Fuzz Townshend

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"Fuzz" Townshend
Fuzz Townshend in 2015
Born John Richard Keith Townshend
(1964-07-31) 31 July 1964 (age 53)
Other names Fuzz
Occupation Presenter, journalist, mechanic, musician
Employer Practical Classics, Channel4
National Geographic Channel & More4)
Agent AV-PR Public Relations and Business Consultancy
Known for Drummer in various bands, solo musician, editorials in Practical Classics Magazine and TV Presenter on Car SOS
Television Car SOS

John Richard Keith "Fuzz" Townshend (born 31 July 1964) is a British drummer, TV presenter of National Geographic Channel's Car SOS,[1] also shown on Channel 4/More4, motoring journalist (writing, among others, for Classic Car Weekly), former technical editor of Practical Classics, and mechanic. He is also Honorary President of the Triumph Sports Six Club.[2]

The early years[edit]

Townshend's Afro hair was unique in his junior school and so, at seven years of age, his school chums renamed him Fuzz.

His mother won a Vauxhall Chevette in a national newspaper competition when he was ten; Having never learned to drive, she instead opted to take the prize in cash, buying him a drum kit from the prize money. After taking lessons from local jazz musician Al Reed, Townshend's stage debut was made in March 1977, aged just 12. By the end of the 1970s, Townshend had graduated to playing in club and college bands.

Townshend started an apprenticeship with the local bus company, the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive, Fuzz worked on buses at the PTE's Dudley garage.[3] During his time at Dudley, he recorded his first two John Peel Sessions for BBC Radio 1 and released his first single which made its way into the NME indie charts.[citation needed]


He joined former Beat singer, Ranking Roger and his band General Public, which later toured the USA under the guise of 'Ranking Roger'. Local indie band, Pop Will Eat Itself noticed him drumming with local acts and asked him to join. Townshend spent the next four and a half years drumming for the band, during which time they had successes in both the UK single and album charts and toured North America with Nine Inch Nails. Townshend started playing drums for the dance music outfit, Bentley Rhythm Ace.

His first solo release, "Hello Darlin", was released in 1996, and he eventually signed to Echo Records, in July 1997. The record charted at number 51 in the UK.[4] However, he was now able to make his first solo album, Far In, which was eventually released in the UK in 1999 and the USA in 2001, the latter being on Stinky Records headed by chief MTV/VH1 lawyer, Sabrina Silverberg.

His second, self-titled album followed in 2002.[5]

Townshend became a part-time college lecturer in 2004, lecturing in music practice and music technology and during this time, his old band PWEI decided to reform.

Writing career and garage[edit]

Townshend's first job in journalism was for Practical Classics, going on to become Technical Editor until March 2011, when he decided to go freelance, as well as starting a new classic car restoration business, Westgate Classics. In the summer of 2016, Fuzz left Westgate Classics to set up a new garage in Oldbury, West Midlands called To-Ta Classics (Townshend and Tassell Classics) with fellow car enthusiast Dave Tassell.

Townshend's latest creation is Classic Friendly Ltd, a network of classic car-friendly garages, offering comprehensive safety inspections for MoT test-exempt classic cars as well as standardised servicing regimes. He is also about to launch an inspection scheme for auction and online auction cars under the same CFL umbrella.[6]

TV career[edit]

A TV production company invited him to do screen test for a new show, Car SOS, held at his Westgate Classics garage. He was given the position and the business would feature as the show's location.

Fuzz hands over Classic Friendly Sign
Townshend handing over Classic Friendly signage to one of the Classic Friendly Scheme approved garages

Car SOS airs on National Geographic Channel/Fox channel. In the UK, the show appears on Channel 4 and More4 are showing seasons 1 and 2. Car SOS third series premiered on National Geographic Channel on 9th April 2015.[7] [8]

Townshend is also a passionate supporter of 'Classic Aware',[9] a new campaign promoting the importance of having one's classic vehicle properly checked: in the light of new legislation scrapping MoT requirements for classic vehicles made before 1960.[10]

Townshend currently plays drums for The Beat (known in the U.S. as The English Beat).[11] He is based in Bishop's Castle, Shropshire and has regular features in Practical Classics magazine as well as Classic Car Weekly.



  • Far In (1999), Fruition
  • Fuzz Townshend (2002), Stinky


  • "Hello Darlin'" (1998), Fidelity Lo - UK no. 51
  • "Get Yerself" (1998), Echo
  • Tasty Big Ed (1998), Echo
  • "Smash It" (1998), Echo
  • "Dollar 97" (1999), Fidelity Lo - featuring Murphy
  • "Bus" (1999), Fruition - featuring Noel
  • "Y2K the Bug Is Coming" (1999), MBug - Ian Dury, Jim's Super Stereoworld & Fuzz Townshend


  1. ^ Young, Graham (2013) "Rockin' robbin'... Wonderstuff star steals cars - then does them up and returns them", Birmingham Mail, 3 February 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2014
  2. ^ "Honorary President for the Triumph Sports Six Club". The Triumph Sports Six Club. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Rockin' robbin'... Wonderstuff star steals cars - then does them up and returns them". Birmingham Mail. 3 February 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Fuzz Townshend", Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 December 2014
  5. ^ Woodside, Martin "Fuzz Townshend Review", Allmusic. Retrieved 9 December 2014
  6. ^ "'Car SOS's Fuzz Townshend launches Classic Friendly garage scheme | | Honest John". classics.honestjohn.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-17. 
  7. ^ National Geographic Channel series. "Fuzz's Car SOS on international channels". National Geographic Channel - Car SOS series. 
  8. ^ Angie, Voluti (15 April 2015). "Fuzz Townshend’s Car S.O.S. first episode smashes records". AV-PR. 
  9. ^ Voluti, Angie (24 March 2015). "Classic Aware: you know your car? Prove it.". AV-PR. 
  10. ^ "www.gov.uk - Getting an MOT". 
  11. ^ Morgan, David (23 June 2015). "Iinterview: Fuzz Townshend on Car SOS, Lymm Transport Day and angry fans at Parr Hall". Warrington Guardian. Retrieved 2016-06-17. 

External links[edit]