From the voice of a generation: the most highly anticipated autobiography of the year, and the story of a man who...
©2012 Pete Townshend (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
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
I loved hearing Pete Townshend tell the story of his life. In my opinion, his voice makes this autobiography great. His self-deprecating approach to many of his experiences and praise of many individuals in his life show a side of this musical genius few have ever known, until now.
Being a huge fan of The Who and someone who was able to see them live multiple times in all forms of the band, I was truly looking forward to listening to this book. Unfortunately because of my schedule, I was only able to listen in 20 - 40 minute segments. That became an issue when trying to keep all the names straight.
Pete meticulously brings many names to the story; from agents, record people, musicians, sound engineers, girlfriends and acquaintances to family members and influences. If there is any drawback to this book it is that. I believe even someone who is able to listen to the whole book in 2-3 sittings would still get a bit confused keeping all the players straight.
Nevertheless, this a fascinatingly interesting and openly honest story about one of rock n roll's icons.
Real raw truth
kept me very interested from beginning to end
none. really enjoyed this listen!
This is right up there with Keith Richards' bio. If Mr. Townshend ever wants to stop rocking & rolling, he could very easily lend his voice to other audio books. I would never count The Who as my fav band, or PT as my fav guitar slinger, but this was one well written story, full of insights & life. Enjoyed it immensley. Thank you for writing such a great book.
He can make you forget about yourself, and think about him. Which can be a blessing if you need that kind of escape. I listen to several audio books every week and less than fifteen minutes into this one, I thought, "this is the best damn audio performance I ever heard." Never before have I logged on to find out who the reader was, this time I had to shut off the book to go see. Very surprised and not at the same time, to find it was himself reading his own book.
I remember all of it.
No. I did not even know who he was when I bought the book.
The sailor who fell into grace from the Sea.
By the end of the book he had won my respect and admiration, as a person. Then at the very end, he took it all away. He mentioned all his regards and gratitude in the epilogue, focusing on his children, and never mentioned their mother. A woman who was clearly forgiving against the backdrop of his attempts to waste her through two decades through recklessness. He mentions his girlfriend is wonderful but they do not have children, still it does not matter because she gave him dogs. This bought him back to ordinary people, willing to dabble in injustice as a convenience. He won my heart and then gave it back. I was able to withdraw from the magic of his magnificence, although he drew me in. He provides an entrance to the theater, and then an exit door. Which is more than I can say for most supernaturals.
I feel like so much of this book was about his affairs. Knowing full well that he was hurting his family, he giggles about his flings like "aren't I cute". NO you are not cute. I get the whole sex drugs and rock and roll thing. But come on. Married and fooling around with anyone that would let him makes for a miserable human being. This book just makes me sad. Without all the affairs, he's led an interesting life. Worked hard and earned accolades. I just can't get past the many many cheating stories.
I listen to audio books on my M-F 40 minute commute into Raleigh NC. I am the founder of The Shore Grief Center, a nonprofit.
No! This book dragged on for way too long. I kept hoping the Townsend would give me some reason to like him but it never happened. Perhaps if someone else had narrated, I would have liked him better.
Ho-hum, dull, so-so
I suppose if you're a huge Who fan, then you'll appreciate this book more than I. I wanted to learn more about Townsend and the band but instead I ended up not liking him as a person at all. Spoiled, cheating, arrogant rock star!
It makes such a difference when an author reads his own autobiography. PT does a great job. He always comes across as super-earnest; here he rounds it out with some context so he doesn't always seem to be bubbling over with raw emotion. He gives a good account of what it felt like to move through the world as the guitarist for the Who in the 60's.
I have always been a huge fan of the Who and Pete Townshend, so I was really looking forward to his book. I have to say for the most part it was a great listen. Pete Townshend has always come across like a bit of a prat and this book doesn't do anything to change my opinion. He is still one of the most brilliant musicians of our time and prat or not he has still had a very interesting life.
What more is there to know. One thing you can say about this book is it's detailed. Pete covers his whole life in great detail and it's almost all very interesting
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