Smashing Mirrors & Smashed Guitars: Pete Townshend, Purveyor Of Power Chords, Turns Seventy

File Under HB and TBT: Guess Pete didn’t get what he hoped for in The Who’s proto-punk anthem for the ages back in ’65… Oh well. Guess you’ll just have to make another wish before you blow out your 71 candles today Mr. Townshend! Here’s my “RPM” tribute to the wind-milling wild man from 2015 — just add a +1 and presto, meet the New Boss: Same as the old boss!

RPM: Jonathan Perry's Life in Analog

who10lindamacHappy 70th Birthday to The Who’s Pete Townshend, rock’s smartest, singular purveyor of windmills and power chords, smashed guitars and disaffected youth (Little Billy, Happy Jack, Cousin Kevin, Sally Simpson, Jimmy, and some kid named Tommy). In honor of today’s birthday boy behind blue eyes, here’s a newly expanded excerpt from my “RPM” essay, “A Nice Little Group: The Who’s Might At Wight.” It’s as good a summation of what Pete Townshend and The Who did so well — and why he and they continue to mean so much — as I’ll likely ever come up with (and I’ve been trying for 30 years now). Please have a look around and see my previous posts about Pete, Roger, John, and Keith and the beautiful racket they conjured. Oh, and enjoy the pics of Pete having fun with his gear through the years:who8Who4

There was always a naked humanity to the Who, a humility that was palpable because it…

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