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Who legend Pete Townshend's first novel, 'The Age of Anxiety,' hits stores today

Written by on November 5, 2019

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Hachette BooksWho guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend‘s debut novel, The Age of Anxiety, is out today.

The book is narrated by a character named Louis, a middle-aged man who’s a renowned art dealer.  The story focuses of Louis’ godson, Walter, a young rock star whose music is inspired by the 1970s pub-rock scene.

Townshend describes his book as “a mystery story, and a story about drug abuse, being a parent, creativity, anxiety, being blocked as an artist, and the psychic miracles worked by certain women in the story.”

The 74-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer recently revealed that he has plans to stage a multimedia production based on the novel that will include original music. In a new interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, he reveals more details about the project.

Townshend tells the newspaper that the music for the project is already completed, and it will reflect the apocalyptic soundscapes that the character of Walter creates and eventually presents as his magnum opus in London’s Hyde Park.

Pete says to create the real music, he enlisted composer and organist James Morgan to devise soundscapes that involved tidal waves, storms and tumbling buildings.

“I tried to do them myself first, with a mixture of electronic music and orchestral composing,” Pete explains. “I did quite well but then I thought, ‘Hold on, what I really want is that …this piece live on.'”

Regarding Morgan’s contribution, he says, “What he’s done is sensational, scary, frightening and wonderful.” In an Instagram post back in June, Townshend said he hoped to bring the multimedia project to fruition in 2021 or 2022.

Meanwhile, Townshend has a series of upcoming U.K. book signings and interview events to promote The Age of Anxiety. Here they are:

11/5 — London, U.K., Waterstone’s Piccadilly London (6 p.m. local time)*
11/6 — London, U.K., How To Academy – Central Hall (7 p.m.)+
11/7 — Brighton, U.K., St. George’s Church (7 p.m.)+
11/12 — Richmond, U.K., Kew Bookshop (1 p.m.)*
11/14 — London, U.K., Foyles Bookshop (7 p.m.)+

* = book signing
+ = in conversation.

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