Pete Townshend - Quotes

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When I grew up, what was interesting for me was that music was color and life was gray. So music for me has always been more than entertainment.

When I grew up, what was interesting for me was that music was color and life was gray. So music for me has always been more than entertainment.

The problem for me, still today, is that I write purely with one dramatic structure and that is the rite of passage. I'm not really skilled in any other. Rock and roll itself can be described as music to accompany the rite of passage. ---->>>

I have terrible hearing trouble. I have unwittingly helped to invent and refine a type of music that makes its principal proponents deaf. ---->>>

A lot of writing I do on tour. I do a lot on airplanes. At home, I write a lot, obviously. When I write a song, what I usually do is work the lyric out first from some basic idea that I had, and then I get an acoustic guitar and I sit by the tape recorder and I try to bang it out as it comes. ---->>>

I felt that the elegance of pop music was that it was reflective: we were holding up a mirror to our audience and reflecting them philosophically and spiritually, rather than just reflecting society or something called 'rock and roll.' ---->>>

Most of my songs are about Jesus. Most of my songs are about the idea that there is salvation, and that there is a Savior. But I won't mention his name in a song just to get a cheap play. ---->>>

The bad part about growing older is I'm going bald. The good part is my nose seems to be getting shorter. ---->>>

Keith Moon is not interested in jazz and won't ever be a jazz drummer because he's more interested in looking good and being screamed at.

Keith Moon is not interested in jazz and won't ever be a jazz drummer because he's more interested in looking good and being screamed at.

I saw the Internet as being something which would allow power mongers to control us, and that we would willingly go to that if it promised us salvation - if it promised to show us who we were and let us find ourselves as we had, uniquely in our generation, through rock music. ---->>>

Even modern English people are imperious, superior, ridden by class. All of the hypocrisy and the difficulties that are endemic in being British also make it an incredibly fertile place culturally. A brilliant place to live. Sad but true.

Even modern English people are imperious, superior, ridden by class. All of the hypocrisy and the difficulties that are endemic in being British also make it an incredibly fertile place culturally. A brilliant place to live. Sad but true.

I have to say that anger is the blanket that comes around me, and that blunts and blurs my sense of proportion.

I have to say that anger is the blanket that comes around me, and that blunts and blurs my sense of proportion.

Backstage, I get sleepy, and want to curl up and snooze. I never get nervous, whatever the event. I feel quite detached until I walk on stage, and then some gear inside me clicks and off I go like a wind up doll. ---->>>

I'm only interested in rites of passage stories. ---->>>

I needed to give back, give back, give back. I felt guilty about my success. I felt uncomfortable about how easily I had been delivered this extraordinary life that I had. ---->>>

He is the king. If it hadn't been for Link Wray and 'Rumble', I would have never picked up a guitar. ---->>>

I've learned a huge amount because I've been tested and, more importantly, I've been trusted. ---->>>

If I told you what it takes to reach the highest high you'd laugh and say nothing that simple, but you've been told many times before messiah's point you to the door though no one's got the guts to leave the temple. ---->>>

In order to have faith, or follow any other organized religion, I'd have to suspend a degree of disbelief. ---->>>

We tried not to age, but time had its rage. ---->>>

As a young man, every bone in my body wanted to pick up a machine gun and kill Germans. And yet I had absolutely no reason to do so. Certainly nobody invited me to do the job. But that's what I felt that I was trained to do. Now no part of my upbringing was militaristic. ---->>>

But what was interesting about what the Who did is that we took things which were happening in the pop genre and represent them to people so that they see them in a new way. I think the best example is Andy Warhol's work, the image of Marilyn Monroe or the Campbell's soup can. ---->>>

Early British pop was helped tremendously by the writing of Bob Dylan who had proved you could write about political and quite controversial subjects. Certainly what we did followed on from what was happening with the angry young men in the theatre. ---->>>

Some of our early work was two minutes twenty when it actually came out on vinyl, very, very, very short. Sometimes if you made a three-minute record they would make you do an edited version for radio, particularly in America. ---->>>

What I'm trying to do is find either existing properties or come up with properties or angles or stories which will create music drama. It's my obsession and most of all I would like to remain working in theatre. I think it's very much alive. ---->>>

I don't really know any other musicians like me. I grew up backstage with my dad who played in a post-war dance band, so I always feel at home at a venue.

I don't really know any other musicians like me. I grew up backstage with my dad who played in a post-war dance band, so I always feel at home at a venue.

In a sense, the god we trust politically is a slightly different god than the one we bring into the fray when we enter a rock concert. One of the things I can say with absolute conviction is that I worship that god. ---->>>

It wasn't just about flashing lights and pinball machines blowing up and things like that. It was about using encores, bringing back the good songs and using techniques that I knew about from rock performance. ---->>>

My father had played the guitar when he was young, and my uncle Jack had worked for Kalamazoo, before the war, developing guitar pickups. So there was a kind of family thing about the guitar, although it was considered something of an anomaly then. ---->>>

I know how it feels to be a woman because I am a woman. And I won't be classified as just a man. ---->>>

I want to age with some dignity. ---->>>

My father was in a dance band, and I wanted to do what he did, play the saxophone, but I couldn't blow a note, so he suggested the guitar. Chromatic harmonica was actually my first instrument, and I got very good at it - not quite Stevie Wonder, but very good. ---->>>

When The Who first started, we were playing blues, and I dug the blues and I knew what I was supposed to be playing, but I couldn't play it. I couldn't get it out. I knew what I had to play; it was in my head. I could hear the notes in my head, but I couldn't get them out on the guitar. ---->>>

It's sad when people break up.

It's sad when people break up.

Bob Dylan did the first really long record - Like A Rolling Stone - I think it was four minutes. ---->>>

It's like the mod thing is happening again.

It's like the mod thing is happening again.

I think I probably would have enjoyed to keep my own private pain out of my work. But I was changed by my audience who said your private pain which you have unwittingly shown us in your early songs is also ours. ---->>>

Although I dig my guitar playing, I think it's kind of an obvious situation; I play what I want to play within my own restrictions. ---->>>

I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth. ---->>>

It's an ordinary day for Brian. Like, he died every day, you know. ---->>>

I felt that The Who had ended because we'd lost touch with our original Shepherd's Bush audience. ---->>>

What theatre started to look at much earlier than any other form was the internal operations of ordinary people, sometimes using mythic models in order to tell the story. ---->>>

English banjo players really were a law unto themselves - you don't find that kind of brisk banjo playing on the original Louis Armstrong or Bix Beiderbecke records. ---->>>

Everything that I had done creatively related to two or three incidents that happened to me when I was a child that I'd forgotten. Everything, absolutely everything. ---->>>

For a while I was perfectly happy not performing with 'The Who.' From 1982 to 1989 I felt 'The Who' did not exist. I let the band go, in my heart. However, Roger Daltrey had other ideas. He would not let go. ---->>>

What I took back, because of my exposure to the Jewish music of the 30s and the 40s in my upbringing with my father, was that kind of theatrical songwriting. It was always a part of my character. This desire to make people laugh. ---->>>

What the Who is all about is exactly that and it always has been. If it exists today for this concert, it's in response again to a function which is happening out there on the street. ---->>>

I didn't start to collect records and listen to guitar players properly until I went to art school, when I'd already been playing for five years. So my style was already formed, and that's why I think it's so unique. ---->>>

I just could not believe that 30 years later we're still looking at people who are supposed to write little 2-minute pop that when they actually try to do something that's a little bit more they regard it as pretentious. ---->>>

I only really started to go to plays and to be interested in drama 20 years ago when as an artist I was already well-rounded. I think I'm more disciplined today. ---->>>

I used to try and make up visually for what I couldn't play as a musician. I used to get into very incredible visual things where, in order just to make one chord more lethal, I'd make it a really lethal looking thing, whereas really it's just going to be picked normally. ---->>>

To be completely honest, I think if I hadn't been bullied into the band, I would have been happier as an art student. I would have been happier in a Brian Eno world. ---->>>

What we learned quite early on is what was really important to early British pop that we produced-and this is where we were distinct from almost everybody else in this respect-is that it had to reflect exactly what the audience wanted us to say. ---->>>

I don't view the fans in the way that most performers do. As a mass of people who have paid money, I know what they want. It's a very, very, very, very, very low common denominator. ---->>>

Entertainment came out of this thing called a television, and it was gray. Most of the films that we saw at the cinema were black and white. It was a gray world. And music somehow was in color. ---->>>

A lot of my audience are in their 50s. But they want me to pretend to continue to be pretending. ---->>>

I bought a Dutch barge and turned it into a recording studio. My plan was to go to Paris and record rolling down the Seine. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: British
Born: 05-19, 1945
Birthplace: in Chiswick, London, England, The United Kingdom
Die:
Occupation: Musician

Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend (born 19 May 1945) is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the lead guitarist, backing vocalist, and main songwriter for the rock band The Who. His career with the Who spans over 50 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the most influential bands of the 20th century (wikipedia)