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Pete Townshend Says Analyzing His Lyrics Led Him to Therapy

Pete Townshend
Gareth Catermole, Getty Images

Writing songs can be a cathartic process, but Pete Townshend says that it took some time analyzing his lyrics a little deeper before realizing he needed therapy. The singer told NBC’s ‘The Today Show’ (quotes via NME) that looking at some of the darker songs he’d written brought him to that conclusion.

Speaking about his childhood abuse, the Who guitarist explained, “It didn’t define my music, but it definitely came out in it. I could see evidence of it in my music that actually did lead me to get therapy to look at just that, because I could see it in the lyrics, you know, that I’d had trouble as a kid.”

Though Townshend is currently making the rounds promoting his ‘Who I Am’ autobiography, the singer-guitarist says he doesn’t dwell too much on his childhood abuse in his book. “I don’t know how much I would gain from going into it,” said Townshend.

The guitarist recently revealed that his experience as a child led him to investigate child pornography in an attempt to show how easy it was to access it. But that investigation backfired when police uncovered a credit card transaction of his tied to a site with illicit material, and he was asked to register as a sex offender. Townshend has stated that while he registered to show how easy it was to access the materials, he never viewed the file and only did it to expose the financial chain of child abuse from Russian orphanages.

In the time since, Townshend has put his dedication to exposing sex abuse by founding the Double O charity, and he says he recently received a letter from the police admitting that they knew he was not a pedophile.

Next: Top 10 the Who Songs of the '60s

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