With British blood flowing through his veins Pete Townshend straps the reader in his psychedelic rocket ship and reveals a narrative of his life in his book Who I Am.
At their first gig performing as The Who a hole in the ceiling appears as Pete accidentally throws his guitar a little too high. Hearing the audiences response to this chain-reacts an adrenal rush inside Pete causing a rock star to be born that night.
The Who would become known for it's loud epic natured songs. Keith Moon throwing drumsticks high in the air and standing on his drum kit. Roger Daltrey swinging his microphone and bashing it into cymbals. John Entwistle standing like an oak tree in the middle of a tornado, and Pete Townshend dressed in his white boiler suite and doc marten boots jumping, kicking, and swing his arm like a windmill. This vision will become a permanent staple in Rock & Roll history.
With an emotional look back on his life, Pete Townshend shares with the reader his greatest triumphs with The Who and scripting Tommy. His sentimental relationships he groomed. The people he met who helped shaped his need to establish new musical territory such as Jimi Hendrix. The deaths of close friends and band members Keith Moon and John Entwistle, and his confrontation with tabloid type accusations of child pornography.
From the voice of a generation: The most highly anticipated autobiography of the year, and the story of a man who... is a Londoner and a Mod.... wanted The Who to be called The Hair.... loved The Everly Brothers, but not that "drawling dope" Elvis.... wanted to be a sculptor, a journalist, a dancer and a graphic designer.... became a musician, composer, librettist, fiction writer, literary editor, sailor.... smashed his first guitar onstage, in 1964, by accident.... heard the voice of God on a vibrating bed in rural Illinois.... invented the Marshall stack, feedback and the concept album.... once speared Abbie Hoffman in the neck with the head of his guitar.... inspired Jimi Hendrix's pyrotechnical stagecraft.... is partially deaf in his left ear.... stole his windmill guitar playing from Keith Richards.... followed Keith Moon off a hotel balcony into a pool and nearly died.... did too much cocaine and nearly died.... drank too much and nearly died.... detached from his body in an airplane, on LSD, and nearly died.... helped rescue Eric Clapton from heroin.... is banned for life from Holiday Inns.... was embroiled in a tabloid scandal that has dogged him ever since.... has some explaining to do.... is the most literary and literate musician of the last 50 years.... planned to write his memoir when he was 21.... published this book at 67.
“Intensely intimate…candid to the point of self-laceration…[Townshend’s] tone is less lofty than anyone would have expected, just as this book is more honest than any fan would have hoped.”
-Rolling Stone (Four 1/2 Stars!)
“Mr. Townshend’s self-portrait is raw and unsparing...as intimate and as painful as a therapy session, while chronicling the history of the band as it took shape in the Mod scene in 1960s London and became the very embodiment of adolescent rebellion and loud, anarchic rock ‘n’ roll.”
-Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
“Unusually frank and moving…[Who I Am] isn’t one of those rock memoirs that puts the what before the why. His past is a puzzle Mr. Townshend is sweating to decipher.”
-The Guardian (UK)