“[Metzger] had a profound effect on me,” Townshend recalled long afterward. “I really believed it was my responsibility to start a rock band that would only last three months, an auto-destructive rock group. The Who would have been the first punk band except that we had a hit.”
And then another. Three months stretched into three decades. No longer forced to fret (no pun intended) about mounting luthier bills, Townshend devoted himself not just to music, but to cultivating spirituality and sobriety, and tending his often-quirky charitable endeavors (of which this is a too-modest sketch).
Alas, it was that last powerful (and almost always unharnessed) instinct that got Townshend into the trouble of his life—but rarely mentioned is the accidental role Gustav Metzger played in that particular ruination.