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Sneak a Peek at Pete Townshend’s Forthcoming Memoir
Pete Townshend’s long-awaited memoir, Who I Am, will finally find its way to bookshelves next week, and if Rolling Stone’s exclusive peek at its contents is any indication, the Who’s windmilling guitar genius has spiked his autobiography with a hearty helping of juicy rock ‘n’ roll history.
Rolling Stone’s collection of excerpts, which were themselves excerpted on the magazine’s website, contain a rather explicit remembrance of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, in addition to bits in which Townshend dishes about Who drummer Keith Moon and fellow shredder Jimi Hendrix.
On meeting Keith Moon:
"As soon as he began to play we knew we'd found our missing link. Roger tried to befriend Keith, but Keith kept his distance. He also seemed to see Roger's success pulling girls at our gigs as a challenge. They sometimes chased the same girls in these early days, and it was never clear to me who was winning . . . Keith's main pal in the band became John [Entwistle]. They were hysterically funny together and shared an apartment for a while. Roger and I got the impression they did almost everything together, including having sex with girls. It must have been mayhem."
On running into Jimi Hendrix after Hendrix heard The Who wasn’t too happy about losing the headlining spot at Monterey Pop:
"I walked over to him and explained that there were no personal issues involved. He just rolled his head around – he seemed pretty high. Wanting to keep the peace, I said I had watched his performance and loved it, and when we got home, would he let me have a piece of the guitar he had broken? He leaned back and looked at me sarcastically: 'What, and do you want me to autograph it for you?'"
And if rock gossip isn’t your bag, it would appear that Townshend takes some time in Who I Am to shed light on his artistic process.
On composing The Who’s classic anthem “My Generation”:
"I produced several sets of lyrics and three very different demos. The feeling that began to settle in me was not so much resentment towards those Establishment types all around my flat in Belgravia, but fear that their disease might be contagious. What was their disease? It was actually more a matter of class than age. Most of the rich kids around me were striving to be corporate executives of the future – not rebelling against anything. I associated their values with stasis, and therefore with death."
Who I Am will be released on October 8. It is currently available for pre-order.