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Who I Am: A Memoir Hardcover – October 8, 2012
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“Intensely intimate…candid to the point of self-laceration…[Townshend’s] tone is less lofty than anyone would have expected, just as this book is more honest than any fan would have hoped.” (Rolling Stone (Four 1/2 Stars!))
“Mr. Townshend’s self-portrait is raw and unsparing...as intimate and as painful as a therapy session, while chronicling the history of the band as it took shape in the Mod scene in 1960s London and became the very embodiment of adolescent rebellion and loud, anarchic rock ‘n’ roll.” (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times)
“Unusually frank and moving…[Who I Am] isn’t one of those rock memoirs that puts the what before the why. His past is a puzzle Mr. Townshend is sweating to decipher.” (The Guardian (UK))
About the Author
Pete Townshend is the legendary lead guitarist and principal songwriter for The Who, one of the most influential rock-and-roll bands of all time. He is one of Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. He resides in West London, where he was raised.
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I still listen to Pete Townshend. I still laugh at Keith Moon driving a luxury car into a Holiday Inn swimming pool--that about says it all. I also admired Daltrey's softer albums, albums with which I related. I suffer from Bipolar, and had to live through Hell before the cure came. As did Pete Townshend.
This is one of the better autobiographies by British musicians I have read. Townshend on the Board of Faber? Yeah buddy! Those street smarts paid off. I am glad Pete Townsend, almost a father figure for me when daddy was missing. and I still cry when I hear "Behind Blue Eyes", have been homeless, love Marianne Faithful, and yelled "Patti Smith!" from the nosebleed section of the big theater in Grand Prairie, Texas, when Dylan, Haggard and Sexton came to town. The folks in front of me seemed to have little comic question marks over their heads at that, but yes, because of Pete Townshend, I learned how to write songs. I wrote a poem about Eel Pie Island, Arthur Brown's Elton John intervention, and being an ally, gay rights in Dallas, a really backwards city that seemed to want to capture Townshend when he came to the Majestic with his operas.
Who's next? A big heart, a winking smiley face emoticon, and a big heart. Love reigns over me now. It took some getting there, but music like that of The Who indeed pulled me through when it was rough.
If this was "The Price Is Right", I'd holler, "PETE TOWNSHEND! COME ON DOWN!" I honor this man, and I honor The Who, and will never stop listening no matter how hard the wingnuts try to put cotton in my ears.
Rock on, Pete Townshend! Just bought "Life at Leeds", and cannot help but note how tasteful the playing is. True professionalism in this book. True professionals don't always need to be the leader of the pack. Rats for those gangsters!
Very highly recommended for music fans. Townshend has the code of coolness in a very warm way.
The same "shallow" or abbreviated treatment of other important aspects of Townsend's life are equally abbreviated. The deaths of Keith Moon and John Entwhistle are very short and not treated with much introspection.
These are the obvious examples. They span the book, being especially irksome in the time spanning the beginning of The Who through to the book's end. Townshend's frequently acknowledges the "help" of his editor who cut the book roughly in half, from an estimated 1000 pages to 500. Both the editor and the publisher have done little favor to Townshend's and The Who's fans, whether they are fan club types or fan's with a desire to follow the thought of their favorite musician and creative spirit.
The abbreviated treatment of Townsend's story does no good for either Townshend or his fans.