Taylor Swift and Pete Townshend

by Regis Boff

Taylor Swift savages boyfriends who cross her. There is a hazard to getting close to such a girl.

In vague comparison, if you fucked over Pete Townshend, it was time to renew your passport and run.

I listened to his music long before I knew him. When I was in college, I wouldn’t have been able to name the band individually then. It just wasn’t something I was concerned with, and I don’t think this was at all uncommon. They were simply The Who. The hardest band to remember their names were Lynard Skynyrd. I had to practice so much I got blocks.

“Can I have a word?” Townshend says to me by the hotel phone around midday.

Like some rare birds, it was uncommon to sight him until late afternoon at sound checks. It was not constitutionally a settling experience to talk to him one on one before then. For me, at first, it was a reasonable cause for dread. He made me uneasy. It took years to work that shit out. 

Bill, Jackie, and I were having a laugh in a hotel room 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 giant green frog with a chunk of Canadian​ bacon in its​ mouth, hopping from city to city where we would play. The amphibian was wearing a Royal Canadian Mounted Police uniform. He had a beaver under each arm. The bacon was my touch because I grew up eating it. 

But that phone call 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, he would be pleased.” 

Yes,” I said.

“How much?” He gutturally​ groaned when I told him.

“Fuck,” was all he said

“Who was here?” I asked.

“It doesn’t matter. I must have passed out.” He seemed to sigh.

“Want me to put Jim on it,” I said.

“No, it’s gone, thanks.”

And I left.