This Guitar Has Seconds To Live


An oral history of The Who in the words of over 500 fans.

This Guitar Has Seconds To Live is an oral history of The Who.

They smashed Rickenbackers, hotel rooms and occasionally each other. Never before had a band caused such wanton destruction on stage as The Who. Never before had a band smashed their instruments into pieces, or used feedback as a weapon to manipulate their audiences. But there had never been a band like The Who before, and no other band has ever brought the same level of danger, excitement, chaos and sheer volume to live performance as The Who.

From singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend and bassist John Entwistle starting out as The Detours in 1962, until the untimely death of their legendary drummer Keith Moon in 1978, this is the story of over 300 explosive Who concerts told through more than 500 eyewitness accounts. It charts their rise from their West London roots to become one of Britain’s top chart acts (with 14 Top Ten hits) and a gig schedule that saw them play virtually everywhere in the UK before conquering North America and the world via mammoth concert tours and attention-grabbing appearances at the Monterey, Woodstock and Isle of Wight festivals.

The Who’s albums Tommy, Who’s Next and Quadrophenia all rank in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The Who’s legacy is undiminished by time. And the sound of feedback runs through this book as fans and admirers of the band recount seeing them in action through a series of fascinating and heartwarming anecdotes and photographs.

Published on 13 October 2023, This Guitar Has Seconds To Live is a 368 page limited edition hardback available to order now.

1 review for This Guitar Has Seconds To Live

  1. Richard

    Customer review from Steven Burgess, Virginia, USA

    Five years ago I receive a message on Facebook from an English author stating that he heard that I may have seen Jimi Hendrix in concert. He said he was authoring a book of stories from fans who saw him perform, and he would like to hear mine. I was glad to assist. To be honest, I was not sure how interesting those stories would be in book form. I eventually purchased a copy, and to my surprise I truly enjoyed the reading. I discovered he had created the same format for other bands of the time, including my favourite band, The Who. I regretted that my memories of seeing them over the years could not be included. In early 2023, I discovered that the book would be updated and perhaps my story would be included. I recently received my copy of This Guitar Has Seconds To Live, and to my enjoyment the book is fantastic. As stated, Pete and The Boys have always been my band and I have always been interested in their history. I’ve been a fan since 1966, but since I live in the U.S. I was not a Mod and knew little of the era. I am about a year into their career and the insights into that time are amazing. The tales told explain how they became the best rock ‘n’ roll band in the world. The book follows a chronology of their career with the author, Richard Houghton, adding excerpts concerning unknown performances, photos and moments defining their history. I strongly recommend that any fan of The ‘Oo, or any band from that era, make this part of their reading. The book is well put together and is fantastic looking. Looking forward to finishing the stories.

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