Pete Townshend : “Did you steal my Money?”
by Regis Boff
“Can I have a word?” Townshend says by hotel phone around midday.
Like some rare birds, Pete was rarely sighted before late afternoon. It was not an inherently settling experience to talk to him one on one before then. In fact, it was fair cause for dread. He made me uneasy and I him at first. It took years to work that out.
A couple of us were having fun working out a logo/poster for the upcoming Canadian leg of a Who tour when his call came.
Canada is big and mostly settled by moose. So far we had a drawing of a frog with a big piece of Canadian bacon in its mouth hopping from city to city outlining where they would play. He was dressed in a Royal Canadian Mounted Police uniform. He appeared to be chasing a beaver. The bacon was my touch because I grew up eating it.
But that phone call had dampened me, so I headed down to his room.
He did not look well. He had his tea.
”Did you give me money last night?” he said without really looking up. I got the feeling that if I lied to him he would be pleased. ” Yes”, I said.
“How much?” He actually gutturally groaned when I told him.
“Fuck,” was all he said
“Who was here?” I asked.
It doesn’t matter I didn’t know them. I must have passed out.” He was hard to read as he answered.
“Want me to put Jim on it,” I said.
“No, it’s gone, thanks.”
And I left.