THE WHO's PETE TOWNSHEND Clarifies Comments On Fallen Bandmates KEITH MOON And JOHN ENTWISTLE - "No One Can Ever Know How Much I Miss Keith And John, As People, As Friends And As Musicians"
November 27, 2019, 2 months ago
Earlier this week, The Who's Pete Townshend made controversial comments about late band members, Keith Moon and John Entwistle, in a Rolling Stone feature.
With The Who’s current shows featuring two video screens full of vintage shots of Moon and Entwistle, Rolling Stone asked Townshend if he ever got nostalgic looking up at the pictures of his fallen bandmates.
“It’s not going to make Who fans very happy, but thank God they’re gone,” said Townshend. Because? “Because they 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 has clarified his comments via social media, posting: "My interview with Rolling Stone. Headline: 'Pete Townshend says “thanks God” Moon, John Entwistle are dead; they were fucking difficult to play with".’
"This was said as part of an interview in response to a series of questions about Who history, the early days and how it is today.
"PETE! FOR FUCK’S SAKE PUT A LID ON IT!
"No one can ever know how much I miss Keith and John, as people, as friends and as musicians. The alchemy we used to share in the studio is missing from the new album, and it always feels wrong to try to summon it up without them, but I suppose we will always be tempted to try. To this day I am angry at Keith and John for dying. Sometimes it shows. It’s selfish, but it’s how I feel.
"But I am sincerely grateful to have had these second and third incarnations as a member of what we still dare to call The Who – once after Keith passed, then again after John passed. I do thank God for this, but I was being ironic in my own English way by suggesting it is something I am glad about. I can be grateful to be free as a player and writer, but sad about losing old friends. It does feel ironic, and it also makes me angry. Towards the end of my mother Betty’s life she drove me barmy, and there was a huge sense of relief when she finally passed, but I miss her very much. Love has so many facets.
"I understand that a lot of long-time Who fans will be hurt by the way it comes across as a headline. I only hope that they know me well enough that I tell the truth as much as I can, but I also tell both sides and the upside is missing in the headlines.
"Writing for Roger, and performing with him, is easier than the early days with the old four-piece band. Many of you will have heard me say that working with Roger these days can be tricky, and challenging, but that ultimately I find it “easy”. John and Keith were so eccentric and individual as musicians. They literally did take up so much musical and sonic space. As a guitar player I never learned to shred because there was never any space for it. On Live At Leeds and bootlegs from that time you can often hear me stop the music to noodle around, partly so I could think!
"The upside with Keith and John was that on tour and in the studio we had so much fun. Playing with them was hard, but both Roger and I spent a lot of time doubled up in joy and laughter even though we could have benefitted from a quieter life sometimes. It was a riot.
"To those family members of Keith and John, especially Chris Entwistle and Mandy Moon, I apologise for the headlines – and for carelessly providing the words that were used – but in the past three months I have done so many interviews I am losing focus and patience. I forgive myself. I hope they can forgive me too. I loved their dads and still do.
"Roger lost his rag at a press conference at Wembley about Brexit. I found it worrying, but I understood. We may be rock stars but we are also human. Roger and I have not changed very much over the years, but we do love and like each other these days. It’s really poignantly painful to imagine how things would have turned out had John and Keith had also been allowed to become older, kinder and wiser. The Who might have grown musically, or possibly just gone around in circles, but I assure you we would have deepened our love for each other as human beings and colleagues.
"As musicians? Who knows?"
The two surviving members of The Who - Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey - are set to release a new album, entitled WHO, on December 6 via Polydor Records,
"I Don't Wanna Get Wise", a song from The Who's upcoming new album, is available for streaming below.
The Who have one of the greatest rock legacies in music history, they’re one of the all-time great live bands, have sold over 100 million records world including nine US and ten UK top ten albums and 14 UK top ten singles in a career spanning six decades.
Now 55 years after they made their first recordings, The Who are back with their first new album in thirteen years, entitled WHO, due for release on December 6 via Polydor Records. Pre-order WHO here.
The eleven-track album was mostly recorded in London and Los Angeles during spring and summer 2019 and was co-produced by Pete Townshend and D. Sardy (who has worked with Noel Gallagher, Oasis, LCD Soundsystem, Gorillaz) with vocal production by Dave Eringa (Manic Street Preachers, Roger Daltrey, Wilko Johnson).
Singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend are joined on the album by long-time Who drummer Zak Starkey and bassist Pino Palladino along with contributions from Simon Townshend, Benmont Tench, Carla Azar, Joey Waronker and Gordon Giltrap.
The artwork for WHO (see below) was unveiled last night in New York at the opening of the brand new eight-storey Pace contemporary art gallery where the band also performed a short acoustic set. The album cover has been created by famed Pop artist, Sir Peter Blake who first met the band in 1964 at a taping of the legendary TV show Ready Steady Go! Sir Peter designed and contributed a painting for the sleeve of The Who’s album Face Dances in 1981.
The songs on WHO cover a myriad of subjects including the Grenfell Tower fire, musical theft, spirituality, reincarnation, the power of memory and ‘an old rock star that has lost his marbles’. Singer Roger Daltrey rates it amongst their strongest “I think we’ve made our best album since Quadrophenia in 1973, Pete hasn’t lost it, he’s still a fabulous songwriter, and he’s still got that cutting edge.”
Pete Townshend: “This album is almost all new songs written last year, with just two exceptions. There is no theme, no concept, no story, just a set of songs that I (and my brother Simon) wrote to give Roger Daltrey some inspiration, challenges and scope for his newly revived singing voice. Roger and I are both old men now, by any measure, so I’ve tried to stay away from romance, but also from nostalgia if I can. I didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. Memories are OK, and some of the songs refer to the explosive state of things today. I made new home studio demos of all these songs in the summer of 2018 using a wide collection of instruments old and new. We started recording as The Who in March 2019, and have finished now in late August just in time to make some vinyl... maybe even some cassettes... ready for release in November.”
"All This Music Must Fade"
"Ball And Chain"
"I Don’t Wanna Get Wise"
"Beads On One String"
"Hero Ground Zero"
"I’ll Be Back"
"Break The News"
"Rockin’ In Rage"
"She Rocked My World"
"I Don’t Wanna Get Wise":
"All This Music Must Fade":
"Ball And Chain":
The Who are to play a 10-date UK and Ireland tour in the spring of 2020. Dates below:
16 - Manchester Arena
18 - Dublin 3 Arena
21 - Newcastle Utilita Arena
23 - Glasgow SSE Hydro Arena
25 - Leeds First Direct Arena
30 - Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
1 - Birmingham Resorts World Arena
3 - Nottingham Motorpoint Arena
6 - Liverpool M&S Bank Arena
8 - London SSE Wembley Arena
Tickets on sale at livenation.co.uk.
(Photo - Rick Guest / NEC Group)