Pete on BBC Radio 4

Jim M Nakedi at
Tue Oct 27 19:24:37 UTC 2009

> has posted the Townshend interview mentioned here a week or so 
> ago.  It's in the Radio section for anyone who's interested.  Here is the 
> info...
> Baroque and Roll: Townshend on Purcell
> Broadcast on BBC Radio 4
> Tuesday 27 October 2009 13:30-14:00
> His music became the sound of a generation and sold more than 100m 
> records. But what is not so well known is that the music of rock star 
> Peter Townshend was influenced by a Baroque composer. Discussing The Who's 
> illustrious career, Pete reveals that a love of Henry Purcell has been at 
> the centre of his songwriting.
> As guitarist and songwriter of The Who, Pete helped write the rule book of 
> Sixties pop music. By the Seventies he'd sold millions of records, racked 
> up nearly 30 hit singles and composed the landmark rock opera, Tommy.
> Although much is already known about this internationally famous band it 
> is surprising that throughout this incredible career Pete Townshend took 
> inspiration from a composer born 350 years ago this year.
> Over the course of this half-hour documentary, Pete explains how Purcell 
> influenced his songwriting. When Pete was a struggling 20-year-old 
> musician he was turned on to Purcell by his manager, Kit Lambert. It was 
> Kit's recommendation of Purcell's Gordian Knot Untied that struck the 
> loudest chord with Pete, awakening him to a lineage in English music that 
> seemed strangely familiar. Immersing himself in the music, he set about 
> writing The Who's first album.
> Since then Purcell has often inspired Pete's work. Through an exclusive 
> new interview Pete reveals how he drew on Purcell's dramatic genius for 
> his most intriguing compositions. From his first mini "rock opera" to his 
> masterpiece Tommy and from his enduring Lifehouse project through to his 
> current musical endeavour, there has always been a Purcellian presence.
> Baroque And Roll: Townshend On Purcell is a unique look at the music of 
> one of England's most revered composers from one of England's most 
> celebrated songwriters.
> Presenter/Pete Townshend, Producer/James Hale
> captured from iPlayer, 128kbps 44Khz, runtime 27:59
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Laurence Joyce, Radio Times reviewer: Why should it seem surprising that 
> Pete Townshend of rock group the Who should name the 17th-century British 
> composer Henry Purcell as one of his greatest musical inspirations? 
> Snobbery, perhaps. But just listen to the organ intro to Won't Get Fooled 
> Again or I Can See for Miles and you can hear Purcell's harmonies 
> transmuted into the pop sounds of the 20th century. And it's not simply 
> the music that Townshend is responding to, but also the "tragedy of 
> mortality" that Purcell evokes in such sublime works as When I Am Laid in 
> Earth or The Gordian Knot Unty'd. In this miniature autobiography, 
> Townshend tells us not only the who, but also the how and the when of his 
> musical development, and why he identifies strongly with a long-dead 
> composer whose feelings about the things that really matter so clearly 
> echo his own.
> Jim M 

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