Unbelievable Stories About Pete Townshend
Pete Townshund - Martyn Goddard / Getty Images
A rock star’s life is often riddled with controversy, with most encounters at the extreme ends of the spectrum. The Who’s guitarist Pete Townshend is no stranger to this lifestyle. In his autobiography Who I Am, he recounts his adventures and experiences, each one of them none short of crazy. Here are some of his bizarre stories from Who I Am.
Townshend wanted to get in Mick Jagger’s pants
Pete Townshend was very open about his bisexuality in Who I Am, recounting his attractions to women and men alike. But nothing topped the way he fancied Sir Mick Jagger.
He details Jagger’s effect on him, “Mick is the only man I’ve ever seriously wanted to f*ck. He was wearing loose pajama-style pants without underwear; as he leaned back, I couldn’t help noticing the lines of his c*ck laying against the inside of his leg, long and plump. Mick was clearly very well-endowed. It reminded me of a photograph I’d seen of Rudy Valentino similarly displaying his equipment.”
He didn’t seem too reserved in wanting to be Jagger’s shagger.
An Acid Trip that was more of a Voyage
Pete Townshend did not partake of drugs that often. With LSD, he’s had encounters that could be counted in one hand. His last intake in particular haunted him for years to come. After The Who performed for the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1987, he boarded a plane back to London. His bandmates Kieth Moon and John Entwistle produced pills, to which Moon immediately consumed. Townshend followed suit with his wife Karen by splitting one pill between them. Even in half dosage, Townshend was slowly slipping out of reality.
He then recounts what happened next. “After 30 minutes, the air hostess, whose turned-up nose had made her look a little porcine, transmogrified into a real pig, scurrying up and down the aisle, snorting. The air was full of faint music… I finally traced the sound to the armrest of my seat.” Everything was hazy and he felt like floating in the air.
“I heard a female voice gently saying, “You have to go back. You cannot stay here.”
“But I’m terrified. If I go back, I feel as if I’ll die.”
“You won’t die. You cannot stay here.” [said the voice.]
As I drifted back down toward my body, I began to feel the effects of the LSD kicking back in. The worst seemed to be over; as I settled [into] the experience, though extreme, [it] felt more like my few trips of old: everything saturated by wonderful color and sound. Karen looked like an angel.”
Townshend never touched acid ever again, at least not with intent.
He almost died in a Flower-eating contest
Kieth Moon was known for his running gag in parties. He’d compliment a flower he found and promptly eat it afterwards. At a late celebration of Moon’s birthday, he did it to impress a seventeen year old named Kathy, who he brought along with him.
After dinner, Moon announced that he would leave the band after their tour ended. The band was caught unawares, and yet Moon continued by requesting for a toast. Unsuspecting Kathy toasted eagerly, that things escalated up a notch.
“What next?” I demanded. “You eat another flower?” My cynical emphasis was on the word “flower,” but I gestured to Kathy.
“No!” Keith was quite calm. “You eat a flower.” He gestured at the display.
I wasn’t going to refuse this challenge. I took a bloom from the display, put it in my mouth and started to chew…
My throat suddenly began to burn, then swell up, and my breathing became constricted before turning into a kind of noisy death-wheeze. I was allergic to whatever I had put in my mouth, and starting to suffocate. No one seemed to have taken it in but Keith. Suddenly he leapt across the table and looked straight in my face.
“I’m f*cking choking,” I gasped.
Moon immediately dropped the act and asked to call for an ambulance. Teary-eyed, he was terrified about Townshend dying on his whim. He retracted what he said about leaving the band, immediately. He’d only been trying to impress Kathy.