Back in the day, The Who had a reputation for causing a bit of trouble. But now, Pete Townshend has spoken out about his so-called deplorable “rock and roll” antics.
The Who guitarist and singer, who used to smash up his instruments on stage and throw TVs out of hotel room windows, said such behaviour was “a waste of time.”
Pete Townshend explained that his behaviour was regrettable but also acknowledged that the band’s “bad-boy” energy was instrumental in getting people to listen to The Who.
In his interview with The Big Issue Magazine, the 74-year-old musician stated that he “was always pretty snobby about rock and roll.”
Townshend addressed a notorious incident in which the band’s late drummer, Keith Moon, threw a television through a hotel window.
“As the television went through the window, I would look at Keith Moon and go, ‘what a fucking prat. What a waste of time.’ Then, two or three times I did the same thing and I would think, ‘what a fucking prat’.”
Pete Townshend admitted, however, that it caught music fans’ attention and even adoration. As a former art student, he said that he was “in it for the art”.
“Getting into auto-destruction was straight out of art college. People still say that I should never have smashed instruments,” he said, before concluding: “Fuck off. It is how I got you to listen to me.”
In the same interview Townshend said that his generation of “the hippy era” of the ’60s “misused the power” for social change.
“My generation felt disenfranchised. That is a complex word for feeling like we had nothing to live for. 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. But I think we misused the power to a great extent. The hippy era could have turned into something much better than it did.”