The Who guitarist Pete Townshend has opened up about how his first novel The Age of Anxiety came to be. The novel started out as a music called Floss. He told Rolling Stone, "I didn't have a desire to write fiction. I wanted something that would allow me to go off in a number of different directions. It's a multi-stranded story that touches on a number of different things which I feel will help me to produce interesting projects that rise out of it."

Townshend said that he had reservations about making music a central theme in his book. He explained, "I didn't particularly want to write a book about music. I didn't want to write a book about where the tagline would be, ‘Pete Townshend's new book — sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.' They would have said that if I had written a book about f*cking landscape gardening. ‘Sex and drugs and landscape gardening!'"

He continued, "But in fact the book is about music and it is about sex. There are people in this book that actually have sex. Now isn't that bizarre? And it's about rock 'n' roll. So, hey, sex and rock 'n' roll? Where are the drugs? The drugs are there too! Because, let's face it, everyone in the world has sex. Everyone knows what rock 'n' roll is. And everybody takes drugs. Everybody! There are no exceptions, though there might be a few Buddhist priests that don't."

The Age of Anxiety focuses on a man named Walter, a rock star who sells his band's music to Ford for millions and ended up leaving the music industry.