In their heyday, The Who was a powerhouse rock band. The lead guitarist Pete Townshend, contributed to rock music not only with his ballsy guitar playing but also with the song writing.
Creating most of the Who’s original material, Townshend’s compositions helped make the band one of the most popular of its time. He liked to write a lot about the angry young man in a tough world. His songs were usually complex and often deceptive.
Pete had a knack for writing songs based on the standard I-IV-V chord structure that didn’t sound – at first – as though they were quite that simple. If you are an aspiring rock music song writer, listen carefully Pete Townshend’s compositions.
Windmill Guitar Strumming
As a guitarist, Pete was no Clapton or Hendrix and he certainly never developed the speed of modern rock guitar gods like Steve Vai. But Pete Townsend’s guitar playing spoke to his generation, and his live performances were riveting. Pete’s famous windmill strumming sometimes resulted in him chopping off his fingertips on the guitar strings!
Check out this video of the band playing Won’t Get Fooled Again live in 1978 at Shepperton.
Their drummer Keith Moon was famous for getting rowdy and destroying hotel rooms. One of their signature moves on stage was to go wild and smash their guitars at the end of the concert, making encores rather difficult.
If you like this video make an effort to listen to more of their stuff. It’s definitely worth the effort. The best albums were Tommy and Who’s Next, and if you like those then check out Who Are You.