Pete Townshend and his band mates – comprised of Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon – were known for their hedonistic behaviour which included smashing their instruments and wrecking their stages, but now that he’s older, Pete has said he’ll only cause damage to another guitar if it helps to raise money for charity.
He said: “I haven’t smashed guitars for a long time, for me it was an expression of youth. I smashed a guitar on David Letterman and it auctioned for $168,000. I am prepared to smash a guitar for charity.”
As well as instruments, The Who were no strangers to destroying hotel rooms at the height of their career.
Pete also spoke about the longevity of his career, as he said he’s “shocked” that his music has remained meaningful for decades.
He added: “For Roger Daltrey and me, we are both shocked that our music has lasted so long and still has consequence and meaning. Roger wanted to use an orchestra on the tour, which I was suspicious of.”
The ‘Pinball Wizard’ hitmaker reflected on the music industry today, and said that whilst music these days seems to be “two polarised strands”, The Who were one of the first bands to “straddle both” sections.
Speaking to BBC Radio 2, he said: “Music seems to have gone into two polarised strands. One of which is music that is recorded with synthesisers and what you can do on a computer. The other is from bands like The 1975 using more traditional rock and roll methods. Our stuff straddled both, we were one of the first rock artists to use synthesisers.”