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Summary

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

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What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • sarah
  • loughton, United Kingdom
  • 13-04-13

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr JW
  • United Kingdom
  • 15-01-13

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Better Than I Expected

What did you like most about Pete Townshend: Who I Am?

The sheer honesty of Pete Townsend's writing, and the attention to detail.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was touched by Pete's honesty.

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr
  • 07-04-13

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

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.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Recommended

Complicated artistic creative womaniser. Written on the streets I walk on, the book was good but lacked magic. Recommended.

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Who knew

Would you listen to Pete Townshend: Who I Am again? Why?

Yes. He is a genuine type of person who has led innovation in music and art.

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The Best Autobiography.

This is the best autobiography I have ever read. Funny, sad and uplifting. Pete's life and work over the years has been absolutely incredible. I hope he goes on for a very long time.

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the Who Main Man tells it as it is

Great to hear Pete Townshend read his own autobiography - lots of great stories and information

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  • Peter
  • 26-08-13

Townshend is a fun guy to listen to.

Would you listen to Pete Townshend: Who I Am again? Why?

He tells his own story with humor and self-deprecation.I don't know if he is likely to read other books.

What other book might you compare Pete Townshend: Who I Am to and why?

Life, by Keith Richards.

Have you listened to any of Pete Townshend’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No.

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

No

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  • Pascal Forneri
  • 03-12-12

Who...oping

What did you love best about Pete Townshend: Who I Am?

Great ! My first audiobook ! Essential for understanding the origins of rock, told from a master crafter.

What does Pete Townshend bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

It's an autobio !