Pete Townshend and Rod Stewart, insecure careerists.

I have always been a huge fan of rock music history. Sometimes more a fan of the history of the music than of the music making the history.

I had read every single possible telling of the making of the iconic Stone Roses masterpiece eponymous debut, and then I realized I had never actually listened to the actual music.

So naturally I have recently read both Rod Stewart’s and Pete Townshend’s new books.

In my mind they cannot but be great. They are retelling firsthand some pretty spectacular times in rock and roll.

The 1960s gave birth to rock stars but the 1970s was when rock stars turned into spoiled children that everyone indulged.

Both these guys had phenomenal success over a long period. Rod is selling more than ever, the canny Scot!

But one thing that rings out loud and clear in both books is their anxieties about their careers.

Rod felt like a failure not having made it big by the age of 25. Pete Townshend constantly fretted about the worth of his work and the need to stay relevant.

They were both clearly very driven and creative individuals. And part of that drive was fear of failure.

Rod jokes about ending up singing on cruise ships. And he ponders the awfulness of having to trade a private jet for a tour bus.

Pete Townshend spread himself too thin and was his own harshest critic. He could see bad news coming a mile off.

It’s interesting to see how these people that many of us imagine having seamlessly perfect lives are in fact just like us.

I would rather be Rod Stewart than Pete Townshend though. Any day.

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