Who I Am: A Memoir

Pete Townshend

Who I Am: A Memoir

The defining guitarist of a generation, Pete was the powerful creative force behind The Who, widely regarded as one of the greatest rock bands of all time. His musical knowledge and writing ability was and is unparalleled, and his taste for rebellion renowned. The destruction of the very guitars that resounded with the legendary tracks My Generation and I Can’t Explain brought him acclaim and notoriety in equal measure, but his pure passion and talent has guaranteed his status as an icon and authority on rock ‘n’ roll for decades. Pete has widely been cited as an inspiration to countless musicians, celebrated in their own right, and continues to perform to sell-out audiences across the globe with his fellow band members. 2.9 out of 5 based on 7 reviews
Who I Am: A Memoir

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Biography, Music, Stage & Screen
Format Hardback
Pages 544
RRP
Date of Publication October 2012
ISBN 978-0007466030
Publisher HarperCollins
 

The defining guitarist of a generation, Pete was the powerful creative force behind The Who, widely regarded as one of the greatest rock bands of all time. His musical knowledge and writing ability was and is unparalleled, and his taste for rebellion renowned. The destruction of the very guitars that resounded with the legendary tracks My Generation and I Can’t Explain brought him acclaim and notoriety in equal measure, but his pure passion and talent has guaranteed his status as an icon and authority on rock ‘n’ roll for decades. Pete has widely been cited as an inspiration to countless musicians, celebrated in their own right, and continues to perform to sell-out audiences across the globe with his fellow band members.

Reviews

The Guardian

Dorian Lynskey

Unusually frank and moving … Most rock memoirs run out of gas once the classic songs dry up and the major crises have been overcome, but Townshend's life after sobering up and splitting the Who in 1982 was never dull.

13/10/2012

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The Sunday Times

Rob Fitzpatrick

There has been much delighted talk recently of Townshend’s louche declaration that Mick Jagger was “the only man I ever seriously wanted to f***”, but Who I Am is a dark and complex tale stalked by abuse … Whatever the subject, he writes passionately and eloquently, with the powerfully direct way of the addict in recovery.

07/10/2012

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The Independent

DJ Taylor

Winningly candid ... There are several intensely fascinating moments when he picks up the pop-sociology baton first wielded by the late Ian MacDonald in his Beatles book Revolution in the Head and looks as if he might give it a flourish of his own, but not nearly enough. For all its candour, Who I Am has to be filed under "missed opportunity".

13/10/2012

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The New York Times

Michiko Kakutani

… an earnest, tortured, searching book — by turns eloquent and long-winded, revealing and oddly elliptical … Perhaps because the author takes such an inward-looking approach, Who I Am does not provide a particularly vivid or visceral sense — as Keith Richards’s enthralling 2010 memoir, Life, did — of what it was like to be on the road in a notorious rock band, or what the tumult of the 1960s and ’70s was like from the inside, when rock ’n’ roll was changing the world.

08/10/2012

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The Sunday Telegraph

Lewis Jones

He explains that he found it difficult to write, and I found it difficult to read. It’s not that he has led an uninteresting life — far from it … Nor is it that he is an especially bad writer ... The main difficulty with this book is more one of personality. He describes the “polarities” of his ego as “artistic grandiosity” and “desperately low self-regard”. There is occasional evidence of the latter — “I could also behave, frankly, like a complete arsehole” — but it is generally overwhelmed by the former.

22/10/2012

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The Times

Alan Johnson

Convinced that he was abused, he seeks to explore and explain his dark thoughts but leaves the reader as puzzled as the rest of The Who were about his art.

06/10/2012

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The Los Angeles Times

Joe Flint

Ultimately, Who I Am may be a disappointment to hard core Who fans, since Townshend doesn't spend a lot of time on glory stories from the Who's heyday, and his stint as an editor at publisher Faber & Faber is not likely to serve as much of a substitute. Nor does he probe as deeply as one might hope into his love-hate relationship with Daltrey or his friendship with Moon and Entwistle. Who I Am often reads like a somewhat unorganized (albeit colorful) diary dump.

15/10/2012

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