Given his history for having a fiercely sharp tongue, the release of Townshend’s memoir Who I Am in 2012 was met by anticipation by his fans and a certain amount of trepidation from those affiliated with him.
Detailing everything from his childhood to the formation of The Who and the subsequent alcohol and drug abuse that soon followed, Townshend openly discussed his personal life with candid intimacy. In the book, Townshend describes himself “probably bisexual” and details a short affair he had with journalist Danny Fields.
Elsewhere, Townshend writes about his affection for Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger and how he grew worried and jealous that his co-manager, Kit Lambert, was having an affair him. “I felt a little jealous,” Townshend writes.
“Mick is the only man I’ve ever seriously wanted to fuck. He was wearing loose pajama-style pants without underwear; as he leaned back I couldn’t help noticing the outline of his ample cock lying against the inside of his leg. From then on, I encouraged the band to arrange our ‘equipment’ for maximum effect, especially onstage or in photographs.”
While the excerpts certainly caught the eye of all rock and roll fans, Townshend took his somewhat salacious comments to the next level during the promotional tour of the book: “What I remember of the size of Mick Jagger’s penis – I remember it as being huge and extremely tasty,” he said as part of a bizarre press conference and in reference to Keith Richards’ negative remarks on the topic in the years prior.
Turning his attention to his own bandmates, Townshend spoke of Roger Daltrey: “I don’t remember anything about Roger’s… and wouldn’t dare to mention it,” he added. “Let’s hope that makes the internet.”