Rock icon Pete Townshend sat down with Rolling Stone shortly after the release of his first novel, The Age of Anxiety, to share several firsts from his storied career. From his first time seeing Jimi Hendrix – a “cosmic experience” – to the first time he thought about quitting The Who.

Watch: Pete Townshend chats with Rolling Stone

From a New City City hotel room, Townshend reflects on The Who’s first time performing in America, alongside the likes of Cream and Wilson Pickett. “We did seven days, four shows a day,” he recalled. “And at each show I was smashing a guitar. I had to rebuild it in the gaps, so I did a lot of gluing.”

The legendary musician and songwriter also revealed the first time he thought about quitting The Who. “Pretty much say one,” he put bluntly. “I always wanted it to be as brief as possible and it hasn’t been. And this is not a judgement on them. It’s a judgement on me…Immediately I started to realise it wasn’t a job that I like. I didn’t like the travelling, I didn’t like being on stage [and] I didn’t like the fact that it all seemed like all the other guys in the band just wanted to get girls. It didn’t seem like art to me, and I’d been to art school.”

Watch the video below for more of memories of Pete Townshend’s firsts.

Watch: Pete Townshend chats with Rolling Stone

Townshend also tells of the first time he did enjoy being part of the band, reminiscing on working in the U.S. “That was probably quite a way down the road,” he says. “It may have been around the time we first started to work in the United States playing places like The Fillmore, The Electric Factory and the Boston Tea Party where we were allowed to stretch out and explore.”