Thankfully he didn’t die before he got old, thus Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend turns 62 today. Certainly one of the most prolific songwriters of our time, Pete so brilliantly channeled his teenage angst into a lifetime of timeless songs and incredible concert performances over the last 40 some-odd years, and surprisingly continues to play concerts enthusiastically—something he didn’t always do in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Too bad his solo career has also been so iffy—I wish he’d just stop trying to top Tommy and Quadrophenia with these lame concept albums (Iron Man, Psychoderelict, etc.) and just make albums of individual songs like Empty Glass or even ...Chinese Eyes. Townshend can be a very contradictory personality sometimes, and he often does and says things that make me go “Huh?”, but there’s no denying the influence Pete’s had on me and my outlook on life.
Oddly enough, P.T. isn't even my favorite member of The Who—that title goes to the late John Entwistle—but I can relate to some of the stuff Pete went through in his youth. His childhood and mine were similar in that we were both separated by several years from our siblings—Pete was much older than his two brothers, and I am way younger than my brother and sister—thus I relate very well to that family dynamic and the feelings of isolation that come from that, as well as those "awkward teenage blues" as Bob Seger once put it. I’d like to meet P.T. someday and just shoot the shit with him about life.
“GROOVER McTOOBER”You probably know him better as Dusty Hill, longtime bassist for Z.Z. Top, who turns 58 today. For someone whose fingers merely resemble small Bratwursts, this man sure plays a mean bass. A self-proclaimed Elvis fanatic, Dusty had the balls to sing “Viva Las Vegas” back in the early ‘90s, not to mention a wonderfully sloppy version of “Jailhouse Rock” on the live side of the Fandango! album. Both birthday and get-well wishes go out to “The Dust”, as it seems he had to go on the DL this week to undergo treatment of a benign growth in his inner ear that has been affecting his hearing, forcing ZZ to cancel part of their current European tour. Hell, this guy’s tough—he once accidentally shot himself in the gut and survived—and the good news is it appears Dusty will not require surgery for this current ailment, so he should be back up and looking for some Tush in no time at all…
Happy b-day, Pete and Dusty!