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Spirit announces Townshend deal

By | Published on Wednesday 25 January 2012

Pete Townshend

Music publisher Spirit Music yesterday announced it had acquired Pete Townshend’s personal interest in his song catalogue, with plans to work in partnership with the guitarist to promote and exploit his song collection, which includes the likes of ‘Pinball Wizard’ and ‘Baba O’Riley’ and rock operas ‘Tommy’ and ‘Quadrophenia’.

The deal follows a year of negotiations between Spirit CEO Mark Fried, Townsend himself, and his management, label and original publisher. The partnership will also see Spirit work with Townsend for at least a year on wider projects, including possible brand partnerships, and will also see the publisher represent the Who man’s future works, including his in-development musical project ‘Floss’.

Says Fried: “The songs of Pete Townshend are the soundtrack of our lives. They’ve been a mirror to decades of cultural growth and change, challenging our sensibilities, inspiring engagement and forever redefining rock and roll song craft and musicianship. We’re thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity to work closely with Pete in the caretaking and promotion of his life’s work, and to help inspire his future successes”.

Says Townshend: “I am very excited about my new relationship with Mark Fried and his team at Spirit. I feel that my song catalogue is at last consolidated with one guiding company, and I’m optimistic that Spirit will keep my music in the public mind. Further, the deal provides me with the resources to start all over again in my creative career – most songwriters don’t get this kind of opportunity, a chance of creative renaissance. I am passionately committed to new projects for rock and for music theatre and I can’t imagine a better company with which to be building a new creative life for myself”.