The Time Pete Townshend Missed A Who Show To See Pink Floyd

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The Who guitarist Pete Townshend influenced numerous musicians during his prosperous career with and without the band. As a solo artist and a band member, Townshend gained worldwide recognition, hence receiving the Brit Award for Lifetime Achievement. He has countless fans globally, including other rock stars who look up to him as a role model in their journey to become artists.

However, having an expanded fanbase doesn’t mean Townshend was once a young guitarist, willing to do anything to see his rock icons on stage. He naturally has his picks for inspirational and admirable acts in the rock music scene, and another British legend, Pink Floyd, is among his choices. Thus, Pete Townshend once skipped one of his band’s shows to see Pink Floyd perform and admitted that this was the only time he ever did such a thing.

Pete Townshend Has A Huge Admiration For Pink Floyd

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On November 16, 2005, Pete Townshend inducted Pink Floyd into the UK Music Hall Of Fame. During his speech, the rocker shared his thoughts on the band and revealed their importance to him. Townshend stated that he first saw Pink Floyd in 1966 at the UFO Club in London, and Syd Barrett was an astonishing guitar player. He then praised the band and defined their sound as cosmic and enveloping.

Moreover, Townshend did something no other musicians would do for their admiration. The rocker recalled skipping a Who show on January 20, 1967, only to see Pink Floyd perform live. He also took Eric Clapton to watch the band, particularly their leader, Syd Barrett. In his induction speech, Townshend reminisced about this incident and said the iconic band was the only reason he missed a Who concert in his life apart from life-threatening situations.

During his speech, Pete Townshend recalled the following:

“I first saw Pink Floyd during the Christmas break in 1966 at the UFO Club in London. It was a great club. Syd Barrett was on guitar at the time; he was astonishing. The whole band was wonderful. Roger had the most extraordinary impressive presence, and their sound was swirling, cosmic, and enveloping. You could dance to them, which was quite a big thing in the psychedelic era because you had to dance like this.

A Pink Floyd gig is the only reason I ever missed a Who show, apart from car crashes or serious illness. On January 20th, 1967, I skipped a Who gig in Morecambe to take the famous Eric Clapton to see this guy Syd Barrett play guitar with Pink Floyd. On another occasion, I went all the way to Los Angeles to take Nicolas Roeg, the film director, to see The Wall in February 1980.”

As it seems, Townshend was a die-hard Pink Floyd fan at that time, and his respect was crowned when he found the opportunity to induct the band. For them, he jeopardized his concert with the Who, and though his fans must have been disappointed when they couldn’t see the rocker, it was worth it.