Sunday, December 23, 2012

the last book I ever read (Pete Townshend's Who I Am, excerpt nine)

from Who I Am: A Memoir by Pete Townshend:

We flew to LA the next day for the West Coast premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, complete with Klieg lamps combing the sky, then the London premiere at Leicester Square. Reviews were mixed, but I didn’t care. The film was grossing large amounts of money, and Stigwood’s accounting to us was very fast. We had become used to waiting for performance income to drift in six to nine months after a tour, so it was a shock to see millions of pounds accruing in The Who group bank account just two months after the film was released. It was a nice problem to have, but we were all concerned that the income would be taxed into oblivion should any of us choose to take the profits personally. We had no current tax schemes, and – apart from Keith, who wanted to live in California – no desire to move to another country.

Roger was still involved in the last weeks of shooting Lisztomania with Ken Russell. When the band convened at Shepperton studios for recording, Roger arrived in a twin-engined Jet Ranger helicopter, and announced that he owned it. Thirty minutes later he flew out again. Roger’s home was in West Sussex, so the helicopter was certainly useful, but we all found it strange. With the release of the movie Roger had become ostentatiously rich, a superstar teenybopper sex object, complete with helicopter.

Keith was clearly jealous – the two of them seemed to compete over such mine-is-bigger-than-yours displays. He gazed at Roger’s helicopter dwindling in the distance, and I could tell he longed for something equally impressive.

Did I long for anything? I was longing for my hair to stop receding.

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