Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pete Townshend On John Entwistle's Importance

Pete Townshend - rock's thinking man - gave some interesting insight into the significance of John Entwistle for The Who. A fan wrote into The Who's Website and asked the following:

"Roger has been quoted as saying that John's volume was a problem in the later years due to his deafness. Did this have any impact on yourself during rehearsal/on stage at all? It always makes me laugh that Roger always stood in front of John's amps then said he was too loud!"

Pete's response:
"I always felt John was more important in the Who as a musician than Roger. (Ed: steady now). Maybe he was more important than Keith or me. He was certainly a better musician. So although I sympathized with Roger’s predicament, I also knew that Who fans worshipped John, and his sound, in a way that indicated an understanding of John’s real genius.

John was never too loud for my taste. I have had more trouble over the years with noisy drummers. However loud someone plays, all I care about is that they listen, so Roger is right on two counts. When John started to go deaf he couldn’t listen quite as well, and started to guess, and sometimes his guesses were wrong. And Roger could not simply turn up his volume, but if he did manage to get louder on stage it was often his vocal screams that hurt my ears, not loud bass. Let’s be honest, we were loud, maybe too loud, but the music, the period, the whole message we carried required absolute concentration from the audience. We used volume to guarantee that."

John's playing is perfectly exhibited in the above YouTube video from the Royal Albert Hall in 2000.


Mr Moonlight said...

Hail to the OX -- he lived and died doing exactly what he wanted to be doing, not many of us can honestly say that

-- MM

Sean G. Kilkelly said...

So true.