Pete Townshend published his first novel today (November 5th), titled The Age Of Anxiety. He spoke about the book to The Express and explained, "This is actually a great rock novel. Yes, it has been written by me and I come from that world, but what actually happened when I wrote it was that I didn't want to touch on the obvious. When I wrote my autobiography, I was as honest as I possibly could be. I've told my story and I've made my apologies if I need to make them."

Although Townshend has been pretty forthcoming when dealing with his penchant for drugs and booze in the 1970's and early-'80s — his womanizing over the years was surprisingly in check: "I haven't got old girlfriends in the thousands — there's maybe three or four or five and they're very important to me. In fact, one of the things that I realized when I was writing my biography was wondering why couldn't I stay with the wife I had? She was perfect in every way. It was the same with every girlfriend I had, I could have married and stayed with them, they were perfect. I was the one that was f***ed up."

Townshend, who resides in the leafy suburb of Richmond, England went on to say, "I've never wanted to live in L.A. or New York or central London. I've always wanted to live in the suburbs. I like it there. It's where I grew up."

Townshend went on to reveal that he still remains tight with some of rock's upper echelon: "I see quite a lot of Mick — I think the person I feel closest to being able to tell the absolute truth with is Mick Jagger. Eric Clapton and I, who've been through a lot together, are very good friends, although we don't see each other much."

Townshend added that he remains in touch with his Tommy co-star, Elton John: "My wife Rachel (Fuller) and I went to see him in Milan. He's working on so much stuff and he's still so funny and so alert and so bitchy. He feels to me like an extraordinary survivor because I think he could have killed himself with the amount of coke he used to take."

In regards to being a rock survivor, Townshend laughed and said, "Well, I'm still here. I feel lucky, but also a bit scarred, a bit cut up. I mean losing John (Entwistle) and Keith (Moon), losing David Bowie, losing Brian Jones, it all leaves its mark."

Pete Townshend revealed to us that prior to beginning sessions for 2006's Endless Wire — which is the first band effort without the Who's late bassist and co-founder John Entwistle — he sought out the advice of both Eric Clapton and Elton John: ["Prior to making this record, prior to recording it, I made two phone calls. I called two friends, it was Elton John and Eric Clapton. And I asked them a simple question. They both were kind enough to give me like 10, 15 minutes of their time on a very personal thing, which is, y'know, 'Please help me with this.' They just answered the question and I put the phone down. The question was; 'Can Roger and I make this record on our own?' And both of them said 'Yeah!'"] SOUNDCUE (:25 OC: . . . them said yeah)

The pre-fame Pete Townshend was among the earliest Rolling Stones fans jamming into their early-London blues gigs. In recent years, he's been an outspoken fan of Mick Jagger's solo work, and has joined forces with him on a number of occasions — most notably supplying guitar on the Stones' song "Slave" from their 1981 Tattoo You album. Townshend told us that although he and Jagger have never written together, it's not something that's entirely out of the question: ["Y'know, even very, very intimate friends like Mick Jagger, and I'm a great fan of his solo work, I think it's incredibly underestimated. Y'know, he's asked me to work on several records with him and I've very much enjoyed doing it. But he's never suggested that we write together. Now, his ex-wife Jerry (Hall) used to say all the time, 'You and Pete should write together.' And we would kind of go, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah. It may happen, it may not.'"] SOUNDCUE (:20 OC: . . . it might not)