Townshend, Pete

Townshend, Pete

Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend was born into a musical family on 19 May 1945 to Clifford & Betty Townshend in Chiswick, England. Townshend’s father played saxophone and his mother was a singer. He was primarily raised by his maternal grandmother. She bought him his first guitar when he was 12.

In February 1964, The Detours — a skiffle group which included Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Townshend, and Doug Sando (Keith Moon joined the band in 1964) — changed their name to The Who at the suggestion of Townshend’s flatmate, Richard Barnes. Townshend is the guitarist and chief composer for the band. Moon died from an accidental overdose of pills he had been taking to combat alcoholism on 8 September 1978 and was replaced by Kenney Jones, formerly of the group, Faces. John Entwistle died in June 2002 from heart failure.

The Who has released numerous albums since 1965. Townshend has released 16 solo albums since 1972. They have also continued to tour.

Pete recalls that he first saw Eric Clapton standing on a street in Ealing in 1964: “He was waiting for a bus, like me, and he looked extremely smart and modish. He’d shaved all his hair off. We hardly spoke. Two weeks later, I saw him at a clothes shop he went into regularly, Austin’s in Shaftesbury Avenue. They sold American clothes. We did have a short talk.”

In a 1968 Rolling Stone interview, Pete said, “When I was at school, I lived with this guy (Richard Barnes) who used to go and see Eric. And he would come back saying ‘Look, you’ve got to do this! Clapton does this great thing where he goes ba-ba-ba-bam on the guitar for hours and hours and everyone goes crazy and lights flash on and off and it’s great.’ So, I used to go ba-ba-ba-bam and attempt to do this from what I’d heard from him. Luckily enough, the influence, which could have been very obvious and direct if I’d actually gone to see Clapton, was very effective coming second-hand.”

Pete joined Eric for the Rainbow Concert on 13 January 1973 along with Ron Wood, Steve Winwood, Rick Grech, Jim Capaldi, Jimmy Karstein, and Rebop.  The CD was reissued in an expanded version in 1995.

During EC’s 1974 US Tour, Pete Townshend along with Keith Moon, sometimes appeared as a special guest. The Who were also on tour on their schedule often overlapped with EC’s.  That same year, EC played “The Preacher” in The Who’s film version of “Tommy.”

In 1986, they both took part in the tribute concert for Ian Stewart at London’s 100 Club.

On 28 October 1989, both were guests on Sue Lawley’s chat show, “Saturday Matters,” and performed an acoustic version of “Standing Around Cryin'”.

On 31 December 2007, Pete joined Eric at the annual New Year’s Eve Dance he hosted at the Woking Leisure Center in Woking, Surrey. Pete joined Eric’s band for “Goodnight Irene,” “Three Steps To Heaven,” and “Cocaine.”




Where’s Eric!
Find us on Facebook