Excellently performed autobiography.
Personable, heartfelt performance.
Thanks for this enlightening and entertaining autobiography. I am grateful that you chose to tell your own story. Listening to your voice was like listening to a good friend. Best wishes to you for the rest of your life, and beyond.
Interested, captivated, and delighted
It was a great treat to have Townshend read this himself. I felt like I got to have the conversation that I always wanted with one of my heroes. The early years, the youthful angst, the crazy 60s, the family man, the abuse, and the passion all combined to paint a human portrait of a great artist.
I am fascinated by the post-war era in the UK, and Townshend does a great job of tying together the period before the British Invasion. A bygone period that included Holiday Camps, impoverished children playing in bombed out lots, Skiffle, Mods and Rockers, and a brawling young Roger Daltry. The book is like a great cigar, full of rich flavors and history, and yet still something that you can savor in the moment.
There should probably be a cute wordplay that use the standard “Who” motif, but I am not sure that this would make a good movie. I suppose "Pete Who?" or some such thing.
If you loved Keith Richard's Life, you will love this book as well. If you are a fan of The Who, you will definitely love this book. This said, neither of these are prerequisites, and if you are the type who would simply enjoy listening to a tremendous raconteur cover a fascinating period of history from the front seat, then you will also love this book.
I consider myself a huge Who fan, so I would likely cut this book more slack than most. If someone is a Who obsessive that wants a timeline for production and release dates, this book would serve, I guess.
It's close to 20 hours long but incredibly short on detail where it matters. It's an endless parade of yachts purchased, women he loves madly (but disappear by the next chapter) and misery heaped on his long suffering wife.
Keith Richards allegedly accused Townshend of "thinking too much". So true-he tries to come off as deep and cerebral but it just doesn't work.
I'll stick to Who albums!
The 500 people he name checks without their adding anything to the story.
Just a massive disappointment.
Coming from a Who freak (28 albums) and huge PT admirer this book is not an easy listen. I'm going to critique the delivery and not the content. Pete's delivery is monotone and less than engaging - and he has this annoying habit of emitting this fake laugh as if it's a cue that he said something funny. He almost sounds like he's bored. I'm about 1/2 way through and thought about returning this book but couldn't bring myself to do it.
Long live rock!
As a Who fan, I definitely found this worth listening to. I would have liked more about some of the music-the 60's and 70's speed by quickly. I didn't really get a great idea about his relationships with the other members of the band and his wife. Yes, he talks about them, but he has more detailed anecdotes about presumably peripheral people, like Theresa Russell. In that vein, he goes into detail about things that were ultimately not relevant, and completely skips over and glosses over other things.
I would definitely read a books about him, but not by him.
This was in parts a painful listen, because Townshend had a painful upbringing that he carried with him through his life. I tried to keep this in mind when he describes his self-admittedly jerky behavior.
Finding time to listen is easier than finding time to read. Many hours behind the wheel allow me to safely enjoy an audiobook where reding a print or digital media book would be impossible or at least ill-advised.
Pete is clearly central. This is, after all an autobiography. I very much enjoyed that he narrated. His candor and self-awareness (low self esteem notwithstanding) personalized his tales and experiences and allowed the listener in. Thank you.
The authors narration makes this more the telling of stories than the reading of a book.
I laughed. I cried. I cheered and I jeered.
I love reading but with farming, there's little time to relax and sit and read. Alas, I enjoy my Audible books whilst in the car travelling
Surprised, enjoyable, rousing
I loved that Pete Townsend read the book, therefore putting emotion in the reading. The acute laugh before reading an experience allows the reader to enjoy the moment a little more. Overall, where I thought Pete Townsend was a real rebel, I believe he has just led a life of restlessness with lots of fun times.
Too many to recount
His memories of his grandmother looking after him. So truthful.
Loved listening to this book. It showed more of the man than his music does, which is a lot.
Having never really been a big Who fan I am not quite sure why I choose this title...certainly am happy I did so.....I almost felt I was on the Magic Bus. My preconcieved notions about the members of the band were flat out totally wrong. Pete Townsend I always knew was talented...even though not a big fan anyone who is a peer of those who madeup the British Invasion would have to be deaf not to heard and appreciated at least some of the Who's music. But Pete Townsend is so much more....he has really packed in a massive amount of accomplishments and interests and career's (yes multiple careers-while a rock star) into his life. A truely remarkable man. The only disappointment I had was he mentioned so many cities that he traveled,toured ,vacationed and visited...but when telling the story of Keith Moon driving the Lincoln into the pool at the Holiday Inn...he omitted saying it was in Flint,Michigan...as that is my hometown I wish he had-but then it is his story and his book.
His performance in reading the book was incredible...again far beyond what I could ever have imagined. He told a fascinating story and held my attention with an incredible performance....he proved to me he could perform on many different stages in many numerous ways. Funny it just occured to me how he shared all of his vast accomplishments and never once was he bragging or boastful...in fact quite the opposite...I admire that as well he certainly could have. A great listen-enjoy.
Good Sci-Fi is so hard to find. I loved "Enders Game," written by Orson Scott Card. Favorite Book of 2012 Bill Bryson's "From a Sun Burned Country." Wildly informative, laugh out loud, travel log about Australia. "Who I Am," by Pete Townsend and "Life" by Kieth Richards favorite auto biographies of 2012
I am writing to let you know how much one of your very recent recordings moved me, and warmed my heart. Of course I am speaking of the audio version of your autobiography, “Who I Am,” read by you. It has such an intimate quality that I started to feel like we were great mates back along the way, had lost touch, bumped into each other in a pub, were thrilled to see each other and catch up. We each enjoyed a tall glass of Cool, Cool Rain, as you told the most fascinating stories of the adventure life has been for you since last we met. Wow!
I enjoyed finding out about your love of sailing, I get it, me too. And the story about how your agent got you to go to Woodstock, lock the door and keys out the window, too funny. Glad he did, because that’s where I first saw you in action – no not at the event –but at a four and a half hour premier screening in downtown Chicago, just five months after the event. This was before the movie, ‘Woodstock’ blew up at the Cannes film festival, launching many bands, along with yours, into the stratosphere.
What’s so wonderful about this day and age is I could go online and look up your performances, and video’s. There’s a version of “Who Are You,” from what looks to be the late 60’s that I showed to my 22 year old son and asked him, “Which band member do you think drove a Lincoln Continental into the outdoor pool at a Holiday Inn and got the band thrown out of the Holiday Inn chain for life.” My son doesn’t know much about the band but in this video it became obvious that the drummer was full of the kind of mischief that would find him behind the wheel of such a prank. It was also obvious to me how you could forgive Keith nearly anything with just one of those impish smiles, even your lose of hearing from using too much explosives to blow up his drums.
I also loved seeing you in action on stage in New York performing for all the first responders. WOW! The power that came through you, the band and the songs was phenomenal. Made me realize how much more you have to offer when sober. You literally destroyed that guitar without having to smash it up. And what you call your “spazz dancing” was more like a fiercely vibrant whirling Sufi prayer rocking the audience, and me watching the video. It was the pure essence of you. Thanks.
Glad the Kennedy center honored the two remaining members, loved how Jack Black got you guys to crack up, and then, did I see a few tears?
And to have found romantic love with a talented and creative partner, well that may be your greatest creation, well let’s be fair, at least one of them.
What I love about you most is your loyalty to friends, your passion for creation, and your ability to forgive others.
Your Friend Kevin
Guitarist with The Prudes
Pete's narration makes the book complete, probably the best of the recent rock bios by a good measure. Pete is brutally honest, well worth a listen, my favorite book of the year.