Pete Townshend on The Who’s early days: “If I wasn’t working I would have been drinking, smoking grass and taking pep pills”

Pete Townshend recalls The Who’s wild early days, including their legendary performances at London’s Marquee club, in the new issue of Uncut, out on Thursday (March 28).

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Pete Townshend recalls The Who’s wild early days, including their legendary performances at London’s Marquee club, in the new issue of Uncut, out on Thursday (March 28).

“If I wasn’t working, I would have been drinking, smoking grass and taking pep pills,” Townshend tells Uncut.

Referring to The Who’s famous early shows at London’s Marquee, where the group found their voice and established their dynamic ‘Maximum R&B’ image, the guitarist explains: “The Soho location was important. It was still a magical place back then.

“The Marquee was a good venue for sound and it made us appear to be cool.”

As well as telling the story of The Who launching their career with energy, violence, Pop Art stunts and overwhelming volume, the cover feature also takes a look at some of the other groups who performed at the Marquee, including the Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, The Pink Floyd, The Yardbirds and even Gilbert & George.

The new issue of Uncut, dated May 2013, is out on Thursday (March 28).

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