“I’ve had all of the great guitarists in the world say to me, ‘Pete, you’re not in the top 10 for virtuosity, but you’re certainly No. 1 as an acoustic rhythm player’”: Pete Townshend on Who’s Next, Lifehouse, and fun times with Superstrats

Pete Townshend
(Image credit: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)

During the golden age of rock ’n’ roll, Pete Townshend helped define and redefine both the electric and acoustic guitar several times over. As the Who’s guitarist, he pioneered an aggressive, almost punky approach to the guitar in the mid-1960s, at least a decade before punk was a genre. 

And his rampant destruction of his instrument on stage – which he later attributed to his studies at Ealing Art College of Gustav Metzger, the pioneer of auto-destructive art – became not just an expression of youthful angst but also a means of conveying ideas through musical performance. 

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