The Who’s Pete Townshend has been writing an autobiography since the mid 1990s, and after a number of delays, the book finally has a new title and a release date. Townshend’s long-awaited memoir traded its working title of Who He? for the straightforward Who I Am, and it hits shelves October 8.

Almost exactly a year ago, the famed guitarist formally announced that his memoir would be published by HarperCollins during the fall of 2012.

In a trailer for Who I Am, Townshend elaborates on its material, saying that he “can talk about the first moment that [he] thought about a song, what was going through [his] head.” But the book’s official description from its publisher also promises grittier tales of sex, drugs and, of course, rock’n’roll. The Who – and Townshend in particular – were known for their destructive habits, including but not limited to smashing equipment and obliterating hotel rooms. In other words, fans can expect juicy bits. Watch the trailer below.

Townshend has previewed selections from his memoir previously, starting a blog in 2007. He shut down the site abruptly not long after it started, and to this day, its URL redirects to The Who’s official website.

“The backbone is complete, all the research is in place,” Townshend explained of his book when he started the blog. “And yet, because my creative and professional life is still so active, I feel I will never catch up with the present unless I retire simply to write. To retire, simply to write, when I am already a writer, presents a contradiction. So rather than endlessly write, I am going to publish.”

When, in 2003, Townshend was apprehended by British Police for reportedly viewing child pornography online, he claimed that it was for book research. “I have been writing my childhood autobiography for the past seven years,” he said in a written statement. “I believe I was sexually abused between the age of five and six and a half when in the care of my maternal grandmother who was mentally ill at the time. I cannot remember clearly what happened, but my creative work tends to throw up nasty shadows – particularly in Tommy. Some of the things I have seen on the net have informed my book which I hope will be published later this year.”

–Jillian Mapes, CBS Local


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