Yes,Pete has met my wife, Maura, a few times. More than
once he has commented to her, "I don't know how you put up
with him." I think Pete sees in her a certain quality he
doesn't see in me and he feels that I should be more of
a family man instead of jet hopping around after The Who.
It's as if he puts my wife above me, and I can understand
Twenty-two years ago, in 1975, I went to Pete's house at a time when my wife and I had split up. He was quite shocked to learn the news, and I have to say that if I was expecting a big type endorsement for my actions ("Split up? Oh well, that's marriage for you, Jack That's rock and roll. Have a joint! ."), I couldn't have been more wrong. Instead of a gentle pat on the back, Pete gave me the biggest bollocking of my life while I sat in his drawing room at two o'clock in the morning sipping expensive French wine. He told me that I had acted the prat, throwing away a good job with the bus company, and walking out on my family. He reminded me that marriage was more than a handshake. I've never forgotten those words, "Marriage is more than a handshake." I was sitting there in shock as I watched his anger mount. I cursed him under my breath that night for not being a friend, and failing to be hip to my current status. In the following weeks, I realized that Pete Townshend was a bigger friend to me than I had ever bargained for. He woke me up and effectively saved my marriage from .me.
© Irish Jack Lyons