Symbols of the world's religions



Pete Townshend

Did I long for anything? I was longing for my hair to stop receding.

I tried to meditate. One summer night, unable to sleep, I got up with the sun at 5:30, went down to the drawing room, made tea and sat before an open window at the front of the house. The low morning sun played on the ceiling as flickering reflections from the surface of the river danced with the corner shadows.

I put a cushion down, sat cross-legged and tried to put everything out of my mind. After a few minutes I passed into a kind of white light state. The sun warmed my closed eyelids. After ten minutes of meditation I spoke.

"Dearest Baba! What should I do? I will accept your answer."

Immediately I heard a voice say, "Go back to The Who until further notice."

This was not what I hoped to hear.

"How do I know this is what you want? Give me a sign."

At that moment, in the window frame directly in front of me, a wildly dishevelled red-haired man without a shirt jumped up into view. His face was dirty, his eyes black, fiery and alive. He looked directly at me. "I heard you," he said.

I jumped up, ran to the door and caught a brief glimpse of a man scurrying away towards the river. I had seen him a few times, sleeping on newspapers and flattened boxes in our little front garden. I must have woken him with my prayers.


WHO I AM, A Memoir, p. 233-234
2012 © Pete Townshend


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