Pete Townshend is my favourite songwriter of all time and he’s the guitarist of my favourite band of all time, none other than The Who. He wrote most of the band’s hits. The Who have gotten me through difficult times in life and they got me into the Mod subculture. It’s why I’m known as Angie Moon The Mod. My favourite albums to listen to of The Who are Tommy, Who’s Next, and Quadrophenia. I have these albums on my perfect albums list. I want to write this blog post as a tribute to Pete on his 70th birthday.
One time in a job interview I said that Pete Townshend was the most inspirational person to me. He’s a brilliant songwriter and never gave up on his dream to become a musician. I read his autobiography when it came out and I love it! I found it very well written. He’s not just a brilliant songwriter, but also a great storyteller. He was an inspiration for me to come out of the closet as bisexual. It takes a lot of courage to come out. I will be writing a bit about Pete in a future blog post about gay, lesbian, and bisexual musicians (Pete Townshend identified in an interview as “probably bisexual”).
The Who are my favourite band because all the musicians are so talented and skilled. Roger’s a great vocalist. Pete’s a great guitarist, John’s an amazing bass player, and Keith’s drumming is perfect for the band and works well with John’s bass playing. Easily my favourite rhythm section in rock.
Here are my 10 favourite songs from Pete’s years in The Who and in his solo career:
1. “See Me Feel Me/Listening to You” – From the 1969 album Tommy. This is my favourite moment in the album.
2. “Let’s See Action” – Pete did this on his solo album Who Came First. There’s nothing like Pete singing songs he wrote
3. “Behind Blue Eyes” – From Who’s Next. I really love the lyrics of this song and this is a very important track to the album. Can’t skip it!
4. “The Rock” – From Quadrophenia. The instrumentals are something I really enjoy on this album and enhance it. This in my opinion was the period of The Who when they were at their best.
5. “Love Reign O’er Me” – From Quadrophenia. This is a very strong moment and one of the reasons I love Roger Daltrey as a singer. Each member of The Who had their theme on the album, and this one happens to be Pete’s theme. Keith’s is “Bell Boy”. John’s is “Is it Me?”. Roger’s is “Helpless Dancer”.
6. “I Can See For Miles” – From The Who Sell Out.
7. “Magic Bus” – I can remember singing this song in the car with friends and family on road trips. This song always brings back good memories
8. “My Generation” – The first Who song I ever listened to. Love John’s bass solo. You gotta watch the performance they did of this song on The Smothers Brothers.
9. “I’m Free” – From Tommy. I love singing this when I’m finished with exams. My favourite version of this song is the harder sounding one from the movie.
10. “The Kids Are Alright” – A classic. This song always cheers me up.
It’s really hard to pick just 10!
I am very lucky to have seen The Who in concert in 2013 on their Quadrophenia Tour. I also got to meet Pete Townshend at a book signing in Toronto. Here are some pictures of me in my Who shirts and a couple of pictures I took of Pete at the book signing:
Concluding thoughts: Thank you Pete, Roger, John, and Keith for all the great music! Here’s to many more birthdays for Pete and Roger. I hope everyone who is going enjoys the Who Hits 50 concert!