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Quotes of the day: Pete Townshend

Published Monday, May 18, 2015 @ 7:26 PM EDT
May 18 2015

Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend (b. May 19, 1945) is an English musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, known principally as the guitarist and songwriter for the rock group the Who. His career with the Who spans 50 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the most influential groups of the 1960s and 1970s. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All good art cannot help but confront denial on its way to truth.

Can't pretend that growin' older never hurts.

Do you realize why is it I'm so driven to operate within the Establishment? It's vengeance. 'Hope I die before I get old' is something I still have to live with, but not for the reason many people think. I have to be very, very vigilant not to become one of those people I despised.

Enjoy life. And be careful what you pray for- remember, you will get it all.

Even modern English people are imperious, superior, ridden by class. All of the hypocrisy and the difficulties that are endemic in being British also make it an incredibly fertile place culturally. A brilliant place to live. Sad but true.

For the first time, a whole generation had the economic & educational opportunity to turn their backs on the dead end factory jobs of their parents, who, traumatized by two world wars, had responded by creating a safety blanket of conformity.

I am growing old of course, but I am still in the early stages of disintegration, and regarded as just about cool enough by some fashionable young people to be permitted to think aloud.

I have unwittingly helped to invent and refine a type of music that makes its principal proponents deaf.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed meeting fans face to face. They're less scary when they aren't going nuts at a Who show. But then, so am I.

If you don't want anyone to know anything about you, don't write anything.

Life's a bitch and so am I.

Like so many addicts, I'd thought that if I could only sort out my life, I could then sort out my drinking. It was a revelation to see that it would be simpler the other way around

Love is like a longing, and energy. It's like magnetism, it's like gravity. And at its highest it's about spiritual salvation.

Nothing else in nature behaves so consistently and rigidly as a human being in pursuit of hell.

Rock 'n' roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them.

Rock won't eliminate your problems but it will let you sort of dance all over them.

Since so much of this music bubbled up urgently from my subconsious mind, I'm left to interpret it much like anyone else.

Stars are attributed with intelligence they don't have, beauty they haven't worked for, loyaly and love they are incapable of reciprocating, and strength they do not possess.

The music we play has to be tomorrow's, the things we say have to be today, and the reason for bothering is yesterday.

The secret to being a successful hellraiser, it seemed, was to stop raising hell before hell razed you.

There's no easy way to be free.

We didn't need light & shade, irony or humor. An iconic Daltrey bellow could convey an extrodinary range of human emotion; withering sadness, self pity, loneliness, abandonment, spiritual desperation, the loss of childhood, as well as the more obvious rage & frustration, joy & triumph.


(May 19 is also the birthday of Nancy Astor, Malcolm X, Edward de Bono, Norah Ephron, and Gary Kildall)

Categories: Pete Townshend, Quotes of the day


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