Pete Townshend

Musician + Composer + Musical Arranger + Author
Born May 19, 1945

Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend is an English rock guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and author, known principally as the guitarist and songwriter for the rock group The Who, as well as for his own solo career. His career with The Who spans more than 40 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the most influential bands of the 1960s and 1970s, and, according to Eddie Vedder, "possibly the greatest live band ever.… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Pete Townshend.

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    How To Spot Fake News
    Huffington Post - Dec 08, 2016
  • The Who's Pete Townshend Draws Blood During Final Day's Set At Desert Trip
    LATimes - Oct 17, 2016
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    The Night Bob Dylan Made Sense
    Huffington Post - Oct 16, 2016
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    Ben Weinman And The Business Of Responsible Creativity
    Huffington Post - Jun 10, 2016


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Pete Townshend.


1945 Birth Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend was born on 19 May 1945, at Chiswick Hospital, West London. … Read More


1956 11 Years Old 1 More Event
It was on one of these trips in the summer of 1956 that he repeatedly watched the 1956 film Rock Around the Clock, sparking his fascination with American rock and roll. … Read More
1957 - 1961 2 More Events
1963 18 Years Old In 1963, Townshend's father arranged an amateur recording of "It Was You", the first song his son ever wrote. … Read More
1964 19 Years Old In June 1964, during a performance at the Railway Tavern, Townshend accidentally broke the top of his guitar on the low ceiling and proceeded to destroy the entire instrument. … Read More


1965 - 1967 2 More Events
1968 23 Years Old 1 More Event
By 1968, Townshend became interested in the teachings of Meher Baba. … Read More
In addition to his work with the Who, Townshend has been sporadically active as a solo recording artist. Between 1969 and 1971 Townshend, along with other devotees to Meher Baba, recorded a trio of albums devoted to his teachings: Happy Birthday, I Am, and With Love. … Read More
By 1970 Gibson changed the design of the SG Special which Townshend had been using previously, and he began using other guitars. … Read More


1977 32 Years Old Also in 1977, Townshend founded Eel Pie Publishing, which specialised in children's titles, music books, and several Meher Baba-related publications. … Read More
1983 38 Years Old In July 1983, Townshend took a position as an acquisitions editor for London publisher Faber and Faber. … Read More
1984 39 Years Old In 1984 Townshend contributed lyrics to the track "I'm the Answer" on his brother Simon's debut solo album Sweet Sound which was released as a single and features Townshend and Simon on an interview that wrongly names that the track was by "Peter Townshend". … Read More


1989 44 Years Old 1 More Event
His friendship with Hughes led to Townshend's musical interpretation of Hughes's children's story The Iron Man, six years later, as The Iron Man: The Musical by Pete Townshend, released in 1989. … Read More
1992 47 Years Old Townshend has been an active champion of children's charities. The debut of Pete Townshend's stage version of Tommy took place at San Diego's La Jolla Playhouse in July 1992. … Read More
1993 48 Years Old 1 More Event
While the original novel remains unpublished, elements from this story were used in Townshend's 1993 solo album Psychoderelict.
1994 49 Years Old 1 More Event
Townshend and his wife separated in 1994 and divorced in 2009. … Read More


1995 50 Years Old Townshend performed at a 1995 benefit organised by Paul Simon at Madison Square Garden's Paramount Theatre for the Children's Health Fund. … Read More
1997 52 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1997, Townshend established a relationship with Maryville Academy, a Chicago area children's charity.
1998 53 Years Old His 1998 album A Benefit for Maryville Academy was made to support their activities and proceeds from the sales of his release were donated to them.
2000 55 Years Old As a member of the Who, Townshend has also performed a series of concerts, beginning in 2000 to benefit the Teenage Cancer Trust in the UK, and raising several million pounds.


2005 60 Years Old 1 More Event
In 2005 Townshend performed at New York's Gotham Hall for Samsung's Four Seasons of Hope, an annual children's charity fundraiser. … Read More
…  The blog closed in October 2006, as noted on Townshend's website. … Read More
2007 - 2009 2 More Events
2010 65 Years Old 1 More Event
He also owns a house in Churt, Surrey and in 2010 purchased a lease of part of the National Trust property Ashdown House in Oxfordshire.
…  He was ranked No. 3 in Dave Marsh's list of Best Guitarists in The New Book of Rock Lists, No. 10 in's list of the top 50 guitarists, and No. 10 again in Rolling Stone magazine's updated 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. … Read More
The Who were the final performers at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony in London, performing a medley of "Baba O'Riley", "See Me, Feel Me" and "My Generation". … Read More
2016 71 Years Old He and Daltrey received The George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement at UCLA on 21 May 2016.
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