Pete Townsendwas born Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend on May 19, 1945 in Chiswick, London. He is an award winning English rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, and composer. Pete gained his fame as a member of the rock band, The Who. He has been with them for about 40 years. They were considered to be one of the greatest rock bands of all times. Pete was the main songwriter for the group and is noted for writing over 100 songs on the eleven albums released by the group. Pete not only played the guitar, he could also play the keyboard and was a great singer. He has also played other instruments on his solo albums and on some of the WHO group albums. He played drums, banjo, and also bass guitar. He was a very successful artist with many talents.
He has also had the pleasure to play with artists such as John Lee Hooker, David Gilmour, Simon Phillips, Pino Palladino, and Ronnie Lane. Pete has also written for newspaper and magazine articles, book reviews, essays, books, and scripts. He is a supporter of charities and other philanthropic works. Since he suffered from hearing loss from the loud music, he helped fund the Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers.
Pete was born into a musical family as his father was a saxophonist, and his mother was a singer. He received his first guitar at the age of 12 from his grandmother. He described it as a cheap Spanish thing. He admired guitarists, Link Wray, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley, and Hank Marvin. Pete married Karen Astley in 1968 but separated in 1994 and divorced in 2000. He met Rachel Fuller who is his current partner today. He formed his first band in 1961 with a school friend, John Entwistle. Their first band was called The Confederates. Pete played the banjo and John played the horn.Then they moved on to The Detours. In 1964 the detours changed their name to The Who. Other members of the band were Roger Daltrey and Doug Sandom who was replaced by Keith Moon early on in the relationship.They again changed the groupís name to The High Numbers bue went back to The Who after they released the single, Zoot Suit.
Pete remained as the main leader of the group and writer of the songs. He also did solo releases occasionally. He has been on a number of tours from the mid nineties to the present, with the existing The Who members. This included a 2002 tour which continued in spite of the death of the member Entwistle. The Who announced that they would go on a world tour to promote their new album (the first since 1982), in February, 2006. In October, 2006, The Who released another album called Endless Wire and Pete wrote an opera called, The Boy Who Heard Music, which opened at Vassar College in July, 2007.
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