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Who I Am Audiobook

Who I Am

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Publisher's Summary

From the voice of a generation: the most highly anticipated autobiography of the year, and the story of a man who...

  • ...wanted The Who to be called The Hair.
  • ...wanted to be a sculptor, a journalist, a dancer, and a graphic designer.
  • ...became a musician, composer, librettist, fiction writer, literary editor, sailor.
  • ...smashed his first guitar onstage, in 1964, by accident.
  • ...invented the Marshall stack, feedback, and the concept album.
  • ...inspired Jimi Hendrix's pyrotechnical stagecraft.
  • ...is partially deaf in his left ear.
  • ...stole his windmill guitar playing from Keith Richards.
  • ...followed Keith Moon off a hotel balcony into a pool and nearly died.
  • ...did too much cocaine and nearly died.
  • ...drank too much and nearly died.
  • ...detached from his body in an airplane, on LSD, and nearly died.
  • ...was embroiled in a tabloid scandal that has dogged him ever since.
  • ...planned to write his memoir when he was 21.
  • ...published this book at 67.

©2012 Pete Townshend (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (564 )
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4.4 (517 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Greg tacoma, WA, United States 10-13-12
    Greg tacoma, WA, United States 10-13-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An absolute must for any self-respecting Who fan"
    If you could sum up Who I Am in three words, what would they be?

    Interested, captivated, and delighted


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donaldo Milton, NH, United States 03-10-13
    Donaldo Milton, NH, United States 03-10-13 Member Since 2012

    Admirer of history and biographies.

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    "Pretentious Get"
    Any additional comments?

    I'm a pretty big Who fan. It was my hope that there'd be some sort of inside stories of how some of my favorite songs came to be which, to fair there are, but not anywhere near enough. I was also hoping to hear some inside stories about the recording process and their legendery screaming matches but alas, only a scant few. The narrative pretty much goes on about his neurosis’ and accompanying substance abuse problems, which is fine. But personally I would have preferred more of the former and less of the latter.

    Beyond that, the sniggering smarminess that dominate spots of his narration tend to wear thin after a while and have left me having to listen to this in installments. I havn't even finished listening to the book, but intend to. In conclusion, it's just a difficult listen where I fully expected to devour it.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rebecca sachs 03-28-16 Member Since 2010
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    "WHO knew?"

    I had no idea how talented, creative, erudite, and forward thinking, Pete Townsend is. I always enjoyed the WHO, and the lyrics of many of their hits, but didn't appreciate the sophistication or technicality of their music. Similarly. the Life story was straightforward, unapologetic and sobering. Pate Townsend's narration was earnest, and very human. Loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dave 01-31-16
    dave 01-31-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Pete and the "truth" are not well acquinted"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I am certain this is how Pete recalls the major incidents of his life. Reading this book must have been brutal, but listening to Pete makes the audible worthwhile.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Pete's reading was the most interesting aspect. The story itself was least interesting


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Marro Entertainment 11-22-15
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    "Amazing!"

    This is the single best example of what an audio book should be. It is more than just a narration. This audio book is an honest and detailed account of the author's life, and read, by the author, with a delivery that is so natural, you will think he has gone of the page and is just having a casual conversation with you.

    Pete is no stranger to the craft of literary writing, and the flow of the book flows very natural. The book is funny, dark, and brutally honest.

    It is probably my absolute favorite audio book. I've listened to it too many times to count.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sabine St Petersburg, FL, United States 10-15-15
    Sabine St Petersburg, FL, United States 10-15-15
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    "Dead boring!"

    Pete Townshends voice is soooo hard to listen to! And his pretentious giggles at parts he thinks are funny....puke! I am returning this one, I will never make it another 16 hours, no matter how good it gets!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John L Murphy Los Angeles 06-26-15
    John L Murphy Los Angeles 06-26-15 Member Since 2013

    Fionnchú

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "From the horse's mouth"
    What did you love best about Who I Am?

    Pete's energy. This flowed like a series of pub conversations. Tales well-worn in the telling and perhaps improved, confidences related for the first time, and confessions bonding you to the speaker. His engagement with the material, and his generosity, overcome his flaws.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Besides the protagonist of course, the other three members of The Who all merit their time in the spotlight. Townshend is frank about where he and they disagree, and is fair to all.


    Which character – as performed by Pete Townshend – was your favorite?

    Not really performed, but the affection for the departed Keith Moon and John Entwistle is moving. I also liked how Pete gave a nod to the early members of the band, and those before The Who, and tried to include (hear his closing acknowledgments) all his friends.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, as it was very long--17 hours. The one critique I have is that even if this was edited from 750 to 450 pages, it still needed more revision. How much he spent on yachts and how much he was paid for such and such a concert is initially interesting, but this fades rapidly. He chuckles a lot at his own jokes, but at least it's a genuine humor, and not a forced pose.


    Any additional comments?

    The spiritual side, with Meher Baba, I found intriguing. Townshend's tensions between money and fame and his quest for meaning always made him a singular voice in rock. It's illuminating to hear his version of how he tried to live a life of excess given his idealism.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-09-15 Member Since 2015
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    "engrossing"

    what a great narative. will keep your interest throughout....having Pete give the narative made it like a friend telling you his life story over a pint

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael P. Grande Whittier, CA. USA 05-28-15
    Michael P. Grande Whittier, CA. USA 05-28-15

    rock and soul

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    "Brilliant"

    This and Keefs are my favorite books so far. Pages book is next for me!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carter C Addy 05-27-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Candid and intriguing."

    Well done. A master mind of creativity and life. Poetically cast light on it all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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