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Who I Am
Pete Townshend

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Autobiographies are always a difficult to ‘review’. Who are you (no pun) to rate a person’s memoirs? That being said, you can share an opinion of content and style. Townshend has both. Though, admittedly, the musical technical bits about equipment were not titillating…they still let one inch into the thoughts of one of the world’s most amazing creatives.

If you know Pete Townshend ‘just’ as The Who’s guitarist, and (hopefully) songwriter, the book will be like an afternoon fireside chat with a rock star. He does give a few glimpses into the lifestyle musicians tend to live through. But, he did not do the groupie thing – well much. The man’s a contradiction; you know like us all. And, he’s as difficult as his interviews expose. But in that bag of ego is a loyal friend (after a good tantrum), a loving husband/boyfriend all at one time, and an amazing thinker.

This reader is biased towards the work as I have fancied the man’s music since I once heard that note so pure and easy. I tried to be non-judgmental as I read; he’s certainly a guy – guy after the genius thing. Meaning the man is fallible, the man has mood swings and the man is capable of adorable crushes that are immature and romantic if cruel to another gal on the scene. If you’re looking for a salacious read, it is not here; thankfully. The man is honest, though I felt – as is right – to a point. He speaks of a few really big events he faced and their repercussions. And yes, there are many Who stories. I knew his stage persona was different from the real guy; it is show business after all.

As a big each-in-the-group admirer, it is too bad Keith Moon was such a pain in the guy’s butt. But, we can love without liking. And perhaps the secret to creating a dynamic ‘group’ is in the singularity of each of its members. For that we public should be grateful they even tried to make it work. Seems the ever-lasting groups have each been oddly at odds personally and a phenom when orchestrated; divine.

In the last added section of the paperback edition you’ll find a quite content happy post first release chapter where Townshend is genuinely in-the-moment, and clearly wishes others to follow their own creative urges. By god the man admits he is happy - though still not a boring old fart; that made this reader happy. If for no other reason that the music he’s given has consistently made so many happy – and a Who show (even today) is an energy experience like no other.

The take away is Townshend let’s you in for a moment. And ultimately he is a man as wonderfully complicated as his works. Enjoy.

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