The Age of Anxiety book events

Pete Townshend spent the last couple of weeks promoting his brand new novel “The Age of Anxiety”, which hit bookstores in the UK and North America on November 5th.

He kicked off the series of events with a press launch at Waterstones Picadilly bookstore in central London, where he posed for photographers before signing books for everyone who bought tickets to the event.

Pete did three live book talks in London and Brighton, holding conversations and Q&A sessions with Mariella Frostrup at an event put on by the How To Academy at Central Hall in Westminster, with Chris Charlesworth at a Waterstones book event held at St George’s Church in Brighton, and with Edward Hall at Foyles Bookshop in Charing Cross Road. The book talks in Brighton and Foyles in Charing Cross Road were followed by a book signing.

Pete also made an in-store appearance at Kew Bookshop near Richmond, where he signed books for fans who queued up in rainy Kew to meet him. There were lovely store and window displays of his books to help promote it.

The Age of Anxiety has been getting rave reviews since it's release, so be sure to go buy a copy at your local bookstore or online if you weren’t able to make it to one of the book events. There is also an audio version out, which is read by the esteemed British actor Michael Jayston.

Many thanks to everyone who shared the following photos and videos from Pete's book events. Special thanks to Melissa and Gary Hurley who went to all of them, providing us with great coverage and reviews for each event!

 

BrightonChris Charlesworth and Pete Townshend in Brighton. Photo credit: Derick Bhupsingh

 

5th November - Waterstones, Piccadilly press launch and book signing

Review by Melissa and Gary Hurley

Pete Townshend did a press launch and posed for a photo call in front of a half a dozen photographers that lasted just under ten minutes. He seemed a little distracted as a female photographer was calling out his name none stop. Pete this side, Pete this way, Pete that way, etc. He was holding the book under his arms, near his face and being his usual show off self. It ended abruptly when the book slipped out of his hands and he fumbled to retrieve it before it landed on the floor. It was a good save by Pete.

The funny thing at Waterstones was that people started queuing up outside in the cold and rain around lunchtime to get their book signed. Everyone who had a ticket was guaranteed their book to be signed anyway. Go figure! There was approximately 160 people out of a possible 500 (the event was not advertised other than on Who forums) that stood in a very orderly queue waiting for their copy of the book to be signed by the maestro himself. He started off in one of his moods but he did raise a few smiles. Pete’s security guy Mark kept a watchful eye over the proceedings. Pete spent a good hour signing the books.

 

WaterstonesWaterstones Picadilly. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

WaterstonesPete poses for photographers, Waterstones Picadilly. Photo credit: Karen Geary

 

WaterstonesWaterstones Picadilly. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

WaterstonesBook signing, Waterstones Picadilly. Photo credit: Mark Kappelhof

 

WaterstonesWaterstones Picadilly. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

WaterstonesWaterstones Picadilly. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

6th November - How To Academy, Central Hall, Westminster in conversation with Mariella Frostup

Review by Melissa and Gary Hurley

Westminster was definitely a professional set up. The Hall is used for many events such as a BBC televised live concert on New Year’s Eve for the last few years, James Corden filmed his US chat show there too. TV and radio presenter Mariella Frostup was the host for the evening. Pete was on fire with her and was in his element! Although, the book was not discussed very much. I don’t think Mariella read the book or was briefed on it. The first row was reserved for the book publisher guests, but only half turned up along with Pete’s wife Rachel Fuller.

The interview with Pete lasted 75 minutes. There was approx 500 people who comfortably filled the downstairs and a bit of an overspill on the balcony. He spoke about numerous topics and very briefly about the new book. The chat focused on Roger, The Who, Pete’s arrest and how this saved him from being assassinated by the Russian Mafia who deals with illicit and illegal acts, especially pornography! Pete mentioned that he sold the rights of The Age of Anxiety for a possible screen play, with approximately 50 songs already written, and many other informative ditties. There was a Q&A at the end with questions that had been submitted prior to this engagement, which Pete answered.

 

Westminster. Video credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

WestminsterMariella Frostup interviews Pete Townshend at Central Hall, Westminster. Photo credit: Karen Geary

 

WestminsterWestminster. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

WestminsterWestminster. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

WestminsterWestminster. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

WestminsterWestminster. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

WestminsterWestminster. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

WestminsterWestminster. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

7th November - Waterstones, St George’s Church, Kemptown, Brighton in conversation with Chris Charlesworth

Review by Melissa and Gary Hurley

The event in Brighton was held in a beautiful church adorned with a stunning Greek style hand painted crucifix that seemed to be a few feet above Pete’s head. The Church was about two miles from the centre of Brighton. Well, our cab ride from the station cost more than the train fare from London. We arrived about an hour before doors open to a dark, wet and unlit church and not another living person waiting in line. It was really not like any Who event! We weren’t sure if we had been dropped off at the right church hall, but on a door there was a notice stating Pete will not be signing anything but the book. We had been let in early along with a new Who friend Lena. Took our usual seats and enjoyed the warmth of the beautiful church. There was a full house of 150 people who attended.

The event was hosted by a member of the band the Waterboys. The interview began with Pete in a very strange mood. He was a bit sarcastic to Chris Charlesworth and taking the piss out of Gary and myself. He needed to get the attention of the cold non responsive audience. He loves to get a rise out of us but we had been quick to reply to his snide remarks. He apologised but he needs to get his facts correct first before speaking out of line. This is what gets him in to trouble! Gotta love the man. Lucky we can have a laugh! Chris was very knowledgable about the contents of the book having read it a few days prior to the release as well as being a Who fan. He made some comparisons with the characters in the book and associated them to Pete’s close friends and musicians. Pete laughed it off (you can make your own judgement once you buy and read the book). The interview lasted 75 minutes then Pete signed some books.

 

Brighton interview part 1. Video credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

Brighton interview part 2. Video credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

BrightonWaterstones Brighton. Photo credit: Derick Bhupsingh

 

BrightonWaterstones Brighton. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

BrightonWaterstones Brighton. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

BrightonWaterstones Brighton. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

BrightonWaterstones Brighton. Photo credit: Derick Bhupsingh

 

BrightonWaterstones Brighton. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

12th November - Kew Bookshop, Kew book signing

Review by Melissa and Gary Hurley

After a most needed weekend break Pete resumed signing books at a small independent bookshop in Kew, one tube stop from Richmond. There was approximately 50 people waiting to see him. He arrived early with Mark his body guard and was happy to answer questions whilst signing books. Pete sat at a very small round table in the bookshop window being admired by passerby’s. He was in a very somber mood as it was cold and wet in London.

 

KewKew Bookshop. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

KewKew Bookshop. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

KewKew Bookshop. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

KewKew Bookshop. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

KewKew Bookshop. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

14th November - Foyles Bookshop, Charing Cross Road, London in conversation with Edward Hall

Review by Melissa and Gary Hurley

The final engagement for this junket was at Foyles, the leading bookshop in London. The room was stark white with good amplification and lighting. We still couldn’t hear the people asking questions during the Q & A. Good job Pete was wearing his hearing aids! Edward Hall had read the book in advance but didn’t have posted notes in the book to refer back to for asking questions. The highlight was Pete reading a portion from his book. Pete was very animated throughout the interview and was very engaging. He was praising and also taking the piss out of Roger. What else is new?

Finally, we enjoyed the four or so hours with three different interviewers and had been happy to see old and new friends. It was also a little awkward seeing Pete so often in such a short period that we couldn’t even look at each other as it was becoming a routine.

 

Foyles Bookshop. Video credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

Foyles Bookshop. Video credit: Mike Baess

 

FoylesFoyles Bookshop. Photo credit: Mike Baess

 

FoylesFoyles Bookshop. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

FoylesFoyles Bookshop. Photo credit: Kate Keehan

 

FoylesFoyles Bookshop. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

FoylesFoyles Bookshop. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

FoylesFoyles Bookshop. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

FoylesFoyles Bookshop. Photo credit: Mike Baess

 

FoylesFoyles Bookshop. Photo credit: Gary and Melissa Hurley

 

FoylesFoyles Bookshop. Photo credit: Dan DiCarlo