In honor of Rolling Stone‘s 40th Anniversary we’re posting audio from a couple of classic interviews: Here’s an excerpt from Pete Townshend’s famous 1968 sit-down with RS founder Jann Wenner in which he first laid out his ideas for what would become the rock opera Tommy.
But first, here’s Wenner’s original introduction to the interview, from September 1968’s double issue numbered 17/18:
The Who are the best-known and most brilliant expression of the most influential “youth movement” ever to take Great Britain, the Mods. Peter Townshend, the well-known guitarist, is the group’s main force, the author of most of the material, the composer of most of the music and the impetus behind the Who’s stylistic stance. This interview began at 2:00 A.M., after the Who’s recent appearance at the Fillmore in San Francisco. Nobody quite remembers under what circumstances it was concluded.
Listen to Pete Townshend talk about the genesis of smashing his guitar: