The Reason Ritchie Blackmore Called Pete Townshend ‘Overrated’

Pete Townshend, mostly known as the vocalist of The Who, impacted the 1960s and 1970s rock scene. He wrote many significant songs for The Who albums, including ‘Tommy’ and ‘Quadrophenia.’ Townshend won Brit Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1983 in return for his legacy. The rocker contributed to the music industry, especially with his rock operas. As inspired by classical music, Townshend created a particular composing style that influenced the upcoming musicians. He blended these classical inspirations with his traditional guitar playing and created a unique style.

As an instrumentalist, who has played keyboard, accordion, ukulele, and many more, Townshend is mainly known as the guitarist. His contributions have shaped the techniques used in guitar playing, and he has been considered one of the most influential guitarists. The rocker has brought chord and rhythm-playing advancements to the music world. Townshend’s mixing of blues and country playing impacted countless players worldwide. On the other hand, Ritchie Blackmore once stated Pete Townshend’s guitar playing was ‘overrated’ in England.

Why Did Ritchie Blackmore Say Pete Townshend’s Guitar Playing Was Overvalued?

Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore was asked about the first musician who used feedback on guitar in a past interview. Blackmore indicated that he was Pete Townshend. According to the guitarist, Townshend was not a good guitarist as he was only using chords and feedback while playing. As Blackmore said, he did not use the controls on the amplifier for a while.

When the interviewer asked the first guitarist used feedback, Ritchie Blackmore answered:

“Pete Townshend was definitely the first. But not being that good a guitarist, he used to just sort of crash chords and let the guitar feedback. He didn’t get into twiddling with the dials on the amplifier until much later.”

Blackmore continued in the same interview mentioning that Townshend was considered ‘overrated’ in England. However, as the Deep Purple guitarist revealed, Townshend inspired many significant guitarists like Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix. The rocker was the one who initiated many essential points of the guitar playing, as Blackmore indicated. He finished his words by saying that Pete Townshend is very successful at chord playing.

Ritchie Blackmore added:

He’s overrated in England, but at the same time, you find a lot of people like Jeff Beck and Hendrix getting credit for things he started. Townshend was the first to break his guitar, and he was the first to do a lot of things. He’s very good at his chord scene too.”

As Ritchie Blackmore declared in the interview, although Pete Townshend was considered ‘overrated’ in England, this did not change the truth of Townshend’s importance in the rock scene. He influenced many impactful names in guitar playing with his unique style and has still been admitted as one of the most inspiring guitar players in the rock world.