Pete Townshend claims that The Who “sort of” pioneered heavy metal

The guitarist also said that Led Zeppelin copied their sound.

Pete Townshend

Photo by Stefan M. Prager/Redferns

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The Who’s Pete Townshend has claimed that the band’s 1970 Live At Leeds album was “sort of” responsible for pioneering early heavy metal.

“[The Who] sort of invented heavy metal with [our first live album] Live At Leeds,” said Townshend in an interview with the Toronto Sun. The guitarist also quipped that acts like Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Cream with Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and the late Ginger Baker “copied” them.

Elsewhere in the interview, Townshend also said that he started the “tradition” of the home studio, citing his early work in developing sound equipment for home studios. The 74-year-old Englishman said that electronic-ambient music was also largely influenced by The Who, due in part to the band’s work with synthesisers.

Meanwhile, The Who recently announced an intimate show at Pryzm Kingston, UK, to mark the 50th anniversary of Live At Leeds. The sold-out gig will take place on 14 February 2020, and is touted to be a “never-to-be-repeated intimate acoustic show”.

The Who will also play a series of bigger shows across the UK and Ireland, starting with Manchester Arena on 16 March and ending at the SSE Wembley Arena on 8 April.

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