The Who's Pete Townshend Decides to "Thank God" Keith Moon and John Entwistle Are Dead
"It's not going to make Who fans very happy, but thank God they're gone. Because they were fucking difficult to play with"
Published Nov 26, 2019The Who are about to release a new album, but no matter how well-received WHO is, the band will always be best remembered for their past — something the group's Pete Townshend has just effectively shat all over.
Townshend recently did an interview with Rolling Stone, where the publication asked about the Who's current stage setup, which features video screens showing flashing lots of vintage images of late bandmates Keith Moon and John Entwistle.
The Rolling Stone interviewer writes: "I asked Townshend if he ever got nostalgic looking up at the pictures of his fallen bandmates. He snorted like an old horse."
The publication then goes on to quote Townshend saying the following in this exchange:
"It's not going to make Who fans very happy, but thank God they're gone."
"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."
To refresh your memory, Keith Moon — seen as one of rock'n'roll's most famed drummer — was a notoriously self-destructive individual and died of an overdose back in 1978. Entwistle, meanwhile, died of a cocaine-induced heart attack in 2002.
So while both have been long gone, the pair are seen as playing pivotal roles in the Who's legacy — something that Townshend appears to be trying to put behind him.
To drive home his point a little further and add a little more insult to injury, Townshend also said this of Entwistle:
"John's bass sound was like a Messiaen organ," he says, waving his angular limbs. "Every note, every harmonic in the sky. 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.'"
He then added this of Moon: "With Keith, my job was keeping time, because he didn't do that. So when he passed away, it was like, 'Oh, I don't have to keep time anymore.'"
UPDATE (11/27, 11 a.m. EST): Townshend has now issued an apology over his quotes. You can read that over here.
But hey, maybe WHO will emerge as the band's most classic album ever. We'll find out when the record arrives on December 6 via Polydor Records.