Brian May, Pete Townshend join benefit single for London high-rise fire victims; Townshend says he knew victims

Tim P. Whitby/Tim P. Whitby/Getty ImagesThe Who’s Pete Townshend is joining his band mate Roger Daltrey in Artists for Grenfell — the all-star group working on a charity single version of Simon & Garfunkel‘s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” to benefit the victims of the horrific Grenfell Tower fire in London last week that killed dozens and left many more homeless.

Townshend tells The Daily Mirror he knew four families who lived in the tower, which is not far from the Sheppard’s Bush neighborhood where he grew up.

“They’re not OK,” Townshend said. “A mother lost her daughter, two little girls were in comas. So I’ve been right in there helping with those families.”  Townshend said he’d written some checks, and managed to get a piano for one youngster.

“They got a piano up 10 flights and of course it’s gone now, so I managed to get her a piano,” he said.

Artists for Grenfell is being spearheaded by American Idol creator Simon Cowell.  Townshend said he recorded a guitar part for the single on Sunday.  “It’s fantastic, I promise you you’re going to love it,” he said. “What they’ve done is so great.”

Townshend is not the only rock guitar legend lending his talents to Cowell’s effort. Queen guitarist Brian May, who is on tour in the U.S., recorded a part here for use on the track.  He posted a picture on Instagram of himself recording on stage in Anaheim.  “Job done!” he wrote. “Simon Cowell’s team are working on the track in Sarm Studios — close to where the Grenfell disaster happened — and a studio where so much of our old material was recorded.”

May added, “…and of course this is my neighbourhood too — so I had to volunteer my services to help the families who are suffering so much.”

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