The Who's Pete Townshend releases statement over One Direction controversy

Guitarist tries to calm Twitter storm

PA
Pic: PA
The Who's Pete Townshend has denied claims that the band wanted One Direction to withdraw their new track 'Best Song Ever'.

A Twitter storm erupted earlier today after a review at music site Clickmusic suggested there were similarities between the boyband's new song and The Who's classic track 'Baba O'Riley'. One Direction fans immediately took to the social networking site in order to respond to unsubstantiated claims that the rock group wanted to have the song deleted.

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Using the hash tag #donttouchbestsongever, fans posted messages including "WE SPENT HOURS GETTING THIS SONG TO NUMBER 1 IN TURDY SEVEN COUNTRIES, TOUCH IT AND YOU DIE" and "You should be afraid, we're psychotic. If you delete it, you don't wanna know what'll happen;)".

However, responding to queries that he had sought to have the song deleted, Townshend has issued a statement which reads: "No! I like the single. I like One Direction. The chords I used and the chords they used are the same three chords we've all been using in basic pop music since Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and Chuck Berry made it clear that fancy chords don't mean great music – not always. I'm still writing songs that sound like 'Baba O'Riley' – or I'm trying to!"

He added: "It's a part of my life and a part of pop's lineage. One Direction are in my business, with a million fans, and I'm happy to think they may have been influenced a little bit by The Who. I'm just relieved they're all not wearing boiler suits and Doc Martens, or Union Jack jackets. The funniest thing is that in Canada this year I met with Randy Bachman, once the leader of The Guess Who, who told me that he not only copied 'Baba O'Riley' for [Bachman-Turner Overdrive's] hit 'You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet', but he even called his band after us. Why would I not be happy about this kind of tribute?"

One Direction released 'Best Song Ever' last month, with the track set to be the lead single from their forthcoming third studio album.

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