Life of the guitarist, singer, and songwriter for The Who best known for his conceptual works, including Tommy and Quadrophenia. Townshend's music perceived, distilled and played back what felt true about a moment in time and a socio-political climate, as clearly and authentically as only the blues and the first stirrings of rock and roll in the 1950's had. What he had to say was hard-edged, perceptive, often cynical and right on. It spawned an ongoing tradition of popular music whose form, performance and the lifestyle surrounding it embodied its messages. His writing power and vitality endure today, as does his influence on younger musicians and artists in many genres of live performance and new forms of theater.