Behind Blue Eyes
Geoffrey Guiliano
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Buy *Behind Blue Eyes: The Life of Pete Townshend* by Geoffrey Guiliano online

Behind Blue Eyes: The Life of Pete Townshend
Geoffrey Guiliano
Cooper Square Press
392 pages
July 2002
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Whenever lists are compiled about the all-time greatest songwriters, The Who's Pete Townshend is usually on them. But he tends to place somewhere around eight or nine on a Top 10 list, or around 18 or 19 on a Top 20. The truth is, when Pete is on, his writing is as stellar as anyone - Lennon or McCartney, Brian Wilson or Paul Simon.

But being the guitarist and brains behind the classic legend The Who sometimes overshadows his sheer genius as a composer. Guiliano, a writer of books on John Lennon, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones, doesn't get lost in the fog. He looks at Townshend as creator, teacher and rocker.

There are tons of details here about Pete's less-than-terrific childhood; the switch from jazz strummer to rock basher; his endless battles with Who vocalist Roger Daltrey; his multiple addictions to heroin and alcohol; the search for religious enlightenment; life after The Who stopped touring; and much, much more.

This is an intelligent look at a very intelligent artist written in fine prose and remains one of the best portraits of Peter Dennis Blanford Townshend ever published. Originally released in 1996, this updated version was revised and released in 2002.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2009

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