Riding in Limos with Pete Townshend
by Regis Boff
Pete Townshend at his most endearing reminded me of a mingling of an American bloodhound, Socrates and a young boy.
I only boast when I want hurt someone’s feelings, to shut down their pride by putting them in their place. I have lived an uncommon enough life to not deserve fools so I dispatch them quickly by simple dismissiveness unless, as I mentioned above, I want to wound them first. It takes a pretty big asshole to make me even bother now, but I am not above it. The funny thing about age is that although the slights seem smaller compared to what you have experienced, the urge for retaliating vengeance is as strong as when you were a young man.
Whenever the plane landed at a new city there would be five or six limos waiting at the plane’s door. I can’t speak to what came before me but in my years The Who never “hopped into the same one together”. The band members would each take their own car and the rest of us just filled in where there was space.
On one such trip, I so badly mismanaged my exit from the plane that I found myself alone with Townshend in the back of his car. This was for both of us I presumed at the time great bad luck. So far on this, my first tour, we had tossed only eight words at each other, my” Hi” and his, “ I am going to make you cry.” Even Moon who had overheard this said to Pete that I wasn’t going to forgive that. I still miss him. He had also tried to leave me on the tarmac because I was late getting out to the plane after my second show.
So there we are in the back of this car and after a few minutes he says to me, “so show me what you do.” Over the coming years it would not be uncommon to be asked by a band member what they had made that night. Moon would ask whenever he saw me. Townshend never asked.
“ So show me what you do” could mean different things to different people. I feared he was thinking I was some sort of moose that knew certain tricks that he was now expecting me to perform for him.
I opened my case, pulled out the settlement from the night before and began explaining it as best I could while remaining wholly certain he actually could not give a shit.
Then I made my first mistake with him. I tried to impress him. As I explained I never do this and truly despise myself if I lapse, and do. I showed him a math “cleverness” in our deals that made them more money, half aware as I was doing this that I was already fucked because I was bragging.
He half looked at me and said,” Cunning”.
Neither of us said anything for the remainder of the ride.