Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend is 65 today.
What you did know is that he is known principally as the guitarist and songwriter for 'The Who' and his career with the band spans more than forty years.
What you probably didn't know :
* although known primarily as a guitarist, he also plays the banjo, accordion, synthesizer, piano and drums.
* has been a contributor and author of newspaper and magazine articles, book reviews, essays, books, and scripts.
* born in London into a musical family, his father was a professional saxophonist in 'The Squadronaires' and his mother was a singer.
* when he was 12, his grandmother gave him his first guitar, which he has described as a "cheap Spanish thing".
* in 1961, he enrolled at Ealing Art College, with the intention to become a graphic artist and a year later, he and his school friend from grammar school, John Entwistle, founded their first band, 'The Confederates', a Dixieland duet featuring Townshend on banjo and Entwistle on horns.
* from this beginning they moved on to 'The Detours', a skiffle/rock and roll band fronted by Roger Daltrey, another former schoolmate.
* in early 1964, they renamed themselves 'The Who' and drummer was replaced by Keith Moon.
* he later explained smashing guitars on stage, by relating it to German/British artist Gustav Metzger's theories on Auto-destructive art. However, he also admitted that this was a gimmick that set the band apart from the others and gave them the publicity edge that they needed to be noticed.
His article in 'Wikepedia' :
His songs :
At 20 in 1965 : I can't Explain :
1965 : My Generation :
At 21 in 1966 : Substitute :
At 22 in 1967 : I'm a Boy :
Pictures of Lily :
At 24 in 1969 : Pinball Wizard :