Pete's Broken Guitar

The Who - Houston, Texas 1989

There are few things in this world that are worth more broken than when new, but Pete Townshend's Rickenbacker is one of them.

It was their 25th Anniversary Tour of America and the band were going to put out a live album, they needed a sleeve and I wanted something better than the obligatory live photo.

I had heard that Pete had recently smashed a guitar out of frustration, the damned thing would not stay in tune. But instead of making a big spectacle out of the act he did it offstage, leaning it up against a wall and whacking it with his foot, the guitar snapped in half and the body broke into three pieces.

It seemed the perfect thing to shoot for the LP cover, We borrowed John Entwhistle's spider necklace and got one of Roger's beaten up microphones. We built a small studio in the dressing room, Starr styled the photo of the three objects and as we were finishing I knocked out a couple of frames of just the guitar.

I think it sums Pete up quite well, and it makes a pleasant change as a way of portraying one of the worlds finest Rock Stars.