Pete's Blog

Pete is Stone Deaf…… or maybe not?

My hearing is actually better than ever because after a feedback scare at the O2 Indigo in December 2008 I am taking good care of it. I have computer systems in my studio that have helped me do my engineering work on the forthcoming Quadrophenia release. I have had assistance from younger forensic engineers and mastering engineers to help me clean up the high frequencies that are out of my range. The same computer systems work wonderfully well on stage, proving to be perfect for me when The Who performed at the Super Bowl and doing Quadrophenia for TCT at the Royal Albert Hall in 2010. I’m 66, I don’t have perfect hearing, and if I listen to loud music or go to gigs I do tend to get tinnitus. DON’T WE ALL????
The reason I am not on the road with Roger is that this is entirely Roger’s adventure, one that is bringing him great joy. I don’t belong on this Tommy tour. I wish him well, sincerely, and I look forward to playing with Roger again doing Quadrophenia next year.

22 thoughts on “Pete is Stone Deaf…… or maybe not?”

  1. So VERY happy to hear The Who is back on tour and coming to Tulsa!
    Just in case Pete Townshend needs any audiological support or testing, please feel free to visit our clinic: The Scholl Center.
    I’m pretty sure I can convince my wife to provide a courtesy exam!
    Otherwise, I look forward to the concert in February!

  2. michael smith says:

    thank you

  3. Emily says:

    Hi pete you rocked at Newcastle a few months ago

  4. Robert Fricke says:

    you always ROCKED!!! and did it like no other!!
    keep rock’n and keep on tour’n!! Got my teenage kids and soon grandkids to become WHO fanatics….

  5. Dave Harris says:

    Tinnitus ,yes, 40 odd years ago as a young teenager & into science I acquired a chemistry experiment book . An experiment I carried out was to make an explosive , very easy, that if a fly walked on the substance it would explode. Of course I dint believe this I prodded the substance hard & BANG ! .I have suffered from tinnitus ever since . Pete we have something in common.

  6. Ronald Sacra says:

    Why I love Pete Townshend…..
    He’s in the World’s Best & Greatest Rock Band!
    He writes Songs everybody relates to, loves!
    He is the Best Rock Guitarist Player Ever!
    And Gosh theirs a Lot of Them!
    He hung in there and did the 12-13 Quad tour! (Saw you in Florida opening night, thank you!)
    He’s one the very few who can tell you he’s a Genius and gets away with it!! even Roger has said so!
    He let’s Band Mates that have left the stage, but are still in the Group, share the stage with him, that are still Loved to this day! but are gone.
    He will tell you more than you really want to know about Himself, “like..I didn’t change my underwear this morning”..sorry Pete, I made that up, but you “Pete Fans” know what I mean!
    I know all this cause I’m 60 years old and STILL love Pete Townshend! And I ‘know’ I was the Only Kid for miles and miles in 1967 that had to Special Order ‘The Who Sell Out’ from my record store in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA. now that’s a WHO record! That’s why I Still Love Pete Townshend, yes I’m one of those Fans, the kind you run from, Please take care Pete, Ron
    P.S. Your hearing is just fine, you hear better than most 70 year olds I know.
    P.S.S. I can talk as much as a Pete Townshend!

  7. Vince Houston says:

    First saw u lot at the Glasgow Apollo in ’72….my .first ever gig…….14 I was….. and you guys spoiled it for everyone else!!……after that saw Bowie, Stones, etc etc but the majesty of Tommy in it’s entirety was the most incredible and unforgettable experiences in my life mate….. So thank you and hope your hearing problems level off…… Mine have been ringing for 41 years
    God bless

  8. Greg says:

    Hi Pete,
    I just finished your book, and it was a great read. How you remembered all that stuff amazed me. What a life you have led. On my 16th birthday my friends gave me Led Zep II, the brown bomber, and Live at Leeds, both of which I still have, and I’ve been playing guitar ever since. God bless you and yours, and rock on brother!

  9. Paco says:

    Hello Pete,
    I’ve just finished to read “Who I am” and I’d have a lot to say (Sorry about my language). I was in Bercy to see you with my son. He’s 12 and he wanted to see you for his birth. So I bought two tickets. It was a very good idea from him…because I never saw you before. What a wonderfull moment! At the begining of the show I saw my son crying because he wasn’t still dreaming. He was seeing you for real. And now he’s playing the guitar. Thanks a lot.

  10. Pete,

    i finished “Who I am” yesterday and something happens inside me after reading the last pages regarding the letter to the 8 year old boy also deep in myself and after tears rolling to my face the inner things started to rearrange again and this is good, very good. Most of the time while i read “Who I am” my feeling was i´m sittin´in my head and looking into the world, so a lot of the things you wrote i know but not all. I didn´t have a easy childhood but nobody touches me in a sexual way, this was a luck for me….but as a son from a war child i received a lot of pain, fear and the feeling i´m not worth to life. My healing process starts after also my medicine red wine didn´t help anymore. Now i can work deep inside myself. Thank you for this book, the power and last but not least the truth in it. And i promise i never stopp playing my music and i ever play for the last row!
    All the best from Düsseldorf Heine´s hometown, sincerly yours Ansgar Kuswik
    P.S. Beethoven was so deaf that he thougth he was a painter :-)….
    P.S. P.S. Beethoven wrote the 9th symphony as a deaf man….
    P.S. P.S. P.S.Don´t forget your own words and dont stopp playing….Take care man

  11. Mike Zaccherio says:

    The only thing more exciting than reading your book was meeting you in person to sign. I hope you had a chance to use the ear plugs I gave you. That just happen to be coincidental that I was at a construction safety awareness class and they gave them to me that very day we met. All that aside, the book and the Madison Garden Show were fantastic. Can’t wait for the next tour.


  12. Ron England says:

    I saw the Quadrophenia tour in Manchester New Hampshire on 2/24/13. It was awesome! Is there a Quadrophenia DVD of that tour in the works? I sure hope so. I’d like to keep those memories as fresh as possible.

  13. Julie Bertolino says:

    Please please come to Houston and do an acoustic set!!! We miss you here!

  14. Ray Armstrong says:

    PETE:-I am 67…a muso…play the clubs with my 78 Strat and 3 piece band.
    Just bought your book Who I Am…fucking nice…although I think U had some unacknowledged help writing it!

    Thought I wld go and get a copy of Live At Leeds

    Mate…it is one of the best live recordings I now have in my collection (where there any overdubs?….thought I heard an extra guitar there)…Look, when one considers the technology available in those times the sound reproduction,musicianship is just amazing.

    I played it to my bass player through my 15 inch JBL’s horns and Mackie 1000 watter. Sorry this has to be listened to LOUD.My mother used to say…wait til U get to my age…I am PAST her age now and like it LOUDER than when I was 19!!

  15. pete,
    I was deaf twice in my life, once in one ear from a guitar amp coming on suddenly, once from a serious ear infection due to water.

    Both times, i regained my hearing, as good or better than new, through a chinese exercise called “Beating the heavenly drum” which i saw in a book called Internal Exercises by Stephen Chang.

    Good luck,
    Jay dancing bear

  16. Ducreux says:


    I’m a french fan of 52 years old. My daughter Valentine was born the same day as you (05-19-2005). I often tell her as Daniel Darc (who was born the 18th of may), a french singer who died this year : You’re born in May, you’re my spring.
    Recently, although i never read biography, i did it with “Who i am”.
    Tommy, the movie, was the first step of an “Amazing Journey” in Tommy first, in the musical universe of the Who then and in music basically.
    When i was 14, i dreamt to see The Who on stage. The band was and still is my favourite band. I never saw you on stage and i’ve been so desappointed and sad when Keith died in 1978 and later when John died too.
    Firstable, Roger was as frontman, the guy i prefer. I didn’t really realised the reasons why your music sounds like ti did to my ears. But almost 40 years later, and after reading “Who i am”, i can say : The who are definitively the most imporant band for me.

    I have to leave now, but i’ll be back soon.

    I put myself down my life in a diary for my daughter.



  17. jobenjafield says:

    I just want to tell Pete Townshend that “Who came first”
    has been a reassuring sound for me for all my years as a piano teacher.
    Although I was brought up with the WHO and loved them very much your seriousness is very grounding.

  18. Dave says:

    Pete, a note of gratitude. You mentioned “Artist’s Way” in your book more than once…when I read it last year I was at the depths of a creative ditch. I picked up the book, threw myself into Morning Pages and got myself moving again. Since then I’ve had a couple of poems published and this morning I received a contract for a non-fiction book. I’ve owed you for inspiration many, many times over the years. Thanks again for tipping me off to Artist’s Way and back to a life of creativity!

  19. Patti says:

    Pete, hope you’re not too deaf to read this. Been watching you on BBC 4 can you see the real me. Life long Pete and Who fan? Love your lyrics and big dreams. Had forgotten how much it all means to me. Emotional day. Thank you for sharing your poet’s soul.

  20. Simon says:

    Mr Townshend, I own pretty much all of your published music,I use your influence in my writing along with many others. Cannot find a song with a line ” people forget”
    I have no wish to copy from you but would like to draw something from that song.

  21. alberto says:

    Please, come to Peru, before I die….

    1. John says:

      Pete,I was just officially diagnosed with Tinnitus even though I’ve had it for a couple of years. Mine is like holding a sea shell to my head and it never stops, 24/7. Something must have triggered it this week and it is now causing me to have panic attacks and forcing me to use sleeping medication since night time is the worst. My ear specialist pretty much told me to “live with it” and “don’t try any of the treatments on the internet because nothing works”. I had read somewhere that you also suffered from Tinnitus and used a treatment with some results. Maybe I should have worn earplugs sometime dure the 40 years I’ve played drums and listened to loud music. I’m 58 and I don’t know how I’ll handle this if I don’t find some help; it’s only going to get worse with age. Sincerely, John from Chicago

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