenomenon within the Nineties.[158]

Townshend had been invited to carry out for Amnesty by Martin Lewis, the producer of The Secret Policeman’s Ball, who acknowledged later that Townshend’s participation had been the important thing to his securing the following participation for Amnesty (within the 1981 sequel present) of Sting, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Phil Collins and Bob Geldof. Different performers impressed to help Amnesty Worldwide in future Secret Policeman’s Ball reveals and different advantages due to Townshend’s early dedication to the organisation embody Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, David Gilmour and U2’s lead singer Bono who in 1986 instructed Rolling Stone journal: “I noticed The Secret Policeman’s Ball and it grew to become part of me. It sowed a seed….”


Solo albums

  • Who Got here First (1972)
  • Tough Combine (1977) (with Ronnie Lane)
  • Empty Glass (1980)
  • All of the Finest Cowboys Have Chinese language Eyes (1982)
  • White Metropolis: A Novel (1985)
  • The Iron Man: The Musical by Pete Townshend (1989)
  • Psychoderelict (1993)

Townshend additionally launched a number of albums devoted to his religious mentor Meher Baba, listed on the discography web page.

Visitor appearances

In 1968 Townshend helped assemble a band known as Thunderclap Newman consisting of three musicians he knew. Pianist Andy Newman (an outdated artwork faculty good friend), drummer John “Speedy” Eager (who had written “Armenia Metropolis within the Sky” for the Who to report for his or her 1967 album The Who Promote Out) and teenage guitarist Jimmy McCulloch (later to affix Wings). Townshend produced the band and performed bass on their recordings beneath the tongue-in-cheek pseudonym “Bijou Drains”. Their first recording was the only “One thing within the Air”, which grew to become a primary hit within the UK and a considerable hit elsewhere on the earth. Following this success, Townshend produced their sole album, Hollywood Dream.[citation needed]

In 1971 Townshend, together with Keith Moon and Ronnie Lane, backed Mike Heron (of the Unbelievable String Band) on one track “Heat Coronary heart Pastry” from Heron’s first solo LP, Smiling Males with Dangerous Reputations. On the album notes, they’re listed as “Tommy and the Bijoux”. Additionally current on the monitor was John Cale on viola.[citation needed]

In 1984 Townshend contributed lyrics to the monitor “I am the Reply” on his brother Simon’s debut solo album Candy Sound which was launched as a single and options Townshend and Simon on an interview that wrongly names that the monitor was by “Peter Townshend”.[citation needed]

In 1984 Townshend contributed two songs (“Love on the Air” and “All Lovers are Deranged”) to David Gilmour’s solo album About Face.[citation needed]

By a lot of 2005, Townshend recorded and carried out alongside his girlfriend Rachel Fuller, a classically educated pianist and singer-songwriter.[citation needed]

In 2006 Townshend opened an internet site for implementation of The Lifehouse Technique based mostly on his 1971 Lifehouse idea. This web site was in collaboration with composer Lawrence Ball and software program developer David Snowden, with instrumentation by Steve Hills. Candidates on the web site might enter knowledge to compose a musical “portrait” which the musical group might then turn into bigger compositions for a deliberate live performance or sequence of concert events.[citation needed]

Different appearances embody:

  • The Youngsters Are Alright (movie) with The Who, rockumentary, dir. by Jeff Stein (1979)
  • “As a result of You are Younger” with David Bowie on Scary Monsters (1980)
  • Backing vocals on “Slave” with “The Rolling StonesTattoo You (1981)
  • Acoustic guitar on “Ball and Chain” with Elton John on Leap Up! (1982)
  • Backing vocals on “I am the Reply” with Simon Townshend on Candy Sound (1983)
  • “Lonely on the High” and “Onerous Ladies” with Mick Jagger on She’s the Boss (1985)
  • Guitar on “City of Lots” with Elton John on Reg Strikes Again (1988)
  • Acoustic guitar with Prefab Sprout on “Hey Manhattan!” on From Langley Park to Memphis (1988)
  • “Substitute” with the Ramones on Acid Eaters (1993)
  • “Pleasure” and “Gun” with Mick Jagger on Goddess within the Doorway (2001)
  • “Gradual Burn” with David Bowie on Heathen (2002)
  • “Indignant” and “Transfer Over Busker” on Paul McCartney’s Press to Play (1986)
  • “Travelator” on Jean Michel Jarre’s Electronica 1 – The Time Machine (2015)


  • The Story of Tommy (1977, Eel Pie Publishing) – with Richard Barnes
  • Horse’s Neck (1985, Faber and Faber) – brief story assortment
  • The Who’s Tommy (1993, Pantheon Books)
  • The Who: Most R&B (2004, Plexus Publishing) – with Richard Barnes
  • Who I Am (2012, HarperCollins) – autobiography
  • The Age of Anxiousness (2019, Coronet) – novel


  • BRIT Awards 1983 – Life Achievement Award
  • Q Awards 1991 – Benefit Award
  • Worldwide Rock Awards 1991 – Residing Legend Award[159]
  • Tony Award 1993 – Finest Authentic Rating (music & lyrics) – The Who’s Tommy (tie)
  • Grammy Awards 1994 – Finest Musical Present Album (as composer and lyricist of The Who’s Tommy)
  • Q Awards 1998 – Songwriter Award
  • Grammy Awards 2001 – Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Ivor Novello Awards 2001 – Lifetime Achievement Award [160]
  • South Financial institution Present Award 2007 – Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Honorary doctorate from College of West London, 2010[161]
  • MOJO Awards 2008 – Corridor of Fame
  • MOJO Awards 2008 – Basic Songwriter
  • Basic Album Award for Quadrophenia from the Basic Rock Roll of Honour Awards at The Roundhouse, 9 November 2011, London, England
  • TEC Awards 2013 – Les Paul Award [162]
  • Stevie Ray Vaughn Award 2015 [163]
  • The George and Ira Gershwin Award 2016 – Lifetime Musical Achievement.[7][8]
  • American Academy of Achievement 2019 – Golden Plate Award. Townshend obtained his Golden Plate together with Roger Daltrey and offered by Awards Council member Peter Gabriel.[164][165]

Different lifetime honours

  • 1990 Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame
  • 2005 UK Music Corridor of Fame
  • 2008 Kennedy Heart Honors

See additionally

  • Guitar showmanship


  • Giuliano, Geoffrey (2002). Behind Blue Eyes: The Lifetime of Pete Townshend. Cooper Sq. Press. ISBN 978-1-46173-196-2.
  • Howard, David (2004). Sonic Alchemy: Visionary Music Producers and Their Maverick Recordings. Hal Leonard Company. ISBN 978-0-634-05560-7.
  • Marsh, Dave (1983). Earlier than I Get Outdated: The Story of The Who. Plexus Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-0-85965-083-0.
  • Neill, Andrew; Kent, Matthew (2009). Anyway Anyhow Anyplace: The Full Chronicle of The Who 1958–1978. Sterling Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7535-1217-3.
  • Wilkerson, Mark (2006). Superb Journey: The Lifetime of Pete Townshend. ISBN 978-1-411-67700-5.[self-published source?]
  • Wooldridge, Max (2002). Rock ‘n’ Roll London. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-312-30442-3.

Additional studying

  • Horses Neck by Pete Townshend Mariner Books 1985, new version, (21 Might 1998) ISBN 0-395-90559-1 ISBN 978-0-395-90559-3
  • The Who: Most R&B by Pete Townshend and Richard Barnes Plexus Publishing; fifth version (27 September 2004) ISBN 0-85965-351-X ISBN 978-0-85965-351-0
  • Pete Townshend: A Minstrel’s Dilemma by Larry David Smith Praeger Publishers (30 March 1999) ISBN 0-275-96472-8, ISBN 978-0-275-96472-6
  • Who Are You: The Lifetime of Pete Townshend by Mark Ian Wilkerson Omnibus Press; 1st version (30 November 2008) ISBN 1-84772-243-1 ISBN 978-1-84772-243-0

  • The Who’s official website online
  • Pete Townshend at IMDb
  • Pete Townshend on the Web Broadway Database Edit this at Wikidata
  • Pete Townshend at AllMusic
  • Pete Townshend’s industrial Eelpie website online (Archived model; website was closed down in 2010)
  • Pete Townshend interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1970)
  • In Love With Meher Baba (Townshend’s 1970 Rolling Stone article)

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