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Pete Townshend Publishes ‘Who I Am’ Today

Pete Townshend
(Elsa/Getty Images)

Out today is Pete Townshend’s long-awaited autobiography, called, Who I Am. Townshend, who began posting excerpts on his website several years back, talks candidly about his the sexual abuse he suffered as a child, his creative process both with and without the Who, his personal life — and for the first time in detail, his 2003 arrest and caution for logging on to porn sites believed to carry images of children.

During the Who’s press conference prior to playing the halftime show at the 2010 Super Bowl, the final question of the day dealt with two Florida anti-child abuse groups who were calling for the NFL to ban Townshend from the Super Bowl because of the 2003 arrest: “I’ve been really saddened by it, and concerned about it. It’s an issue that’s very difficult to deal with in ‘sound bytes.’ It’s a big thing. It’s sad. I kind of feel like we’re on the same side. That’s kind of really what I can really say. I think, y’know, for a family that has suffered the issue of childhood abuse or anything of that sort, vigilance, common sense, vigilance is the most important thing — not vigilantism. And I’m not trying to make a free-ranging statement here, but y’know, I’ve been working as an advocate and an agent in this kind of area of research and fund-raising for over 40 years. It’s something that I have my own story (of being abused) that some of you know, and I would say to anybody that has any doubts about whether I should be here or not, should investigate a little bit further. Everything you need to know — funnily enough — is out there on the Internet.”

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