Pete Townshend

Musician, composer, musical arranger, author Pete Townshend

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.
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Biography
Pete Townshend's personal information overview.
Birthday
19 May 1945
home town
England
News
News about Pete Townshend from around the web
The Who's Pete Townshend, orchestra bring classical grandeur to rock opera 'Quadrophenia' at the Greek
LATimes - 5 months
If “Tommy” is the Who’s great rock opera, its successor, “Quadrophenia,” might more accurately be described as the rock group’s great opera. That perspective is reinforced by “Pete Townshend’s Classic Quadrophenia,” which the Who’s lead guitarist and chief songwriter brought to the Greek Theatre...
Article Link:
 LATimes article
The Who's Pete Townshend brings reimagined 'Classic Quadrophenia' to the U.S. for benefit shows
LATimes - 8 months
The Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me” stands as the musical climax and final track for the group’s 1973 rock opera “Quadrophenia.” And during the album’s recording, bandleader Pete Townshend initially thought singer Roger Daltrey had completely flubbed it. “When he did the take, I was about to go out...
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 LATimes article
Listen To This Star-Studded 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' Cover For Grenfell Tower
Huffington Post - 8 months
The record industry has banded together to release a gorgeous cover of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” to raise money for those impacted by the Grenfell Tower fire. Simon Cowell organized the cover of the classic 1970 Simon and Garfunkel song, gathering more than 50 artists to take part in the project. Proceeds from the single, which is available on iTunes, will go toward The London Community Foundation.   The artists who you’ll hear on the track include: 5 After Midnight Angel Anne-Marie Bastille Brian May – Queen Carl Barât – The Libertines Craig David Deno Donae’o Dua Lipa Ella Eyre Ella Henderson Emeli Sandé Fleur East Gareth Malone & The Choir for Grenfell Geri Halliwell Gregory Porter James Arthur James Blunt Jessie J Jessie Ware John Newman Jon McClure – Reverend and the Makers Jorja Smith Kelly Jones – Stereophonics Labrinth Leona Lewis Liam Payne London Community Gospel Choir Louis Tomlinson Louisa Johnson Matt Goss Matt Terry Mr Eazi Nathan Sykes Ni...
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 Huffington Post article
White Knights, Tin Foil Hats And Beyond: A Conversation With Todd Rundgren, Plus Chats With Kevin Eubanks And Christian Sands
Huffington Post - 8 months
A Conversation with Todd Rundgren Mike Ragogna: Todd, many are saying your new release White Knight is a return to the musical approach of your early albums though I feel it incorporates all Rundgren eras. What was the creative mission for White Knight and do you feel it has a nod to your earlier works? Todd Rundgren: My first priority was to get out of my recent bubble and take advantage of the possibilities of remote collaboration. I didn’t have any style or genre in mind when I started the project, but let the results of the process define the tone of the record. At the same time, I was aware that I didn’t want to under-react to listener expectations, nor overreact if I thought something might be redolent of an earlier “phase.” MR: To me, one of yours and Donald Fagen’s great works is “Tin Foil Hat,” whose lyrics pretty much capture the sentiment of more than half of America. Plus your knockout blow of its video pretty much leaves no question as to how you and Donald—Fag...
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 Huffington Post article
How to Spot Fake News
Huffington Post - about 1 year
How bad is the fake news phenomenon? A man who was "self-investigating" a fake news story was arrested after shooting his assault rifle in a Washington, D.C. pizzeria. President-Elect Trump fired a member of his transition team for sharing fake news. And the Wall Street Journal is attracting new readers by promising their stories are "created, curated and checked in a real newsroom." The good news is you don't have to subscribe to the Journal to get "real" news. You just have to know how to spot the fake stuff. Having spent the past three years speaking to audiences around the country and writing a book about misleading information, here are the questions I think you should be asking: Who is reporting the story? Some media outlets are (much) more trustworthy than others. Is it possible for The Washington Post to publish a fake story? Of course. Is it likely that they'll do this on a regular basis? Probably not, because their readership and reputation are built on ...
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 Huffington Post article
The Who's Pete Townshend draws blood during final day's set at Desert Trip
LATimes - over 1 year
All six Desert Trip rock superstars put considerable sweat into performances in Indio over the last two weekends, and some even inspired tears from fans. But only one appeared to literally draw blood That was the Who’s lead guitarist and chief songwriter Pete Townshend, who managed to nick his...
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 LATimes article
The Night Bob Dylan Made Sense
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Twenty-four years ago, a concert predicted Dylan's future as a Nobel Laureate. Bob Dylan is officially the songwriter with the most bling. He's got plaques, statues, gramophones, and now a Nobel Prize in Literature. True to form, the Minnesota-born singer performed a career-spanning set at the Desert Trip music festival in California Friday night but never mentioned the amazing honor bestowed upon him Thursday morning. What a rock and roll thing to do: ignore the elephant in the room simply by being the bigger elephant. He's more decorated than Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend, and Neil Young. With his new prize, Dylan has won the crown for all time. For America. But if Dylan is a living, breathing national hero, why have we been eulogizing him since he was a young man, almost as if he was dead ? I first asked this question when I attended a 30th anniversary Dylan tribute concert at Madison Square Garden. It was October 16, 1992, and the marquee read, "Columbia Reco...
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 Huffington Post article
Ben Weinman and the Business of Responsible Creativity
Huffington Post - over 1 year
"Life has no meaning When it's not justified." -- "I Love Secret Agents" by the Dillinger Escape Plan Many people know that the Dillinger Escape Plan, with Ben Weinman as a founding member, is considered by many to be the best mathcore band in history. Mathcore is a genre of music that interpreted metalcore -- a brutal mix of hardcore punk and extreme metal -- using unusual time signatures to produce a chaotic and innovative sound. Their influence on the genre has been severe, with Pitchfork calling their 1999 debut Calculating Infinity a "game-changing album." While this achievement may be enough for Weinman to put his unique stamp on the world, he does not want to stop there. With his label, Party Smasher Inc., Weinman has been taking things to the next level. He wants to help foster a community that encourages the same independent, risk-taking spirit of the hardcore scene that ultimately made the Dillinger Escape Plan so influential. With the new partnership of ...
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 Huffington Post article
Why Self-Coverage May Not Be An Adequate Substitute for Long-term Care Planning and Insurance
Huffington Post - about 2 years
"I hope I die before I get old." -My Generation- The Who, 1965 Most Boomers were just coming of age when Pete Townsend wrote "My Generation." Now, 50 years later, most boomers are still alive and likely will be for another 20, 30, or even 40 more years. That said, we may be living longer, but we are not necessarily living better. Despite the advances in medical technology and pharmaceuticals that are enabling us to live longer, lifestyle-related chronic health conditions certainly continue to take their toll. The Huge Hole Nearly every American has a huge hole in his or her financial plan that can have a dramatic impact on retirement income, legacy, and the lives of loved ones. The lack of a long-term care (LTC) plan and a way to pay for it, even for those considered high net worth, invites chaos, uncertainty, and perhaps dread. "Will I have enough?" For many who are now living beyond their means, saving too little, or mortgaging their retirement to pay for college e...
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 Huffington Post article
Top Ten Films of 2015
Huffington Post - about 2 years
When you read other Top Ten Film lists, consider that the journalists do not give equal weight to docs, animation and dramatic features, nor foreign versus American indies and studio pictures. Perhaps, they should call their lists "Top Ten Films That We All Generally Write About." 1. Wild Tales (dir. Damian Szifron) Argentine writer-director Damian Szifron has a darkly hilarious confection in these six wonderfully imaginative scenarios. Oscar nominated for Foreign film, Wild Tales also swept through the Argentine Academy Awards, its crazy tales of retribution due to road rage, infidelity at a wedding and the like connecting with the common man and woman. 2. Spotlight (dir. Tom McCarthy) Can Michael Keaton pick them or what? Last year, he headlined Birdman, the best film of the year. Now, he leads a tremendous ensemble cast, including Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Stanley Tucci and Jamey Sheridan, in the story of the Boston Globe's expose of molestation in the Catholic Church. ...
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 Huffington Post article
The Altercation Holiday Gift-Giving Guide, Part II
Huffington Post - about 2 years
So I guess this won't work for Hannukah, but it should still be good for: A) Returning stuff and getting what you might really have wanted, and: B) Some other gift-giving holiday upon whom I, and so many others, have declared war, but against which we continue to struggle. I dare not say its name lest enemy forces take encouragement. C) People who already have "The River" box since it's not reviewed here nor in Part I. In terms of big-ticket items, every year I look to my friends at Mosaic for the most meticulously presented packages in Jazz curation and this year their entry is indeed impresive, both in terms of the richness of its music and, for yours truly, its educational value. (Mosaic is to Jazz what the Criterion Collection is to film.) I refer today to the 12 cd, The Complete Bee Hive Sessions, and I was entirely unaware of the label's history. What Bee Hive did, between 1977 to 1984, was to give free reign to veteran jazz musicians who had not recorded in a while...
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 Huffington Post article
Music's Fantastic 15 of 2015: Here's Wishing These Top Performers a Very Best Fest
Huffington Post - about 2 years
Put yourself in the mind of a music festival organizer. It might get somewhat cozy in there, considering how much wheeling and dealing goes on in that noggin year-round. Planning for the next year's event must begin as soon as this year's ends. Admittedly, I don't have the qualifications for that line of work, but we do share a passion for music. And while I prefer on my own time to listen and write about a fairly wide range of genres, including the various sub-genres of rock, pop, folk, Americana (whatever that is) and the blues, assembling this list of 15 favorite acts of 2015 gives me the chance to compile my own festival lineup -- in my brain at least. This personal collection is based on my own subjective guidelines, beginning with one essential requirement -- these folks must talk a good game as well as play one. So any musician I interviewed for an article that already has appeared online or in print this calendar year was in the running. (Sorry Kendrick Lamar and Taylor...
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 Huffington Post article
16 Gift Ideas for Your Guitar Playing Bookworm
Huffington Post - about 2 years
I was in the bookstore recently and picked up this new book by Mitch Albom called The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto. It's a book of fiction about the greatest guitar player who ever lived. That got me thinking: Who is the greatest guitar player that ever lived? What makes this person so great? Does it have to do with how good they can play, their accolades and accomplishments, or their personal history -- or is it a combination of all of the above? As someone who has interviewed a lot of guitar players, I also spend quite a bit of time reading about them. If you are thinking about buying the guitar player on your holiday wish list a book this year, you might consider one of these titles. (Please note: These are not all New Releases. . . .just some that I've either read or have researched . . . in no particular order.) 1.) Joe Perry: ROCKS by David Ritz 2.) Buddy Guy: When I Left Home by David Ritz 3.) Hendrix: Setting the Record Straight by John McDermott 4.) Joe ...
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 Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Pete Townshend
    LATE ADULTHOOD
  • 2016
    Age 70
    He and Daltrey received The George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement at UCLA on 21 May 2016.
  • 2012
    Age 66
    Townshend later wrote in his 2012 autobiography Who I Am that he at one point felt as if he was "probably bisexual".
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    After a lengthy delay, Townshend's autobiography, now titled Who I Am, was released 8 October 2012.
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    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".
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  • 2011
    Age 65
    On 4 November 2011, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend launched the Daltrey/Townshend Teen and Young Adult Cancer Program at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, to be funded by the Who's charity Who Cares.
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    Referring to that, in July 2011, Townshend wrote at his blog: "My hearing is actually better than ever because after a feedback scare at the indigO2 in December 2008 I am taking good care of it.
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    In March 2011, Roger Daltrey said in an interview with the BBC that Townshend had recently experienced gradual but severe hearing loss and was now trying to save what remained of his hearing: "Pete's having terrible trouble with his hearing.
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    He was ranked No. 3 in Dave Marsh's list of Best Guitarists in The New Book of Rock Lists, No. 10 in Gibson.com'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.
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  • 2010
    Age 64
    Neil Young introduced him to an audiologist who suggested he use an in-ear monitor, and although they cancelled their spring 2010 touring schedule, Townshend used the device at their one remaining London concert on 30 March 2010, to ascertain the feasibility of Townshend continuing to perform with the Who.
    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.
  • 2009
    Age 63
    According to The Sunday Times Rich List his assets were worth £40 million as of 2009.
  • 2007
    Age 61
    A production described as a Townshend rock opera and titled The Boy Who Heard Music debuted as part of Vassar College's Powerhouse Summer Theater program in July 2007.
  • 2006
    Age 60
    In 2006 Townshend opened a website for implementation of The Lifehouse Method based on his 1971 Lifehouse concept.
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    In 2006 Townshend had a pedal board designed by long-time gear guru Pete Cornish.
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    On 25 February 2006, he announced the issue of a mini-opera inspired by the novella for June 2006.
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    The blog closed in October 2006, as noted on Townshend's website.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 2005
    Age 59
    Through much of 2005, Pete Townshend recorded and performed alongside his girlfriend Rachel Fuller, a classically trained pianist and singer-songwriter.
    In 2005 Townshend performed at New York's Gotham Hall for Samsung's Four Seasons of Hope, an annual children's charity fundraiser.
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  • 2000
    Age 54
    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.
  • 1998
    Age 52
    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.
  • 1997
    Age 51
    Between 1997 and 2002, Townshend played five benefit shows for Maryville Academy, raising at least $1,600,000.
    In 1997, Townshend established a relationship with Maryville Academy, a Chicago area children's charity.
  • FORTIES
  • 1995
    Age 49
    Townshend performed at a 1995 benefit organised by Paul Simon at Madison Square Garden's Paramount Theatre for the Children's Health Fund.
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  • 1994
    Age 48
    However, in a 1994 interview for Playboy, he said, "I did an interview about it, saying that "Rough Boys" was about being gay, and in the interview I also talked about my "gay life," which—I meant—was actually about the friends I've had who are gay.
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    Townshend and his wife separated in 1994 and divorced in 2009.
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  • 1993
    Age 47
    In 1993, Townshend authored another book, The Who's Tommy, a chronicle of the development of the award-winning Broadway version of his rock opera.
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    While the original novel remains unpublished, elements from this story were used in Townshend's 1993 solo album Psychoderelict.
  • 1992
    Age 46
    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.
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  • 1989
    Age 43
    In 1989 Townshend began work on a novel entitled Ray High & The Glass Household, a draft of which was later submitted to his editor.
    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.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1984
    Age 38
    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".
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  • 1983
    Age 37
    In July 1983, Townshend took a position as an acquisitions editor for London publisher Faber and Faber.
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  • 1977
    Age 31
    Also in 1977, Townshend founded Eel Pie Publishing, which specialised in children's titles, music books, and several Meher Baba-related publications.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1971
    Age 25
    In Love With Meher Baba described Townshend's spiritual leanings. "Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy", a blow-by-blow account of the Who compilation album of the same name, followed in December 1971.
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  • 1970
    Age 24
    Townshend also wrote three sizeable essays for Rolling Stone magazine, the first of which appeared in November 1970.
    An early example of Townshend's writing came in August 1970 with the first of nine instalments of "The Pete Townshend Page", a monthly column written by Townshend for the British music paper Melody Maker.
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    By 1970 Gibson changed the design of the SG Special which Townshend had been using previously, and he began using other guitars.
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  • 1969
    Age 23
    In 1969 and 1972, Townshend produced two limited-release albums, Happy Birthday and I Am, for the London-based Baba association.
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    He used this guitar at the Woodstock and Isle of Wight shows in 1969 and 1970, as well as the Live at Leeds performance in 1970.
    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.
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  • 1968
    Age 22
    Townshend met Karen Astley, daughter of film composer Edwin Astley, while in art school. They married on 20 May 1968 and moved into a three-bedroom townhouse in Twickenham in outer south-west London that overlooked the Thames.
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    By 1968, Townshend became interested in the teachings of Meher Baba.
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  • 1967
    Age 21
    Besides his arrest for assaulting a police officer in 1967 and issues with destruction of property, Townshend was cautioned by British police as part of Operation Ore, a major investigation on child pornography conducted in 2002–2003.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1965
    Age 19
    To capitalise of their recent single success, the Who's debut album My Generation (The Who Sings My Generation in the US) was released in late 1965, containing original material written by Townshend and several James Brown covers that Daltrey favoured.
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  • 1964
    Age 18
    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.
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  • 1963
    Age 17
    In 1963, Townshend's father arranged an amateur recording of "It Was You", the first song his son ever wrote.
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  • 1961
    Age 15
    He ultimately chose to study graphic design at Ealing Art College, enrolling in 1961.
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  • 1957
    Age 11
    Townshend's brothers Paul and Simon were born in 1957 and 1960, respectively.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1956
    Age 10
    His grandmother Emma purchased his first guitar for Christmas in 1956, an inexpensive Spanish model.
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    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.
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  • 1945
    Born
    Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend was born on 19 May 1945, at Chiswick Hospital, West London.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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