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Pete Townshend

Pete Townshend was the guitarist and primary songwriter for the Who from 1964 to 1982, also participating in the group's occasional reunions after its formal breakup. Best-known for his conceptual works, he wrote Tommy and Quadrophenia for the band, as well as the bulk of its other material. He made his first, tentative solo album, Who Came First, in 1972. Dedicated to his guru, Meher Baba, it continued themes pursued in Who's Next and like that album, contained material originally intended for an abortive conceptual work, Lifehouse, and it sold modestly. In 1976, he made a duo album, Rough Mix, with Ronnie Lane, formerly the bassist in the Small Faces.

Townshend's first full-fledged solo effort was Empty Glass (1980), which sold a million copies, reached the Top Five, and featured the Top Ten hit "Let My Love Open the Door," as well as the minor hits "A Little Is Enough" and "Rough Boys." He followed it in 1982 with All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes, which was less successful. Nevertheless, he felt he could no longer write for the Who, and at the end of the year, the group disbanded following a North American tour. Townshend released Scoop, a two-disc compilation of demos, in 1983 (a second volume appeared in 1987).

In 1985, he returned to thematic efforts with the album White City - A Novel, which included the Top 30 single "Face the Face." The same year, he published a book of short stories, Horse's Neck. As part of the White City project, he appeared in an accompanying film, for which he organized a band called Pete Townshend's Deep End. The unit played only a few gigs, but one was videotaped and recorded, resulting in the 1986 album Pete Townshend's Deep End Live! In 1989, he released an album based on poet Ted Hughes' children's story, The Iron Man. The record featured guest vocals by John Lee Hooker and Nina Simone, as well as two tracks featuring the three surviving members of the Who. Simultaneous with the album's release, Townshend embarked on a reunion tour with the Who, an event that overshadowed The Iron Man, which enjoyed only modest sales.

In 1993, Townshend delivered Psychoderelict, another conceptual work, to mixed reviews and poor sales. By that time, however, he had successfully reinvented himself as a Broadway tunesmith -- the theatrical production entitled The Who's Tommy had become a runaway hit, earning him a Tony Award and prompting him to pursue more stage musicals. None of these came to fruition during the rest of the 1990s, though, and by the end of the decade, he was releasing live and archival recordings (notably the long-delayed Lifehouse) through his website and planning another reunion with the Who. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

rdistaola
Saw The Who in Munster Germany 1968
Yet another brilliant song from Pete.
White City great solo work ftom Pete.
Pete and Roger rock but I miss the whole origonal lineup of the Who
hhwoodjr
There is a radio-statio n only(?) (vinyl in the day) extended version of this that is devastating.
Saw them the next time they were in Cleveland. AWESOME!
cattphish
Saw Pete, Roger, John and Keith in Cleveland in 1976 and Pete and Roger in Chicago last November (2012). AMAZING performers and Pete is clearly a genius as a composer and guitar master. The windmill is still inspiring.
wfhjr67
Pete a cassette deck and me.
It's Pete Townshend... e n o u g h said.
@grubera0 Ditto.
Currently reading Who I Am. Any fan should pick this up. An open glimpse into his psyche and inspirations of his life and music.
Had this on vinyl back in 1983... :-)
kvons1
The driving force behind the WHO. GIVE BLOOD
mistycara13
Love Pete! Such an amazing guitarist and songwriter with an amazing stage presence.
Great songwriter and musician.
milosdad
I agree with Sean about "Iron Man". I've often considered getting it out of my open collection and into storage but I can't. It's one of those records that comes on on my IPOD and I'm always happy it does. really great record overall.
I adore this man! He is a musical genius.
karlmiller3
it really dosen't matter,if pete townshend wrote it,played it and sang it,I LIKE IT!!!!!I once spent the night in front of a ticket place on preston road in dallas,texas to buy 36 concert tickets on the front row to see THE WHO IN 1975,IT WAS GREAT!!
sean_mcclain
Why isn't "The Iron Man: A Musical by Pete Townshend" listed on his discography when you actually have the disc. I know, I know, this is where everyone shouts out about how lame it was. Well, I enjoyed it. If all art was the same then it wouldn't be art, would it?
One of the last Rock Gods left.
Where can I hear Pete songs from Secret Policemans Ball
All of the pedophile charges were dropped, but not covered very well by the media...see below.
It's funny how the media will loudly announce charges like these when they are brought up, but very quiet when the charges are dropped or proved to be unfounded.

Just for fun, create a "Willie Nile" pandora station or visit www.WillieNi l e . c o m

Willie Nile rocks in more ways than just one.
A friend of mine, who actually toured with The Who and is still close to Pete Townshend, Willie Nile, told me that Pete was truly doing this for research purposes because he had a friend or relative whose child who was abducted. He had informed a company in advance of starting the research and when Pete was originally brought up on charges, the company that he had pre-informed would not come forward when asked. Later they finally did step up and the charges were dropped.

mtnhrdwr
Not according to wikipedia.
Wass he found guilty of any charge?
onyxrune
Does ayone recall the Pete Townsend got charged for having child porn?
I know Pete has probably heard this a million times, but he REALLY saved my life. I grew up in a drunk and abusive house. Pete spoke to me in a deep way. "never mind, your part is to be what you'll be" "keep on working." As a non-religiou s person, he was my spiritual leader. I went on to Divinty School to study adolescent faith. Thanks Pete and I hope this makes it to you!
Townsend is and has always been pure genius. One of the finest songwriters of all times.
mjcromer
Long live Pete! I love his solo work and acoustic even better than the Who.
For something completly different and of course in the true Townsend genius listen to him tell a story entwined in the musical he wrote-Iron Man.
hcarruk
Pete's known as the WHO's heart and soul song writer and composer. but as as solo artist, you get to know the artist on even a more personal level. Whether it be his early Demo recorded versions of Who songs or ones he written for his personal solo efforts, he's magnificent and worth a listen!
I don't think I've ever heard or meet a a Pete Townshend song I didn't like!

Pete is my all-time favorite pedophile!
Can you please play the album version????
Pete Townshend is absolutely my favorite musician. He is unequaled as a composer and lyricist, and woefully underrated as a guitarist. Far more original than any of his contemporari e s , musically and artistically . He is, and always has been, the Real Deal. He and Bob Dylan have been the two most important musical influences in my life, and while Dylan appeals to me both mystically and intellectual l y , Townshend's music affects me more emotionally and viscerally than any other musician's.
wow the acoustic strumming GOD How can he have all the good shieeeeet in his brain tons of it deep within my reach i feel so high when your here i just wanna die with you near or something like that can you see the real pete!!!!!!!! ! ! ! !
japhyrider54
good show lionel, i will take pete over jimmy page anyday, as a compositiona l guitarist in the rock genre he is unequalled! quadrophenia is still by far the best rock opera ever, although he hated that term.
meher pete is my psuedo father...wha t he taught me thru Quadrophenia is immeasurable . . . s o glad he didn't die before he got old!

LONG LIVE ROCK!
........well said elcielo!!!
A good poet spends a lifetime standing out in thunderstorm s and occassionall y gets hit by lightning, Pete's a lightning rod grounded with a guitar.

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