Happy 75th Birthday to Pete Townshend of The Who, a Rock and Roll Rebel


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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Many warm returns go out to Pete Townshend, legendary guitarist of the Who, who celebrates his 75th birthday today, May 19.

Townshend is an enduring icon of the highest degree, his work with Roger Daltrey and the Who the stuff of legend. The Who’s 2019 album, WHO, was a resilient collection of songs from the band, as defiant and confident as ever.

In our feature interview with Daltrey regarding the new Who record, he explained how Pete Townshend still manages to surprise him as a songwriter:

Yeah, he always surprises me as a writer. I’m such a fan of his writing. I’ve always been a fan of his musical ability.

I’m bored of quite a lot of rock music generally, you know. It doesn’t seem to have expanded much since the late ‘70s, it seems to be stuck.

But Townshend, some way or another, always seems he is able to break the mold. He seems to be able to push it that extra bit further that turns your head. I’ve always, always had incredible admiration for him for doing that.

The Who’s Moving On! tour in 2019 was a tour de force from the iconic band, a rousing performance featuring classic hits, fan favorites and a live orchestra, which added up to quite a remarkable evening at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. 

The Who Caps Off ‘Moving On!’ Tour with an Unforgettable Night at the Hollywood Bowl with Liam Gallagher (Recap)

Townshend is also a key element of what has made The Who such a legendary live band over the years. As Alice Cooper band mate Neil Smith explains in a recent column, their live show is unrivaled:

As crazy as Keith Moon was, (Pete) Townshend had a stack of Sunn amps and it stood about eight feet high. He was up at the front of the stage doing the windmills on “My Generation” and he ran backwards into the amps and flies off the back of the stage. (John) Entwistle and Moon are still going crazy.

The man’s an icon of the highest degree. Happy birthday, Pete Townshend!


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