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Who I Am Hardcover – Oct 9 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 100 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (Oct. 9 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1443418919
  • ISBN-13: 978-1443418911
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 839 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #80,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Intensely intimate…candid to the point of self-laceration…[Townshend’s] tone is less lofty than anyone would have expected, just as this book is more honest than any fan would have hoped.” (Rolling Stone (Four 1/2 Stars!))

“Mr. Townshend’s self-portrait is raw and unsparing...as intimate and as painful as a therapy session, while chronicling the history of the band as it took shape in the Mod scene in 1960s London and became the very embodiment of adolescent rebellion and loud, anarchic rock ‘n’ roll.” (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times)

“Unusually frank and moving…[Who I Am] isn’t one of those rock memoirs that puts the what before the why. His past is a puzzle Mr. Townshend is sweating to decipher.” (The Guardian (UK)) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Pete Townshend is the legendary lead guitarist and principal songwriter for The Who, one of the most influential rock-and-roll bands of all time. Townshend is responsible for having written over 100 songs and rock operas in the band's important catalogue. He is one of Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. He resides in West London, where he was raised.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen S. on March 30 2013
Format: Hardcover
Pete Townshend is a legendary guitarist and songwriter. I have often been fascinated by Pete's honesty, passion and articulateness in interviews. So I approached this book with great anticipation. After all, he's like a rock 'n roll sage; when he speaks we listen. Unfortunately, this autobiography falls short. It takes too linear and chronological an approach, glossing over key details of his songwriting and performing career.

About a quarter of the way into the book I almost stopped reading it. However, before putting it on the shelf I read other reviews. It was then I learned that I had to approach the book in a certain way. Consider the book like Pete's therapy. He's not trying to play to the masses and delight in tales of rock 'n roll excess. Here is a man coming to terms with childhood abuse, infidelity, business challenges, and more. Through that lense, the book becomes manageable, and we follow Pete on his long journey as a musician.

This autobiography took Pete many years to write; perhaps too many. In the time it's taken Pete to write the book, rock 'n roll bios have become their own genre with some titles that have set a high benchmark. Bob Dylan's Chronicles is the best of the bunch in my opinion, and I wish Pete had taken a similar approach to Dylan: a journey through time, but every once in a while pulling over at the side of the road and giving more detail. I wish Pete described more of his influences, his songs, his favourite performances.

A worthwhile read, but not what could have been.
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Format: Hardcover
Its sometimes misleading to read an autobiography since we read it at the end phase of an author's life, the wisdom stage, when his life is put together and analyzed and all relevant histories, often reprogrammed dependent on the person "I AM" not always who he was. Or will become? No one can really pin down someone's identity like the historical Jesus' famous saying to the disciples "who do you say that I am"..and thats pete's question to us..and he has his own answer. At the end he's a socialist activist partyer and as he admits has had legal problems, addict has been through many relationships..and through the thousands of fleeting images that these associations as international rock star..and with the help of JUngian analysis..he tries to uncover..take off the mask..in a ajournal like auto..they are page like entries throughout..and its a long book at 500 pages..this faber and faber executive..one of the prestigious London publishers..and an intelligent person coming from the lower classes and situating himself in Indian spirituality he tries to come to terms with his person, beyond the rock star idol and addict..he mostly performed stoned he says..but he enjoys his children, the women in his life, but also critically examines his life..and he admits he's often put much effort in relations without attaining the desired results even though he's had a good stash of cash? Good legal help has allowed him to stay above water, and its refreshing where he admits that even though people can hack into your computer system and you can be falsely accused..and its an ongoing dilemma for him..and through all the ups and downs of rock stardom..along with Jagger..Clapton..Mccartney..Richards(who ran into some similar problems and I am reading his bio soon)..Read more ›
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By LAURENCE MACKENZIE on Oct. 3 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While they write completely differently, one coherently and one idiosyncratically (guess which is which), I found a similarity between this memoir and Neil Young's "Waging Heavy Peace" - both books fluctuate starkly between being immensely informative/interesting and equally tedious.

Mr. Townsend's book is a wealth of information, both personally and historically, and for the most part I enjoyed it. The down side? Oddly, for a man as accomplished and erudite as he, Townsend's open reportage often comes off feeling self-congratulatory - and when writing of others, often feels like name-dropping. Is this his insecurity coming out or am I imagining things? (Don't answer that.)

Either way....
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By Friso Halbertsma on April 25 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very well done- as erudite as you wold expect from Pete Townshend. Unlike Keith Richard's book (merely ghostwritten from rambling interviews), this is written from the heart, with keen insights to his own songwriting process, and events around his career and personal life. Hes' not afraid to be self critical, but also asserts his band's legacy and accomplishments. Thumbs up!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you don't know the history of The Who and Townshend this will set the record straight. Very well written by one of rock's most gifted and intelligent superstars. We all have histories good and bad but most of us don't deal with them in this revealing way. Highly recommended.
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By Adam Lehmann on April 28 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Pete Townshend bares all and let's us into his life of rock and roll excess and personal demons. It makes the reader want to be an artist.
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By Bootsy Bass TOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 29 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Yes...You are correct...This is a favorable interview. I have been a Pete Townshend fan ever since 1966's A Quick One...or "Happy Jack" as the version I bought back then in Canada was called. This bio is truthful and honest. I loved it BIG TIME.
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