Pete Townshend

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.

Happy Birthday Mick!

Pete Townshend  as the Statue of Liberty 1983

A long time ago, in a galaxy far from here, Mick Jagger celebrated his 40th birthday, and Pete Townshend wrote an OpEd in the Times to celebrate this monumental event.

Unbeknownst to Pete, Jaan Wenner had purchased the piece for Rolling Stone and we were dispatched to take a suitable photo. 

Pete has always done anything we asked and it was decided that he should become the birthday card, and as the photo was for America the idea of imitating the Statue of Liberty came up.

We gave him a candle to hold in one hand, and a copy of Robert Greenwood's book, "Up and Down with the Rolling Stones" was placed in his other hand. To complete the card, Starr wrote the message "Happy Birthday Mick" on Pete's chest with lipstick.

By this time the light was going down quickly so we used fill in flash and took the photo in the garden of his house in the country.

The result is a happy, and fun filled photo. Perfect for a birthday card from one mega Rock Star to another.