Pete Townshend: What Makes Him An Exceptional Guitar Player

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Pete Townshend was born Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend. Renowned guitarist, vocalist, and composer standing out mainly with the band that launched him to fame, The Who, with which he began a prosperous career in the 60s.

Pete Townshend was a guitarist before he knew how to play the guitar properly, and he was compelled to provide musical material to his colleagues, understanding his muses rather than semi-fuzzy ones. From his determination to perfect the external expression of the internal feeling that he was letting out in each song, the inimitable fit between form and substance of his compositions is born. And, like an inventor of words, from his desire to create, not to be one more, from his desire to be part of the unlikely club of those who contributed something new to the musical language of rock comes his virtuosity on the guitar.

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His musical influence comes primarily from his parents, his father being Cliff, a professional saxophonist, and his mother Betty, a singer, in such a way that from an early age Pete showed great interest in music. He started with The Who when he was just a teenager in the early 60’s when he met Roger Daltrey and John Entwistle, who respectively would end up being the voice and bass of the band.

Later, in 1964, they meet Keith Moon, who would become the group’s drummer. A new band was forming. The band reached their first success in 1965, when they released their first single I Can’t Explain, which is followed by their first album, My Generation, which would finally catapult the band and Pete to unsuspected heights.

During those early years, Pete stood out among the other members, for an attitude on stage that began to attract a lot of attention: breaking Instruments. Concert after concert, Pete destroyed his guitar and amplifiers, which according to Pete himself, were a resource to attract fans to the band.

Perhaps Pete Townshend’s work for the Who is a paradigmatic example of this duality. Without intending to, they all became professional musicians and he became a full-time songwriter for one of the greatest rock bands of all time. And that is another, does a band exist before its members and they are only parts of it, is it a band more than the sum of the four talents, in this case, that make it up, are the Who sounding the same as imagined by Townshend that playing versions, are they crushing their instruments that without doing so, the credit was in their overwhelming direct or in the metaphysics of their lyrics and the complexity of their staves? Townshend is an example of a diabolical and dual paradox.

Today Pete maintains a solid solo career, with several albums to his credit and meeting from time to time with the only living original member of The Who, Roger Daltrey (John Entwistle died in 2002 of a heart attack).

Pete Townshend’s legacy is sustained by being one of the most influential songwriters and guitarists of all time, with his entry alongside Daltrey into the UK Music Hall of Fame.