Book Report: Pete Townshend’s ‘Who I Am’
In the past few years, a number of rock legends have picked up the proverbial pen to set the record straight on their personal stories. Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and Sting have all told their tales in book form, and this year has seen a lot of icons hit the book store. So, just in time for the holidays, we’re offering brief takes on some of 2012′s best rock tomes.
THE BOOK: Who I Am
AUTHOR: Pete Townshend
THE DEAL: He discusses everything, from The Who to his solo career – and his 2003 arrest – in this long in-the-works memoir.
THREE THINGS WE LEARNED:
1. Notorious rock manager Allen Klein wanted to be in business with The Who.
At the filming of The Rolling Stones‘ Rock and Roll Circus, Klein approached Townshend and “asked whether I was making any money yet.” Townshend says he “felt a flicker of rage.” His response: “I told him that although I wasn’t making money I would never turn to him. He had The Beatles and the Stones, but he would never get The Who.”
2. Roger Daltrey said the “primary defect” of The Who’s Face Dances album was drummer Kenney Jones.
Townshend recalls that “Roger confessed to Kenney that he couldn’t bear to work with him anymore… Why was this new system not working for Roger? Roger literally used to dance to Keith’s drums. But when Kenney joined the band, Roger couldn’t dance to the music anymore. He claimed that Keith had always followed the vocal line, and that he in turn followed Keith. And Keith was gone.”
3. In the early ’90s, Townshend gave Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder some sound advice.
“He was having problems adjusting to fame and was thinking about going back to being a surfer,” Townshend recalls. “I gave him my philosophy: we don’t make the choice, the public does. We are elected by them, even if we never stood for office. Accept it.”
The Who will be on the road in North America through February, featuring Townshend, Daltrey and drummer Zak Starkey (Jones’ final appearance with the band was at a 1988 awards show).
— Brian Ives, CBS Local