b. Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend
May 19, 1945
Pete is the guitarist, songwriter for The Who, and is widely considered to be among the greatest and most influential rock bands of all time. As the primary songwriter for the group, Pete has inked over 100 songs, including two of the most famous rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia.
Although Townshend is known for being a guitarist, he is also an accomplished singer and keyboard player, and has played many other instruments including banjo, bass guitar and drums. Pete’s use of guitar feedback as sonic technique, and the introduction of the synthesizer as a rock instrument further cemented his place in rock history. In addition to all of Townshend’s musical and recording acclaim, he is also sited as the key personality that popularized guitar smashing and the “windmill” guitar move.
The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. The band also won the first annual Freddy Mercury Lifetime Achievement in Live Music Award in 2006. Three albums have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, Tommy in 1998, My Generation in 1999 and Who's Next in 2008.