Fuzz Townshend

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"Fuzz" Townshend
Fuzz Townshend in 2015
Born John Richard Keith Townshend
(1964-07-31) 31 July 1964 (age 51)
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
Website http://fuzztownshend.com/

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, "Cherished and Classic Cars" ambassador for Carole Nash Classic Car Insurance, 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]

Christened Richard, his Afro hair was unique in his junior school and so, at seven years of age, his school chums renamed him Fuzz, a moniker that has remained to the present day. Since childhood, Fuzz has had two passions: older motor vehicles, and music. A combination of both interests forms the core of the TV presenter, musician and classic car expert's current career.

His mother won a Vauxhall Chevette in a national newspaper competition when Fuzz was ten; and having never learned to drive, she instead opted to take the prize in cash: setting off for central Birmingham by bus on 30 December 1975, they returned home by taxi, complete with a drum kit, Fuzz's promised treat from the windfall.

Lessons soon started with local jazz legend, Al' Reed, who just happened to live in the same street; Fuzz's stage debut was made in March 1977, aged just 12. Bands came and went and by the end of the '70s, Fuzz had graduated to playing in club and college bands, sometimes arriving back from shows and heading straight into school from the band's van.

Townshend started an apprenticeship with the local bus company. After serving his full diesel motor vehicle engineer appenticeship with the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive, Fuzz spent a couple of years helping to maintain some of the hardest-worked buses on British roads 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.[4]


He joined former Beat singer, Ranking Roger, and his band General Public, which later headed out on tour across the USA under the guise of 'Ranking Roger'. Locally based indie band, Pop Will Eat Itself, noticed Fuzz drumming with local acts and asked him to join. Townsend 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. Fuzz started playing drums for the dance music outfit, Bentley Rhythm Ace.

His first solo release, "Hello Darlin", produced in 1996, just after the birth of his first child, Honor, and he eventually signed to Echo Records, in July 1997. The record charted at number 51.[5] 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. Between these releases he also became a father for the second time.

His second, eponymously titled album followed in 2002.[6]

Fuzz 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.

Fuzz's writing career, and the birth of Westgate Classics[edit]

While reading his regular magazine buy, Practical Classics, Fuzz noticed a small news item: the publication was recruiting a new staff writer for the team. In typical can-do style, he chanced his luck and within a week found himself working in an office for the first time in his life, quickly picking up the basics of magazine writing, as a staff member of the UK's biggest selling classic car magazine. His practical knowledge and experience soon led to him being offered the job of Technical Editor, responsible for at least a third of the magazine's content, a role which he fulfilled until March 2011, when he decided to go freelance, as well as starting a new classic car restoration business, Westgate Classics.

By this time, Fuzz had also been recruited by The Wonder Stuff, as their drummer, as well as by Birmingham band The Beat.

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.[7]

Fuzz the TV presenter[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
Fuzz 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, she 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.[8] [9]

Fuzz Townshend is also a passionate supporter of “Classic Aware”,[10] 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.[11]

Townshend currently plays drums for The Beat (known in the U.S. as The English Beat).[12] He is based in Bishop's Castle, Shropshire and has regular features in Practical Classics magazine as well as Classic Car Weekly. Fuzz is also a brand ambassador for Carole Nash.



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


  • "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". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-06-17. 
  5. ^ "Fuzz Townshend", Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 December 2014
  6. ^ Woodside, Martin "Fuzz Townshend Review", Allmusic. Retrieved 9 December 2014
  7. ^ "'Car SOS's Fuzz Townshend launches Classic Friendly garage scheme | | Honest John". classics.honestjohn.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-17. 
  8. ^ National Geographic Channel series. "Fuzz's Car SOS on international channels". National Geographic Channel - Car SOS series. 
  9. ^ Angie, Voluti (15 April 2015). "Fuzz Townshend’s Car S.O.S. first episode smashes records". AV-PR. 
  10. ^ Voluti, Angie (24 March 2015). "Classic Aware: you know your car? Prove it.". AV-PR. 
  11. ^ "www.gov.uk - Getting an MOT". 
  12. ^ 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]