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Pete Townshend books stolen from Bookends in Ridgewood after sold-out signing

Photo Credit: Jori Klein/New York Public Library
Photo Credit: Jori Klein/New York Public Library

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Someone broke into Bookends in Ridgewood and stole 60 copies of “Who Am I,” the new book by the Who’s Pete Townshend, which he’d autographed at a packed in-store appearance just hours earlier, village police said.

Townshend has been on a whirlwind tour this month to promote the memoir, with stops at the New York Public Library and on several television shows, including Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show,” “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” the “Today” show and “The View.”

Pete Townshend in Ridgewood last week

The mini-tour ends today at the Old Truman Brewery in London. Then the Who gear up for a  massive arena tour that begins Nov. 1.

Townshend, 67, read from the book Thursday night at Bookends, drawing hundreds of fans. Several books were sold and five dozen other autographed copies were stocked. Just hours later, Detective Chris McDowell told CLIFFVIEW PILOT , the books were taken.

Responding officers found no signs of forced entry, he said.

Autographed copies of “Who Am I” have been selling on eBay and Craigslist for roughly $150, making the unofficial value of the thefts roughly $9,000. Although the list price of an unsigned copy is $32.50, the memoir has been available for $17.85 on

The memoir brings fans back to Townshend’s childhood, as well to the Who’s beginnings. It features a number of disclosures — including that the famous guitarist, writer, author and blogger ripped off his signature windmill move from the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards.

He also discusses for the first time the child porn scandal that nearly destroyed his career.

Once the voice of a generation, Townshend expressed concern for today’s youth in a recent interview.

“Today, we see kids who can’t afford to leave home,” he said. “When my flatmate Barney and I got thrown out of our flat, we didn’t know how to wash up or pay the rent, but it wasn’t that we didn’t have the money.

“We were never there when the landlord came so we just didn’t bother to pay,” he said. ““One day the locks were changed.

“Now, many young people can’t even get on the ladder.”

PHOTO: Jori Klein/New York Public Library

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