Numerous guitarists made their mark on rock music history with their guitar playing techniques. In addition, some of them chose to gain prominence with their sound, while others became lost in sex, drugs, and the rock and roll lifestyle. Bruce Springsteen is among the artists who prefer to be recognized for their musical accomplishments as opposed to controversies or scandals. According to the renowned musician, there is also a guitarist in the scene who elevated rock and roll to a more spiritual level by removing its dirtiness.
Bruce Springsteen stated that Pete Townshend eliminated the ‘dirty business’ of rock and roll. In 2015, during the eleventh MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert in New York, rock icon Bruce Springsteen presented Pete Townshend with the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award. Before presenting the award, Springsteen shared his thoughts on Townshend and discussed the guitarist’s impact on him. The MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert raises funds for the MusiCares Foundation, whose programs include recovery from substance abuse, housing, and emergency financial assistance for musicians. The Stevie Ray Vaughan Award is presented to musicians who support recovering addicts at the event.
Bruce Springsteen stated in his speech that he grew up with the Who’s music and discovered himself in their songs. He praised Townshend’s guitar skills and called him the best rhythm guitarist. Springsteen continued by stating that Townshend transformed the dirty business of rock and roll into a spiritual quest. Bruce Springsteen stated the following about The Who and Pete Townshend during his speech: “As I aged, the Who’s music seemed to mature alongside me. Sexual agitation, politics, and identity. This flowed through my veins with each subsequent Who album. I always found myself in their music somewhere. The protagonist of ‘The Seeker’ is the guy from ‘Born to Run.’ Down in the jungle, ba da ba, land would not exist without Pete’s slashing, bloody attack on his instrument.
Pete is the greatest ever rhythm guitarist. He demonstrates that you don’t need to play lead by playing such incredible rhythm. It is a marvelous sight to behold. Pete was able to make the dirty business of rock & roll spiritual and transform it into a quest.” Then, Springsteen continued: “He may dislike this, but he recognized where it was noble and was not afraid to go there. I carried a great deal of that with me as the years passed. So, Pete, I’m here to offer my well-deserved congratulations and my gratitude for not only ‘Who’s Next’ and ‘Who Are You,’ but also for who I am. Best wishes, Pete!” Below is a video of Bruce Springsteen’s speech.
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