Pete Townshend shed light on how the guitar had changed both his life personally — and the later on the rock world, during a new chat with Britain’s BBC Radio. While chatting with veteran broadcaster Liz Kershaw, Townshend explained how playing the guitar as a teen allowed him to keep up with the crowd: “For me, it was when I was 11, 12, and 13, I was still in bad shape from my childhood. And I was telling a lot of stories, I was making things up, I was very insecure. Some of my more forward friends at school were getting together with girls. I felt very left behind. And I discovered, if I played the guitar — I suddenly fit in. The guitar was a new invention back in those days. And if you could play the guitar, you were accepted.”]
As the Who broke on the national scene in the mid-’60s, Townshend went on to explain how he needed to modify his playing in the era of the English “Guitar Gods” from the Yardbirds: “It felt as though some of these wonderful guitar players around me — like Jeff Beck, like Eric Clapton, y’know, and Jimmy Page as well — they played fast (laughs). They were virtuosos. And so, I sort of, drifted into making sound. Y’know, just making loud noises, and crashing, and sounds of war, sounds of discovery — that’s what I really developed. And still, there’s always a section of the Who’s stage act, even with an orchestra, where it is cacophonous, and crazy, and loud.”
- Out now is the “Super-Deluxe Edition” of The Who Sell Out in a massive box set, with a total of 112 tracks over five discs.
- The collection includes never-before-heard outtakes and Pete Townshend demos — along with a heaping dose of replica memorabilia from the era.
- In 2019, Townshend published his first novel, titled The Age Of Anxiety.
CHECK IT OUT: The Who’s 1967 jingle “Coke After Coke” from the “Super-Deluxe Edition” of The Who Sell Out: