By Dany Recio
Other Side Drive October 11, 2012
Pete Townshend was one the founding members of the Who and was responsible for more than one-hundred songs throughout their eleven album career. He dropped out of college to pursue music and became one of the world’s most iconic artists. Earlier this week at the age of 67 he released his Memoir “Who I Am.” It is the recollection of his life: through his childhood, the years with The Who, and beyond. The significance of his memoir can be highlighted by the fact that it will delve into the early years of the Who; a period of time when Rock and Roll began to take the shape of what we know it as today.
Pete formally created the Who when he and bassist John Entwistle recruited singer (Roger Daltrey) and Drummer (Doug Sandom) for rhythm and blues group. The group originally named The Detours soon changed their name after they replaced Sandom with the animated Kieth Moon. Who approached Daltry and told him that he was a better drummer than the one they had. They decided to try him and Pete Townshend described his experience of first hearing Moon play drums as “it was like listening to a jet-engine take off…” Moon solidified the line-up for the Who and they went on to record many successful singles and a slew of albums; both, popular and conceptual.
Townshend wrote much of the Who’s material and he had quite a talent for writing for popular songs and creating elaborate rock opera’s. In the early years of the Who, he would push the limits of Blues and Rock; with fast-paced riffs and solos. His live presence also cemented him into the music world as formidable artist. In 1964, he accidentally broke his guitar on the low ceiling of the venue where they were performing. Rather than halting the performance he continued to smash it into pieces and continued the song with another guitar. This moment became a regular performance piece in the Who’s live show. Many other artists would imitate
Townshend including Jimmy Hendrix; who became good friends with the Who after their performance at Woodstock. Townshend was also one of the first artists to experiment with synthesizers in the 70’s. He created the long intro to the song Teenage Wasteland. Much of his work can be illustrated in how he always pushed himself creatively. He stretched the limits of what he could imagine to create his art. Pete Townshend is a legend of Rock. Helping cement its sound and it’s place in history.
From the Other Side I’m Dany Recio with Revolutions.