If you're a fan of The Who or Pete's solo work this is an essential read. Disarmingly honest and readable and a unique insight into the life of a fantastic musician.

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Dates 10 October 2012 – 29 October 2012
Time spent reading 11 hours, 50 minutes
Highlights 33
Comments 18
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On another destruction-minded day Jimpy and I laid a huge piece of steel across the railway tracks under the bridge and stood back. As the train approached we ran away, waiting to hear the sound of a terrible train crash. This could have not only injured or killed a lot of people, but led us into a very different life, in the penal system. Thank God the train passed without derailing.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

We all do silly things as children and only realise as adults just how stupid they were.

Like many of my peers I spent long, boring hours outside various pubs, a packet of crisps and fizzy drink in my hand, wondering why I was permitted such luxuries only when my parents were getting drunk.

Jane gave mail addressed to me unopened, and thinking that one day I might write this book I decided to leave one of those letters sealed until the day I finished it.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

The fan letter is at the end of the book...

Brian and I saw one of Stevie Wonder’s first London shows there. Transported by the music, our adulation and his own adrenaline, Stevie got so excited he fell off the stage.

if you missed Jimi playing live, you missed something very, very special.

Trees bare of their leaves in winter, for example, began to look like those medical student mock-ups of the vein and artery network inside the human lung; in effect I suddenly saw trees for what they really are: planetary breathing machines.

I heard the voice of God.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Oh dear.

Keith was such a twat sometimes

He lived in the old skating rink, washed his grey sweatshirts in the toilet sink

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Sounds like a good lyric!

A little later, when Emma was born and first placed in my arms, I was awestruck by seeing this beautiful little thing for the first time. She seemed to look straight through my eyes and into my soul.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

A totally magical feeling, I'll never forget my own experience of it.

My take on groupies had nothing to do with morality; I just didn’t understand what they really wanted, or what they felt they were doing. If you got to spend a few nights with Daltrey or Clapton, what did you go on to do that would make it mean something?

Towser, our spaniel, ran into the sea and grabbed a heavy piece of driftwood that was far too big for him; unwilling to let go, he began drowning, so I had to dive in and save him. In the process I swallowed a small jellyfish; the water was full of them.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran


She also tried to bring me back into the present, to the everyday pleasures of bathing children, walking the dog, cooking a simple meal, having a glass of wine and making love at bedtime, but my urge would be to go to my studio, to try to find some new way to get my ideas across – and all too often that’s what I did instead.

Lifehouse became the pathetically titled Who’s Next.

Backstage in Los Angeles it was clear that the band had reached a new level of cool. Glamorous Hollywood actresses walked in and out of our dressing room, and Mick and Bianca Jagger watched our show from the side of the stage. I wore a crown I had found at a theatrical outfitter and asked Mick what he thought. ‘It’s hard to take you seriously, Pete,’ he said fondly. ‘You look like a cunt.’

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Fashion commentary from Mick Jagger.

There was a button on the desk that said ‘Do Not Press’. The button had no purpose other than to create shock and was potentially the stuff of heart-attack. If pressed, a nuclear explosion shuddered the room at a reading of about 138db. The effect would send most normal folk to the floor in tears.

Studio recording was completed by 1 August.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Quadrophenia was therefore recorded in just six weeks or so! Amazing.

In November at the Cow Palace in San Francisco he collapsed on stage after taking three elephant tranquilliser pellets.

The recording of Rough Mix with Ronnie is now a blur, but I remember some special moments.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

There are some great songs on this album. Only discovered it recently through Spotify.

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

Link pls :)

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Here you go:

a band isn’t a unified fellowship, it’s an uneasy, sometimes competitive merger of young men with divergent ambitions who’ve agreed to play music together.

I followed my nose (never difficult in my case) from one day to the next.

‘Do you still love me?’ ‘I don’t think so.’ ‘Not even a little?’ ‘Maybe a little,’ she replied. ‘Now please go to sleep, or go down and work. I’ve got to be up early.’

The deal was for $10 million for four new albums and a ‘Best of’, hopefully to be delivered within seven years or less.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Doesn't sound like a lot of money to me. How big was this for the late 1970s?

John Lennon had been shot dead in New York the day before, and it was all anyone could talk about. I had only met him once or twice, but I felt for Yoko, Sean and Julian.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

One of the early issues of Mojo magazine carried a photo of Pete Townshend and John Lennon in (what looked like a) drunken hug outside in the street. For some reason the image has stuck with me since I was a teenager in the 1990s.

Dear Daddy, I miss you very much and I wish you would come home. I always feel unhappy when someone mentions your name. I am sorry to hear about the flu. I heard You Better You Bet on the radio and I like it. It’s not fair! Everybody else has got a dad who comes home at night. I hope you are not too worn out to come and see us again.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran


I was having a very good time – until I woke up in a Chelsea hospital with a six-inch Adrenalin needle sticking out of my chest.

Emma, a couple of years older, was already running a musical band, The Launderettes,

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Great band name!

‘If The Who appear we know we will get an additional million pounds of revenue,’ he said forcefully. ‘Every pound we make will save a life. Do the fucking maths. And do the fucking show.’

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

The persuasive powers of Bob Geldof at work before Live Aid.

When we speak about loving someone, there is always something unsaid. We love people we do not like. We like people we can never love. We might even marry or go into business with someone we neither like nor love and have a wonderful life or career with them.

Roger and I did benefit financially from John’s death, and substantially.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

The honesty and directness of this book is striking.

We would begin touring on 17 June 2006 at – appropriately – Leeds University, and the last show was to be on 9 July 2007 in Helsinki.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

I saw them in Brighton on 18 June 2006 with @matharden and have a DVD recording of the show. Loved it. (Thanks @ktdoran for the tickets!)

if you don’t like my trumpet go try blowing one of your own.

You will only be ugly when you behave in an ugly way.