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Pete Townshend on Keith Moon & John Entwistle: 'Thank God they're gone'

The Who's Pete Townshend © Getty

The Who’s Pete Townshend has said “thank God” Keith Moon and John Entwistle are “gone” as “they were f***ing difficult to play with.”

In a new interview with Rolling Stone to promote The Who’s new album ‘Who’, Townshend was asked if he ever gets nostalgic when video footage of Keith Moon and John Entwistle is shown on the screens at their live shows. 

According to the magazine, Townshend ‘snorted like an old horse’ at the question before replying: “It’s not going to make Who fans very happy, but thank God they’re gone.”

Asked why he’s relieved, Townshend explained: “Because they were f***ing 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.”

Commenting on John Entwistle further, Townshend added: “John’s bass sound was like a Messiaen organ. Every note, every harmonic in the sky. When he passed away (in June 2002) 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.’ ”


© Getty

Turning his attention to Keith Moon, who died in 1978, he continued: “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.’”

Elsewhere in the interview, Townsend insisted that with only two core members left, The Who technically aren’t a band nowadays.

“We’re not a band anymore,” he explained. “There’s a lot of people who don’t like it when I say it, but we’re just not a f***ing band. Even when we were, I used to sit there thinking, ‘This is a f***ing waste of time. Take 26 because Keith Moon has had one glass of brandy too many.’” 

The Who’s twelfth studio album ‘Who’ is released on Friday 6th December via Polydor Records. 

Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and co. then head out on a nine-date UK arena tour in spring 2020 to support the album. Catch them at the following shows:

MARCH 2020 
Manchester Arena – 16th
Newcastle Metro Radio Arena – 21st
Glasgow The SSE Hydro – 23rd
Leeds First Direct Arena – 25th
Cardiff Motorpoint Arena – 30th

APRIL 2020 
Birmingham Resorts World Arena – 1st
Nottingham Motorpoint Arena – 3rd
Liverpool M&S Bank Arena – 6th
London The SSE Arena, Wembley – 8th

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