The Who Live

Pete Townshend Says Former Who Bandmates Were F***king Difficult!

David Layde
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The Who expect to get 2020 off to a great start. These legends have rocked for the last 55 years and are now about to release their first album in 13 years, named simply ‘Who’.

Its due out on December 6th, their “Moving On! Tour” is scheduled to start in the summer and according to Consequence of Sound, their musical Tommy is being revived on Broadway.

Pete Townshend in a recent interview revealed just what a rock icon’s life is like at this stage in his career. The legendary guitarist was asked how he felt about having lost so many of his former bandmates.

Surprisingly, Townsend spoke of drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle, saying: “Thank God they’re are gone.“ Moon had died in 1978 from a drug overdose, while Entwistle passed away from a cocaine-induced heart attack in 2002.

Townshend said in his interview with Rolling Stone that both “were fucking difficult to play with. They never ever managed to create bands for themselves.

I think my musical discipline, my musical efficiency as a rhythm player, held the band together.” Townshend said that Entwistle’s playing tended to overshadow his own and “John’s bass sound was like a Messiaen organ, every note, every harmonic in the sky.”

He continued, “When he passed away and I did the first few shows without him, with Pino [Palladino] on bass, he was playing without all that stuff…. I said, ‘Wow, I have a job.’

On the other hand, Moon gave him more work to do in the band. “With Keith, my job was keeping time, because he didn’t do that,” Townshend recalled. “So when he passed away, it was like, ‘Oh, I don’t have to keep time anymore.’”

Townshend acknowledged that without Entwistle, he wouldn’t have got to where he is now, however he seems to have no sentimental feelings for his former bandmates and little enough for his current one, Roger Daltry.

UPDATE

Townshend has shared a statement on Facebook clarifying his remarks on Moon and Entwistle.

The axeman said he’s “grateful” The Who have been able to continue after losing two members of their classic lineup, and that he “was being ironic in my own English way by suggesting it is something I am glad about. The upside with Keith and John was that on tour and in the studio we had so much fun.”

Meanwhile, from recent interviews given separately by Townsend and Daltry it is obvious that the relationship between the pair is both tense and distant.

While they both say they “care about” and “like” each other, they choose to stay in different hotels while on the road. “We’re not a band anymore. There’s a lot of people who don’t like it when I say it, but we’re just not a fucking band.

Even when we were, I used to sit there thinking, ‘This is a fucking waste of time. Take 26 because Keith Moon has had one glass of brandy too many.’”

Much more is revealed in the full Rolling Stone interview and it makes you wonder how the remaining members of The Who are still able to put on amazing shows, despite all their differences.