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Pete Townshend Answers The ‘Who Is He’ Question With New Book

Frank Micelotta, Getty Images
Frank Micelotta, Getty Images

As the Who vocalist Roger Daltrey prepares an extensive solo tour spotlighting the band’s entire ‘Tommy’ rock opus, it now makes more sense why Daltrey’s longtime musical sparring partner Pete Townshend won’t be along for the ride.  That’s because the songwriter and guitarist has announced that his long-in-the-works memoir will finally be released in the fall of 2012.

Harper-Collins is set to release the book, which is cleverly titled ‘Who is He.’  The book itself has been in process since the ‘90s. Townshend famously landed in a lot of hot water when he was caught up in a child pornography-related scandal after officials discovered that he had been accessing obscene material via the internet.

Townshend revealed that the activities were research for a planned book and said “I believe I was sexually abused between the age of five and six and a half, when in the care of my maternal grandmother who was mentally ill at the time. I cannot remember clearly what happened, but my creative work tends to throw up nasty shadows – particularly in Tommy.”

He later launched a website with the plan to share segments from the book online but there was little activity and by 2008, Townshend said that plans for the book had been shelved.

With the release of the book now officially scheduled, Townshend commented, “rock ‘n’ roll is a tough career, however cynically or comically it is portrayed by its detractors.  I am lucky to be alive and to have such a crazy story to tell, full of wild adventures and creative machinations.

Among the topics discussed in ‘Who is He,’ Townshend will document the early history of The Who and cover the events leading up to the band’s pivotal moment when ‘Tommy’ was released. He will spend the rest of the year finishing the book, and said that the process will “trigger the last vital bit of ‘growing up’ required by the now pensionable fellow who once wrote ‘I hope I die before I get old’.”

The Who perform ‘Who Are You’ in ‘The Kids Are Alright’

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