Pete Townshend

Pete Townshend

born May 19, 1945
Pete Townshend
(Photo: Robert Deutsch, USAT)
Happy birthday, Pete.
This is, of course, the Woodstock Whisperer blog and its inspiration was that 1969 festival. Many names pulled me to Max Yasgur's field that august weekend, but The Who was a prime attraction.

Some artists became famous because of the Festival (e.g., Santana). Some artists remained unknown despite the Festival (e.g., Quill). 

The Who did not need Woodstock to become famous. The Who did not need Woodstock to remain famous, but the festival is one of the many jewels in their sparkling crown's history.

And arguably, Pete Townshend is the brightest among this fab four.

Pete Townshend

Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend parent's were both musicians: dad Cliff a saxophonist and mom Betty a singer. Like many relationships with a travelling partner, Cliff (often on tour) and Betty's marriage had rough stretches. At one point they separated and Pete lived with his maternal grandmother, an experience he described in unsettling terms.

Pete's path to the famed Who parallels the path other artists have trod. Bullied because of his looks, a loner, a reader, he found music. He and school friend John Entwistle formed a band. And like some other upcoming groups at the time, Lonnie Donegan's skiffle style was one of their choices.

Another component that guided Pete Townshend's path was his entrance into Ealing Art College. One of the artists there was  Gustav Metzger who developed a style of art in which the piece destructed itself. It was this influence that eventually led to Townshend's destroying his guitar after a performance.
Like solar systems forming,  Pete, John Entwistle, and Roger Daltrey found themselves in Roger's band, The Detours.  A drummer left and Keith Moon joined. The Detours began to have some success, but when they discovered that there already was a band with that name, The Who was born (though they briefly became The High Numbers before being reborn as The Who).

With the beginning of Pete writing more and more of The Who's material, the band gained more and more fame. It was their live show with Keith Moon's crazed drumming, Roger's twirling mic, Pete's signature windmills,along with Entwistle's statue-like presence that caught fans' eyes and ears.
Pete Townshend
This blog entry is by no means be even close to thorough. In the mid-60s I slowly became aware of this band with the funny name. In 1969 I heard a lot about their rock opera and being a loyal Rolling Stone magazine subscriber, I re-subscribed and received a promotional copy of the album for free. 

At Woodstock, I had hoped they would play some of the cuts. They basically played all of the amazing album. The sun rose both figuratively and literally on the gathered that Sunday morning. I may not have been able to stick around for much of Sunday' event (I was a thoroughly conscientious white suburban college kid with rock and roll nerd tendencies), but I snapped a picture with Frank Capone's 35mm camera.

Thank you Frank and many happy returns Pete.
Pete Townshend
Sunday sunrise following The Who’s performance at Woodstock



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Jerry Hyman

Jerry Hyman

Happy birthday
Blood, Sweat and Tears
Woodstock alum
Jerry Hyman
Dr Jerry Hyman and his trombone
             Jerry Hyman was born on May 19, 1947 in Brooklyn, NY. I suppose some other people were, too. And I suppose some of them became musicians.  I'm pretty sure that none followed the same path, though.

             Jerry Hyman joined Blood, Sweat and Tears after their first album, Child Is Father To the Man in time for their second album, the 1968 Blood, Sweat & Tears.

             He played trombone for them from 1968–1970, a time period that enabled him to play at the  Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

             As broad and deep (and questionable) as the internet is, Jerry Hyman's story is a seemingly well-kept one. And that's fine.

             Luckily, there is a long interview [Interview link] with him that is also linked to from Dr Jerry Hyman's page [Dr Jerry]. Yes, I said "Dr" and that's another part of the story.
             Hyman's first musical instrument was the accordion.  In my 1950s grammar school I remember that classmates that played an instrument often played the accordion. I suppose it was viewed as a portable keyboard before there were portable keyboards.

             In any case, Hyman moved to the trombone, another less-than-popular instrument but one he had a facility for. It was that instrument that led him to salsa bands and believe me there aren't many more fun events to be at than a party with a salsa band.

             Jerry became friends with Dick Halligan, another trombone player, and Halligan offerd Hyman a spot in a new band, Blood Sweat and Tears. Hyman wasn't ready for that scene and declined. He didn't pass on the second offer.
             Life became a much busier one. Besides attending the famous Woodstock Music and Art Fair, there were Grammys, hit records, hit albums, and touring. ""We traveled 250-plus days a year doing one-nighters."

             From the outside such a life my seem like one happy glorious continuous party and likely one of those adjectives was sometimes true, but such a life takes its toll and if one has the strength it takes a strong will to walk away.

             "I think I had had enough," he says. "I had seen the experience for what it was. I had learned about, shall we say, the art of artifice. It was time for me to follow my heart and my nose. That was a grand experience because it enabled me in essence to get here."


Jerry Hyman

             After BS & T, Jerry worked in a Pennsylvania antique shop and later LA studios.

             Then Bell's palsy hit. Three times in 10 years. The disease prevented him from playing the trombone.

             Luckily he hurt his back and went to a chiropractor. Luckily because as hesitant as he was at first to try methods outside the traditional medical school science, the treatment he received helped.
             In 1983 he was graduated as a doctor of chiropractic from the Cleveland Chiropractic College-Los Angeles.

             In the early 2000s he began working with musicians whose muscle pain issues he could relate to.

             While attached to the life that LA offered, he and his wife Carol wanted something different. After searching they found New Hampshire, its coast, its art scene, and a way of life that appealed. That is where they are today and where Dr Jerry Hyman, chiropractor, helps heal.
             For him, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was a long time ago ("...shortly after the first Crimean War, yes?") and royalties from his music don't seem to know he moved.  

             As Jerry Hyman says, 'Vive Bene, Spesso L’amore, Di Risata Molto'
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