What They Said: Pete Townshend

“The artistic process, perhaps apart from ballet and Victorian theater, it doesn’t engage the physical form the way that rock does. And particularly not the kind of fighting cock, peacock male thing. It’s a kind of courtship. All that undermines what is really going on in rock, which is a deep, deep , awful and absolute alienation that goes on.  When you and your family split, and you look at your contemporaries and peers and hope for some kind of family to take the place of the family that brought you up and you find that there is no family. And you find that friends are complicated and difficult and love affairs are impossible and marriage is a disaster and having children…you’re just the same as your mother and father and you’re going to have exactly the same problems that your family had with you. You’re on your fucking own. And that’s the thing that rock and roll constantly shrugs off and that’s what I refuse to shrug off. Cause that’s what our fans brought to us–for fuck’s sake, give us a fucking family.

And I’ve never been able to do that. I can’t me a mom and a dad and a school mistress and wife and husband to a bunch of adults whether they be men or women. But there’s this deep demand for it. ”



Pete Townshend, from an interview with Celia Farber, 1993, for SPIN Magazine


About Celia Farber

Celia Farber is a journalist, author, and editor based in New York City, who grew up in Sweden and New York City. Farber has written on a variety of subjects for SPIN, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Harper’s, Salon, New York Press, and many more. In 2008, Celia Farber won the Semmelweis International Society’s Clean Hands Award For Investigative Journalism.


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