“Leslie West said: ‘I prefer your licks, Pete. Eric seems to be playing things he’s learned, that he’s picked up from other blues players’”: Pete Townshend says the Mountain legend favored his expansive rock licks over Eric Clapton’s blues vocabulary

Pete Townshend and Leslie West
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Heralded for his history as The Who’s windmilling firebrand and celebrated for his timeless arsenal of riffs and licks, Pete Townshend is considered one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time.

It’s a list Townshend shares with the likes of Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Gary Moore, Eric Clapton and countless others, and an accolade he’s been awarded following decades of knockout electric guitar feats.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.

With contributions from