, Simon 892:
He Did It
On His Own
By JONATHAN TAKIFF
Daily News Music Writer
ne moment. Simon Townshend
is ultradefensive about accu-
sations he's “riding the coat-
tails" of his relations.
"I’ve gotten where l have on my
own." insists this handsome, young
(21) British singer/songwriter, who
debuts locally at the Chestnut Caba—
ret tonight. “I‘ve worked hard. and
never asked for any favors."
But in virtually the next breath.
Townshend is happily spilling a clas-
sic. born-in-theguitar-case career
saga. tying him by heredity and good
fortune to one of rock's reigning
“Both my mum and dad were pro-
fessional performers." related Simon
in a recent trans-Atlantic phone chat.
“Bessie was a singer and Cliff a saxo-
: phonist/clarinetist." They met.
7’ worked and wooed in a wartime
19403 British jazz band called Ronnie
Aldrich's Squadronaires. “It was
‘ apparently a very popular hand,"
says Simon. "My dad tells me that he
even had groupies chasing after him
at the train stations."
Inﬂuencing Simon's career much
more was his elder (by 16 years)
5 “bruvver.” Pete Townshend .— sing-
ger. songwriter and guitarist for The
f Who. One of Simon‘s earliest recol-
lections. from when he was just
three. ls of visiting a club to take in a .
Who performance, and being perma-
nently smitten by rock and roll. “It
was just a pub gig. back when the
group was just starting to attract a
following. But to me, they were al-
ways stars. from the very start.“
Simon's ﬁrst guitar. presented to
him at Christmas when he was eight. .
was one of the cheap jobs Pete had
smashed up on stage — and later
_ glued back together. “From there on.
Shno- Tm‘ defensive