I first met Pete Townshend eight years ago, when I was covering the Who's 2000 reunion tour as one of my first assignments for Rolling Stone. Ever since, we've maintained an e-mail correspondence – and a few days after the Rock Honors, he sent me his postmortem. "I had an idea for a stunt – if Viacom is VH1, and they own Rock Band, what about giving me a plastic guitar to smash on the show?" he writes. "Even better, what about giving me five hundred thousand plastic guitars to smash on the show? Then I thought, hey, I don't want to smash plastic guitars, I want to smash the Xbox computers, the DVD drives, the expensive bit made of wire and metal. And you know, I really do. When I get home I'm going to do it. This is Jetsons time we live in. Imagine, soon it will be 2011. That is most definitely going to be a Jetsons year. Even oil will be plastic in 2011 and marketed by Viacom. And available only in grey, pink or orange."
This story is from the August 7th, 2008 issue of Rolling Stone.