Simon Townshend performing with The Who
Philadelphia, 26 October 2008
10 October 1960 |
Chiswick, London, England
|Occupations||Musician, songwriter, producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, mandolin|
|Associated acts||The Who
|Fender Stratocaster with P-90 pick ups|
Simon Townshend (//; born 10 October 1960) is a British guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is the younger brother of The Who's Pete Townshend, and is most associated with The Who and the various side projects of its original members.
Simon Townshend was born in London and grew up in a musical family. He was the youngest of three boys born to Cliff Townshend, a professional saxophonist in The Squadronaires and his wife Betty Townshend (née Dennis), who had an early career as a singer. By the time he was born, his father's career as a jazz musician was winding down, while his oldest brother Pete Townshend became successful as the primary songwriter of the rock band The Who in the mid-1960s. At the age of nine, Simon Townshend recorded backing vocals to The Who's rock opera Tommy and in 1975 appeared as the Newsboy in the film Tommy.
In 1983 he released his first solo album Sweet Sound. In 1989 Simon Townshend also appeared on his brother's solo album The Iron Man: A Musical, singing on the song "Man Machines" and an alternative version of "Dig".
In 1996 after starting his own record label and production company, Stir Music, Simon Townshend released several other albums including studio and live performances. He joined The Who as a second guitarist for their Quadrophenia Tour in 1996 and 1997. He later rejoined the band as a full touring member in 2002 and has played with them on each of their tours since. Simon Townshend also joined Casbah Club in 2004, which included Bruce Foxton (The Jam) and Mark Brzezicki (Big Country) and Bruce Watson (Big Country), where he functioned as lead guitarist, lead vocalist and songwriter.
In 2006 Simon Townshend joined the European leg of The Who's tour, playing a support set with Casbah Club as well as performing with The Who (see The Who Tour 2006-2007). Simon Townshend played rhythm guitar, mandolin, and performed backing vocals.
In the fall of 2009, he embarked on a tour of the US with Roger Daltrey and the No Plan B band. The band continued touring in the spring of 2010, playing a number of dates in support of Eric Clapton. Further tours in 2011 and 2012 followed, with the band performing a complete version of Tommy.
In February 2012, he began his own tour of the UK, in support of his new album "Looking Out, Looking In". His live band for this contained Tony Lowe (guitar), Phil Spalding (bass), and Greg Pringle (drums). In the late summer and fall of 2012, he played with The Who on the Quadrophenia and More tour, which included a performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony.
Simon Townshend has released several solo albums, the first being Sweet Sound (1983), followed by Moving Target (1985).
In September 1997, Rising Records released a remixed, re-sequenced Among Us (Rising RR10105). The American re-release was put out by Rising Records, a label owned by folk singer/songwriter Jonathan Edwards. Simon Townshend toured with son Ben Townshend on percussion.
- Sweet Sound (1983, Polydor Records)
- Moving Target (1985, Polydor)
- Among Us (1997, Rising Records)
- Simontownshendis (2002, Stir Music)
- Looking Out Looking In (2012, Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Simon Townshend is married to Janie Townshend, with whom he has three children. His song "Girl in New York" was written for her.
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