‘Pete Townshend Is The Heartbeat Behind The Who,’ Willie Nile Explains

Whether it’s Willie Nile‘s teenage years or after he was offered to go on tour with The Who, the musician has always admired and idolized Pete Townshend. So it’s not surprising that Nile recently revealed to BBC Radio 2 ‘The Rock Show with Johnnie Walker’ that Townshend is his rock God.

There’s always been a back-and-forth about who the mastermind behind The Who was, whether Townshend or Roger Daltrey. The two musicians have always had sharp differences that made them have conflicts and question each other’s role within the band.

Even though Pete was the primary songwriter of The Who tracks, Roger was the voice everyone associated with the band. There were instances where the two musicians claimed that their portion of the work, in Roger’s case his voice, in Pete’s his songwriting skills, outshined the other and curated The Who sound.

Nile as an all-time admirer of Pete; even after getting the chance to accompany The Who in their summer of 1980 second North American leg as an opening act, he still believes that the songwriter and guitarist is the heart and soul of the band.

Willie Nile’s words about his rock God read:

“Hello, this is Willie Nile, and the person I’d like to select as my rock God is Pete Townshend of The Who. As a teenager growing up in the States, the early Who I saw just knocked me out. When I put my first album out, I got to be the support act for The Who and open up shows for them on tour all across the U.S night after night; Pete was electrifying his killer guitar, playing the hooks, the jumps, the attitude, the toughness just so cool loved it still love it to this day. For me, there’s nobody else is as exciting on stage as Pete Townshend; he’s the heartbeat beyond one of the greatest rock bands of all time, The Who; he’s my rock, God. Thank you, Pete; rave on; long may you reign.”

Regardless of conflicting views on the roles of Pete and Roger regarding the band’s creative direction, which has revolved around The Who’s internal dynamics since the beginning of time, Nile will forever see the guitarist as the star of one of the biggest rock bands in addition to viewing him as his rock God.