During a recent interview with Raised on Radio, Who’s co-founder, guitarist, and primary songwriter, Pete Townshend, talked about his relationship with David Bowie and tried to remember the details of the day that he found out about David Bowie’s passing.
As you may recall, David Bowie left us on January 10, 2016, two days after celebrating his 69th birthday and releasing his twenty-fifth and final studio album ‘Blackstar.’ He had been diagnosed with liver cancer 18 months before his passing but had not shared this information with the public.
David Bowie was a leading figure in the rock scene and is credited as one of the most influential musicians, particularly for his extraordinary work in the ’70s. He had sold over 100 million records worldwide which made him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He was awarded eleven gold and eight silver certifications and had achieved mainstream success with eleven number-one albums.
David Bowie’s passing was mourned by millions of fans, hundreds of rockstars, his friends, and his family. In his recent interview, Who’s Peter Townshend opened up about his relationship with the rockstar and said that Bowie was a very passionate man and that he was ‘incredibly hard living.’ He went on to say that he could have easily been another Jimi Hendrix or Keith Moons.
However, he added that he wasn’t surprised that his adventurous and crazy life came to an end like this. Townshend said that Bowie was a wild man who lived life to the fullest, enjoyed working hard, was always kind and sweet towards other people but that beneath all that, ‘he was a filthy rockstar‘ who enjoyed leading a crazy life. He added that he was also a little bit relieved because Bowie was in a lot of pain during his last days.
Here’s what Pete Townshend said when asked if he remembers the time when he heard about Bowie’s passing:
“Not really, no. I think what actually happens when somebody’s been seriously ill is that there’s that strange mixture… You know, he was younger than I am, by a couple of years anyway.
But when you get past your 60s in this business – in the rock business – you thank god and whatever other being you might worship for the fact that you’re still here. And I think it’s with relief in a sense that some people are released if you like in normal ways that David was.
When I knew him in the early days, he was what I would call incredibly hard living! He really did live high and he lived hard, and he could have been another Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon casualty – there’s no question about it.
There’s no point gilding the lily here or pulling back on the facts. He was a bit of a wild man; he just was so super cool, and so glamorous, and so sweet a man, so kind, and so hard-working too, so interested in the arts, and so intelligent that it disguised the fact that underneath it all he was a filthy rock star.
So no, I wasn’t surprised. And what I’m actually leading up to say is that I was relieved that his suffering was over, I think you know he’d been very ill.”
Click here for the source and you can listen to the whole interview below.