home  |  email  |   

WhiteFang's Who Site - The World's Largest Collection Of The Who Records & CDs
       

 

The Who - Books:

Horse's Neck

Written by Pete Townshend. I found this book to be "odd". I kept thinking how I wished Pete would have spent the same time creating new music, versus a book. I've listened to his music countless times, but have only read the book once. I can't blame him for wanting to do "different" things and have a life outside of his music..

Horse's Neck

Uncorrected proof

Horse's Neck (Germany)

(In German)

Who's Next (UK)

12 page book that came with HMV limited box set versions of "Who's Next" in CD and LP formats

Los Who (Spain)

Uncle Joe's Record Guide

The Iron Man

This book was included in the promotional material for Pete Townshend's "Iron Man" album. The book is the basis for the story of Pete's album

Buddy's Song (UK)

Buddy (UK)

The Who's Tommy

Big book all about the Broadway "Tommy". Also comes with the CD single of Pete Townshend's demo, "I Believe My Own Eyes" - the only source for this song

The Who's Tommy: A Study Guide Of The American Musical

PhotoDiary

Various artists - cover photo is the only picture of Roger

A Quick Sell Out

Nice picture book which came in a box, with a "target" t-shirt and some badges. The book was sold from a <now defunct> UK record store and promoted via the 1995 Who Convention

The Who In Sweden (Sweden)

This is a great book all about... The Who In Sweden! Great info, great pictures. You can tell the author is a wonderful Who fan as there seems to be no details missing. All comes with a great CD of Swedish Who Covers (see Who Related Albums in the discography section)

Behind Blue Eyes: The Life Of Pete Townshend

I haven't read this yet...

The Complete Guide To The Music Of The Who (UK)

Nice CD sized book about the various Who and Who solo album releases

Tommy

Book included with "Tommy" interactive CD

The Who Interview Picture Disc And Fully Illustrated Book (USA)

Includes "The Complete Guide To The Music Of The Who" (above) and an interview picture disc (see Discography - Who Albums Miscellaneous section)

The Who On Record

Written by John Atkins - A major, major Who fan, who has written many articles about the band. I was looking forward to this book for a long time, but was disappointed by the many errors

The Who Complete Discography

This discography was written by Christian Suchatzki (1997) and is another "must have" for any serious Who collector. Includes countless information about international releases as well as catalog numbers. Chris can be reached at www.the-who.net for further information

The Who Complete Discography

2008 updated discography with thousands of additional entries. Available via www.the-who.net

Dear Boy: The Life Of Keith Moon

I've heard this is a GREAT book. However, I've never had the opportunity to read it. Sorry Tony! Subsequently retitled

Lifehouse (UK)

The unedited radio play script of Lifehouse with an introduction by Pete Townshend

Rare Record Cover Book

High quality pictures of some very rare Who LPs

English Imaginaries (UK)

The title sort of explains the contents...

The Who: Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy (UK)

A great book all about the Who album... "Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy".

The Who Concert File

A very extensive compilation of Who concerts. A must have for anyone who wants information about the band's career performances

The Who Song Index - A-Z (Japan)

Promo only - Available only with purchase of complete, 1999 mini-LP series

The Who Live (Slipcase cover)

Comes with "Live At Leeds" (1995 version) gold disc. (See "Live At Leeds" section)

The Who Live (UK)

Comes with "Live At Leeds" (1995 version) gold disc. (See "Live At Leeds" section)

Classic Performances Of The Who

Great photos of The Who, circa 1971

Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere

Great book - probably the best book written about The Who. It has the same easy reading "feel" as "Maximum R&B", but with much, much greater detail.

Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere

2005 Revised Edition

Magic Bus (Italy)

The Who (Spain)

Legends: The Who (Italy)

Maximum Who (Slipcase cover) (UK)

Maximum Who (UK)

Exciting book compiled by Ross Halfin featuring very rare pictures from the 60's. Contents partially "narrated" by Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Bobby Pridden, Glyn Johns and "others". Ultra-quality presentation. See links page for more details

Sotheby's - The John Entwistle Collection

Auction items from John's estate

The Complete Guide To Their Music (UK)

Comprehensive Album-by-Album & Song-by-Song guide

Roger Daltrey - The Biography (UK)

The Who File (Japan)

The Who (Japan)

The Dig (Japan)

Instant Party: Musings, Memories and Minutiae

Amazing Journey: The Life Of Pete Townshend

Available via: www.lulu.com/content/177888

Who Are You: The Life Of Pete Townshend

2008 updated release of "Amazing Journey" with new title

Rex Collections: The Who (UK)

The Who And The Making Of Tommy (UK)

Bass Culture (by John Entwistle) (UK)

With slip cover

Residual Contents of Quarwood (John Entwistle's Home) (UK)

The Who in Denmark & Norway & Finland (Sweden)

The Who Sell Out (UK)

Christie's - The Moon Family Collection (UK)

The Who (Spain)

The Who - Canciones I (Spain)

The Who - Canciones II (Spain)

The Who (France)

The Who (France)

The Who - Audiobiography (UK)

The Who - Who's Next In Focus (UK)

The Who - Live At Leeds 2

Pop Rock - The Who

The Who In Germany 1967 (Germany)

The Who The Legend Of Rock (Japan)

With DVD

The Who Video Biography (UK)

With 2 DVDs

The Who (Slovenia)

Written in the Slovne language

The Who Can't Explain (UK)

Book, CD, DVD in a nice box

Pete Townshend - Psychoderelict (Australia)

The cartoon (illustrated) adverntures of Ray High to the dialogue of "Psychoderelict"

The Who - The Who By Numbers (UK)

The Who - Live At Leeds (Germany)

Included with 2010 "Live At Leeds" Box Set (see "Live At Leeds" in Discography section)

The Who - Temporary Members

Hard to understand why someone actually compiled this...

The Who Revealed (UK)

The Who Revealed (UK)

Alternate cover

The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again (UK)

To Be Someone (UK)

The "Quadrophenia" Story, continued...

The Who/Pete Townshend - Quadrophenia Director's Cut (UK)

Included with "Quadrophenia" Super Deluxe Edition Box Set

Keith Moon - Goodnight Keith Moon (UK)

The Who - I Can't Explain

With DVDs...

The Who - Treasures Of The Who (UK) (Slipcase)

Interesting book with "pockets" of memorabilia (posters, flyers, etc.). However, some glaring errors (i.e. the caption with the 1965 France "Les Who" EP, indicates "French Language version" - which it clearly isn't..)

The Who - Treasures Of The Who (UK)

The Who (UK)

Great "picture book"

Pete Townshend - Who I Am

Autographed

Pete Townshend - Who I Am

Audio Book - 15 CDs read by Pete Townshend

Pete Townshend - Who I Am

Paperback edition issued in 2013 with new Afterword

Pete Townshend - Who I Am (UK)

Paperback edition issued in 2013

Pete Townshend - Who I Am (Italy)

Pete Townshend - Who I Am (Japan)

Pete Townshend - Who I Am (Japan)

With OBI

Pete Townshend - Who I Am (Poland)

Pete Townshend - Who I Am (Spain)

The Who - All The Madmen (UK)

The Who - When Stars Were In Reach

The Who - The Who In Nederland (Holland)

Excellent book, with lots of pix, but unfortunately in the Dutch language...

The Who (UK)

Book comes with slip case. Includes 6, 8x10 prints

The Who Before The Who (UK)

Written by original Who drummer, Doug Sandom

The Who Faq

The Who - Pretend You Are In A War (UK)

The Who - Quadrophenia: A Way Of Life (UK)

Pete Townshend - The Seeker (UK)

Genesis Publications catalog for townshendprints.com

The Who 50 Years

Keith Moon Stole My Lipstick (UK)

2016 reissue of 2008 book

The Who - In The City (UK)

The Who E Roger Daltrey In Italia (Italy)

The Who Bootleg Posnetki (Slovenia)

Comes with CD bootleg

Back

horizontal rule

About: Who Am I


Forward... I listened to the Audio Book version over 21 days. Hence, this is broken up into 21 parts. It's a combination of summary/bullet points and <my> commentary. What I may have found to be "important points" (or not) and you (as the reader of the book), may take away something completely different. Hence, this is my "summary version" with comments - yours might be very different (in other words - make sure you read the book yourself!)

There was a bit of "reluctance" on my part to read this book. Instead of saying, "Wow! Can't wait to read the book!" or "Wow! Can't wait to listen to the Audio Book!" It's more like, "Well... I guess I HAD to at some point..."

 

I sound like such an ungrateful, rotten Who/Pete fan don't I?

 

Surrounded by a mountain of Who "stuff", I have to "force myself" to listen to Pete read his book. Why is that???

 

Once upon a time I was deeply involved with The John Entwistle Band. I went from "fandom" to "in-dom". A fan's fantasy realized, but only to be disappointed by the "what really happens behind the scenes". Was there good? Absolutely. Was there bad? Yeah. A lot of bad. I witnessed a lot of "bad things" which never should have happened. Surrounded by <mostly> wonderful people, one person was "rotten" and made life miserable for all these good people. It was sad. I knew too much, and although the experience was exciting, it spoiled the "illusion" that fandom creates. Why did all these bad things have to happen? Why did John allow this to happen? Things I didn't want to know. Things I lived through and with.

 

So what the hell does this have to do with Pete's book? :)

 

I love Pete as an artist. The gifted creator, the musician, the vocalist, the performer, the guy on TV with the funny lines - all those clever lyrics and the wonderful demos and so on and so on...

 

Over the years I've read or listened to all kinds of stories of fans going to Pete's house, ringing the doorbell, stuffing things in his mailbox, invading his privacy and essentially trying to be part of his life. The problem with this is, Pete has a life of his own. What we see, feel and hear as fans is his *work*. What he chooses to do when he is not working is *private*. All I want to know about his private life, is that he is happy.

 

The elements of the book that will probably fascinate me will be the "thinking" that went into various projects, songs, etc. and the decisions that were made (i.e. "we decided to move in this direction... because...") In other words, all the "missing pieces" that relating to the music.

 

I've read much about Pete in the past. I've listened to the interviews. I know about the "crazy grandmother", etc.

 

When I think about reading/listening to the book, it becomes too "personal" and beyond the fandom <for me>.

 

"Who I Am" Part 1

 

I listened to the first 40 minutes (or so) of the Audio Book. It's broken down in chapters, so it will be easy to start where I left off on the CD player. There's about 18 hours of this, so be prepared to read some commentary over the next 30 days (or less). I expect that when Pete starts getting into some cool stuff about the music - my workout will be extended...

 

The beginning (let's just call it "the book") of the book starts off with the Railway Hotel incident where Pete first "smashes" a guitar. So, you might think he's launching right into the "early days" of The Who. This is not the case - just a teaser...

 

•             Pete goes to some length talking about how the War(s) have shaped his grandparents and parents lives.

 

•             His dad, Cliff, the Sax Player, his mom (mum in the UK - short for "mummy" ???) Betty a singer with an eye on fine wardrobes.

 

•             Betty took the 5 year old Pete to "ballet class" where he "learned to dance" - this helped his "stage act" with The Who - but his father didn't think it was appropriate (only a few boys in the class) and it didn't last long.

 

•             His grandmother Denny went wacky - so his parents thought that by caring for the young Peter, would help her. Instead it traumatized Pete! (What were they thinking?)

 

•             Betty was lonely with Cliff out playing and eventually thought she was going to run off with Dennis Bowman (who drove a light green VW Beetle). They were going to leave the country and Cliff stepped back into the picture and the family was back again...

 •             Throughout the early days, people that Pete temporarily live with or were neighbors were Jewish. Pete speaks very fondly of these folks, even if it's just from the smells of their food. :)

 

•             When Pete's best friend moves away, he was "replaced" by the new family dog, "Bruce", the Springer Spaniel.

 

I found some of this mildly interesting. I "get" that this kinda stuff is necessary to "tell the tale" as to who Pete is and why. We all have these kinds of childhood stories and this one is unique to Pete's.

 

"Who I Am" - Part 2

 

OK, I'm a lot more into this today...

 

While yesterday I listened to the craziness of grandma Denny, today we went from the 9" TV as a "baby sitter" to "life in the Detours"... (mixed with Art School).

 

So what the first reference means, is that with the advent of the Television (a whole 9" screen), Pete was left alone in the home and the TV acted as the baby sitter. Pete makes several references to being "left alone at home" (at an early age) and come to think of it, that was a "common thing to do" - even when I was growing up. Now days, people tend to shuttle their kids everywhere. To and fro from school, afterschool activities, etc. Then? Parents who needed to work to make ends meet - what became of the children???

 

•             Seeing Pete's dad's band (The Squadronaires) live gave the young Pete deep impressions of what he wanted to do - be a musician!

 

•             The release of his dad's first record, "Unchained Melody", sealed the deal! Pictures of Cliff Townsend (no "h") everywhere locally...

 

•             The sea, the river, water in general - Pete has always been drawn to it (i.e. "The Sea Refuses No River", "Sea And Sand", etc.)

 

•             Pete it seems was an avid Harmonica player. His first instrument. Playing it was where he first saw "the music within the music".

 

•             Pete gets a bicycle. He explored every nook and cranny of a street, alleyway, etc. for a 2-3 mile radius. Loved the freedom. And he "rented" his bike to his friend the paperboy to make a little money - until he saw his friend mistreat the bike.

 

•             Pete was a young collector of Model Trains, Dinky cars (like our Matchbox) and comics (hMMM... some of us still do that!) :)

 

•             Pete learned to play Piano on... Trilby's Piano. (Yes, the song from "Endless Wire")

 

Listening to Pete speak about these various experiences of his youth, visitations of various songs and projects come to mind:

 

•             "The Boy Who Heard Music"

 

•             "We Close Tonight"

 

•             "Lifehouse"

 

Each of these things, tying into a specific experience in Pete's youth.

 

Like George Costanza (who told folks he either was or aspired to be an Architect), Pete told everyone he wanted to be a "Journalist".

 

•             After seeing Bill Haley and "Rock Around The Clock" - "nothing would be the same"...

 

•             To Pete, Elvis <Presley> was a chump! :) (Later on, he thought Elvis was "OK") [Somehow he did develop into a "Real Good Looking Boy" - but I guess I didn't get that far yet]

 

•             Paul <Townshend> was born.

 

•             <Crazy> Denny bought Pete his first guitar!

 

•             Pete had his first paper route - made 30 schillings a week! However, one day he slept late and "got sacked".

 

•             Pete's parents gave Pete money to baby sit for brother Paul. Pete felt that they had become a "real family".

 

•             Simon was born when Pete was 15.

 

•             Pete joined John Entwistle in a band called The Confederates - Pete played banjo and John played trumpet.

 

•             Pete loved cartooning and drawing (I had the same passion growing up) and joined Eeling Art College

 

•             Roger Daltrey was expelled from school for smoking, but liked to "hang around" and visit.

 

•             Pete witnessed a fight where Roger beat up a Chinese boy and used "dirty tactics".

 

•             Pete went to Roger's home to "audition" for Roger to join his band, "The Detours". At the time, The Detours was a party band! Playing for weddings, engagement parties, pubs, etc.

 

•             The original drummer was Harry Wilson, when he left, Doug Sandom joined. Being older, Doug helped to focus the band.

 

•             Apparently, Roger's younger sister, Carol was hitting on Pete. On the day of the Cuban Missile Crises, Pete thought the world was ending. However, when it wasn't and relieved, he decided to date Carol. That didn't last long as Pete didn't see "the fit".

 

•             Enter "The Mods" and Roger buys a van...

 

As Simon <Townshend> would say, "Until Tomorrow"

 

"Who I Am" Part 3...

 

•             In 1963 Pete meets Richard Barnes (Barney) in art school - later to room with him and be a lifelong friend.

 

•             Pete changes majors in art school to be a graphic designer and painted the arrow above the "o" in "Detours" on the band's van...

 

•             Lots of name dropping from the band circuit, enter the Rolling Stones...

 

•             Enter Tom Wright and his fantastic record collection - introducing Pete to all kinds of new music which he enjoyed listening to.

 

•             "It Was You" - to which now Pete claims is the first song that he wrote. However, in a 1998 letter, Pete then claimed that "It Was You" was the 2nd song he wrote, and actually the "first song he published". He then teased, "If you want to know the name of the first song I wrote, you will have to one day buy my biography." (I *will* have to remind Pete of this!)

 

•             Tension emerges between Pete and Roger over the "musical direction" of the band...

 

•             Pete was living the life of art school, playing records and smoking pot. Roger was "forceful" in getting Pete out of his apartment to make sure he would get to gigs... Without Roger's forcefulness, Pete's future musical career would have been in jeopardy.

 

•             Valentine's Day 1964 - The Detours are renamed "The Who". This was Richard Barnes' suggestion. Pete thought the name, "The Hair" was cool...

 

•             John and Pete were locked in a "musical arms race". Each looking to create a "bigger sound" on stage.

 

•             During this period, Pete was constantly experimenting with sound.

 

•             Unlike the other band mates, Pete did not have a steady girlfriend and rumors were flying that he might be gay.

 

•             Fontana Records (who recorded the High Numbers single) thought Doug was too old - Pete thought Doug <Sandom> should "stand down". Pete thought that Doug would somehow be honored by this and as it turns out, Doug fought to keep Pete in the band just months earlier.

 

•             Enter Pete Meaden and furthering the mod movement

 

•             The Who's name changed to The High Numbers at Meaden's direction. Pete was a bit upset that Meaden wanted to use his own songs for the first record vs. something Pete may have written. (You can see by the acetate(s) that the original name, "The Who" was crossed off, then with a different pen, "High Numbers" written in: http://www.thewho.info/WhoSingles.htm

 

•             Pete thought that the single conveyed the right image, but wrong sound (compared to what the band sounded like live)

 

•             Enter Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp (Meaden leaves for a sum of 200 pounds)

 

•             The record labels wanted bands that wrote their own songs. (They encouraged Pete to write songs.)

 

•             Enter the audition with Shel Talmy. Pete wrote "I Can't Explain" and he tried to make it sound more like the Kinks (who Shel also produced) to impress Talmy

 

"Who I Am" Part 4

 

•             The Mods became a voice and The Who were their allies

 

•             After "I Can't Explain", Roger wanted R&B to be on next record felt "I Can't Explain" was light pop

 

•             (No mention of "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" other than Pete's previous mention that he had it in his head when he wrote "I Can't Explain")

 

•             Pete's discusses his feelings about "I Can't Explain" and the success from the record in the charts

 

•             Pete moves into own flat (after living in squalor with Richard Barnes) with recording area

 

•             Kit became Pete's mentor and listened to his demos. Even when Kit had criticism, he did so with compliments. Never harsh.

 

•             The Who went on a Scandinavian tour and used other band's equipment. That didn't work out so well...

 

•             Pete wrote the songs for the "My Generation" LP while on the road.

 

Now here's a real problem I have with the book... The Whole "My Generation" (album) section gets completely glossed over and almost unmentioned. It sort of goes from Pete writing demos to legal issues with Shel Talmy.

 

What happened here? Was all this part of the 500 pages of editing? How can you "cut out" the making and thoughts behind the band's first album and the songs that went with it??? (Much more detail into "A Quick One" - later on)

 

•             Roger punched Keith in the nose, shedding his blood and crossed "the line". They told Roger at that point this was unacceptable.

 

•             Pete bought a Packard hearse - It got towed away the night he parked it at his home - Apparently the Queen mum was reminded of her husband's funeral and didn't like passing it on the street. Someone made Pete a large offer to "take it" and with the money, Pete bought his first Lincoln. (Pete seems to like talking about all of the various cars he bought and sold - I like that about Pete! :) )

 

•             Pete talks abit about how "My Generation" (the song) develops

 

•             Keith and John considered leaving The Who in 1966 (to form "Led Zep")

 

•             Pete bought a Lincoln convertible and a boat!

 

•             When fighting against the lawsuit with Shel Talmy, Pete wanted to demonstrate that Shel did NOT provide the "creative direction" he claimed since the songs were almost an exact reflection of Pete's demos. However, Pete's demos disallowed as evidence in court (they lost).

 

•             Pete flew secretly to meet with Alan Klein in NY to listen to Alan's proposals how to get around the Talmy lawsuit - which meant dumping Kit and Chris.

 

•             (Klein had a Lincoln identical to Pete's - same color and EVERYTHING!)

 

•             Pete gets evicted several times (from different flats) for making too much noise :)

 

•             Pete fell asleep at the wheel and ended up upside down in the car (not good!)

 

•             The creation of Real - the opera of Israel being overrun by China

 

•             Songs for "A Quick One"

 

•             Pete helped John set up tape recorder system to record demos for the new album. John recorded his first song, "Whiskey Man" and then "Boris The Spider"

 

•             Keith rips off "Eastern Journey" (which becomes "Cobwebs & Strange")

 

Funny, as I listened to Pete talking about this, I pictured in my mind that Pete paid a visit to my website (which has extensive info on "Eastern Journey") to get some of the background on this. (If that's the case, I am an honored to have helped!) :)

 

•             The mini opera - mini reflections of childhood experiences with Denny (that's new info - scary)

 

•             Pete breaks down background of mini opera ("A Quick One While He's Away")

 

•             Pete meets Hendrix during "A Quick One sessions...

 

"Who I Am" Part 5

 

Much to my disappointment, what I thought was a "teaser" for more details on "A Quick One", ended up with just a single tidbit that follows...

 

"Join My Gang" was written for "A Quick One" - but as we know (and as Pete explains) was given to Paul "Cousin Kevin" Nicholas (at the time known as "Oscar"), not presented to The Who and Pete was disappointed that it wasn't a hit. (Great song! Where's the demo, Pete???)

 

•             The hotel wrecking begins

 

•             Pete spends Sundays with the Astley's on the Thames

 

•             I Can See For Miles is kept in Pete's back pocket

 

•             Pete is in awe of Jimi Hendrix (extensive thoughts and impressions)

 

•             Enter (and quickly exit) Meher Baba

 

•             "Pictures of Lily" was inspired by photos on Karen's bedroom wall

 

•             Murray the K show in NY - best 2 weeks! - Pete fell in love with NY

 

•             The Who's Roadies stole smashed guitars and hotel furniture

 

•             The Who USA "tour"

 

•             Monterey Pop and the worry over Jimi Hendrix (Who goes on first? Who will upstage who?)

 

•             Pete and Karen move in together

 

•             Who on the Herman's Hermits tour and seeing the American "heartland" (bathing caps in Southern swimming pools <due to the long hair> - I remember that well!)

 

•             Pete designs new studio for special effects and sounds

 

•             In-between all of this there were impressions of Pink Floyd, time spent with Eric Clapton, Pete's paranoia of "how to keep up with the Jones' " and various "side effects" of experimentation with LSD, etc.

 

After listening to about 40+ minutes of this today, I walk away (sort of like yesterday's experience) thinking - what did I really learn today?

 

To me, the most important of the above was the "Join My Gang" piece. Great song, long overdue for some sort of Pete/Who release and that story was very nice indeed.

 

The rest of the story could have been almost like Pete reading "Maximum R&B" (Richard Barnes' 1982 book), walking away and coming back to retell it, adding a few personal moments in-between (and again, leaving out important details).

 

Now into my "5th part", while I look forward to hearing more of this audio book - what I really miss is "the daily music". I find the music to be uplifting and a great start of the day. While I find parts of this "interesting", I find myself bothered by Pete's insecurities and paranoia (i.e. at any moment, Pete might lose Karen to some guy she happens to be talking to).

 

Do I really want to know these things? (And yes, I already know this - but listening to this coming from Pete's mouth really drives it home - vs. "just a passing thought from time to time")

 

"Who I Am" Part 6

 

•             Recording in NY

 

•             Kit as an Amateur in the studio - Pete is not happy with his work

 

•             Pete hears God in a rundown Holiday Inn

 

•             Keith's Birthday party and the car in pool

 

•             3 demos in Vegas ("Touring In The USA" - I never heard of that one!)

 

•             Smother Brothers incident and Pete's <damaged> hearing

 

•             Odorono - the idea behind the advertising

 

•             Cy Langston wrote Early Morning Cold Taxi and if Roger tried to "take credit" for it, it wouldn’t go over well - so it was scrubbed...

 

•             The Who Sell Out (lots of peripheral stuff regarding the ads, the cover, Pete's singing on most of the album, etc. - but few details)

 

•             Not making it - The need to shake up things

 

•             The need to fight the music industry with something grandiose

 

•             Enter Meher Baba

 

•             The spirituality of Meher baba and his followers gave Pete confidence that he could do more (in terms of writing, etc.)

 

•             The trip to Australia and New Zealand with the Small Faces

 

•             A nasty letter from the prime minister from Australia withholding $ against the damages the band caused and BTW - don't come back!

 

•             Pete gets married

 

•             Plans for Tommy and the influence of Meher Baba's teachings on how Tommy was plotted...

 

Again, some interesting stuff - the hint of more Pete demos of great, unreleased songs. Lots of drugs, sexual experimentation, the nude girl on the Canada tour bus, the $100 John and Keith gave her to knock on Pete's door and the clap, etc...

 

I don't feel the "ooh and aaah" factor here at all. In some ways, I feel this is work to get through this. Instead of listening to brilliant music and wanting more, I feel that I'm learning things I don't want to know about (i.e. the drugs and sex) and not getting enough of what I do want more insight on - the music.

 

I'll probably say this over and over and over again. I respect Pete's privacy as a human being and someone I admire. I will challenge him (on occasion) for (or about) his work as a fan, as someone who cares about him "professionally", etc. but whatever he does in his private life is *his business* (to either enjoy or be miserable over). I love the stories about cars and boats and "things" (some of his watches are very nice) - since I enjoy those things in common with Pete and it's something that crosses over into my other "hobbies". But, I'm not entirely comfortable with some of this "background information". I "get" that it all happened and was all part of Pete (and The Who) success (and sometimes failures) and we all take the good and the bad, but in my "perfect world" - I guess what I'm really saying is I'd love to hear Pete talk exclusively about his demo making, band sessions and "music life" - vs. all the other things which influenced and happened which got him there.

 

I can be as deeply analytic as the best of writers - but half my mind is spent on spreadsheets, budgets, projections and people (who never seem to be in the right place or doing the right thing to maximize profits). I'm a "bottom line" person - Pete - tell me about the song, "Touring In The USA" - yes - it was influenced by the Beach Boys - but what IS the song? Are you ever going release it? Imagine if Pete released all his demos tomorrow with a STORY behind each of them! WOW! Like Pete's devotion to Meher Baba - imagine what reading about that would do for someone like me? That's the kind of stuff I find MOST interesting.

 

I tend to look at this more in the respect of "Pete the machine" vs. "Pete the person" - I'm now the greedy Who fan who wants Pete to sit there and bang out one new album after the other for my "greedy music habits" vs. Hey Pete - it's your life! You want to devote yourself to "side projects" which get in the way of your music projection (i.e. "Horse's Neck", "The Tommy CD Rom", "Who I Am") to be more fulfilled as a "person" and "artist" - who am *I* to say otherwise, except that as someone who's also a "critic" (at heart) saying, Pete - this really isn't the best use of your time or talent. History will judge you not for your bio - but for your body of music work - it's your gift to this planet and your fans - use it well "little grasshopper".  In other words, why tease with "Join My Gang" ? Yes, it exists. I have the Oscar/Paul Nicholas version - but I want to hear Pete's version. Much like the Barron Nights' version of "Lazy Fat People" - its GREAT! It's true to the demo, but the DEMO is SPECTACULAR...

 

"Who I Am" Part 7

 

Some interesting thoughts in this section (which I will discuss below)

 

•             Sally Simpson inspired by an incident with a fan and Jim Morrison (apparently a fan touched Jim while onstage and he accidentally bloodied her up and Pete was one of the folks consoling her backstage after the incident)

 

•             Flooding of the Thames - Pete's basement filled up with water, cars washed down the street. Nasty...

 

•             The home recording studio

 

•             The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (inspired by Mick's thoughts of traveling with a real circus - which was deemed impractical)

 

•             Tommy (Details - Pete makes up for the lack of details from "My Generation" to "The Who Sell Out") - however, he misses out on "The Who's For Tennis" and some of what happened in-between

 

•             The death of Meher Baba

 

•             Nick Cohn and pinball.

 

•             Nick and his criticism of where Pete was at, changed theme of Tommy. Pete runs home, writes "Pinball Wizard" and now "Tommy" has been changed. In Pete's mind - this was a big risk - changing the whole theme here on Pinball... hMMM...

 

•             Daughter Emma born

 

•             Emma's birth motivates Pete to earn money and succeed!

 

•             4 days of rehearsals

 

•             Keith Moon - "Pete we are gonna make it!" (Keith believed in "Tommy" and its potential for great success!)

 

•             "Tommy" premier in London to rock critics - at the end of the show - everyone was on their feet - "We triumphed! - the music worked!"

 

•             We became real musicians playing Tommy on stage

 

•             Pete spent time with journalists and DJs

 

Pete didn't understand what groupies wanted (i.e. OK, so you come back stage, have sex with a band member. Now what??? What does this mean to your life?)

 

This section was very informative. I've read about Nick Cohn many times before, but never told from Pete's point of view and the "flash" going off in his head - which "completed Tommy's theme". That was good.

 

Pete was being fairly introspective here. The "life on the road" and "not fitting in" ("I wanted to be a good husband and a father.") which is quite different from the partying of the other band members, Roger's time with female fans, etc.

 

At this point, Pete hasn’t convinced me of much regarding his love for Meher Baba vs. the connection he felt towards other "followers". There's detail about the "other people", but Pete doesn't seem to come out and say - "This is what I loved about MB and this is why I am loyal to him and a believer..." I'd actually like to hear him (perhaps later on in the book) go on about what his take is on other religions ("Man In A Purple Dress") and why THIS works better for him, etc... (I find religion related stuff interesting)

 

"Who I Am" Part 8

 

•             The Fillmore East Police Incident (Pete secretly hoping that they would revoke his VISA so he wouldn’t have to come back to the USA and could stay in the UK with his family)

 

•             Buddy Rich (Keith's idol) opened for The Who - so Keith could meet his idol

 

•             Pete absolutely refuses to play Woodstock

 

•             Before returning to the UK, Pete misses his flight because the promoter locked him in room to say yes to Woodstock, with contracts ready

 

•             Pete was very pleased that the record he produced for Thunderclap  Newman, Something in The Air rose to the top of the charts...

 

•             The mud and the "mess" at Woodstock

 

•             The Abby Hoffman incident

 

•             Woodstock transformed The Who into rock autocracy

 

•             With no time to write songs or play guitar after the all the shows, jams on stage led to writing songs

 

•             Professional bootlegging! Seems that this was a big thing (i.e. the promoters themselves or the clubs where they played would have their own little recording studio set up to record bands and distribute to bootleggers)

 

•             The Who recorded the tours to get ahead of bootleggers

 

•             Bobby Pridden recorded 30 shows. Pete asked Bobby to listen to them so they could figure out which to release. Bob listened to them, but didn’t take any notes (he said they were ALL great) - and Pete didn’t want to spend 5 days going through them. - so Pete started fresh (with Leeds and Hull) and told Bob to get rid of the tapes and if they got bootlegged he would know who to blame. Bobby asked if he could keep just one. So Pete replied, which one would you keep, Bob?

 

•             Leeds in the studio - overdubs and clicks

 

•             Live At Leeds inspired heavy metal

 

•             The intention of Leeds was to "blow you away"

 

•             Pete's concern after the unexpected success of "Leeds" - Could I recreate this success with subsequent albums???

 

•             New album - What will it be? A new Tommy or a Rock album (like Leeds)???

 

•             Back to NY to play the Metropolitan Opera House - 2 shows a day...

 

Pete gave some nice details to his experience at Woodstock. Not really negative (for him) at all. A bunch of interesting stuff in-between these sections - even going back to 1968 and mentioning the LP, "Magic Bus", with its "odd collection of tracks", etc...

 

"Who I Am" - Part 9

 

•             Time with John Sebastian in California - Pete realized that he cannot co-write with others. "I am a loner."

 

•             Forever the workaholic - constantly driven to be busy and being productive

 

•             Lifehouse - the creation of the next Who album

 

As Pete describes these themes for "Lifehouse" it seems as if he was reading the script for "Psychoderelict" - Are they "one in the same" ? Or, is this Pete doing a bit of modernization on "Lifehouse" via the updated and modern "Psychoderelict" ???

 

•             The self-realization of being a manic depressive

 

•             In regards to Lifehouse - Pete thought synthesizers would help non musicians create music

 

•             New multitrack recorder for Pete's home studio - This allowed Pete the ability to convert ideas into reality quickly

 

•             Pressures of having to be on road with The Who hindered Pete's song writing ability (no time or energy)

 

•             Drinking helped calm Pete down from manic depressive behavior

 

•             Pete's realization that he couldn't create the Lifehouse he envisioned with the time and money constraints imposed upon him and the band.

 

Pete refers to "Universal" throughout this section. However, it was in 1998 that Universal (parent company to MCA) acquired Polydor and in 1999 both MCA and Polydor (now part of the same company) were renamed "Universal Music Group". So back in this time period, Pete would have been referring to Decca (which later became MCA) or Polydor - but not "Universal" (Me the historian with slight nitpicking)

 

•             Profits got to everyone associated with the band. Pete remained the workaholic, but had trouble motivating others - who were no longer as hungry and driven as he still was. Pete wanted to do special things and do what nobody had done before, but was hindered by folks being "too comfortable" with the recent successes...

 

•             The Record Plant in NY.  When Pete thought things for Lifehouse were hopeless - Pete felt happy when Kit Lambert called out of the blue and suggested they start recording at this new studio which Pete would love...

 

•             While wanted to share some exciting ideas with Kit, Pete climbed the fire escape to get to Kit's room - only to hear Kit "bad mouthing" Pete and referring to him as "Townshend". Pete felt betrayed and this was the end of the NY sessions...

 

•             Re-enter Glyn Johns, "the perfect producer"

 

•             After listening to the tapes from The Record Plant, Glyn thought he could do better and the music was re-recorded, fresh.

 

•             Back to the Young Vic and more recording...

 

At this point, I can feel Pete's frustrations. He had all these grandiose, complicated ideas, wanted to do something *special* - and unfortunately, nobody around him got - except for the technician delivering Pete's new synthesizer. Sadly, this is what can happen to you, when you have more "intellectual firepower" and "motivation" than the others who surround you. You are sometimes limited to your environment and cannot get past it.

 

At this point of Pete's story, he doesn't make any reference to his first "solo" album (if that's the correct way to refer to it), "Happy Birthday" - the 1970 Meher Baba LP. But he does allude to an "acetate" that got out, possibly referring to the "Genius of Pete Townshend" bootleg (but the track listing doesn't exactly jive here either)... Perhaps like the 1968 LP, "Magic Bus" was revisited around the 1970 timeline of the story, this might be mentioned later on... (i.e. in discussing "Who Came First" - which sprang from "Happy Birthday")...

 

“Who Am I” Part 10

 

•             Summer in Bay Shore, NY

 

•             Stabbing at Forest Hills (security guard)

 

•             Manny’s in NY - bought $30k in guitars

 

•             “Who's Next” Number 1 in UK

 

•             Spending money

 

•             LSO tommy

 

•             Prayed at Meher Baba Myrtle Beach home

 

•             “Rock and Roll: Rock Is Dead”

 

•             1972  - Trip to India

 

•             Performed at Meher Baba’s tomb

 

•             Sessions for LSO

 

•             Mercedes 600

 

•             South of France vacation

 

•             Pete's trip to visit Clapton and crashes his Porsche

 

•             Arrested for speeding while driving the MB 600

 

•             Crashed Porsche into tree in driveway

 

That poor Porsche really took a beating!

  

"Who I Am" Part 11

 

•             Pete wants Quadrophenia in quad sound...

 

•             Wiggy builds Ramport Studios

 

•             With revoked driver's license, Pete took his speed boat to the studio in Ramport (clever idea!)

 

•             Kit is thrown out of Quadrophenia recording sessions

 

•             John brought 20 brass instruments - He was very disciplined and worked hard in the studio

 

•             Quadrophenia was the most intense studio work Pete ever done

 

•             The "idiots at Track <Records>" announced the album release date before album finished

 

•             Barney fell in love with Kim Moon! (And Keith and Kim's breakup)

 

•             Quadrophenia failed to replace Tommy as the Who stage show failed

 

•             Tommy movie - enter Ken Russell

 

•             Recording for soundtrack at Ramport and Bill Curbishley takes over management of the band. (Not a creative type like Kit or Chris, but a solid businessman, looking after the band's finances first)

 

•             The stars come out for Tommy and Pete had initial reservations about this

 

•             Stevie Wonder initially considered for playing the Pinball Wizard, but Pete wasn’t sure that a blind man playing a sighted man next to a Deaf Dumb and Blind man would be "right". With word out, Stevie was insulted and the concept was dropped.

 

•             Elton John brought his musicians in to record Pinball Wizard and Pete was amazed at how quick and professional they were at recording.

 

•             Eric Clapton and Patti Harrison - Pete's visit to the Harrison Estate

 

•             The Roundhouse solo show!

 

•             Charlton 1974

 

•             Off to NY to play MSG 1974

 

•             Pete on boat buying and increasing sizes of boats, only to realize that the smaller boat you start out with is easier to manage...

 

hMMM... Looks like a whole transition from "Quadrophenia" to the "Tommy" movie (with a lot of Eric Clapton and other tidbits in-between).

 

Nothing on Pete's solo work - "Happy Birthday", "I Am" or "Who Came First" - which was all released during this time period. Does Pete flash back when he talks about "Rough Mix" and "previous solo work stories" or does this get completely ignored...

 

I'm on the 9th disc of 15... I find some of this interesting, some of it I already knew (but freshened up a bit and told by Pete's perspective) and some of it, not my cup of tea (i.e. I don’t have any interest in Eric Clapton's personal life - although I can appreciate the fact that Pete does...)

 

"Who I Am" Part 12

 

•             Between the Tommy movie and next Who album

 

•             Solo albums and tour for John

 

•             Solo album for Keith

 

•             Roger works on Lisztomania

 

•             Pete prepares 30 songs for Roger (to select from for the next Who album)

 

•             Pete was surprised by the songs Roger selected (and surprised by people's reactions - thinking Pete must have been suicidal to write such down and depressing songs - but this was not the case at all)

 

•             Pete admiration for the Jewish lawyers who represented him and the band

 

•             Ronnie Lane loved Squeeze Box - Pete had written it to amuse himself and hadn't considered it for The Who.

 

•             Ronnie suggested Pete leave The Who

 

•             Roger bought a helicopter

 

•             Pete apologizes to Roger (they had been exchanging negative newspaper articles) and offers support

 

•             Laser lighting for The Who By Numbers tour

 

•             Keith caused airline problems while in Scotland and the band had to charter a plane for the UK and Euro tour. This cost them the profits of this tour.

 

•             Pete praises Bruce Springsteen

 

•             Donna Parker - new friend that Pete met in New Orleans after being thrown out of Keith's room. Friendship lasted 15 years.

 

•             Keith's fake birthday party - Keith announces he is leaving The Who - Pete eats flower (something Keith did often) and has allergic reaction - Keith admits to Pete he was just trying to impress a girl (who knew nothing about The Who - but loved Hollywood)

 

•             Ear incident after loud feedback from Rogers new monitor system created by Bobby Pridden (the intention was so that Roger could hear himself on the stage over John's monster bass rig)

 

•             "The Boathouse"

 

•             Meher Baba coin toss. Pete (after making several offers to the owner) buys it for 75,000 GBP

 

•             Oceanic - Ronnie Lane quits Faces, Pete agrees to work with Ronnie on album

 

•             Roger became pickier about what he wanted to sing - causing Pete even more time to have to write for a new Who album (from about 3 months, now to a year)

 

•             Pete learns to sail with help from father in-law, Ted Astley

 

•             Pete reminisces about Rough Mix and its musicians

 

•             Pete confesses to Ronnie about cheating on Karen. Ronnie tries to tell Pete he's destroying Karen, and Pete blows up on him

 

•             Pete listens to Mike Oldfield's album “Omadawn”

 

In this section, Pete breaks out into "story telling mode" - long details about Donna Parker, Keith's "birthday party", the "Boathouse" purchase and some of "Rough Mix".

 

If you hadn't known about Pete's work before this, you wouldn’t have known that Pete worked with Ronnie on 3 Meher Baba albums between 1970 and 1976. There's no mention of this (or "Who Came First") in this book so far.

 

At this point, from the parts about The Book where Pete first becomes involved with The Who (or what was eventually to become The Who) - this is mostly a "Who Book" with some reflection and "side stories" - again, what was edited out of the book - "who knows" ? I thought the story (not in the book) of how "Who Came First" came to be was a GREAT STORY - but I haven't heard it yet in the book - I even grabbed a copy of the actual book to see if in the index there's a mention of "Who Came First" - and it wasn't there... hMMM... How is that possible???

 

You do get a sense of Pete's concerns about the money and the excesses that the band member's did with it - Roger's helicopter, Keith's jealousy of the same and his own excesses with money, etc... Although Pete didn’t live "poorly", he didn’t live "lavishly" either. He continued to work hard with the idea of "creating better than before" and "moving forward" vs. the collection of "things" (although he did just fine with the cars, the boats and other nice toys - but not to the excess of the others).

 

Pete also calls out many times in this section his concerns for Keith. Keith "wasn't the same", "his drumming had issues", "Keith was hospitalized", "Keith wasn't right", etc...

 

"Who I Am" Part 13

 

•             "Punk Rock a tsunami that would drown us all"

 

•             Pete was summoned to NY to discover $1.3M in a bank account that he didn't know existed!

 

•             Alan Klein's blackmail (to help get Pete his money)

 

•             After all day meeting (going over odd percentages and silly deals) drinks with Sex pistols

 

•             Pete writes "Who Are You" the next day

 

•             With newly found money, Pete started spending...

 

•             Pete was very proud of his new demos

 

•             Rabbit in sessions - but injures himself after he threw himself out of cab to avoid paying fair

 

•             Who Are You single does well in charts without tour

 

•             Keith was living in Malibu and then wants to move back to the UK

 

•             "He's done it" (Roger calls Pete, regarding Keith's death)

 

•             Keith's death fueled Pete to go back on the road with The Who

 

•             Keith's funeral

 

•             Pete wants Kenney jones

 

•             The solo deal - a chance to be creative again

 

•             1979 rehearsals with Kenney and Rabbit

 

•             Premier of Who films ("The Kids Are Alright" and "Quadrophenia") in Cannes

 

•             Karen was getting fed up

 

•             Secret Policeman's Ball (there was always someone in worse condition performing)

 

•             Rock Against Racism (Pete enjoyed playing for social benefit concerts)

 

•             A Little Is Enough (After Karen tells Pete she now only "loves him a little" - Pete see's Meher Baba's secretary the next day <seeking advice> and tells him "A Little Is Enough")

 

•             Rabbit, Sue and Horses

 

•             1979 solo recordings with Chris Thomas

 

•             Pete offers Barney house one of his homes if he agrees to be his "minder" on tour

 

•             Rabbit hooks up with Sue Vickers

 

•             Jackie <Vickers> and Pete fall in love

 

•             Cincinnati... (As Pete was describing how much he loved this tour)...

 

Perhaps it's just too early in the AM to digest all of this properly without allowing it to noodle around. Pete seemed to be "talked into" this solo contract as a way to express his creativity, but never really says why he doesn’t feel he could continue to be creative within The Who. He does show an appreciation for what Chris Thomas (as solo producer) taught him about getting the most out of his own vocal range in the recording sessions for "Empty Glass". In some ways (and certainly the way I'm summarizing the above), I feel Pete is leading us through is life, but saying, "Oh, well first I did this, then I did that, and then I moved onto this and..." He seems (at least up to this point in his life) always drifting from thing to thing, event to event without really giving anything really deep thought or meaning. Perhaps this is a result of editing half the book into vapor or perhaps more will be revealed later on (although in counting the discs remaining, I'm 2/3 through it so far). I liked knowing where the song, "A Little Is Enough" came from, but what else did I learn (which was new or meaningful) after listening to this today? (Perhaps as Pete goes on to talk about Cincinnati, he will discuss his "Space Invaders" addiction...)

 

"Who I Am" - Part 14

 

(on the 11th of 15 CDs...)

 

•             11 kids die in Cincinnati

 

•             The show must go on..

 

•             "Bad Timing" (the movie) and Pete's infatuation with Theresa Russell

 

•             Pink Floyd and Theresa Russell

 

•             Theresa rebuff's Pete. Pete is shattered and Pete's driver says to Pete, "She's just a girl"

 

•             The Demo of "Theresa" (which later gets reworked as "Athena")

 

•             Sleeping in the bear pit

 

•             "Did You Steal My Money" (model robbed Pete of what remained of his $50K swag take - after night of sex and coke)

 

•             "Face Dances" recording

 

•             Marvin "Baby Don't You Do It" Gaye in the next studio

 

•             Pete ponders his fan base and relevance. Wants to do more

 

•             "You Better You Bet" written for Jackie Vickers

 

•             March 1981 Meeting with Kenney Jones - Roger wanted him out of the band. John and Pete actually liked playing with Kenney - it gave them more room to jam on stage, but Roger was extremely unhappy and this ended up spoiling things for Pete

 

•             Louise (Ron Nevison cast off - new Pete love interest)

 

•             News of Kit Lambert's death, while Pete was in NY, looking out from his hotel at the Dakota, where John Lennon was recently shot. Pete is "getting the message"...

 

Lots of women, infatuations, drugs, drinking and overall - Pete is very "lost" during this period of his life. He's still married to Karen, his kids are growing up and miss their daddy, while Pete is in love with Jackie Vickers, but infatuated with Theresa Russell and any other pretty woman who gives him attention. Not good. During this time, Pete questions himself in regards to The Who, their audience, the "meaning of life" - he wants to do more with his life - be socially responsible, do things for people (besides in his lyrics) and has no idea at this point what The Who offers anyone...

 

Pete refers to the "8 year old boy" inside of him trying to grow up. Pete's whirlwind life and manic obsession with projects and work never really allowed him to "mature". He could be "introspective" - but always as a blur - when he's running from one thing to do another. So as he put it, he did things to make himself "numb"...

 

"Who I Am" - Part 15

 

•             On stage with Bruce Springsteen

 

•             Solo album sessions (for "All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes")

 

•             Pete wakes up in a hospital with adrenaline needle in his chest

 

•             Pete records Vivienne (intended track for "Chinese Eyes" - left off at the last moment) while in Paris laying down guitar track for Elton John

 

•             Pete buys 1st Ferrari

 

•             Karen sells house to her brother, Jon buys new house without Pete's involvement

 

•             Rehab in California

 

•             Princes Trust Gala (1982)

 

•             "It's Hard"

 

•             Pete compliment's Roger's singing on "One Life's Enough" and "Cry If You Want"

 

•             Pete believes "It's Hard" to be a very good album (which it is!)

 

•             Faber and Faber

 

•             Pete writes song in memory of Kit Lambert (unreleased)

 

•             Psychotherapy

 

•             "Siege"

 

•             "Scoop"

 

•             Pete's paintings (I don't recall ever seeing any of these???)

 

•             Pete visits Roger to "break up"

 

•             Pete hires Nicola Joss

 

•             Pete produces Simon's album, "Sweet Sound"

 

•             Fan mail was either over analytic or unthinking (puts together data base of fans writing - same several hundred people)

 

•             "Horses Neck"

 

•             New house in Cornwall

 

•             New solo album, charity work, film, writing book, etc. - Pete's "first drug of choice" - overwork

 

I think I learned more about Faber and Faber than I ever wanted to know, but Pete's thoughts about "Chinese Eyes" were just "bits and pieces" - one moment he's talking about using his sister-in-law, Virginia on piano and the next minute he's flying to Paris and recording a <period> unreleased track, but never really talks about the album as a whole, its success (or failure) - as if it's something he just "did" and "tossed away"... It's as if it has little importance or meaning. A result of extensive book editing? Perhaps. Feelings about "Scoop" ? Again, it just seemed like a quick mention - almost as important to credit "Spike" as to mention "Scoop".

 

Pete almost dies (we all know the scene from "Pulp Fiction"), but the way this story is told, it's all a "big blur". I'd like to know more about WHY Pete wanted a Ferrari vs. "I got my first Ferrari" (i.e. Pete, what did you like about it? What made you feel good while driving it? Can you compare it to another car you recently had?).

 

It's like my list of "non bullet points" <above>. Glimpses, almost no detail in what I call "part 15", but this seems to represent the "journey" Pete is taking me on as a reader/listener of his book... (I would have liked to hear more detail around "Chinese Eyes" and "It's Hard")

 

"Who I Am" - Part 16

 

•             Live aid

 

•             Purple Rain inspired film for White City

 

•             White city

 

•             Life To Life

 

•             Deep End

 

•             An album about Dancing???

 

•             Colombia Volcano Concert

 

•             Met Ted Hughes - Pete wanted to do a children's album

 

•             Iron Man

 

•             Death of Cliff Townsend

 

•             5 years of therapy (now complete)

 

•             "The Limousine" (or "the hearse"?)

 

•             Another Scoop

 

•             " 'Iron man' should be a Who album" (so says Jackie Curbishley)

 

•             "Normal family behavior" for most was a novelty to Pete

 

•             Money getting tight and Karen wanted another child

 

•             Pete (and Karen) considered adoption - but was rejected on several fronts (too old, drug background, etc.)

 

•             New Who album for the 25th Anniversary (?)

 

•             MCA offered $1m for new album - a tour could be triple or more

 

•             Pete felt that "Iron Man" was being set aside and that The Who came crashing in again...

 

•             Wow! A lot about "Iron Man" (and then some - there was more, but not for me for today). Pete spent a lot of time developing "Iron Man" into what was supposed to be a double album, only to have The Who "take things over" in his life...

 

•             I'm not sure why Pete chose to talk so much about this album - when the others before it hardly got a mention ("White City" seemed to get a bit "extra").

 

Personally, I never cared much for "Iron Man" - I love parts of it, but I don't like the "Tommy Soundtrack" effect - listening to Pete speak about it, made me realize that in retrospect, Pete loves what he did with it, vs. my view - it should have been a Pete solo album, not a "Soundtrack album" (I'm just a fan - Pete gets to choose).

 

At one point during this segment, Pete rattled off a whole list of song titles that he had as demos. A few I was very familiar with, but others - cool titles, but a mystery...

 

"Who I Am" - Part 17

 

•             <Another> New boat

 

•             "I'm Peter the sailor man..." (But where's me spinach???) :)

 

•             7 hour meeting to discuss 89 who tour. Pete felt extreme anxiety 

 

•             <Ultimately> Pete couldn't pass up the money

 

•             It's a boy Mr Townshend, it's a boy (Joseph Townshend is conceived)

 

•             50 song rehearsed set list

 

•             LA Amphitheater guest stars and backstage celebrities

 

•             Pete's <armed> security guards because there were threats he was going to be shot (by a sniper!)

 

•             At the end of 1989, Pete writes in his <new electronic> diary that he let Iron Man sink to the benefit of The Who

 

•             Rock & Roll Hall of fame

 

•             Orlando Sentinel publishes "Pete is bi" (Pete ponders that maybe this will make him be perceived as "more interesting")

 

•             The glass household/Psychoderelict

 

•             The bike accident

 

•             The staging of Tommy

 

•             Roger meets with Pete to talk him into The Who (admitted he needed money - investments from 1989 tour went bad)

 

•             Recording project with Simon and Paul Townshend (which is where now???)

 

•             Tommy on Broadway

 

•             11 years of sobriety comes to an end with a sip of Rolling Rock Beer (which was supposed to be "alcohol free")

 

•             Atlantic praises Psychoderelict. "Could be huge!"

 

I'm not sure how "Iron Man" would have turned out any different. Had the Who tour not interfered, would Pete have "finished it"? And if he had, would it have been much different? I've mentioned before I have some songs like "Pennydrop" (which is central to the "Iron Man" theme), but if it was finished and included in the album - would the outcome been any different? The album was promoted by The Who tour. Everyone got to see "A Friend Is A Friend" during the "break" and Pete played a set from "Iron Man" during stadium filled Who shows. I try to be objective and "understanding" about "Iron Man" - but I've always believed Pete went into the wrong direction. There's no discussion here how the album, its promotion or anything that <would have> followed would have been different had The Who tour not happened. More like, "Oh well, The Who wrecked it..." hMMM....

 

I would have liked to have finished the "Psychoderelict" segment - I love all things relating to the album, its tour, etc. but today is a workday and work comes first... I am curious to hear how it goes from a "could be huge" (or is that "Whoge"???) to poor sales and a costly tour. In my mind, "Psychoderelict" was as good as anything Pete had written before and probably would have made a fantastic Who album...

 

It is easy to see why Pete didn't want to be "in The Who" - on one hand, it wrecked any "stability" he had with his wife/family and on the other, it unleashed all of his inner demons - unable to "control himself" and stay "out of trouble". Not a good formula. I will be interested to learn how he was able to (or not) reconcile this in 1996 onward. I can make several assumptions based on what I already know - but I'd like to hear it in Pete's words...

 

"Who I Am" - Part 18

 

(Now on disc 14 of 15 - time is running out on our "short story")

 

•             I Believe My Own Eyes (the song from Broadway "Tommy" that upset Karen)

 

•             Reviews of Broadway Tommy

 

•             Worked on musical of Iron Man

 

•             Tony awards for <Broadway> Tommy

 

•             Psychoderelict release

 

•             Mayfair Acoustic Set of "Psychoderelict" - July 3, 1993

 

•             Pete gets drunk on stage to mar what would have otherwise been Pete's happiest time touring

 

•             Pete's Mercedes? (Brief mention of a Mercedes parked outside, but no make or model or event of purchasing it!)

 

•             Therapy

 

•             "Daltrey Sings Townshend"

 

•             Roger hires lawyer over royalties and music direction of Broadway Tommy

 

•             Tommy CD ROM

 

•             30 Years of Maximum R&B

 

•             Pete is eventually bored with Psychoderelict, Iron Man and Lifehouse

 

•             Paul Simon event in NY 1995

 

•             Windswept publishing deal

 

•             Pete buys "The Wick"

 

•             More love affairs...

 

Here Pete recalls his fondest touring memories, bringing "Psychoderelict" to the stage - but marred by an incident due to drinking in which Pete recalls basically blacking out... No mention here of how it did (chart wise, financially, etc.), why he released the "music only" version - or at this point, why he never released another solo album of new material since... (But there's still more to come)

 

Pete also mentions that when he bought "The Wick" - he would now begin laying out his "scrapbooks" in preparation of his book (to which we are now all reading).

 

I was at the Pete/Paul Simon Concert. It was before The Who Convention in 1995. Pete didn't play very long - but he was great! He mentions (in the book) that this was his first public "piano performance" (but what was "Slit Skirts" for the 1982 "Prince's Trust" - keyboards? Piano? Keyboards? What's the difference???)

 

The Tommy CD ROM and "30 Years..." get hardly a mention. The love affairs, time spent "in the shed", playing "obstacle course" with young Joseph Townshend and sailing and spending time at Cornwall are at the forefront.

 

I can understand Pete (as telling his story) is trying to convey his "personal life" and portraying his inner conflicts and "path of destruction" he has caused - but, at the same time - what are his feelings about his work as opposed to, "well, I spent all this time creating the work, it's out now and I'm very sorry - but I'm already bored with it - where's the "next" button???" And by the way, this might actually be the message that I'm *not* reading (or again, the editing/removal of half the book)...

 

"Who I Am" Part 19


•             Pete as a fashion model


•             Off-Stage - "a mouse with mood swings"


•             TCT


•             Contract for auto bio in May 1996


•             Cool walking...



•             Mini solo tour


•             Hyde Park Quad (oh no The Who again!)


•             Week of MSG


•             News out: marriage was over - Pete depression (old fashioned kind)


•             Enter Rachel Fuller


•             1996 NA Quad tour a blur


•             Who fans irritated that Pete didn't strap on electric guitar (fuck those morons)


•             Wrote "Wired to the Moon" after multiple lucid dreams


•             Worked on bringing Psychoderelict to the stage


•             Euro tour for Quadrophenia


•             Comparisons between Rachel Fuller and Theresa Russell (I saw that coming)


•             Girl who Pete thought stole $50k (circa 1979) admitted it was her brother's friend (coincidentally this girl was friends with Rachel) (it wasn't me! It was just someone I was with and didn't do anything about it!)


•             Invited Rachel to spend time on USA tour - thought Rachel was "trouble"


•             After proper date with Rachel, Pete felt like Dustin Hoffman in "The Graduate"


•             Found someone who could cope with Pete "as he was"


In this section Pete doesn't really know what he wants to be when he grows up. A Broadway producer (Tommy, Iron Man, Psychoderelict), a good father and family man or someone constantly seeking love (while maintaining his part time job in The Who). Seems like all of the above.

 

I always thought Rachel was good for Pete - because unlike his other relationships - she is a musician herself and "understands" Pete in different ways than the others that Pete has had attachments with over the years. Karen came from a musical family - so she "gets it" - but wanted a companion and full time father to her children - something Pete couldn't (or wouldn't) do. Sad.

 

I always laughed at the fan comments as to how Pete should perform and which guitar to play. Most of these folks go to concerts stoned or drunk with no sympathy or understanding ow difficult it is for Pete to even be on a stage with tinnitus issues, etc - but somehow he should perform like a trained monkey for which they will have a 5 minute memory over.

 

I recall the moments vividly when Pete "strapped on" the electric guitar at some point during "The Rock". Was it cool and did it sound great? Sure. Would the show preceding that point been any better or worse had he done that earlier? Who knows. It was just fine the way it was. Geez...

 

"Who I AM" Part 20

 

(Looks like there's about 34 minutes left after this!)

 

•             End of Faber & Faber

 

•             Daughter Emma's music album

 

•             The Iron Giant

 

•             "Scoop 3"

 

•             98 Maryville Academy

 

•             Rachel drunk crazy in Pete's home (later discovers she is a "secret drinker")

 

•             Linda McCarty dies

 

•             Ted Astley dies

 

•             Bought Rachel a VW Beetle

 

•             Matt Kent runs website

 

•             Uncle Jack dies

 

•             "The Artists Way" (book that inspired Pete)

 

•             John Entwistle's financial problems

 

•             1999 HOB Show (too loud!)

 

•             Lifehouse play

 

•             2 dogs (Pete gave one dog away since it was too difficult to train 2 puppies at the same time)

 

•             The Boy Who Heard Music

 

•             The Lifehouse Method

 

•             Saddler's Wells Lifehouse (live shows)

 

•             Who Tour: Rachel alongside kept Pete in good mood :)

 

•             Charity gig at Javitz Center

 

•             Blogs on website and videos from tour (S L O W Internet days of past)

 

•             The Who were a working band again

 

•             Concert for NY (9/11) very inspiring

 

•             George Harrison dies

 

•             In The Studio (for new Who album) - Pete's songs, Rogers "Certified Rose" and John songs (which he didn't want to submit to Rogers critique - so he didn't bring his songs)

 

•             John was deaf but wearing 2 powerful hearing aids

 

•             John was on heart medication, but drinking and smoking - (they suspected cocaine use based on his behavior)

 

•             "John is dead"

 

•             Could <Pete> have intervened?

 

•             Needed to make tour work for the staff who wouldn't have gotten paid

 

•             Queenie "John never loved you" (This disturbed Pete and does not believe it to be true)

 

•             The dark side of the Internet (Pete the investigator)

 

•             Pete had several friends he tried to help (from their childhood abuse) and after going through intensive therapy - one over dosed on crack the other committed suicide

 

•             "Beyond Tolerance" (a book that Pete wanted to write - but already written by someone else!)

 

•             "Operation Ore"

 

•             Maurice Gibb dies

 

•             Police searched Pete's house, removed personal belongings and 11 computers

 

•             The police - "We know you are on the side of the angles"

 

•             Many people spoke up but Roger was the most vocal

 

•             Without his computers (to complete work he had started on), Pete went to his studio to mix "Tommy" into 5.1

 

•             Hernia and colonoscopy

 

•             Pete given a choice: accept a caution - or go to court (no evidence found on computers).

 

•             (Later on, after auditing the site that Pete paid the $7 for, they found NO evidence that Pete ever entered website and looked at ANY images)

 

•             (Pete then fast forwards and talks of rebuffing protesters at the Super Bowl 2010)

 

•             I think the main themes here are Rachel, John's death, the "caution".

 

I had been worried about John since I learned he was on heart medication in late 1999. I was aware of his lifestyle and knew there was a time bomb about to go off. I had used Pete's website to bring "attention" to this matter - but everyone treated this as if it were a "big joke" (Oh, I saw John at a bar - there's NOTHING wrong with him!) People who claim to be fans viewed their "heroes" as "cartoon characters" vs. real people with real problems. Nobody listened (regardless of how many people I intentionally pissed off to bring this situation to light) and John died. What I had hoped for was a Pete "intervention" as he had done so successfully for Eric Clapton years before. Unfortunately all this took place before everyone (who could have helped) had email addresses and perhaps made a serious attempt to discuss all of this and do something for John. I think that Queenie's comments to Pete were "spiteful". John had a bizarre attitude towards Pete - in some ways Pete was like John's father - because Pete was the one "responsible" for allowing John to "play with The Who" (John's first desire) or sit at home and do nothing on his "Endless Vacation". Intellectually John knew that Pete had his own issues as to why he could not "be in The Who forever" (or full time), but emotionally, he felt (and somewhat resented) Pete's disinterest as an obstacle to John's success and fortune. John had tried several solo projects (The Best - a superstar band, but short-lived) and his mid-90's created solo band (which John loved, but was left in the hands of parties not capable). It was all very, very sad. John was such a talent in so many ways and gone forever. :(

 

While I feel very bad for Pete's marriage (you can see by his writing how much he loved Karen but they had conflicting needs that grew them apart), I really thought Rachel was so good for Pete. What Pete really needed was to have someone who understands him at every level and would spend time with him always - regardless of him being "on the road" or "at home". By being an artist and musician herself, this would be what Pete needed most and keep him happy. I didn’t really watch most of the "In The Attic's" - but I did see Pete and Rachel when they came to NY for the live shows - and I liked Pete's "frame of mind" - it seemed good, healthy and relaxed. I sort of lost track of Pete and Rachel when I had my "tinnitus incident" in February 2007 (and it's only 2003 or so in the book), so I hope they are still together and happy!

 

As for the whole "porn incident". I think it's absolutely horrible what Pete had to go through. There was no question in my mind the moment the news struck that Pete was 1,000,000% innocent. Of all the things that had happened to Pete (many of which were his own fault), this was one of the saddest. Instead of being "knighted" like Roger Daltrey, Pete was given a "caution" (whatever the fuck that is) instead. Pete was doing good work to try and HELP victims  and this shit happens. I recall it well and other than throwing up a "PETE IS INNOCENT" splash page on my website and offering whatever support I could, I rarely mention this - as to not remind me of the terrible <and wrong> stain on a good man's reputation - which again reared its ugly head in 2010 for the Super Bowl (as Pete pointed out). Folks are protesting and they don't even know what happened. (It's like the folks who think government is "too big" - but when you start asking them what they would "get rid of" - they'd keep the whole thing - "but it's still too big!") Ugh... This is depressing... :(

 

"Who Am I" - Part 21  (The Final Chapter)


•             Japan and Australia Who Tour

 

•             In The Attic

 

•             "In The Either"

 

•             Yorkshire Terrier named "Whistle" (after John)

 

•             Live 8

 

•             "Endless Wire" (Pete admits it is part solo album here)

 

•             <Pete enjoyed making the album>

 

•             Roger's health problems

 

•             Mobile In The Attic for Who Euro Tour

 

•             New studio in Surrey

 

•             "Floss" - the new opera with the level of work of "Lifehouse" & "Quadrophenia" (Pete is very excited about "Floss")

 

•             John Peel lecture

 

•             Always the "Socialist and Optimist"

 

•             Philosophy by Pete Townshend

 

•             1967 fan letter

 

•             Acknowledgements

 

•             (Catching up on old relationships as to where they are today)

 
•             Thanks to the fans


I found the closing parts both interesting and a little anti-climactic. Having spent every morning with a "bit of Pete", the story of the book comes to a sharp end. Fortunately, the story of Pete lives on. :)

 

While I considered "Endless Wire" to be "part Who" and "part Pete solo", it was nice for Pete to acknowledge that. Some of the songs contained in it are songs he obviously had strong feelings over (i.e. "You Stand By Me") and would have put them on a solo album - but with the combination of both, Pete was able to work all of this out on one album. What exactly is a "Who album" anyway??? ;) Are songs like "Sunrise" or "Blue, Red & Grey" Who songs or "Pete solo songs" on a Who record? Does it really matter? Is not a good/great song still the same no matter where in the universe it resides? In the digital age, you can "hit next" or re-record the album in a different track order, eliminate tracks you don't want or even add tracks that don't belong. It's not quite the same as the old vinyl days, but "I get it" (from an artist's POV too).

 

While Pete acknowledged that "Endless Wire" was the first Who studio album since "It's Hard" (24 year gap), what he didn't acknowledge that it was his first *anything* album of new material since "Psychoderelict" (13 year gap) - which is also a long time, for someone who typically released new music every 2-3 years (or so).

 

"Floss" (the non-dental kind) sounds exciting. I truly hope that Pete can complete it and Roger and Pete are in great shape to sing on it as well... I've always said Pete can write another "Quadrophenia" or "Tommy" masterpiece - he simply has to *want to* and it will happen.

 

Pete spent a bunch of this segment talking about how happy he is with Rachel. I'm so happy to hear that! You work hard your whole life, you SHOULD be happy. We can all look back to Pete's quotes of himself where he has said, "I'm only happy when I'm miserable" (or was that a quote he made reflecting what those close to him had observed?) I'd love to see Pete live on for a long, long time, productive, happy and fulfilled...

 

During, before or after Pete's "philosophy", Pete really never explained how he feels about "being in The Who" again vs. "I'd rather be doing something else". He made remarks earlier about "accepting his fate" and "learning to be happy about it" - but I'd like to see a deeper dive. The REAL "introspective Pete" which we've seen time and time again seemed to be mostly missing from this. Pete mentions the editor working 18 hour days to "cut the book in half" - Pete doesn't really say *what* was cut and how it would have been different if it *wasn't* cut. Did we get the stories, less the introspection? Did we get the "fast forward" version without the details, or, was there just more of the same (women, drug abuse, drinking) that was redundant and unnecessary in the scheme of things?

 

The acknowledgements were interesting ("ah, my ex-girlfriend _______ is now married with 2 children and...") but either I missed what Karen was up to these days or that was omitted (Pete seemed to sneak in "Gareth Astley" - another in-law in the Karen/Jon/Virginia/Gareth Astley clan - who I don't believe was mentioned before).

 

So there you have it... Finished, complete, done...

 

I probably was better off with the Audio Book, because I'm guessing if I read the <actual> book, I would have skipped over sections I wasn't interested in vs. being a "captive audience"...

Back

___________________________________

Copyright 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017  |  RWhiteFang  |  All rights reserved.  No part of this website may be copied or used for any other purpose without the express permission of the site owner.  |  This page was last updated on Saturday March 18, 2017 09:40 PM