Pete Townshend Calmly Ends One Direction Twitter Storm



Hot off the press (in UnCut) is a report on Pete Townshend’s blessing of One Direction and their track “Best Song Ever”.


Click  UNCUT.CO.UK for the full story.


It’s unlikely that die-hard Who fans will consider “Best Song Ever” to be the best song ever, even if it is. Nor, though, is it likely that many will cry or raise an eye at this story. It is, after all, only Tweet Age Wasteland.


Here’s Pete Townshend’s full statement, in which he responds to unsubstantiated claims that The Who have asked for the song to be withdrawn: 


“No! I like the single. I like One Direction. The chords I used and the chords they used are the same three chords we’ve all been using in basic pop music since Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and Chuck Berry made it clear that fancy chords don’t mean great music – not always. I’m still writing songs that sound like Baba O’Riley – or I’m trying to!. It’s a part of my life and a part of pop’s lineage. One Direction are in my business, with a million fans, and I’m happy to think they may have been influenced a little bit by The Who. I’m just relieved they’re all not wearing boiler suits and Doc Martens, or Union Jack jackets. The funniest thing is that in Canada this year I met with Randy Bachman once the leader of GUESS WHO who told me that he not only copied Baba O Riley for their hit You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, but he even called his band after us. Why would I not be happy about this kind of tribute?”





58 thoughts on “Pete Townshend Calmly Ends One Direction Twitter Storm”

  1. Michael Schleifer says:

    Thanks Pete. You get it.

    Michael (proud Wholigan…Wholiggan….Wholligan…damn, however you spell it).

  2. Eric Solano says:

    Very clever and diplomatic answer. What would you expect from a Rock And Roll master like Townshend?

  3. Molly says:

    Oh Pete…

  4. Dave Baum says:

    For years I’ve always thought that The Guess Who were kind of like the ‘North American Who’. They are highly underrated. The 3 albums of theirs that I love are ‘So Long, Bannatyne’, Rock’in, and Artifical Paradise.

  5. Robert Peters says:

    Wow… not many stars out there today could put their egos aside to say something like that. Tom Petty comes to mind…he did the same thing when someone copied some of his stuff. Just goes to show you what a cool guy Pete is. 3 cheers mate!

  6. Chris Grosvenor says: are one class act!!!

  7. Matthew says:

    Pete –

    I saw The Who in OCT 1969 at your weeklong Fillmore East stint performing Tommy, and most recently had the privilege of meeting you at a book signing event here in New York City. Also caught The Who last DEC 5 at The Garden which was almost as thrilling as that 1st time 44 years ago.

    The fact that you you mention One Direction (whom thankfully, I’ve never heard) in ANY form should be coveted by they are and their fans. I hope they have an appreciation for that.

    Also, Buddy, Chuck (still alive!) and Eddie are also smiling down on you for your kind and accurate words.

    Long live The Who!

  8. Jonas Edgar says:

    Class act.

  9. Luile says:

    I always though BTO s song was born out of Baba O Riley. I met Randy Bachman in Panamá when he came to play at the closing of the biggest US base in this country. He was a down to earth man singing his solo cds for all of us.

    The Kinks has also copied The Who, and The Who did the same.

    3 chords forever !

  10. phil says:

    Because one direction represent so much of the bad in music and really define the description “music industry”. People make minimum investment by branding unknowns who generally cant play or create and selling them to an non comparing public. It makes a mockery of art.

    Im sure 1 D are nice people that are enjoying surfing their wave but really, are they pillars in the house called rock and roll? No! they are door mats!

  11. Izzy Watkins says:

    Pete has real class. These teenage girls are sending death threats and horrible tweets yet he still says he likes the song. What a gentleman!

  12. Elaine says:

    That is how you respond to a story with class and grace.

  13. The Seeker says:

    Well said Pete. Most people seem to be missing the obvious. It starts off sounding like Baba and is called “The Best Song Ever” by a group with millions of fans, which are, usually kids. It’s a big positive and has no negatives at all. For years I thought Soft Cell’s Tainted Love was theirs and when I heard the Gloria Jones version I was blown away. Nobody criticized me for that, they let me get on with my life and learn as I go. The Who’s fans are, usually, adults. I would like to think the adults can let the kids get on with their fun and be pleased with this accolade. Personally, I won’t listen to it past 21 seconds though and never will the first 21 again either but I’ve checked and my copy of Who’s Next and it is in tact and not being mysteriously erased by the One Direction song.

  14. Robert Ross says:

    Very diplomatic, Pete. But One Direction still sucks!

    Keep on rockin’. Some day you will hopefully be recognized as the Mozart of the golden age of rock and roll (no it is not the 1950’s).

  15. dan m says:

    The WHO are the best

  16. alan donaldson says:

    You ain’t seen nothing yet is not a Guess who song…..It is by BTO !

  17. Stephen Reid says:

    Hate to be picky here…and I know what Pete meant…but “Ain’t seen Nothing Yet” is a BTO song, not a Guess Who song.

    1. marty torrez says:

      Still all members of the GuessWho!

      1. marty torrez says:

        Not all but Randy was in both bands.

  18. Clemon Thompson says:

    Good response Pete, but is that a hoodie under a pinstriped suit jacket?

  19. stepee says:

    The sincerest form of flattery really is imitation so I await the first cry from a proto teen on hearing B.O.R. “1 D wrote that”!

  20. stepee says:

    P.S. Great pic of “the two” on this article.

  21. chris says:

    My daughter will be so relieved to hear the news that her favorite band is out of trouble. Now if she will stop singing that darn song…

  22. Howie Lee says:

    It’s Only Rock’n Roll

  23. Roger William White says:

    Dignity comes with age but rock is in the blood….Long live Rock, I need it every night

  24. Larry P says:

    “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet” was recorded by Bachman Turner Overdrive… not the Guess Who.

    1. Ryan Carlson says:

      Ummm, it’s the same guy from both bands dude. Trust me, you don’t know more about music than Pete Townshend.

    2. guy says:

      Randy Bachman wrote the song.

    3. Sotski says:

      Larry, randy BACHMAN was an integral part of both the guess who and bachman turner overdrive. It’s as if we’re talking about Small faces and a humble pie song in the same breath.

    4. Niko says:

      Yeah but Pete was talking to Randy Bachman – guess where the “Bachman” in Bachman Turner Overdrive came from 🙂

      The same guy has started a band called “guess who” and then copied Baba O’Riley for a hit with a different band.

    5. Ken says:

      Randy Bachman wrote the song. BTO recorded it.

      1. Ken says:

        I wasn’t correcting you…just clarifying for other readers. Article doesn’t make that clear.

    6. Pat H says:

      Nobody states that the song in question was recorded by the Guess Who. It only ties that group to the comment that follows about the naming of that band and that Randy was in it.

    7. marty torrez says:

      all members of the “Guees Who”!

    8. Jake says:

      Same Bachman, though. He cut a history lesson by saying that he was in Guess Who and BTO.

    9. Guvnor says:

      you’re correct… But Bachman was a founding member of Guess Who!Know your music history…

    10. Code Mokey says:

      Randolph Charles “Randy” Bachman, OC, OM is a Canadian musician best known as lead guitarist, songwriter and a founding member for both the 1960s–70s rock band The Guess Who, and the 1970s rock band Bachman–Turner Overdrive.

      So you see … Pete was quite correct. Never question a legend of music.

  25. Jay says:

    Randy Bachman was in The Guess Who.

  26. RN says:

    Bachman used to be in The Guess Who.

  27. Paul Longhurst says:

    Larry P: If you read the quote, he doesn’t claim that the song was recorded by the Guess Who, just that it was written by Randy Bachman who was a member of both bands.

  28. Yumiko Wordley says:

    Pete is so generous and calm as he is a proper adult in the best meaning thorough his experiences. When you are matured mentally and emotionally it is natural to feel no worth having a fruitless argument with kids. He has to think about a lot more sophisticated matter of the music, as the Who is proving right now that they are the most influential and charismatic Rock band ever!

  29. Steve Pevy says:

    If you read it properly PT never mentioned ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet’ was by Guess Who….just stating that the song was written by Randy Bachman who also fronted Guess Who with both band name and song being tributes The Who and B.O.R.

  30. Lynda Grace says:

    Pete, always a gentleman 🙂

  31. Martin says:

    You did know Bachman was in both?

  32. valerie says:

    To Larry P., Randy Bachman founded The Guess Who before Bachman Turner Overdrive.

  33. KIMBERLEY says:

    I don’t care what you say, Pete, nobody can write songs like you….nobody will ever sing them like Roger. Please keep on rocking.

  34. Joey Manic says:

    It used to be cocaine and booze that made you bonkers but looking at the fans of this manufactured group I’ve never heard of, it looks like that’s nothing to Haribo and Sunkist!

  35. Kevin Hunt says:

    Well said Pete. A wise head……

  36. Chris says:

    Perfect response Pete!
    Let’s hope we get together before we get much older! I know you have a few more Baba O’Rileys up your sleeve. Please share with us!
    Enjoy the rest of your summer.
    One of the 400!
    Chris from Boston

  37. james lara says:

    pete’s just being nice. no one from that era likes the new pop music. i mean let’s be honest.

  38. Bob Fricke says:

    Pete, you are still the greatest songwriter/guitar player/smasher, and accompanying singer. Roger stills belts out wonderful vocals that I envy after almost 40 years hearing The Who as a kid in the late 60’s/early 70’s. Love live Rock/WHO..

  39. Tracy Shay says:

    Ugh..twits on twitter strike again. Weren’t they just sending nasty threats about someone insulting Taylor Swift for having several boyfriends? Never fear, soon enough, some other blogger trying to pass itself off as a journalist will send them frothing at the mouth with their little undies in a bunch about some other “crisis”

  40. Tess says:

    Pete you are my favorite person. I see no reason in hate with the evolution of music. Damn right the are inspired by The Who and The Stones. Great Music never dies. 🙂

  41. Luile says:

    Pete always talked about the fact, that he copied THE KINKS in I CANT EXPLAIN. But also Pete copied Pete. The “Acid Queen” bridge, gave birth to “The Punk Meets The Godfather” and this song developed in “Mike Post Theme”. Pte even copied Roger Daltrey s’ “Here for More” for some bridges in “Sea and Sand” and “Had Enough” (both from Quadrophenia), but also you can hear the similar chords in a song like “In a Hand or a Face”. You also can hear the “Substitute” chords in “New Song”. And who can not hear the similarity between “Baba O Riley” and “Fragments”…

    If “One Direction” or whoever wrote the song, was inspired in “Baba O Riley” that of course should be taken as a salute to the Who. So what is the noise about it ? Well said Pete !

  42. maillard says:

    Those thinking they have invented the wheel are many .
    Those building the wheel are less.
    Those using the Wheel are happy.
    Those controling the Wheel are few.

    ” I am one “

  43. Gene Murphy says:

    You better, YOU BET!

  44. David Wooldridge says:

    Not having any 1D claim to best song ever! The Who’s material is simply some of greatest music ever recorded.Fact! The Who are still for me best rock band on the planet!When a band plays live with their own instruments and their own material then fair enough!Long live The Who! Reign On!

  45. Helena Brown says:

    I always love the Who but i like some solos about PETER…very soul.Thanks for your song.Helena from Brazil

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