Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Who: Pete Townshend writing autobiography

At the rate rock autobiographies are coming out, old-fashioned book stores are going to need to expand to make room, because more are on the way.

The next rock memoir making headlines is Pete Townshend’s, as Harper Collins confirmed Tuesday that The Who guitarist’s book will be finished and published by next year.

Long acknowledged as one of rock’s most intelligent and literary performers, Townshend will, at long last, tell his dramatic story in a full and frank autobiography, as well as the inside story of the iconic band from its British art-school roots, to its ground-breaking rock opera “Tommy,” to five decades of guitar-smashing tours.

The book will be published in autumn 2012 and will be backed by a major PR and marketing campaign.

“This book is not a vanity for me. It is an essential rite of passage,” said Townshend in a press release. “I know I am good at what I do as a performer and composer, but since my early teens, I have been happiest when writing. Writing is my principal daily occupation.”

“Rock 'n' Roll is a tough career, however cynically or comically it is portrayed by its detractors,” Pete continued. “I am lucky to be alive and to have such a crazy story to tell, full of wild adventures and creative machinations. I am happy that I am able to write my book myself, in my own 'voice' that many readers will be hearing for the first time.”

“I am not my favourite subject, that will always be art and music, but whenever I write about my life and work, I learn something,”
added the guitar icon. “So, the year ahead spent writing will also trigger the last vital bit of 'growing up' required by the now pensionable fellow who once wrote I hope I die before I get old. I want to write a book that is enjoyable to read, but above all, I want it to be honest.”

Beyond his skills as a noted songwriter, Townshend has plenty of experience in publishing, having worked extensively in the literary world for more than three decades.

Last week, Townshend publicly gave his blessing to Who singer Roger Daltrey as he prepares to take take the 1969 rock opera "Tommy" on a six-week North American tour beginning in September.

“Great to see Roger performing Tommy with his band in 2011,” said Townshend. “I will be there in spirit and Roger has my complete and most loving support. Roger is touring his unique concert version of Tommy using his faithful presentation of the original work as the backbone for a set of wider material. It is wonderful to hear the way Roger and his new band re-interpret the old Who songs."

The Who The Who

The Who – My Generation
Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
CBS Studios – Los Angeles, CA – September 15, 1967

See also:

The Who: Roger Daltrey bringing Tommy to North America
VIDEO: Foo Fighters & Roger Daltrey rock NME Awards
Roger Daltrey to perform The Who’s “Tommy” at Teenage Cancer Trust
Super Bowl Flashback: The Who (2010)
VIDEO: The Who headline Killing Cancer benefit
The Who: Roger Daltrey reveals cancer scare