Why Angus Young Called Pete Townshend ‘Rotten’


Pete Townshend and Angus Young have made significant contributions to the music scene as the members of two worldwide-known bands, AC/DC and the Who. Townshend was involved in creating his band’s successful albums, such as ‘Quadrophenia,’ and significantly contributed to the band’s achievements in the ’60s and ’70s. Besides writing lyrics, he has also come to the fore with his guitar solos, combining classical and traditional techniques.

Like his fellow musician, Angus Young has also become a prominent figure in the rock scene. He has proven his lead guitar skills to the entire world and significantly impacted AC/DC’s sound with his playing techniques. Several musicians pointed out that the rocker is an exemplary soloist, but the guitarist has never liked being described like that. He once opened up about this issue and gave an example from Pete Townshend.

Pete Townshend Was ‘Rotten’ As A Soloist, According To Angus Young


Although Angus Young is known for his solo creations in AC/DC, he has never viewed them like that. In a 1983 interview with Steven Rosen, the rocker explained that ‘music is a song’ and does not have to contain a solo to be successful. Young stated that although people describe him as a soloist, he disagreed with them because being united is more important than being a soloist.

The guitarist elaborated on his perspective more and gave examples from the rock scene. According to him, Pete Townshend was ‘rotten’ without the other Who members, like Roger Daltrey. Young expressed that he found Townshend boring as a soloist. The rocker noted that he always preferred creating as a band. According to his way of thinking, even he was ‘horrendous’ without AC/DC.

Angus Young said the following:

“I tend to look at the music as a song; it sounds a bit funny talking about it as someplace to play a solo. My brother would beat me up. People tend to see me as a soloist. Poor people. You’d think they’d have something better to do. I mean, there’s a lot of comedy on TV worth watching. Yeah, people see that, but I don’t. I look at it as a band.

I think Pete Townshend is rotten without Roger Daltrey and The Who. He’s quite boring, actually. Or the same with Zeppelin without John Bonham. To me, it’s not the same. I mean, there are solo people who just do that sort of thing. I like it as a band, as a unit. You should hear me on my own. It’s horrendous.”

According to Angus Young, solos are not the only things that make songs sound good. He created many successful songs with his band that did not feature solos. Citing Townshend as an example, the guitarist also described himself as terrifying without his band. Young, who did not define himself as a soloist, apparently prioritizes standing out as a band.