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Pete Townshend: Who I Am Kindle Edition

4 out of 5 stars 209 customer reviews

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Length: 561 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download

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Product Description

Review

‘More honest than any fan would have hoped. Maybe nobody knows what it’s like to be the bad man, to be the sad man, behind blue eyes―but Who I Am is as close as we are likely to get.’ Rolling Stone

‘Astonishingly frank, detailed and heartfelt.’ The Sun

‘Whatever the subject, he writes passionately and eloquently.’ The Times

About the Author

The defining guitarist of a generation, Pete was the powerful creative force behind The Who, widely regarded as one of the greatest rock bands of all time. His musical knowledge and writing ability was and is unparalleled, and his taste for rebellion renowned. The destruction of the very guitars that resounded with the legendary tracks My Generation and I Can’t Explain brought him acclaim and notoriety in equal measure, but his pure passion and talent has guaranteed his status as an icon and authority on rock ‘n’ roll for decades. Pete has widely been cited as an inspiration to countless musicians, celebrated in their own right, and continues to perform to sell-out audiences across the globe with his fellow band members.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 51252 KB
  • Print Length: 561 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (8 Oct. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007UK83S4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 209 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #89,225 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Here's the problem with most of the reviews that you'll read here on Amazon: most people writing them are, unsurprisingly, Who fans. This means they're measuring this book (an Pete's behaviour and stories) against their own projected image and thoughts on him. He is, after all, just another bloke and the result is the sound of hundreds of Pete projections crashing from their respective pedestals.

Objectively, this appears to be a clear, well written book. It's honest and surprisingly self-deprecating. Pete is clearly a man who has battled and continues to battle his demons. Demons from his childhood. Demons in the form of mental illness and compulsive behaviour. Demons in trying to find order in the chaos of his life and the excess and premature deaths of those in his circle. Demons in searching for that 'ultimate' project that would somehow, somewhere capture the visions, sounds and ideas he has in his head. All the major events of his life from a troubled childhood, through the formation of The Who, their rise to greatness and eventual self-destruct are all described in satisfying detail. If I had to level a criticism I would say I wanted to know more about the inter-band dynamics and characters. What were John, Keith and Roger like? I felt by the end of the book that I knew Pete reasonably well - or as well as you can from a book - but that the other band members felt like shadows, cardboard cut-outs and distant from the action. But it may just have been me. The writing is direct and very factual. Sometimes slightly too much so and some more humour would be welcome. Overall, I would say it was a solid, honest and interesting ride with a man not ashamed to open himself up and let everyone see him, warts n' all. Thanks Pete.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had been looking forward to reading this book since it was first announced. It's entertaining, but also strangely disappointing in terms of not living up to high expectations - those expectations having been raised simply by the highly intelligent and articulate nature of the author. The tone of the text is rather academic and sedate and it rather lacks the passion and wit that has typically been present in the author's interviews, articles and letters. It is as if it is the product of a therapist coaxing the facts of a story out of a patient for a clinical document. Much of the story has been documented elsewhere in detail, drawing upon interviews and texts, but there are a number of personal insights and revelations that do expand upon it. I do think that the book suffers from being too condensed and edited. Many key milestones in the author's career and development flash by in only a few lines when they warrant far more detail and exploration. In fact, the book could well have been twice the length and split into two volumes to do its subject greater justice. The style of the narrative is to a degree confessional in its accounts of the largely self-destructive lifestyle that the author has frequently led and of the strain that he subjected his wife, family and friends too. However, the emphasis is on documenting that lifestyle and not really clarifying or exploring the motivation or reasons for it. The portrait the author paints of himself is at times quite uncomfortable.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
This is a big long listen, about a big long life in music, and in short, it's brilliant.
Pete Townshend reads his own life story across 70 years and 15 CDs, and frequently amuses himself with his past indiscretions, errors of judgement and false-steps. He also manages to pronounce his first wife's name (Karen) differently every time he reads it, which seems to tie-in with the old maxim that if you can remember the 60s you weren't there. That human touch to the narration is one of the many charms of this audio-book, along with the sheer fascination of listening to the unfolding career one of BritRock's true champions, from 60s Mod pioneer to hard rocker, to co-conceiver of concept rock, and finally as stadium hell-raiser. There must be something for every music fan somewhere in that range of musical generations. As you would expect from someone who initially made his name smashing guitars on stage long before it was fashionable, Townshend pulls no punches in telling his life story - sexual inhibitions, sexual indiscretions, sexual accusations are all worked-through carefully and thoughtfully with the benefit of hindsight, and by the end, who he is has been answered in full. A star. After 10 of the discs I had to consciously slow down my rate of listening as the end was approaching just too quickly.
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Format: Hardcover
I agree with many of the rather varied comments already written. Overall I also found it depressing that a richly talented man is so self pitying in his outlook. he describes himself as a loner, and i have seldom read a book so unsympathetic to, or uninterested in, his fellow human beings. I too think his musical legacy is very much in the string of hit singles in the 60's. if he had only written My Generation that would have been enough to ensure his legacy. (Personally I found Tommy a load of pretentious twaddle) So, the book is well worth reading, offering an insight into a man who could never be described as your average rock star!
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