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Pete Townshend: Who I Am

Pete Townshend: Who I Am [Kindle Edition]

Pete Townshend
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)

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Product Description


‘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

Product Description

He is one of the greatest musical talents Britain has ever produced. But even as the principle songwriter and lead guitarist for The Who, it would be unjust to define Pete Townshend’s life simply through his achievements with bandmates Daltrey, Moon and Entwistle.

Noting that he has sold over 100 million records over a fifty-year period goes some way to quantifying his accomplishments, but numbers only scratch the surface of his contribution to popular culture.

An avid student of his profession, during his career he has been credited with the creation of the concept album, worked as a literary editor, developed scripts for television and the stage, and written songs that have defined a generation. The thinking man’s rock star with a dedication to his craft unlike any other in the business, he continues to inspire new generations of performers and writers with a continuing commitment to his art.

Now, in one of the most eagerly awaited autobiographies of recent times, this icon tells about his incredible life and elaborates on the turbulences of time spent as one of the world’s most respected musicians – being in one of rock’s greatest ever bands, and wanting to give it all up.

Incredibly, as a man who has achieved so much, this truly unique story of ambition, relentless perfectionism and rock and roll excess will be regarded as one of his greatest achievements.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 7017 KB
  • Print Length: 753 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0062201522
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (8 Oct 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007UK83S4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,539 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite the classic I was expecting 2 Jan 2013
I really enjoyed this book - let me say that upfront, but I enjoyed it with certain reservations. The cover description of " of the most eagerly awaited autobiographies of recent times" was true as far as I was concerned, as I consider Pete Townshend to be one of the most charismatic and articulate rock stars of those recent times. His track record with both The Who and as a solo recording artist speaks for itself, "Who's Next" is one of the finest rock albums of the seventies, and Pete's first two solo efforts ("Empty Glass" & "Chinese Eyes") are simply superb. So what is the problem with the book, well actually there are two.

The first is that Pete's writing is nowhere near as engaging and as interesting as it needs to be. I would hesitate to use the word boring, but all the tales of rock excess and self-indulgence come across as a little ho-hum we've heard all this before, possibly because we have. As all the great rockers of the halcyon days of that genre slowly morph into respectable old age (God help us!) it seems that the biographies and autobiographies are coming thick and fast, each one trying to outdo the last with stories of drug-taking, drinking, womanising and general debauchery that are usually reserved for musicians and premier league football players. Pete is no different, but why should he be, that is the world and those are the conditions of it - I just wish he could have made it more interesting.

The second problem I had with the book was Pete's hypocrisy, the cavalcade of blondes that he was in danger of running out of superlatives to describe while continually harping on about the guilt of his infidelities, started to become a little tedious. Spoiler Alert: he eventually finds one that stays with him!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Whodonism doesn't come cheap! 23 Jun 2014
By Monk
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It seems to me that anyone reading this memoir would have very mixed feelings regarding the life story thus far of Mr Townshend.

He appears, from the telling of his tale, to be rather confused by what his life is and what he would have liked it to become. There is an overall vibe of uncertainty and perhaps even one of leaving things out, or of not fully expunging his particular 'demons', in the telling.

I found myself skipping pages which I found labourious or vague sketches of something hinted at but not completely told.

Reading between the lines there are hints of hidden skeletons in much deeper cupboards. He appears to have been, and perhaps remains, a rather self-centered egoist. A self-confessed socialist yet writing for the mail newspaper? A champagne and cocaine socialist with hints of middle class, bourgeois, left wing capitalism thrown in for good measure more like. A womaniser, for whom females held a strong attraction and clearly yet another of his 'addictions'.

Should we feel sorry for Mr T? I think not, considering he is reputed to be worth £40 million, on a bad day, has umpteen properties and has owned three, or more, hugely expensive boats, and someone who was not particularly concerned at having $50.000 stolen from him, the choices he made, like the rest of us, were his own and having suggested that the Who didn't make much money, at one point in the book, it seems some of what he suggests in his book might reasonably be taken with a fairly considerable pinch of salt. It might also be said, by some, that he is/was his own worst enemy and you would have to question why he wrote this book in the first place as he actually divulges very little. What is the truth?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pete Townshend - Who Are You? 8 Mar 2014
Let me hazard a guess:

You're a Who fan. You're less impressed by Townshend's post-Who output and you couldn't really care a wet slap about Lifehouse. You're interested in the stuff Townshend got up to with Roger and Moony and the Ox in the Who's heyday, and - given that there are two sides to quite a lot of stories - you're prepared to listen to what Townshend has to say about the whole 'indecent images' business of a few years back.

Well... prepare to be disappointed. The first third of 'Who I Am' is really, really weirdly written... an extremely dry and unemotive account of PT's childhood (for someone with a background in publishing, there seems to have been very little editorial oversight of this section...), followed by a pretty cursory account of the 'Who' years (again, for a songwriter, there's virtually no insight or reflection on the songwriting process, the lyrics, the inspiration...), and then a significant rump of prose detailing Townshend's (pretty tedious, bourgeois, self-regarding) decline into bloated rock-star self-pity. Most of the characters Townshend details won't stick in your mind, because they won't form part of a narrative with any meaning to anyone other than Pete Townshend. Most of these people will be 'beautiful girls' half Townshend's age who he slept with, or wanted to sleep with. Who cares..?

The other thing about this book is - a bit queasily - the feeling you have from very early on, that the writer's trying to manipulate your feelings about the (inevitable) account of PT's internet foolishness. Lots and lots of (seemingly quite contrived) 'flashback' references to what may, or may not, have been his own childhood abuse. Fair enough, it's his own autobiography and he can write what he likes... but from this reader's point of view, PT's 'victim' status seems a bit over-egged. I wonder why.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read
Written from the heart excellent read. Pete has lead a charmed life, long live rock. Be it dead or alive.
Published 2 days ago by chopper
5.0 out of 5 stars Who are you
I was really looking forward to reading this book as I am a massive Who fan and have been since seeing them live at the Vetch Field Swansea in 1976. Read more
Published 3 days ago by martin kempster
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 14 days ago by J. B. Mather
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read.
Comes across as a very arrogant man,serial adulterer,alcohol and drug addict.The section when he was arrested for accessing a child pornography website is not given the in depth... Read more
Published 15 days ago by concerned shopper 1
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY ONE.
Published 1 month ago by Kyle
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read
I didnt expect such an enjoyable book. Townsend doesnt shy away from any subject and he tells it, warts and all. His honesty is refreshing. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. A. Hunt
5.0 out of 5 stars He loved it.
Present for hubby. He loved it.
Published 1 month ago by B phillips
What a brilliant memoir, a tribute to an amazing person who tells the reader about his childhood and family, how war and music brought his family together, how he had the calling... Read more
Published 2 months ago by BLUEFISH
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT JUST FOR MY GENERATION
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... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Roger Risborough
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting.
An interesting insight into the talented temperamental guitarist from the Who. A good in depth read for any Who fans.
Published 3 months ago by A. A. Robertson
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