Book Review: “Who I Am” By Pete Townshend

Today, I finally finished reading, “Who I Am” by Pete Townshend. I never understood all the hate and disrespect toward Pete Townshend, and the Who. The Who has always been one of the my favorite bands for years. They’ve always been underappreciated and Pete’s guitar playing has always been over looked. Sure, they have been under fire, because of Pete’s never ending pedophile accusations, but no matter what you think of them, The Who, will always be known as one of the greatest rock n’ roll bands in the world. Their legacy will never die.

Pete is a guy who invented feedback on the guitar. He popularized what we all know, the power chord. He also popularized guitar smashing and is most famous for his windmill stage move.

This the most compelling rock memoir I’ve ever read. Everything about Pete’s life and music career is there. It starts from his childhood ’til now. Of course, the stuff that interested me the most in the book, is the career of the Who. I loved all the stuff he wrote about the Who’s appearance at Woodstock ’69. I loved reading all the details of the recordings for the legendary albums, “Tommy”, and “Quadrophenia”. I liked reading about Pete’s solo career, and the Who reunion later on in the years. He talked about the “Endless Wire” album and the Superbowl Halftime performance and all that stuff.

The book is not just about music. He has a lot about his personal life with all the women he had over the years. He admitted he hasn’t been faithful and he was a bit of a womanizer. He talked about his addiction with alcohol and drugs. Most importantly of all, the book was mostly about him being a victim of child abuse. Yes, he admitted that he payed to look at child porn websites on the internet, he was arrested, and his home was raided, but in his defense, he did all that for research. It was a mistake in his part and he confessed to it. He is against child porn and he helps other organizations to try to help fight it. It was also research for this book. Pete took part in a lot of child abuse charities and things like that. I think he wanted to publish this book as a way to bring awareness to child abuse. On top of all this, I never thought, Pete Townshend, is a pedophile. I always believed he was innocent and still do. He is just a man who is scared and angry at child abuse. Enough of that talk.

I believe the whole point of the book was that he wanted people to get to know who Pete Townshend really is, hence the title, “Who I Am”. It seems in this book, he wanted to clear the air about things. There was a lot of misinformation about Pete himself and his music career with the Who, and all, he just wanted to correct things. Get people to understand him better. This was the most honest and real rock memoir, I’ve ever read.

Pete Townshend is a guitar playing genius. I’ve always admired the guy. This is a must read for all music lovers and fans of the Who. Read it if you haven’t yet.


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