W.A.S.P.'s LAWLESS: THE WHO Guitarist Was 'Looking For Answers'

January 20, 2003

W.A.S.P. mainman Blackie Lawless came to the defense of THE WHO guitarist Pete Townshend during an interview conducted last Friday (Jan. 17) with EletricBasement.com, saying that the latter's decision to download pornographic images of children over the Internet could have been perfectly justified.

"When somebody's had a problem in their childhood past, no matter what it may be - whether it's physical or sexual abuse — I think that people spend a lifetime looking for answers," Lawless said. "OK, somebody's writing an autobiography — yeah, that's part of it. But I also think it's the soul-searching issue that, maybe, someone might be reluctant to talk about because they think people might not understand that…to go into detail that much. Hey, I don't know about you, but I've got stuff in my past as well that I think about all the time. When you're a little kid and you're trying to make sense out of somebody older. I used to have a brother that used to beat the fuck out of me all the time [laughs]. He was eight years older than me. I still think about that! Ya know, what the fuck did he do that for!? Why was he so fuckin' hostile that he had to take it out on me all the time?! Well, to a lesser degree, it's still really the same thing, but you find yourself thinking about it a lot, trying to put two and two together. The whole pseudo-religious angle I took on the letter… To cite the Catholics … as an example, they tell you that in their indoctrination in Catholic schools, they say give us a child until he's seven — we'll set his ways for life! That's heavy duty when it comes to telling you that even they know how vulnerable a kid is at that age. Like I said, that's purely hypothesis or conjecture on my part to say why somebody would do that…to say, is it really necessary to go on one of those sites? When somebody's trying to go through a healing process, I think they may take different avenues than everybody else."

To read the whole interview, click here.

In related news, QUEEN guitarist Brian May has added himself to the growing list of people willing to give Pete Townshend the benefit of the doubt, even as the media does not. Last week, May issued a statement under the heading "For God's sake, you idiots, leave Pete Townshend alone."

After thinking for a few days about what he wrote, May decided to amend his thoughts. He now writes:

"It has deeply saddened me to see a man of such honesty and integrity so appallingly misunderstood and smeared. I believe Pete Townshend will be proved innocent of all bad intentions, but, whether he is or not, he has been carelessly thrust into a hostile glare by elements of the tabloid press in a way which risks permanently damaging both his reputation and his huge contributions to helping the victims of abuse. I say again, Pete Townshend's integrity is self-evident. He is as appalled by pedophilia as the rest of us. I would like to see some respect for a man who has done so much to improve and inform our view of the world."

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