Townshend began his musical training as a young child, enrolling in piano classes at the age of seven. He is best known as the guitarist and main composer for the rock band The Who. He turned to the guitar later on, and in 1961, he joined his first group, The Detours.
The Detours, a band that included future members of The Who Roger Daltrey and John Entwistle, were Townshend’s first band when he was 16 years old.
Even though they didn’t achieve much success under this guise, the trio learned a lot from studying the other bands in the same scene, making it an important period for them.
The months spent observing the expanding rock scene were invaluable to the nascent performers as they eventually transformed into The Who.
Later, the group went on to become one of the most popular and important groups of the 1960s and 1970s.
Pete has always expressed his admiration for The Rolling Stones and their music. He has acknowledged how they influenced the way he writes songs.
He has also mentioned how their early recordings and live shows inspired him.
Due to their shared respect, Townshend was granted the privilege of inducting his former pals into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
The Stones have held a prestigious place in Townshend’s heart since the first time he saw them perform live, and they have a connection with him that no other band has ever had.
Given that both bands were currently selling out stadium tours rather than jazz clubs in London, a lot had changed since his initial encounter with the group. During the speech, he shared his love for the Rolling Stones.
He said, “I can’t analyse what I feel about the Stones because I am a really absolute Stones fan, always have. Their early shows were just shocking. Absolutely riveting, stunning, and moving. They changed my life completely. The Beatles were fun, no doubt about that, and I’m talking about their live shows. I’m not demeaning them in any way, but the Stones were really what made me wake up.”
Pete added, “At The Beatles shows, there were a lot of screaming girls, and I think the Stones were the first to have a screaming boy. The sheer force of the Stones on stage and that perfectly balanced audience, a thousand girls and me, it kind of singled them out. They are the only group that I’ve ever really been unashamed about idolising. Each of them, on their own, has given me something as an artist, a person, and as a fan. It’d be crazy to suggest that any of the things they gave me were wholesome, practical, or useful.”
He finally concluded with, “No more gags, the Stones are the greatest for me. They epitomise British rock for me, and even though they are now my friends, I’m still a fan.”
Watch Pete paying tribute to his favorite band.