Pete Townshend On Keith Moon & John Entwistle - "Thank God They're Gone"

November 26, 2019
 Singer Roger Daltrey (L) and guitarist Pete Townshend of The Who perform in 2017

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey were the subject of a lengthy Rolling Stone profile about the current state of The Who. For a band that's in the twilight of their career, Townshend isn't really feeling nostalgic about the past. 

When asked whether or not he gets nostalgic during concerts when photos of his deceased bandmates Keith Moon and John Entwistle are shown on the video screen, Townshend had a blunt response.

“It’s not going to make Who fans very happy, but thank God they’re gone.”

When asked to elaborate, Townshend continued,

“Because they were f*****g 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.”

Regarding bassist John Entwistle, Townshend said, “John’s bass sound was like a Messiaen organ. 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.’”

When it came to drummer Keith Moon, Townshend felt as if he was forced to take on more work in the band. “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,'” he said.

Townshend admitted the days of feeling like a band are long over, if they were even there in the first place.

“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 f*****g band. Even when we were, I used to sit there thinking, ‘This is a f*****g waste of time. Take 26 because Keith Moon has had one glass of brandy too many,'" he said.

 

 

Related: Pete Townshend - "I Don't Think Rock Is Quite 'Dead', But It Seems To Be Ailing"