Who I Am: A Memoir
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From the voice of a generation: The most highly anticipated autobiography of the year, and the story of a man who... is a Londoner and a Mod.... wanted The Who to be called The Hair.... loved The Everly Brothers, but not that "drawling dope" Elvis.... wanted to be a sculptor, a journalist, a dancer and a graphic designer.... became a musician, composer, librettist, fiction writer, literary editor, sailor.... smashed his first guitar onstage, in 1964, by accident.... heard the voice of God on a vibrating bed in rural Illinois.... invented the Marshall stack, feedback and the concept album.... once speared Abbie Hoffman in the neck with the head of his guitar.... inspired Jimi Hendrix's pyrotechnical stagecraft.... is partially deaf in his left ear.... stole his windmill guitar playing from Keith Richards.... followed Keith Moon off a hotel balcony into a pool and nearly died.... did too much cocaine and nearly died.... drank too much and nearly died.... detached from his body in an airplane, on LSD, and nearly died.... helped rescue Eric Clapton from heroin.... is banned for life from Holiday Inns.... was embroiled in a tabloid scandal that has dogged him ever since.... has some explaining to do.... is the most literary and literate musician of the last 50 years.... planned to write his memoir when he was 21.... published this book at 67.
maintaining a marriage in our business. He revealed that he and Sue had been having problems. I felt more at home in their house than for years. Mike, a big-band aficionado, could discuss the kind of music Dad played. Rabbit seemed more at ease than I’d seen him recently. Suddenly I had an idea. ‘Why don’t you all come to New York? Our first show is on 30 November, but we can go earlier and hang out. I’ll get tickets on Concorde!’ Mike and Sue, I suggested, could get some quality time together.
the time called Bilder von Lily, and all the songs I was preparing for my next solo album were intended to illuminate this story. Terry Rawlings, the music editor who had been so helpful to me on the Tommy movie, went to work on Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott. In the middle of May he sent me a script to read, and asked me to compose the score. Terry had told Scott I would do a great job. I could see this would be an incredible opportunity, and was pleased to be asked, but I knew there
readily identify in our audience but had no idea how to reconcile. One was that for our next album we would produce some audacious new idea, a new Tommy. The other was that the album would rock the way Live at Leeds had rocked. If the band was playing as a unit, its internal machinery and its management seemed more at loggerheads than ever. If Roger and I (as well as Who fans) felt released by some of the raw power of Live at Leeds, Kit was still chasing the whale, as it were, of pop gimmicks.
before. A flight case containing a full bar was always sitting by the piano booth. I drank Rémy Martin by the pint from an old-fashioned, heavy, dimpled mug, borrowed from the local pub. Keith’s drumkit faced the huge window between the studio and control room, John was set up to his right and me to his left – just as we appeared on stage. When Roger was present he occupied a vocal booth next to the control room. The studio was filled with exotic instruments we rarely played: marimbas,
buy a boat as small as the one you started with. I was on boat number two. I didn’t sell my speedboat but gave it to Dad so he could get rid of the ageing Liz-O, our first boat together from 1967 that had sunk on its mooring on the Thames. I wanted a boat that would cross the English Channel, with two sleeping cabins. I found a 36-foot Grand Banks trawler boat whose owner was willing to take my Rolls Mulliner coupé in part exchange. Oliver and Keith were up for sailing. The problem was they were