Rush-drummer Neil Peart has written on his blog about meeting Pete during the Governor General's Award show.
Some quotes: “The Who were my first favorite band. In my mid-teens, my bedroom was papered in magazine photographs and posters of The Who, hung with pop-art mobiles I made from photos of them, and my dresser had a Union Jack painted across its top (a triumph of clumsy masking and brushwork). In the middle of one wall I had painted the bass-drum logo from Keith Moon’s famous “Pictures of Lily” kit. (…) To the teenage me, Pete Townshend set the example for what a rock musician should be: “He smashes guitars—and reads books!” So . . . meeting him now, forty-odd years later, I remained full of admiration, respect, and gratitude—for his example”
“When we told Pete we had just finished making an album, he scoffed, “Waste of time, making albums these days.” We said we knew, but had to do it anyway. Pete told us about some volunteer work he had been doing in a British prison, trying to encourage the inmates to explore music. He said, “All they want is decks”—meaning to be DJs, not musicians”.
The world and the people on it are getting more selfish and uncaring of others. Look at the explosion in very young teenage girls having multiple babies and wanting society to pay for them. Same thing with musicians music. Nobody wants to pay for anything anymore. They all want it for free, just like everything else. Which is why everybody lives on their credit cards and are maxed out to the hilt. They want everything not now, but right f***ng now. Townshend has a point. I agree with him. Why make anything if you are going to get ripped off. And things are going to just get worse. Look at how horrible televison is becoming. Brain dead dribble for all the brain dead people to watch because they are all too stupid to know that they are watching cr*p. Which is why there are so many commercials. Anything can be sold to idiots. I am sure Pete feels the same way.
"Pete Townsend, for me, is arguably the ultimate rock musician. He can expand on a very simple idea and take it somewhere else, just by the power of his playing and it loses none of the initial excitement. Who's Next was one of those albums that never left my turntable for years. For me it is the album that shows four great musicians touching their creative peak. It transcends any notion of genre. It just is what it is, which is the best thing you can say about and band, any album".