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Pete Townshend Quotes / Quotations

A lot of my audience are in their 50s. But they want me to pretend to continue to be pretending.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


As a young man, every bone in my body wanted to pick up a machine gun and kill Germans. And yet I had absolutely no reason to do so. Certainly nobody invited me to do the job. But that's what I felt that I was trained to do. Now no part of my upbringing was militaristic.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


Bob Dylan did the first really long record - Like A Rolling Stone - I think it was four minutes.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


But what was interesting about what the Who did is that we took things which were happening in the pop genre and represent them to people so that they see them in a new way. I think the best example is Andy Warhol's work, the image of Marilyn Monroe or the Campbell's soup can.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


Early British pop was helped tremendously by the writing of Bob Dylan who had proved you could write about political and quite controversial subjects. Certainly what we did followed on from what was happening with the angry young men in the theatre.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


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.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


Everything that I had done creatively related to two or three incidents that happened to me when I was a child that I'd forgotten. Everything, absolutely everything.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


He is the king. If it hadn't been for Link Wray and 'Rumble,' I would have never picked up a guitar.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


I became very, very used to the fact that whenever I tried to do anything that was a little bit different I would be described as pretentious. A lot of the techniques that I used were to hide behind pomposity, to hide behind spirituality. But also most of all to hide behind aggression.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


I have terrible hearing trouble. I have unwittingly helped to invent and refine a type of music that makes its principal proponents deaf.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


I just could not believe that 30 years later we're still looking at people who are supposed to write little 2-minute pop that when they actually try to do something that's a little bit more they regard it as pretentious.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


I know how it feels to be a woman because I am a woman. And I won't be classified as just a man.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


I only really started to go to plays and to be interested in drama 20 years ago when as an artist I was already well-rounded. I think I'm more disciplined today.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


I think I probably would have enjoyed to keep my own private pain out of my work. But I was changed by my audience who said your private pain which you have unwittingly shown us in your early songs is also ours.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


I think we are incumbent, I am incumbent, the Who is incumbent, anybody that produces anything by me is incumbent by my Englishness.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


I was aware that there was very much a mixed lineage in American music and I wasn't quite sure how that happened. The mixed lineage was I think because America is a country made up of immigrants. What we called rock and roll, what we thought was quintessentially American, was not American at all.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


I'm only interested in rites of passage stories.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


It wasn't just about flashing lights and pinball machines blowing up and things like that. It was about using encores, bringing back the good songs and using techniques that I knew about from rock performance.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


It's like the mod thing is happening again.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


Pop music prior to the early 60s had been purely about escapism. Escaping from the rigours of having a humdrum life, from living in a post-war society, from all those things.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


Some of our early work was two minutes twenty when it actually came out on vinyl, very, very, very short. Sometimes if you made a three-minute record they would make you do an edited version for radio, particularly in America.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


The problem for me, still today, is that I write purely with one dramatic structure and that is the rite of passage. I'm not really skilled in any other. Rock and roll itself can be described as music to accompany the rite of passage.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


We tried not to age, but time had its rage.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


What I took back, because of my exposure to the Jewish music of the 30s and the 40s in my upbringing with my father, was that kind of theatrical songwriting. It was always a part of my character. This desire to make people laugh.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


What I'm trying to do is find either existing properties or come up with properties or angles or stories which will create music drama. It's my obsession and most of all I would like to remain working in theatre. I think it's very much alive.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


What the English like to do is to face reality with a glass of port and a tear and fade off like Basil Rathbone into the sunset.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


What the Who is all about is exactly that and it always has been. If it exists today for this concert, it's in response again to a function which is happening out there on the street.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


What theatre started to look at much earlier than any other form was the internal operations of ordinary people, sometimes using mythic models in order to tell the story.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


What we learned quite early on is what was really important to early British pop that we produced-and this is where we were distinct from almost everybody else in this respect-is that it had to reflect exactly what the audience wanted us to say.
Quotation of Pete Townshend


 
 
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Classic Rock Roll Of Honour Awards at the Park Lane Hotel

2009-11-02

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