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Who Are You: The Life Of Pete Townshend Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press; 1st edition
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847722431
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847722430
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 2.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,212,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Mark Wilkerson was born in England and lived there for fourteen years before moving to the U.S. in 1984.
He spent eight years in the U.S. Army as a helicopter crew chief before work began on his first book, 'Who Are You: The Life of Pete Townshend' (Omnibus Press, 2008). A few years later, fellow Townshend acolyte Eddie Vedder asked him to join the team that put together 'PJ20' - an official history of Pearl Jam to commemorate the band's 20th anniversary, published in 2011 by Simon & Schuster, and a New York Times Bestseller.
Mark's next project is 'Tomas Young's War', about an Iraq war veteran and activist who spent ten years battling an array of debilitating health issues after being shot in Baghdad in 2004. Young died in 2014, on the eve of Veterans' Day, at the age of 34. Haymarket Books will publish 'Tomas Young's War' in early 2016.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dean Jarvis on June 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my Amazon.com review of Mark Wilkerson's last version of this book ("Amazing Journey: The Life Of Pete Townshend"), I remarked that it could be improved with new interviews with Pete's family, co-workers and Pete himself. That's exactly what Mark has been able to do to update this new edition.

The book has been organized a bit better, chapters are organized by years, and the new interviews have been woven into the biography. For me, there's still not enough new material from Pete. But new quotes from his brother Simon and his brother-in-law Jon Astley do add insight into Pete's personality.

This is still very much a "just the facts" type of book, and that's ok with me. A lot of hardcore fans may not find much new here, but I consider myself a fan and I learned a lot. Mr. Wilkerson's book is an excellent, clearly written reference, that also holds your attention. It would make an excellent gift for any Townshend/Who fan.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Brock on November 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Densely packed with detail on Townshend's life, most Who/Townshend fans will want to snap this up. Who fans should bear in mind though that this is not a history of the band, and obviously has a focus on Pete alone. The picture quality is not great, and I would have appreciated more detail on how Townshend actually crafts his songs and any guitar related info, but thats my bias! Its a hefty read, but well worth the effort.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
The book is a joy to read. The updated version of the story of Pete Townshend's life is fantastic. The writing is superb. Crisp, tight, and done the way a biography SHOULD be done: just give us the facts (and the interesting ones at that).

It is well-worth buying this newer version, especially for the new interview with Pete himself that has been integrated into the story. Lots of behind-the-scenes information, such as input from Pete's brothers on their life growing up with their older brother as one of the biggest rock stars in the world. Fascinating stuff!

Even long-time Who/Pete fans will learn things about THE MAN that they'll appreciate.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lovblad on July 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
Very well written book by someone who is obviously a great Who fan. In difference from most other tomes on The Who it does contain a lot of new information on the group and Townshend in later years and is in that aspect really up-to-date. Indeed, it does in that sense not frustratingly focus on the years surrounding Tommy. In that sense it complements really well the other available books such as the one by Dave Marsh. It also does focus somewhat more on the solo work that Townshend has produced which is really nice. Of course again it suffers from being written by a fan who does not allways have enough perspective. It does however contain data from new interviews conducted by the author. This also gives the book a fresh approach missing from most similar books.
Of course it is not written by a master as Dave Marsh and it does come over slightly amateurisch at times but it is refreshing. However for a subject as complex as Pete Townshend, and this is a book about him, there is very little on his life, especially very little is revealed about his wife and divorce and the only quotations come from other already known sources so in that sense it is frustrating because by being too much of a fan book it treats its subject with too much respect again. here again a new book written by a more biting British rock journalist would be wellcome. I suppose however they would not be interested and have, unfortunately, written Townshend off. this is unfortunate because the man has on and off been able to demonstrate that the can still produce some great music and the recent return to form of the live Who is proof that there is still life in the beast.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary Packard on July 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you weren't around to follow Townshend and The Who through most of their career, this book will fill you in on many of the epic adventures you missed. The fascinating quotes and anecdotes will enrich your appreciation for the man, his music, and the artistic process.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. S. P. on January 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
An excellent, thorough and thoroughly satisfying read. The balanced, detailed treatment of his many personal and professional challenges brought Pete from "in the ether" down to earth. The story is mostly comprised of an accounting of Pete's creative spectrum and the media used to convey his ideas. More personal life information and synthesis of the material would have made this book a perfect 10.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DW on October 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
Who Are You The Life Of Pete Townshend is well written and organizes the vast amount of information in a logical and easy to read way. Nice pictures too (although black & white). I recommend it for any Who fan.

[DW]
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I believe Mr. Townsend is a fantastic songwriter and musician. However, this book gave me little insight as to who is Peter Townsend as a man. It is always interesting to note that these famous rock stars get divorced from the person who has taken the most abuse over the years and still stayed loyal only to have the relationship end. Then in almost all cases the men end up with women more than half their age who understand them so well. This was a slog to read. I thought it would never end. The endless accounts of the Who and Townsend's tours were boring. I would have liked to read more about his interactions with all the famous musicians he worked with through the 60's. 70,s and 80's.
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