Who guitarist brands Michael Moore a bully over song

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The Independent Online

Pete Townshend, the guitarist with The Who, says the documentary film maker Michael Moore is as bad a "bully" as George Bush, the man he vilifies in Fahrenheit 9/11.

Pete Townshend, the guitarist with The Who, says the documentary film maker Michael Moore is as bad a "bully" as George Bush, the man he vilifies in Fahrenheit 9/11.

Moore had wanted to use Townshend's song, "Won't Get Fooled Again", on the soundtrack to his anti-Iraq War polemic, which took record box-office receipts for a documentary when it opened in Britain at the weekend.

When Townshend refused, Moore accused him of being in favour of the war.

On the rock star's website, Townshend responds: "I greatly resent being bullied and slurred by him in interviews just because he didn't get what he wanted from me. It seems to me that this aspect of his nature is not unlike that of the powerful and wilful man at the centre of his new documentary." Townshend says his publishers originally refused the request to use the song because he was offered "well below" the norm. Harvey Weinstein, of Miramax, then interceded to explain what the movie was about and increase the offer. But Townshend says he remained unconvinced, not least because he regarded Bowling for Columbine, Moore's Oscar-winning film about American gun control, as "a bullying film".

He offered to view Fahrenheit 9/11, but stressed he was 90 per cent sure his song would not be right.

Townshend says he originally supported the war but changed his mind. "Like millions of others, I am less sure we did the right thing."

He added that he wished Moore and the film well. "But he'll have to work very, very hard to convince me that a man with a camera is going to change the world more effectively than a man with a guitar."

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