Shortlisted for: Biography/Autobiography of the Year – Specsavers National Book Awards 2012
He is one of the greatest musical talents Britain has ever produced. But even as the principle songwriter and lead guitarist for The Who, it would be unjust to define Pete Townshend’s life simply through his achievements with bandmates Daltrey, Moon, and Entwistle. Noting that he has sold over 100 million records over a 50-year period goes some way to quantifying his accomplishments, but numbers only scratch the surface of his contribution to popular culture.
An avid student of his profession, during his career he has been credited with the creation of the concept album, worked as a literary editor, developed scripts for television and the stage, and written songs that have defined a generation. The thinking man’s rock star with a dedication to his craft unlike any other in the business, he continues to inspire new generations of performers and writers with a continuing commitment to his art.
Now, in one of the most eagerly awaited autobiographies of recent times, this icon tells about his incredible life and elaborates on the turbulences of time spent as one of the world’s most respected musicians - being in one of rock’s greatest ever bands, and wanting to give it all up. Incredibly, as a man who has achieved so much, this truly unique story of ambition, relentless perfectionism, and rock 'n' roll excess will be regarded as one of his greatest achievements.
©2012 Pete Townshend (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Mr Townsend reads with many an ironic chuckle, a warming habit that gives a well written tome about a life so convoluted in depth, historic creation and personal torture and redemption the touch of human candour that underlines nicely the courageous and often unflattering revelation that gives this book, and it's audio rendering its depth and grip.
It's a significant and thorough examination of the life, and more relevantly, the mind and its machinations of one of the great creators and musicians to lead and emerge from the 60's Renaissance in pop music.
"Townshend is a fun guy to listen to."
He tells his own story with humor and self-deprecation.I don't know if he is likely to read other books.
Life, by Keith Richards.
Great ! My first audiobook ! Essential for understanding the origins of rock, told from a master crafter.
It's an autobio !
"pete townshend who am i"
A captivating book on stardom and struggles of The Who. Being read by Pete you can really feel and hear that it is an all truthful account. Great stuff.
"Not what I expected but really good."
Having been a Who fan for years I thought I knew all there was to know about Pete. This book was riveting and was written in such an introspective way that you got a real picture of Pete and his life. Really graphical in all areas, both personal and public and shows what an artistic genius Pete is. Highlights for me were numerous but understanding how Tommy was created and how he continued to tackle his inner demons were particularly poingnant. Not all rock'n roll but a complete reflection of his life to datel. Really enjoyed this book and how Pete narrated it. Nice to hear to author laughing to himself recounting an early part of his like.
"Pete tells you his life story"
This is one of the best audio books I have ever 'read'.
Pete Townshend is a brilliant, complex, controversial, funny, self-obsessed workaholic. But above all he is honest. Hearing him talk about his own life, his loves, his obsessions, and his fears, along with the occasional chuckle and silly voice gives an experience you simply couldn't get from print
I saw the tall, skinny guitarist of The Who smash his (already damaged) guitar and knock over his amplifiers in what looked like anger and frustration at the end of a gig in November, 1967. For me, at 14, it was exhilarating and scary, but I didn't know why. Now I know how Pete was feeling.
Truly a five-star listen. And it took Pete 17 years to write!
"a good read"
An enjoyable read which takes you from childhood to the present day with all stops in between. It makes you realise that the who have been around for years - not quite as long as the stones though.
Having read this I have now moved on to Kieth Moon.
This book will give you that little look through the window at the rock and roll lifestyle I would say though that these sorts of things are sanitised for the public at large. The good thing is that you can listen on the move so you are not tied down to listening in one place.
I am a massive Who fan and of the work that Pete does. I couldn't wait to listen to this book and was gutted when after 45 minutes of badly read audio from the man himself I could listen no more. He comes across as a poor and deprived little boy, which I'm sure he was but both my parents were born in the same period and everyone struggled in the post war years. Despite his obvious talent he should not have narrated this book and I would advise anyone wishing to know the story buy the paper or electronic copy and physically read it.
"Who Are You ?"
Just finished reading Who I Am. The quality of an autobiography depends on what you want from it. Do you want to read about the early life or skip to the stages of life for what the individual is famous for ? Do you want details about the songs and their meaning ? Do you want all the gossip and sensationalism (warts and all)? Do you want to read something new ? After reading the autobiography, do you know the real person ?
Good points: Pete Townshend does not dwell too much on his early years and skips to The Who years. He reveals much about himself and you get close to understanding Townshend. One or two funny moments inevitably involving Keith Moon.
Bad points: Not much detail about the songs. The problem with famous people is that we already know a lot about them and the autobiography does not reveal too much that we don't already know.
All in all, a very good and honest autobiography. One click on a link on the internet caused him all kinds of problems. A terrible mistake. Personally, I would like to have read more details about the songs which is why I didn't give it the maximum 5 stars.
My rating 4/5. Recommended.
Very well read an interesting insight into one of the great British rock bands of all time
"who am i"
did injoy but found it hard going from chapters 24. still very interesting worth listerning
"Better Than I Expected"
The sheer honesty of Pete Townsend's writing, and the attention to detail.
I was touched by Pete's honesty.
As a life long Who fan (and the singer in a Who tribute band, for a while), I was of course fascinated by all the stories of the band and of the individual band members.
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