- The Who’s Pete Townshend said that one of his songs was described as “coming out” by Playboy.
- Townshend reflected on how his words had been misunderstood.
- He later spoke about his sexuality in his memoir.
The Who’s Pete Townshend said that one of his songs was misinterpreted as a song that came out when it wasn’t. He once said that he did not consider himself bisexual, saying that he only had a feminine side. Afterwards, Townshend considered his sexuality in a very different light.
The Who’s Pete Townshend discusses the misunderstanding created by his solo song ‘Rough Boys’
The book Who You Are: The Life of Pete Townshend including a section from s Playboy interview from 1994. In it, Townshend discussed his solo song “Rough Boys” that appeared on his sophomore album An empty glass since 1980.
“I did an interview about it, saying that ‘Rough Boys’ was about being gay, and in the interview I also talked about my ‘gay life,’ which – I meant – was really about the friends I had that was gay,” he said. “So the interviewer was kind of crossing the T’s and crossing the I’s and assuming this was an incident that was coming out, which it wasn’t.”
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The Who star discussed his feelings about bisexuality
Townshend considered the face of disaster. “But I became a laughing stock when it was brought up in England,” he recalled. “It was a big scandal, which is ridiculous. If I was bisexual, it wouldn’t matter the music industry.
“If I were to run down a list of the men who tried to get me into bed, I could list several big names in the music industry,” he said. “And no, I won’t.” He said he didn’t want to treat bisexuality as something shameful.
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How Pete Townshend spoke about his sexuality in recent years
In a 2002 interview with Rolling Stone, Townshend was asked if he was bisexual. He said no; he only had a female side. He saw creativity as a woman and compared his creative drive to the urge to give birth. Despite this, he said that his femininity had nothing to do with his sexuality.
In his 2012 book Who I Am: A Memoir, Townshend showed himself in a very different light. He said he realized he was “probably bisexual” around the time The Who released “I Can See For Miles” in 1967. Townshend said he was uncomfortable with this side of himself. and he wanted not to be ashamed. He said a 1990 article in the Orlando Sentinel described him as bisexual, prompting his Catholic chaplain wife to resign.
Townshend eventually referred to himself as “probably bisexual” regardless of whether his song “Rough Boys” counted as a “coming out” song or not.
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