Pete Townshend opens up about past alcohol abuse

30 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bruce Springsteen, the Who and Convention Hall.

The Who legend Pete Townshend described his past alcohol abuse and how the “ridiculous job” of being a rock star fuels addiction before a starry crowd including Joan Jett and Bruce Springsteen at the MusiCares MAP Fund benefit. “I didn’t do drugs for a long, long time,” British guitarist and frontman Townshend told the audience, which also included his bandmate Roger Daltrey, Billy Idol and Willie Nile. “When I was at art school, I smoked a bit of grass . . . I realized — and I don’t want to offend any pot smokers in the audience because I know it’s the great new thing — but it felt to me like every time I listened to a record, I went back to the same place . . . Springsteen joined the band for a rousing take on “My Generation,” and most of the lineup united for “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” Other highlights included Jett’s powerhouse versions of “Summertime Blues” and “I Can’t Explain” and Idol’s punk-inflected takes on “Who Are You” and “The Real Me.” Springsteen saluted the Who mastermind in his funny, heartfelt speech, emphasizing Townshend’s influence on his own music. But all I knew is that it made me happy, and it thrilled and inspired me.” “It inspired me to a degree where I was in a young band called the Castiles, I was about 16-years old,” said Springsteen, as reported by Mitch Slater in Backstreets. “We had a gig the next weekend at St.

The rocker recalled seeing the Who open for Herman’s Hermits in the late 1960s and, as a 16-year-old, emulating the band by bashing a vase of flowers after an early show. “Pete managed to take the dirty business of rock & roll and somehow make it spiritual and turn it into a quest,” Springsteen said. “Pete, I’m here to say, thanks for not just Who’s Next and Who Are You, but who I am.” Thank you. Pete’s receiving the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award this year for his dedication to helping others who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, for his work with the Who and his Double ‘O’ charity, Pete’s got a long history of working hard and raising spirits and money for worthy causes. I jumped off the amp and stomped all over the petunias!” Behind the scenes, the Who’s ’67 Convention Hall show was notable as drummer Keith Moon, who died in ’77, almost perished after the performance when he went for a swim with Peter Noone, the lead singer of Herman’s Hermits. “Me and Keith Moon swam back from the end of the pier,” said Noone previously to the Asbury Park Press. “We ended up in Asbury Park in our underwear, which was pretty cool.

I just lived on cognac.” The now-sober Townshend — who was honored with manager Bill Curbishby told The New York Post, “I think . . . people that are famous often have other s – – t going on. Fox Foundation, the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation for Underprivileged Children, the Robin Hood Foundation which funds and supports innovative poverty-fighting organizations in New York City. If you look at Hollywood, if you look at Robin Williams . . . it’s like you have to accept that possibly there was something he was carrying in him that had never ever been dealt with, and maybe that’s what made him so funny . . . I could go on and tell you much more about what Pete and the Who have done for others, but I think I’ll tell you a little bit about what Pete’s done for me.

That night, he got trapped under the pier with the tide coming in.” On Thursday, Townshend and Who manager Bill Curbishley were the honorees of the evening.

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