If you’d lived underground for nearly the last half century, you might not have ever heard of Pete Townshend or The Who. But even if you preferred the comforting isolation of a subterranean domicile, there’s a good chance at some point that you have probably heard the machine-gun rhythms of one of rock and roll’s all time greatest guitarists and songwriters seeping through the walls.
On October 10th, Townshend stopped in Philadelphia as part of the Free Library’s “Author Events” series, promoting his new autobiography, Who I Am. Answering questions from author/singer-songwriter Wesley Stace (a.k.a. John Wesley Harding) as well as a Q & A session from the audience in attendance, Townshend followed up his town-hall-style session with a 4 song solo acoustic set, including Who classics ‘I’m One’ and ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again.’
The line for the sell-out crowd at Penn’s Anthropology Museum approached Disney-World-themepark dimensions, at times, but the audience was more than willing to jump through any hoops necessary for their chance to meet the legendary musician in a more intimate setting than the majority of Who concert venues over the past half-century or so could have ever afforded them. The patience of the crowd was rewarded, as Townshend regaled those in attendance with his personal stories and memories, despite any skepticism that might stem from the accuracy of the memory of one the 60’s biggest rock icons.
Townshend had planned on writing his memoir at the age of 20, before becoming sidetracked by the success of The Who. In his new book, Townshend takes the reader on the amazing journey of his life, unrestrained and uncensored.
So, who is he? At 67, Pete is finally telling us himself.