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Pete Townshend, the legendary guitarist and songwriter for The Who, is one of the most decorated rock stars alive. He’s been inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, received Kennedy Center Honors, and lifetime-achievement awards from both the Brit Awards and the Grammys. Pete’s iconic power chord-guitar style and early use of synthesizers established him as a musical innovator in the ’60s and ’70s.

After a string of chart-topping singles in the early ’60s, Pete set to work writing the first-ever rock opera, a project that became the double album TommyTommy is widely recognized as The Who’s breakout record, and is considered a masterpiece by many critics.

Following its release, Pete started writing songs and a script for a sci-fi epic called Life House. After that project was scrapped, the songs wound up on different releases from the band over the next decade including their 1971 classic, Who’s Next.

Last month The Who released an epic box set called Who’s Next/Life House that contains 155 tracks, 89 of which are unreleased. The set also includes a graphic novel, unheard demos, complete live concerts, posters and collectable pins.

On today’s episode Justin Richmond talks to Pete Townshend about how some of the ill-fated effects of technology that he predicted on Life House have come to pass. Pete also explains why he decided to target a specifically male audience when writing music for The Who. And he gives an unexpected take on the Grateful Dead and San Francisco’s music scene in the ’60s.

You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Pete Townshend songs HERE.

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