Close to 1,200 die-hard Who fans packed the Berklee Performance Center at Berklee College of Music to hear Pete Townshend talk about his life and watch him perform. The legendary rock guitarist and composer was in Boston recently to promote his autobiography, Who I Am, marking the end of his American book tour with an interview, Q&A, and acoustic performance.
The Berklee College of Music Bookstore, managed by Barnes & Noble College, coordinated the event with the prestigious music school. A limited number of tickets were sold and included an autographed copy of Townshend’s book.
“The combination of interview and performance really made this such a unique event,” said Berklee Bookstore Manager Frank Moore. “Townshend requested this type of format and luckily, Berklee had the perfect facility to make this happen.”
In front of a full house, Townshend was interviewed by Berklee professor Ken Zambello. The artist spoke intimately about his childhood in post-war England, his musician parents and his collaboration with his Who band mates.
After a nearly 40 minute interview, followed by a Q&A session with the audience, Townshend gave a short acoustic performance of Who classics, including Drowned, I’m One, The Acid Queen, and Won’t Get Fooled Again, along with snippets of Let My Love Open The Door.
“Pete Townshend is a musical genius, so there was a lot of interest in this event, here at Berklee,” noted Moore. “We sold out in less than 24 hours. If we had more seats, we would have sold even more!”
The intimate and uncommon format allowed the audience to see Townshend “up close” and interact with The Who frontman in a way not typically presented at most book signings – and Townshend did not disappoint.
“This was the first time we have ever done anything like this – and it was an overwhelming success,” Moore added. “The audience was thrilled not only to hear Townshend talk about his life and music, but also to have the opportunity to ask questions and hear him perform. We hope we can do more book signing events like this in the future.”
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