- The Who’s Pete Townshend said one of his songs was interpreted as a “coming out” by Playboy.
- Townshend explained how his words were misunderstood.
- He later discussed his sexuality in his memoir.
The Who’s Pete Townshend said one of his songs was misinterpreted as an exit song even though it wasn’t. He once said he didn’t consider himself bisexual, saying he just had a feminine side. Afterwards, Townshend discussed his sexuality in a very different light.
The Who’s Pete Townshend discussed the misunderstanding created by his solo song “Rough Boys”
The book Who Are You: The Life of Pete Townshend contains an excerpt from Playboy interview from 1994. In it, Townshend talked about his solo song “Rough Boys” which was featured on his second album empty glass from 1980.
“I did an interview about it, saying ‘Rough Boys’ was about being gay, and in the interview I also talked about my ‘gay life’, which – I meant – was actually about friends I’ve had who are gay,” he said. “So the interviewer kind of dotted the T’s and crossed the I’s and assumed it was coming out, which it wasn’t at all.”
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The Who star opened up about her feelings about being bisexual
Townshend discussed the fight against bigotry. “But I became an object of ridicule when it was picked up in England,” he recalled. “It was a big scandal, which is silly. If I was bisexual, it wouldn’t matter in the music industry.
“If I was going through a list of men who tried to put me to bed, I could knock off a lot of big names in the music industry,” 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 has 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 simply had a feminine side. He viewed her creativity as feminine and compared her creative drive to a desire to have children. Despite this, he said his femininity had nothing to do with his sexuality.
In his 2012 book Who I Am: A Memoir, Townshend portrays himself in a very different light. He said he realized he was “probably bisexual” when The Who released “I Can See For Miles” in 1967. Townshend said he was uncomfortable with that. aspect of himself and wished not to be ashamed. He said a 1990 article in the Orlando Sentinel portrayed him as bisexual, which caused his Catholic housekeeper to quit her job.
Townshend ultimately described himself as “probably bisexual”, whether or not his song “Rough Boys” counts as a “coming out” song.
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