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 Blackie about Pete Townsend

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xanthipee
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PostSubject: Blackie about Pete Townsend   29th August 2010, 10:00 pm

Interview with Blackie Lawless
Interview conducted by Christian Marti
Date online: February 3, 2003



“Lawless Let’s Loose On The Media”


Blackie Lawless is out to make his feelings regarding
his mentor Pete Townshend clear to all. Lawless has been disappointed
in the lack of support from other artists while the scandal broke and
sent a one-page statement to the media. Blackie’s opinion is, “If your
somebody’s friend you stick by them until you’re shown otherwise.”



“I was walking on cloud nine,” is how Blackie Lawless
describes feeling after first meeting Pete Townshend. Lawless first
met Townshend at Radio City Music Hall where Tommy played and presented
him with the gold disc for the WASP cover of the WHO classic The Real
Me. Townshend told Blackie, “No one has ever done a WHO song the way
you did.” Lawless felt that was the biggest compliment anyone had ever
paid him. As a result Lawless followed up Headless Children with an
even more successful and dynamic album, The Crimson Idol. In the liner
notes for The Crimson Idol Blackie refers to Pete as his mentor and
thanks him for his “pep talk” during that meeting. According to
Lawless, that meeting was pivotal since his spirits were low and he felt
out of focus after guitarist Chris Holmes left the band. Lawless
explained “I’m just returning the favor now.”



C. Marti: What did you mean when saying, “the media DO know what they do”? Are you referring to sensationalizing?


Blackie: Of course, the thing is like a giant hay
bailer. You get in front of it and it chops you up into a million
pieces. If they had this Iraq war, that they’re gonna have in the next
six weeks than you wouldn’t have heard a blip about this. In the
meantime they have to stoke the fire. It ruins people’s life sometimes.



C. Marti: In your statement you mentioned that the Vatican is guilty of having Child Porn.


Blackie: Well that was a statement they released in
78’. I was taken back when I first heard it. Here is an organization
that in the past five years recognized Israel as a state. Within the
last three weeks publicly acknowledged that they supported Mussolini
during the Second World War, hid gold for Hitler and was responsible for
a little thing a couple hundred years ago called the Inquisition. If
they can do that, what the fuck is it really capable of?



C. Marti: Are you interested in learning about religion?


Blackie: I was brought up in a pretty religious
household. I wouldn’t say I’m a scholar but I can carry a conversation
about it.



C. Marti: Hypocrisy is something you have hated in both aside from this scandal correct?


Blackie: Well yeah, I feel like the Matt Dillon of
rock n roll sometimes. Don’t do stuff to hurt people. Why is there so
much of that in the world? Why do we need to feel superior to other
individuals? That’s a bad bad place to be. It’s a negativity that will
infiltrate every portion of a person’s being if they choose to live
their lives that way. There’s a lot of it out there.



C. Marti: Do you believe in or relate to any religion or ideal? You seem well informed about religion.


Blackie: Well there is a difference in believing in
religion and believing in God. They’re night and day because my view of
organized religion is not very good.



C. Marti: Do you believe in any ideal?


Blackie: Oh yeah, definitely. I do believe in a supreme
being. In the record I did before last, Unholy Terror, I went into great detail
as far as not getting manipulated by organized religion because of what they do
to their people as far as their institutionalization. The way they
institutionalize people’s thinking. People don’t think for themselves, they end
up being a by-product of Christianity. My father was a Sunday School
Superintendent, my grandfather was head deacon of the church and my uncle was
the preacher. So when the doors were open I was there. When it comes to
organized religions, I don’t care what anyone says, they are cults. It is up to
individuals to decide for themselves. There are five levels of existence on
this earth. The first one we go through is survival, and we move from there to
security, then love and self-fulfillment. I think.



C. Marti: Pete said he couldn’t remember exactly
how he was abused. He mentioned that he was in the custody of his
grandmother who was mentally ill: “my creative work tends to throw up
nasty shadows - particularly in Tommy.” Pete’s writing an autobiography
and wants to include information about abuse he suffered as a child.
In addition he said he wants to send his anger towards people with
mental problems that enjoy child pornography. How do you understand his
stance on things after backing him up so strongly? Can you relate?



Blackie: Sure we all have childhood memories of
things that have affected us. If you listen to psychologists and
therapists, they mention that what happens to you in the first few years
will pretty much determine how you will be for the rest of your life.
If you will, I’ve got my own theories on this, when we look at our life
we think of childhood memories. I think of children that are all inside
of me. When a child is abused by someone, and I don’t mean sexually,
lets say from a beating. The image that that child forms in his mind is
frozen forever and I don’t think that the kid ever matures past that.
Then it’s almost like another child picks up from where that one left
off. This goes on and on. We look back on our lives and remember, but
that child that’s still inside of you is going to have to have those
issues resolved one way or the other. Or they’re going to have to carry
around that baggage for the rest of their lives. And this is not just
me everybody goes through this. Those kids are always asking questions
to themselves. Whether it’s Pete or anybody else.



C. Marti: After the attacks, you were quoted saying
that a child may think, “why is this happening and where am I going to
go from here?” In your statement regarding Pete, you mentioned that
child-abuse victims are on a quest to learn how and why things occurred
as adults. You seem in tune with the pain a child may go through. How
does that relate to you as a person and isn’t it ironic that many would
never perceive you this way?



Blackie: Yeah sure, it depends on whom you’re talking
to. WASP are a subculture and the hard-core fan base understand me
fine. It’s only the peripheral notoriety that I have of people that
really don’t understand the band. They are the ones that see it and get
it in that light. To answer your question, yes I understand it, but it
doesn’t affect me because I know who I’m talking to with what I’m
doing.



C. Marti: What did you learn from Pete’s songs aside from telling the truth?


Blackie: Oh man, I learned the craft of writing
lyrics from him and John Lennon. I remember the first time I heard
“Slip kid” and he said I’m gonna run till’ my feet are raw. Conjure
that image in your head for a second. What does that look like? Have
you ever seen anybody with bloody feet from marching like soldiers or
anything like that? Not a pretty sight, you know, so I just use that as
an example.



C. Marti: Pete used his credit card to gain access
to a site. No matter what, he should have thought that over. Roger
Daltrey agreed, saying that Pete was naïve in the way he went about
things.



Blackie: Well, we’ve all done stuff we ain't supposed to. I
think the real issue here is the intent. I’m doing these interviews for two
reasons. Number one, I’m trying to keep this thing from being tried in the
world court of public opinion before anybody really understands what the hell
they’re talking about. Secondly, in an effort to get other credible musicians
to show some support here and if that can happen then we’ve done what we needed
to do. When you see images of Pete with silhouetted images of a kid, I mean
they’re trying to convict him before he even gets his day, you know? You’re
exonerated later, fine, but the damage is done. That’s what’s so wrong with
this tabloid, sensationalistic media we have in this country. I mean it’s so
sad. How long has Jerry Springer been on the air? That tells you there is an
element out there that thrives on this. I don’t know how long the National
Inquirer has been in business. It’s that sort of mentality.



C. Marti: Gary Glitter, I believe went to live in
Guam where child prostitution is rampant after getting busted. I see
that Pete is ready to tour instead of hiding out.



Blackie: I can’t speak for him or anyone, but I can
imagine that when this is sorted out that he’s going to come out with a
strong statement and I can’t blame him. I know if it were me boy, I’m a
great believer that the best defense is a good offense and I’d come out
swinging.



C. Marti: It seems like an issue of fame.


Blackie: Sure it is. It’s that morbid curiosity and
fascination we have with fame. Fame is a screwed up thing. We all grow
up thinking we want it and I underline “thinking.” It’s not what its
cracked up to be. As an artist it’s more of a hindrance than an asset.



C. Marti: A crackdown on child pornography went
down and that is a good thing. Pete got tangled in this as a result.
Are you more angered by the fact that the public received this
information before all of the facts were discovered or that his peers
did not back him up?



Blackie: Column A, Column B, I mean yeah all of the
above. The first time I heard of it my back stiffened up and I took
twenty-four hours to think what’s going on here? Than I mould it over
and I thought, “This is Bullshit,” because what’s happening to me is the
same thing that’s happening to everybody else. It’s the images that
they were plastering on TV. Like I said, the kid silhouetted in the TV
and I thought (to myself) “You fucking know better than that. You know
better than to let the media bombard you with visual images.”
This is how governments control their people. Which was with visual
images via that box you know and it’s a scary thing, the way they can do
it. Then I got mad at myself. I’m in this game, I know how the game
is played and it can still happen occasionally. You catch yourself and
you go “This is crap.” Think back to conversations you’ve had with him,
the work that I’ve studied the people I know that know him. This is
bullshit beyond compare.



C. Marti: When you first became a fan, was it because you were a guitar player and he was a guitar player?


Blackie: No, it was “Live at Leeds” that did it. It
just completely killed me. A lot of people don’t know this but I
originally wanted to be a drummer. Listening to Moon play on that
stuff, it just killed me.



C. Marti: What’s your favorite “Who” album?


Blackie: Who’s Next


C. Marti: Do you still collect their recent recordings?


Blackie: I got sent that whole thing as a Christmas
gift from the record company. I got a recording of every night that
they did on this last tour.





C. Marti: After meeting Pete a few times, was he the way you thought he would be?


Blackie: Absolutely. He would think about everything
he would say before he said it and when you looked into his eyes you
knew he wasn’t bullshitting you. I was surprised he knew more about me
than I thought he would. At the after party at Radio City for Tommy
they had a backdrop for the presentation of the gold disk and everybody
was there I mean Robert Plant, it was a huge event and I thought well,
him and I are going to do this and others are going to do photo ops as
well. As soon as we did the photos they tore the backdrop down and took
the cameras down and I was shocked and I asked my publicist, “Is this
just for me.” He goes “Yep, he did this just for you.” I went “Whoa!”
So it was a huge thing for me.



C. Marti: Pete faced the issue in an upfront manner
with flat out denial. He has four children and no prior record of
sexual misconduct.



Blackie: You know what its like, here’s where the
whole thing is so disturbing, the credit card issue aside. To my
understanding he was surfing the net with his son, this is back in 99’
and because he had been writing papers on this subject and had done his
fundraising. It’s like going to a bank and witnessing it getting robbed
and you do something to intervene and when the police show up they
inadvertently think your involved in it and they arrest you and take you
away. Yeah, you get exonerated later when the truth comes out, but in
the meantime when you are a famous person and you’re in the bank the
only thing people are going to hear is that you were in the damn bank.
So will they (news media) ever give it time later for the exoneration?
No they won’t.


Interview conducted by Chris Marti, NYC Journalist
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PostSubject: Re: Blackie about Pete Townsend   30th August 2010, 11:32 pm

Finally read it... never seen this article before, either! Very Happy

Ok, I kinda knew the Pete Townshend story, but I was missing some details, so the whole thing wasn't really clear in some points 'till I read the last answer. That's an interesting read, I didn't think there were interviews to Blackie about that particular event... thanks for posting!
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PostSubject: Re: Blackie about Pete Townsend   31st August 2010, 1:01 am

Welcome, although I'm not sure if Townsend is guilty or not. Blackie defended him from the public lynch, right? I mean, I've read this, but I'm not sure I understand Blackie.
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PostSubject: Re: Blackie about Pete Townsend   31st August 2010, 1:11 am

read this before and i can totally understand his point of view..i don't think Pete did something wrong either,but that's not the point of course..the media and the controllers of it..i mean,isn't it the beast itself? people bows and worships you when you're at the top of what you do and then suddenly when you're in trouble,you find yourself all alone,have to witness those worshippers throwing stones at you..

Blackie definitely did the right thing for defending his idol..
but i always wondered if this happened to him,who'll be there to defend him? haha kind of a hard situation for a guy who "fucks like a beast", right?
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PostSubject: Re: Blackie about Pete Townsend   3rd September 2010, 3:53 pm

principia wrote:
but i always wondered if this happened to him,who'll be there to defend him? haha kind of a hard situation for a guy who "fucks like a beast", right?

Hell yeah especially considering that his reputation in the music world doesn't seem to be really high. I mean, found maaaaaany articles talking about how much of an asshole he is and very few about famous musicians admiring him. Surely he would still have someone to defend him, but I've always thought that a similar case happening to him would mainly be an occasion to post more hate articles about the man

That whole thing about the media is totally true. You're on the top 'till something bad happens... at that point, you become the worst shit on earth. Saw that with Michael Jackson: when the story about pedophilia came out, he was constantly depicted as a fucking boogeyman and there were hundreds of articles about him being guilty... then, when he died, he suddenly became a saint and a poor victim. For some reason, I never believed that much in Michael Jackson being guilty... but I surely thought that the whole thing was SO damn hypocritical. Suspect

Can't tell much about Pete Townshend's case, as I didn't follow the story at the time, but the media attack, together with the lack of support from "friends" still suck Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Blackie about Pete Townsend   12th September 2010, 5:04 pm

Quote :
A lot of people don’t know this but I
originally wanted to be a drummer.

Talking about this, does anybody remember which was exactly the reason why he never became a drummer?
I remember watching an interview a while ago, if I'm not wrong he said something along the lines of "I wanted to be a drummer, then my parents (?) [part I can't remember] decided I was not going to be a drummer". Can't really remember what he said in the middle, though Laughing

Either way, I'd dare to say that it's better like this. If he became a drummer, history could have been very different
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