The Who's Pete Townshend targeted by 'sex offender' flyers before Super Bowl

A child advocacy group is distributing over a thousand sex offender registry advisory” postcards to homes in Miami Gardens, Fla. this week to warn them of an allegedly dangerous man who is expected in the neighborhood soon (hat tip to Gawker). Their target: Pete Townshend, lead guitarist for the Who, the halftime band for Super Bowl XLIV at nearby Sun Life Stadium on Feb. 7. This comes a few weeks after similar groups asked the NFL to ban Townshend from performing at the Super Bowl, to no avail.

All this commotion stems from the guitarist’s 2003 arrest for accessing child pornography on the Web. Townshend admitted he had done so, but maintained that he was only conducting research for a memoir about his own history of abuse as a child; London police ultimately declined to file charges. It was an unfortunate episode, to be sure, but the idea that local residents need to worry about Townshend marauding their streets seems a little far-fetched, no?

We’ve reached out to the child advocacy group and the Who for comment. In the meantime, what do you think of this story?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (65 total) Add your comment
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  • Matt B.

    “Pete Townsend is a British citizen who was registered as a sex offender in 2003 in his home country for an offense related to child pornography?”

    Really? He admitted to accessing a website one time while never downloading images. He wasn’t charged therefore I don’t think he was placed on such a list.

    This seems like a case where such a group needs to do more fact checking before submitting such things.

    • Al

      Actually, he agreed to the listing in exchange for the police withdrawing charges. Even though he never acually downloaded any images, the fact that he accessed the site could have left him vulnerable to a conviction. It’s stupid because the police believed his explanation but placed him on the list anyway. The listing was only supposed to be for five years so I assume it has now expired.

      • Aldrin

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    • Imsuperfatamanda

      Oh they did! He admitted guilt and became an official registered sex offender. See for yourself:

      You can post an apology for your lack of knowledge any time

      • Dr Jimmy

        Maybe you should review the facts and that Scotland Yard issued an apology!

  • Siri

    I think it’s rather ridiculous. He’s going to be in town for a very short time and will likely be surrounded by people the whole time. These POC people must be real publicity hounds!

  • Jen

    Ridiculous. America has a lot of people with too much time on their hands.

    • Chris

      I live in the U.S and I couldn’t agree with you more.

  • Dana

    this is so strange they are just now worried about Townsend. What of all the times The Who have toured since this mismanaged incident. This is ridicules

    • Chris

      But it’s not. He’s evil, an obvious puppet of the devil. He was put on the earth to eat children and puppies… etc. There are people out there that will say these exact things all day long… and then go home and beat their own children. It’s a messed up world isn’t it?! The Who are gonna rock this year! The only thing that could one-up my beloved Colts winning is The Who playing “Going Mobile”. Cheers!

    • Deniz

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  • Emma

    That’s a really creepy photo too.

  • KEN

    Knock it off…..this is such a waste of time…..Pete has toured North America many times since….this is just a non story! A great guy hounded by a few over zealous wierdos…..go bark up another tree

  • I’m your announcer, Rock Golf

    “To celebrate America, please give a warm welcome to your Super Bowl half-time performers, THE WHO to perform a medley of theme songs from the three CSI series. That’s CSI, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and often Saturdays on your local CBS affiliate.”

    • Ryan

      You are so right. I expect THE WHO to only perform themes to to CSI shows. Those however, since before those programs, were my top 3 songs of theirs anyway.

    • Fyrkat

      Yeah, but I seriously doubt that Roger will edit out “who the f*ck are you” from ‘Who Are You’.
      It’ll be this years wardrobe malfunction…Roger Daltrey fliping the bird.

  • Via

    They should choose their battles more wisely; bringing attention to this type of non issue discredits what is likely a valid child advocacy group who may do good work within the community.

  • Joe C

    The charges were dropped, so come on. If you know anything about Pete, his explanation made perfect sense. Find something worthy of your protesting!

  • elvenangel

    Normally I’d be on the side of the advocates but…for once the hub bub isn’t warrented. He was never caught hurting anyone, downloading, no other material was found. They should honestly concentrate on boycotting Polanski’s films. I never udnerstood how we could keep allowing his films to get so popular etc considering he actually did commit a crime and then ran.

  • Lisa

    Hmmm. A child advocacy group. Who are these people? What have they done for children, other than harass a famous musician to gain publicity? Just because they say they’re advocates for children, are they? Or is this just a publicity stunt? Will they be our next non-celebrity “celebrities” when they start doing interview a few days before the Super Bowl? This is a joke.

    Pete, rock on! Hope you play Baba O’Reilly and do your accoustic version of “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.

  • Slippyal

    This is just to get their name some free press.

  • Derek

    its funny, Michael Jackson and R.Kelly were still showing up to award shows getting all sort of accolades when it was well known they were sick f**ks….i guess it would be racist to not allow them to have their asses kissed by the business, so I guess its okay to be a pedophile and not okay to be racist about it. If Pete Townsend hailed from America and was part of Motown he’d be given a ticker tape parade…f**k society is sick.

    • Reginald Iolanthe Perrin

      Amen, Derek.

      • Ramaaoutar

        WorkoutAustin on February 24, 2011 Man, so many negative plpoee out there! Yes being a trainer he does have some form and range of motion issues. As far as the building muscle comments. This not only burns tons of calories to get you shreded but this will also build lean muscle. He as you can tell is over loading the muscle with in turn will cause hypertrophy. Some of you should check on the meaning of this. Good job man! I bet not one of these negative commentors could do what you just did even if they tried in 20 mins!

    • Oxbowswife

      Derek, No more sick than someone who posts comments with “masked” profanity.

    • sultanbruno

      funny stuff, derek; and spot on — how painfully true; as for “oxens-wife”: easy honey, I’m not sure how “masked” profanity and AA pedophiles are similar; what’s your point?

  • Meme

    …and in Florida, no less.

    Do these people read the news? Florida is so depraved, Townshend is about the same threat level as the Dalai Lama. Forget the splinter in everyone else’s eye, check the plank in your own…

  • stephen

    How come the reporter didnt mention who the advocacy group is. Sounds like one sided reporting. Not the kind news group I would want to follow.

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