Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Pete Townshend!

Yesterday was Pete Townshend’s 63rd birthday, so I just wanted to send him my most heart-felt birthday punches!

I’ll never forget when I saw Townshend perform “Drowned” at the Quadrophenia show at Madison Square Garden in the summer of 1996. Just awesome is all I can say. Right here is a video of PT performing “Drowned” at the Secret Policemen’s Ball. More on that from Wikipedia:

In 1979, Townshend became the first major rock musician to donate his services to the human rights organization Amnesty International when he performed three songs for its benefit show The Secret Policeman's Ball - performances that were released on record and seen in the film of the show. The show was Townshend's first major live solo appearance. Townshend's acoustic performances of three of his songs ("Pinball Wizard", "Drowned", and "Won't Get Fooled Again") were subsequently cited as having been the forerunner and inspiration for the "unplugged" phenomenon in the 1990s. Townshend had been invited to perform for Amnesty by Martin Lewis, the producer of The Secret Policeman's Ball who stated later that Townshend's participation had been the key to his securing the subsequent participation for Amnesty (in the 1981 sequel show) of Sting, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Phil Collins and Bob Geldof. Other performers inspired to support Amnesty International in future Secret Policeman's Ball shows and other benefits because of Townshend's early commitment to the organization include Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, David Gilmour and U2 singer Bono who in 1986 told Rolling Stone magazine: "I saw The Secret Policeman's Ball and it became a part of me. It sowed a seed...."

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