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Pete Townshend

He is one of the most influential artists on the development of rock music in the 20th century, he plays the guitar like a rotor of a combat helicopter, and he claims that he even invented "Heavy Metal". His name is Pete Townshend and he is celebrating a birthday today.

(Photo: Ollie Millington)

Here are 10 really interesting facts about him:

1. His father was a saxophonist in the British Royal Air Force. He wrote the hit "Unchained Melody" performed by many artists.

2. He got his first guitar from his grandmother when he was 11 years old.

3. Already at the age of 12 he formed his first band "The Confederates". John Entwistle was also part of it, he played the trumpet there.

4. He is the lead songwriter of "The Who" and has written over 100 songs for the band.

5. He invented the concept of "rock opera" with the album "Tommy" from 1969. This was the first time that a rock album was written based on a complete plot story and a central character built just like an opera. Townshend was able to take all the elements present in opera, apply and assimilate them into rock and roll.

6. Pete is a multi-instrumentalist and self-taught who has taught himself to play the instruments: guitar, bass, banjo, ukulele, mandolin, piano, accordion, violin, harmonica and even drums.

7. He plays guitar on David Bowie's song "Slow Burn." It's not the only Bowie song he's playing. There's also "Because You're Young".

8. He wrote the lyrics for two songs from David Gilmour's solo album "About Face".

9. He also produced the iconic song "Fire" by Arthur Brown's Crazy World.

10. He is ranked 10th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

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