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October 28, 2013

Storms and people passing

 

The big storm passed through, not too bad where I live in London, but Rob Lee our webmaster lives by the sea on the south coast and I was worried for him. The storm ended a tumultous few weeks. 

 

Several people important to me have passed away. Peter Kay, a friend and chef who designed my kitchen passed away a few weeks ago leaving three daughters. He worked for the footballer Tony Adams charity Sporting Chance for many years. He was a lovely man who had health problems all his life. He passed peacefully. 

 

Then it was Phoebe, the Irish woman who was one of the first group to come to Erin Pizzey’s Chiswick Women’s Aid – the Richmond house that Keith Moon visited, and that helped kick off Double O, the Who’s charity. Erin came from Ireland with eleven children, and was regarded as something of a saint in Brentford where she lived and died. 

 

Then David Hooper passed away. He was the caretaker and watchman at Eel Pie Oceanic for many years; he had to stop work when he was hit by a truck on a pedestrian crossing and lost his leg. He managed to end a life of hard drinking in time to be a support to his estranged daughter when she was taken seriously ill ten years ago. 

 

Yesterday I heard about the passing of Lou Reed. I’d been thinking about him after meeting Jean Michel Jarre last Saturday. He is a friend of Lou and Laurie Anderson. My heart goes out to Laurie whom I met briefly when Lou played with me at Rachel Fuller’s ATTIC JAM at Joe’s Pub in NYC. Lou seemed to have fun that night, and it was wonderful and easy for me to perform with this clear-sighted musician who I had expected to be so difficult. 

 

Finally, yesterday, I learned than Bhau Kalchuri, the Chairman of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust in India, had passed away on Wednesday. Bhau was a good friend to me, and this week has been a strange one for me, with many swerves and ups and downs, and it didn’t surprise me when I heard he had died. Many Who fans will know I have been a follower of Meher Baba since 1967. Sometimes I am unsure of the sanity of believing that Meher Baba is God in human form, as he claimed. But Anita Viellard, a light-hearted and glamorous Parisian artist I knew very well, told Baba “We don’t mind you thinking you are God, we just love you anyway.” 

 

So we had our little storm here in the UK. Nothing like Hurricane Sandy, but we know you are thinking about us just as we thought of you on the East Coast. I am very much alive. I hope Rob Lee still has a roof on his house, it is just 25 yards from the beach.

28 Responses to Storms and people passing

Claire Thomas says: January 19, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Your book, “Who I Am” was on my Christmas list this year and I am so glad my daughter got it for me. A really enjoyable read. Thank you for your stories and your candour.

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Kevin says: January 18, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Glad you’re still with us Pete. I’ve seen The Who perform Quadraphenia twice – at MSG in New York in 1973 and again as MSG in December 2012. It stands the test of time…great music , great fun always!

Reply
Michael Scarangella says: January 9, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Mr. Townsend,
I have followed you since watching the Banana Splits( Four Monkeys dressed as a band) singing “My Generation”. I have enjoyed your music and your book. I was one of those crazy people that loved your shows at MSG, it was always a great adventure to see you play.You never let us down! The Who in NYC was something to experience, I still have my white overalls.
Thanks for sharing your very personal stories through your writing, it always helps to know that others go through life’s ups and downs! It helps us all get to the Gravy!
Thanks for all you do!
Michael

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