Music Service

Person Bio

Pete Townshend

50s 60s 70s 80s 90s 00s 10s
Born: 5/19/1945

Pete Townshend
Wrote lyrics
Performed songs

Performed in
The Who
(all songs)

Born Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend in London, England.

Primary songwriter and guitarist for The Who. Known for his manic windmill style of guitar playing.

Pete was born in 1945 and was exposed to music from his parents at a young age. Father, Cliff was a professional sax player, his mother, Betty, a singer.  

In 1962 Townshend and future Who bassist, John Entwistle formed their first band, The Confederates. Oddly enough, a Dixieland duet with Townshend on banjo and Entwistle on horn. From this auspicious beginning, his next group, The Detours were formed. Townshend, along with Entwistle, and the addition of Roger Daltrey in what would soon evolve into The Who.

Soon after, they changed their names to The High Numbers, then The Who with the addition of drummer Keith Moon. The Who were intact from 1964 through 1982 before calling it a day, immediately following the death of Moon.

Even during his stay with The Who, Townshend occasionally released solo material, starting with "Who Came First" in 1972 and "Rough Mix", a collaboration with Ronnie Lane in 1976.

In 1980, "Empty Glass" became Townshend's first smash solo recording, achieving platinum status. Other solo recordings followed and in 1992, Townshend reinvented himself as a Broadway producer. His theatrical production of The Who's seminal recording "Tommy" had become a runaway hit, earning him a Tony Award.

Pete Townshend was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Who in 1990.


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