Pete Townshend explains the real inspiration for My Generation
29 October 2020, 20:53
Watch as the legendary guitarist dispels the myth about one of his biggest tracks.
Pete Townshend has debunked a common myth surrounding his 1965 My Generation single.
The Who guitarist took part in Radio X's According To Google series, where he answered some of the most asked questions about himself and the band.
One query is what really inspired The Who's iconic hit My Generation? The single was released on 29 October 1965 and made Number 2 in the UK charts.
The legendary guitarist said: "Well there is a story that it's inspired by the Queen Mother having my Packard Hearse towed away from outside my house, but that's not really what happened."
Townshend added: "My Generation was inspired by the fact that I felt as artists we had to draw a line between all those people who had been involved in the second world war and all those people who were born right at the end of the war."
"Those people had sacrificed so much for us, but they weren't able to give us anything. No guidance, no inspiration. Nothing really."
"We weren't allowed to join the army, we weren't allowed to speak, we were expected to shut up and enjoy the peace... And we decided not to do that."
Speaking about Liam Gallagher's support slot on The Who's North American dates in 2019, the My Generation rocker explained: "It was good. It was good. He was well behaved. He's got a new partner (Debbie Gwyther), and she's a really good girl..."
He added: "He had both his sons at one point. They adore him but they're both Who fans, so that's nice. And he had a short set to do. I think he had maybe 30 minutes, so he went at it and our fans loved him. It was a good mix."
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Talking about Gallagher's last album, Why Me? Why Not. the legend mused: "It's interesting because the recordings that he's doing at the moment, I think they exhibit a subtlety and a magic that is not coming across on the stage [...] I'm looking forward to the new album 'cause I loved the last one".
"I like Noel's new albums as well," added the legendary rocker. "You know I think they're interesting because they're both doing very very different things in a way.
"You know, Noel's doing soundscapey stuff. It's all very rich and almost psychedelic.
"And [Liam's] trying to write songs, he's learning still with songs. It's a craft he's developing, you know. He was thrown into it. He didn't want to have to do it.
"But it just goes to show, I think anybody can write songs if they've got the patience."