Townshend: 'I Would Have Shot Myself' Over Child Porn

The Who guitarist Pete Townsend has admitted he considered suicide in the aftermath of his 2003 child porn scandal.

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In his autobiography "Who I Am" he says he paid to download images in an "insane" attempt to prove there was a connection between banks and the illegal industry.

After admitting spending $14 on media displaying abused children, the guitarist was given an official police warning and placed on the UK's sex offender list.

He says: "It's white knight syndrome - you want to be the one that's seen to be helping".

Townshend explains he was himself a victim of sexual abuse when he was young, continuing: "I had experienced something creepy as a child. So you imagine, 'What if I was a girl of nine or ten, and my uncle had raped me every week?' I felt I had an understanding and I could help".

He reports the police gave him half an hour to decide whether to go to court over the incident, and he decided against it. "I think I was exhausted", he says. "My lawyers were as surprised as I was because everyone thought I would be let off.

"I thought if I went to court they would fucking rip me apart. If I had a gun I would have shot myself. It really did feel like a lynching".

"Who I Am" features Townshend's telling of events in his life from the formation of The Who in 1962 until recent times. It includes his first meeting with Keith Moon, an argument with Jimi Hendrix at Monterey and his potential sexual interest in Mick Jagger, which led him to recommending to his bandmates that they arrange their "equipment" inside their trousers for maximum effect during photoshoots. He also discusses his fears and doubts over being a father, life partner and performer.

The book is published on October 8.

Thanks to ClassicRockMagazine for the report.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    What the hell? I don't know what he was thinking. Anyways, I better get back to spankwire. There's some unsolved crimes that won't solve themselves.
    More Pete Townshend news: + Pete Townshend 'Wanted To F--k' Mick Jagger + The Who's Pete Townshend: 'Mick Jagger's Penis Is Huge And Extremely Tasty' Wow, poor Pete.. he really seems like a pervert according to the headlines on UG.
    After admitting spending $14 on media displaying abused children, the guitarist was given an official police warning and placed on the UK's sex offender list. As much as I hate pervs, I tend to believe he was either innocent or incredibly unlucky to get zapped the first time he DL'd some child porn. If he had DL'd more in the past, they would have gotten him for it. Once you're under the microscope, everything comes out.
    The Who and Glitter performed together in the 90s - I think it was for a charoty gig in Hyde Park. Whilst twirling his mic-stand in rehearsals Glitter accidentally hit Daltrey in the eye with the base of the stand, fracturing the bone and giving him double vision. he later said (and I paraphrase)"If I'd known he was a nonce I would've f***ing killed him." Townshend unfortunately got caught out doing research for his book, despite what you (incorrectly) think he is not a pervert or paedophile.
    Wow... He and Gary Glitter should tour together.
    Oh come on people! Lighten up! It was a joke!. He is a great musician and artist that i respect but u need to laugh every now and then.
    You know you're a worthless person when the only news about you anywhere is about you wanting to shoot yourself for downloading kiddie porn and how you think Mick Jagger's cock is big and tasty... Fuck this guy...