‘Who I Am’ by Pete Townshend - Recommended by Paul McCabe
The long-awaited life story of the songwriter from The Who finally arrived last year, and it makes for quite an uncomfortable, if admirably unguarded, read.
From his abusive childhood at the hands of his demented grandmother, to spells as a junkie and alcoholic, not to mention battles with depression and years of therapy, Townshend is brutally honest when tackling each subject and is quite up front regarding his failing as a husband and father.
Of course, there was also the massive success of The Who to deal with as well and as the band rack up hit after hit, travel the world playing explosive gigs, Townshend wrestles with his inner demons, finding it hard to come to terms with his fame and quite frankly, just like his hero Ray Davies whom he showers with praise more than once in the book, seems to be a bit miserable most of the time.
But it is a quite fascinating story as The Who go from school friends fumbling awkwardly on their instruments to global rock stars. And of course, it’s not finished just yet.