Rhythm guitar player and songwriter Pete Townshend of The Who has held onto a long career, performing for more than five decades, and helping set the stage for genres such as punk and metal. His attitude toward his deceased bandmates Keith Moon and John Entwistle has been less than positive however, with the rock icon stating in a Rolling Stone interview: “It’s not going to make Who fans very happy, but thank God they’re gone.”
Townhsend went on to explain:
“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.”
Moon passed away first in 1978, after he suffered an accidental overdose caused by the prescription drug Heminevrin, prescribed to combat his alcoholism. The drummer was one of the most iconic members of his generation, as he became known as one of the earliest drummers to regularly employ double bass drums in his setup.
Townshend recalled Moon quite differently than his fans however, stating that the durmmer had difficulty keeping tempo. “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,'” Townsend explained.
Although Entwistle was not as well known as Moon, he served as the band’s bassist during their formative years, and subsequent reunions until his death in 2002. His cause of death was a heart attack induced by a cocaine overdose, although Entwistle was already known to have heart problems at the time of his death.
Entwistle’s performance style however, also caught Townshend’s ire as he stated:
“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…'”
Townshend spared the harsh words for his bandmate Roger Daltrey however, who recently worked on a new album with him as The Who. The project entitled Who, dropped this month and was the band’s first album release in 13 years.