The Who’s Pete Townshend Says The Love Generation ‘Misused’ Its Power

Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press

My generation felt disenfranchised,” The Who‘s Pete Townshend shares in a new interview with Australian publication The Big Issue.

That is a complex word for feeling like we had nothing to live for,” he mused. “It made us not so much angry as loose. We were loose-living. And when psychedelic drugs and, more importantly, the pill came along, away we went. Then we took power.”

For Pete, who once famously penned the lyric “I hope I die before I get old”, this was not a good thing.

– we misused the power to a great extent“,  the 74-year-old rocker then asserts. “The hippie era could have turned into something much better than it did.”

Pete remains optimistic about the future though, pointing to a new generation of British artists are leading the charge.

We are seeing something not dissimilar now – Glastonbury [Festival] was great this year, with Stormzy,” Townshend beams, “who has not even turned 30, singing about politics and emancipation. But we could make the same mistake again.”

Townshend then laments the more destructive aspects of iconic Who drummed Keith Moon.

I would look at Keith Moon and go, ‘What a fucking prat. What a waste of time,‘” Pete reflects, referring to Moons’ habit of hurling televisions out of hotel windows. “Two or three times I did the same thing, and I would think, ‘What a f***ing prat’

He then defends his own guitar smashing antics. “Getting into auto-destruction was straight out of art college,” he states. “People still say that I should never have smashed instruments. F*** off. It is how I got you to listen to me.”

Townshend new novel Age of Anxiety, in which he praises the genius Pink Floyd‘s Syd Barrett, was released this week.

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