Music

Pete Townshend opens up about past alcohol abuse

April 15, 2015. Pete Townshend of The Who performs during the opening night of their North American tour in Tampa, Florida.

April 15, 2015. Pete Townshend of The Who performs during the opening night of their North American tour in Tampa, Florida.  (Reuters)

The Who legend Pete Townshend described his past alcohol abuse and how the “ridiculous job” of being a rock star fuels addiction before a starry crowd including Joan Jett and Bruce Springsteen at the MusiCares MAP Fund benefit.

“I didn’t do drugs for a long, long time,” British guitarist and frontman Townshend told the audience, which also included his bandmate Roger Daltrey, Billy Idol and Willie Nile.

“When I was at art school, I smoked a bit of grass . . . I realized — and I don’t want to offend any pot smokers in the audience because I know it’s the great new thing — but it felt to me like every time I listened to a record, I went back to the same place . . . Then LSD came along, and I had two or three trips that weren’t particularly good. I saw those funny colors,” Townshend said.

“So for the next 15 years, I just drank a lot. And anybody that did a lot of drugs, I used to feel a bit superior to them. Filthy drug addicts. At one time I was doing about three bottles of brandy a day . . . I didn’t drink any water, I didn’t drink any tea, I didn’t drink Coca-Cola. I don’t think I ate. I just lived on cognac.”

The now-sober Townshend — who was honored with manager Bill Curbishby told The New York Post, “I think . . . people that are famous often have other s - - t going on. If you look at Hollywood, if you look at Robin Williams . . . it’s like you have to accept that possibly there was something he was carrying in him that had never ever been dealt with, and maybe that’s what made him so funny . . . As rock performers, it’s a lonely job, and there are times when it’s a ridiculous job . . . And that can cause a tremendous feeling of being . . . isolated, even neglected. So you can be in front of a huge audience and . . . you find yourself saying, ‘Would they really like the real me?’”

Click here for more in The New York Post.

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