- The Who’s Pete Townshend said that one of his songs was performed as a “coming out” by Playboy.
- Townshend discussed how his words were misconstrued.
- He later discussed his sexuality in his memoirs.
The Who’s Pete Townshend said that one of his songs was misrepresented as an upcoming song, even though it wasn’t. He once said he didn’t consider himself bisexual, saying he only had a feminine side. Afterwards, Townshend discussed his sexuality in a very different light.
The Who’s Pete Townshend discusses the misunderstanding created by his solo track ‘Rough Boys’
Book Who Are You: The Life of Pete Townshend includes an excerpt from a Playboy interview from 1994. In it, Townshend discussed his solo track “Rough Boys” that appeared on his second album The empty glass from 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 actually about the friends I have rich who are gay. he said. “So the interviewer followed the T’s and crossed the I’s and assumed this was an out, which it wasn’t at all.”
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The Who star discussed his feelings about bisexuality
Townshend discussed confronting bigotry. “But I was ridiculed when I was caught in England,” he recalls. “It was a big scandal, which is stupid. If I was bisexual, it wouldn’t be a big deal in the music industry.
“If I were to compile a list of men who have tried to get me into bed, I could knock off a lot of big names in the music business,” 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 discussed his sexuality in recent years
During a 2002 interview with Rolling Stone, Townshend was asked if he was bisexual. He said he wasn’t; he just had a feminine side. He saw his creativity as feminine and compared his creative urge 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 Am I: A Memoir, Townshend portrayed 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 aspect of himself and wished he wasn’t ashamed. He said a 1990 article in the Orlando Sentinel described him as bisexual, prompting his Catholic cleaner to quit her job.
Townshend eventually described himself as “probably bisexual” regardless of whether his song “Rough Boys” counts as a “coming out” song or not.
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