Why Pete Townshend Couldn’t Stand Led Zeppelin

Pete Townshend

It’s unavoidable for musicians to be compared to other musicians from the same era. Pete Townshend of The Who was one of many people who became the subject of the investigation.

Both The Who and Led Zeppelin were hugely successful and the two bands respected one another. Despite his admiration, Townshend disliked the band. Was the reason related to the success of Led Zeppelin, or was it pure hatred?

The Real Reason Why Pete Townshend Disliked Led Zeppelin

Despite selling approximately 100 million records over the years, The Who did not achieve the instant success that Led Zeppelin did.

Because Led Zeppelin rose to fame faster than most bands, they were compared to almost anyone, posing a challenge to other bands in the industry. This affected Pete Townshend as well, because he did not like the band’s music, and this was especially difficult for him to accept; jealousy may have played a role.

Townshend spoke openly about Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin in a 1995 interview with Time. Though there was no hatred between the two bands, Townshend was never a huge fan of Zeppelin’s work. He stated, “I haven’t approved of anything they’ve done.” I despise the fact that I am even remotely comparable to them. I’ve just never liked them. It’s a real issue for me because they’re all really, really nice people. I just didn’t like the band.”

There were no problems between the two, but The Who guitarist was aware of the fact that Led Zeppelin was bigger than them, “I don’t know if I’ve got a problem because they became so much bigger than The Who in so many ways. But I never liked them.”

What Does Jimmy Page Think of Townshend?

His words were not one-sided. Jimmy Page had some words to say about The Who as well.

Page and Townshend first met and spent time together when they were both young. During an interview with Trouser Press in 1977, the Led Zeppelin singer was asked about Townshend’s thoughts on him. The rocker had nothing but positive things to say about his pal. Recognizing Townshend’s talent, he stated, “Oh, yes.” There is a lot of attack. Very good. But he had his limitations. He wasn’t Beck, but he was fine.”

So, despite their opposing viewpoints, it is clear that the two parties respect each other.

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