Pete Townshend In-depth Biography
Pete Townshend} is a composer, guitarist, and musical director of the British rock} group the Who}. He grew up in Shepherd's Bush, a middle-class suburb of London, and attended art school as a youth. At age 13 Townshend} began gigging with guitarist (and later bassist) John Entwistle}, who in early 1962 encouraged Townshend} to join him in the Detours}, a group led by singer Roger Daltrey}. Two years later the group changed its name to the Who}. The first recording contract the Who} signed restricted them from "cover" songs, and Townshend} quickly fell into the role of the group's principal songwriter, a position he'd seldom relinquish for the next 30 years of the Who}'s history. It was the Who}'s manager Kit Lambert} who first suggested that Townshend} write a rock opera} in 1966. Townshend}'s first operatic effort, Quads}, was quickly abandoned, but yielded the hit song "I'm a Boy."} Later that year, Townshend} delivered a ten-minute mini-opera} in the form of A Quick One While He's Away}.
Throughout 1968 Townshend} worked on Tommy}, a rock opera} about a deaf, dumb, and blind kid who is declared a messiah when cured of his afflictions. Upon its release in May 1969, Tommy} wasn't an immediate success, but once afloat, Tommy} stayed on the U.S. album charts for more than two years and transformed the Who} from cult favorites to superstars. Tommy} was made into a popular movie in 1975, and in 1993 was adapted into a musical, The Who's Tommy}, winning a Tony Award. Townshend} embarked on his next rock opera}, Lifehouse}, in late 1970, but this plan was scuttled with a single disc of the leftovers issued as Who's Next} in 1971.
By mid-1973, Townshend} was at it again with the rock opera} Quadrophenia} about the early history of the Who} as seen through the eyes of one of its "mod" fans of the mid-1960s. Quadrophenia} is widely admired and regarded as Townshend}'s most challenging rock opera}; it was made into a film in 1979, and the group toured with a technologically revamped version of the work in 1996 and into 1997. Since 1983's breakup of the Who}, Townshend} has issued albums on his own, a couple of them being close to the idea of the rock opera}, but actually being more in the vein of concept albums. ~ Uncle Dave Lewis, All Music Guide