HORSE’S N ECK
By Pete Townshend
Houghton Mifflin Co. 135 pp. $12.95
By Eugenio Garcia
Pete Townshend, erstwhile guitar demigod and
spokesman for “My Generation,” assimilates prose,
verse, music and autobiography in Horse’s Neck. In
his explanatory preface, Townshend explains the
various references to “mother” as being directed at
those who helped shape his life. “Mother” is his
teacher, his inspiration, his rival.
Townshend avoids many allusions to his celebrity
life. He alludes instead to the pressures of growing
old in the haze of cocaine madness and philosophical
addictions. He enjoys the moments when he can
speak (as did William Burroughs in Naked Lunch)
of the measured destruction of the soul in exchange
for narcotic euphoria.
In his tightest, liveliest moments,’1‘ownshend is an
able, even inspirational poet who manages to
survive the straight-razor threnody. In an early Who
song Townshend said, “Hope I die before I get old,”
but in his first American collection he denies such
an ignoble desire.
Eugenio Garcia is an Albuquerque businessman,
author and musician.