Symbols of the world's religions



Pete Townshend

We toured America again at the end of February, by bus. In my notebook I wrote my first plan for what would become Tommy. Our first shows were in California and I went a few days early to meet Rick Chapman, who ran Meher Baba Information out of Berkeley; he drove me to our first show in San Jose in his massive old 1959 Lincoln Continental. En route he explained that Meher Baba had counted marijuana among those drugs he wished sincere followers to stop abusing, so I began to wean myself off it.

In California I met a whole group of Meher Baba lovers from the Bay area through my friend Rick Chapman. I was stunned at how many there were. They weren't brainwashed, nor obviously religious in any way. They'd lived hard, done drugs, had lots of sex and decided to hunker down to follow Meher Baba. They were a mixed bunch, often eccentric (which I regarded as a positive), and also very real. The more of his adherents I met, and the more I learned about Meher Baba, the more convinced I became that I'd found a genuine master.


WHO I AM; A MEMOIR, pp. 127-130
2012 © Pete Townshend


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