Pete Townshend Set Free


Inquiry into guitarist's child porn connections will continue
Posted Jan 14, 2003 at 12:00am
British police released Pete Townshend just after midnight this morning after questioning the Who guitarist for an hour and twenty minutes about his use of child pornography on the Internet. Members of Scotland Yard's anti-porn task force Operation Ore also took boxes of computer equipment away from Townshend's London home to examine for evidence. The guitarist will return to the station later this month for further questioning, but he was not charged with a crime.

In the British paper The Sun yesterday, Who singer Roger Daltrey supported his band mate. "My gut instinct is that he is not a pedophile," Daltrey said. "Pete has perhaps been a little naive in the way he has gone about it, but I believe his intentions were good."

Townshend, 57, was arrested yesterday afternoon under suspicion of possessing indecent images of children and incitement to distribute them. British law permits police to arrest and detain suspected criminals without formally charging them. If eventually charged and convicted, Townshend would face up to a five-year jail term for viewing child pornography on the Internet -- considered "possession" -- but the punishment can be mitigated if he offers a credible explanation.

Townshend has admitted to looking at child pornography on the Web but maintains he was doing research for an autobiography. In a statement released Saturday, he said he suspects he was abused by his mentally ill maternal grandmother when he was five: "I can't remember clearly what happened, but my creative work tends to throw up nasty shadows -- particularly in Tommy."

That statement followed reports in the British press that authorities were investigating an unnamed "legendary British rock star" for child porn connections. Townshend positioned himself as an avid opponent of child pornography and pedophilia caught in a misunderstanding, saying, "I am not a pedophile . . . I hope you will be able to see that I am sincerely disturbed by the sexual abuse of children, and I am very active trying to help individuals who have suffered, and to prevent further abuse."

Written by AUGUSTIN SEDGEWICK for RollingStone.com News

Add a Comment
0 Comments

Similar Guitar News

The Who's Pete Townshend Shares the Story Behind "Pinball Wizard" (12/19/2013)
Pete Townshend (The Who) “Pinball Wizard” Tommy (1969) Featured on the 1969 rock opera album Tommy, "Pinball Wizard"'s iconic acoustic introduction was inspired by a master. According to the gurus at wikipedia: In late 1968 or early 1969, when T...
Tab Book: Learn the Trademark Riffs and Techniques of The Who's Pete Townshend (6/12/2013)
Learn the trademark riffs and rhythm guitar mastery of one of rock's greatest pioneers with The Who: A Step-by-Step Breakdown of the Guitar Styles and Techniques of Pete Townshend! This second edition provides a step-by-step breakdown of Townsh...
Hole Notes: Pete Townshend's Energetic Acoustic Rhythm Style (1/7/2013)
Pete Townshend is a killer tunesmith who has penned such rock classics as “My Generation,” “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” But the Who guitarist and band leader is also among the most skilled and influential rock rhythm players in h...
Excerpt: The Who's Pete Townshend on the Writing of 'Tommy' (1/4/2013)
The following is an excerpt taken from the February 2013 issue of Guitar World. In this month's cover story, Alan di Perna takes an in-depth look at the Who's golden age. We pick up the story in 1968, when Townshend's outlook for the future of t...
Sully Time: Reviewing a Discussion, a Book and a Friendship with Pete Townshend (10/11/2012)
There are two memorable lines directed at the lead character — the reporter — in Cameron Crowe’s coming-of-age rock movie, Almost Famous. In one, a rock critic tells him, “Friendship is the booze they feed you. They want you to get drunk on fee...
Pete Townshend to Receive Les Paul Award at 28th Annual TEC Awards (9/10/2012)
Pete Townshend of The Who will be presented with the Les Paul Award at the 28th Annual Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards. The TEC Awards will take place Friday, January 25, at the Anaheim Hilton during the 2013 NAMM Show. The Les Pau...
Poll: The Greatest Guitarist of All Time, Round 2 — Keith Richards Vs. Pete Townshend (7/31/2012)
Welcome to our first-ever Greatest Guitarist poll, where 128 guitarists go head to head, round by round, in a bracketed format, all to crown your choice for the Greatest Guitarist of All Time. We filled 124 of 128 slots with the names of a host ...
Video: The Who's Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey Discuss 'Quadrophenia' Tour (7/19/2012)
Yesterday, The Who's Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend hosted a press conference to discuss their upcoming North American Quadrophenia tour, which kicks off in early November in Florida. The band will perform the entire iconic 1973 double album,...
The Who's Pete Townshend to Premiere 'Quadrophenia' Documentary at 500 Theaters on July 24 (6/20/2012)
A new documentary, The Who: Quadrophenia -- Can You See The Real Me? The Story Behind The Album, will premiere as a one-night, in-theater event 8 p.m. (local time) July 24 in 500 theaters across the US. The film, which starts off with a welcome...
Pete Townshend Autobiography, 'Who I Am: A Memoir,' Available for Pre-Order (4/23/2012)
Who I Am: A Memoir, the autobiography of The Who's Pete Townshend, is now available for pre-order in the US and UK. The cover art also was posted over the weekend and can be seen at left. The 400-page hardcover book, which follows Townshend's li...
Townshend Consoles Vedder About Tragedy (7/7/2000)
Pete Townshend reaches out to Pearl Jam in wake of fan deaths at Roskilde
Pete Townshend's "Lifehouse" Comes to Life (11/2/1999)
Townshend to release "Lifehouse" music as six-CD set
Pete Townshend Opens the Lifehouse Door (2/28/2000)
Townshend's three decades of work comes to life at London performances