September 25, 2020

’66 Disc and Music Interview with John Entwistle

John explains that he wasn’t the quiet one, just he lazy one!

THIS HAS undoubtedly been John Entwistle Week. "I’ve done  four interviews on my own in two days," he declares with genuine delight.


You might consider that was hardly cause for any frantic flag-waving, Union Jack or otherwise, on the part of Entwistle, but the significance of his statementis that at last the Who have four personalities, whereas in the past Entwistle only appeared to be in the group to make up the number.


While Townshend and Daltrey talked away at cross purposes, and often for cross purposes, and Moon tossed in the odd madcap comment, Entwistle would sit on his own in the darkest corner of the room at interviews, feeling embarrassed.


‘Too lazy’


"When we first started getting known and people came to interview us, I was just too lazy to say anything. It wasn’t true that I was shy. I just couldn’t be bothered—particularly as the others seemed happy enough to hog the conversation," explained newly-avid conversationalist Entwistle.


"It was a bad, bad mistake. The general public—and that, of course includes the fans—became convinced I was incapable of saying anything worthwhile.


"So I have decided to go out of my way to change because I hated the label. I didn’t want to go on being a background bass player.


"Although I’ve been looning for the past two years, obviously it wasn’t improving my image so Keith Moon agreed to take me about with him. Now we loon six days a week—at Blaises, the Cromwellian, the Scotch, Dolly’s. The only social life we have is at night—we sleep all day instead.


"But all this effort has taken until now to make people twig that I’m not quiet and stupid. It’s all been worthwhile, though, for I’m very glad to be out of the background at last."


The rest of the Who look on and say little. "Oh, they don’t mind. The Who at the moment is a great group to be in. In the past, of course, it used to be a bit of a strain. We were forever arguing and that length of time between records because of the recording contract problem only increased the tension.


"But then came the chance to release ‘I’m A Boy’ so we got together and pointed out each other’s differences. We realized we couldn’t develop musically if we had differences of opinion and kept going behind each other’s backs all the time. Now we discuss things together and everything’s great."


So great that Entwistle automatically elects their forthcoming LP as the Who’s most exciting happening. It has taken three months to plan and record. "I think it will prove that we manage always to switch our style just before other groups try to jump on our bandwagon. That’s the Who’s appeal. We’re not so aggressive on stage but the fans don’t mind because of the music and volume we give them.


This Who LP has contributions from all four of the group. Entwistle himself—"No, I don’t ever feel self-conscious about our crazy goings on—I’ve got a mental block against it, you see"—has composed a couple of the tracks.


"I’ve called one of them ‘Whisky Man’ because it’s all about a fellow who drinks too much and gets hallucinations about always being shadowed by someone else. So he calls his companion ‘Whisky Man.’


"The other song is ‘Boris the Spider.’ It’s about a bloke lying in his bed with a spider crawling up the wall. It falls down on the floor so the bloke gets hold of a book and squashes it. The song ends: ‘He’s come to a sticky end, never think he’ll mend, never think he’ll crawl around, now he’s embedded in the ground.’"


Clearly, we’ve made a mistake by ignoring Entwistle for so long. He obviously has some socially significant statements to make to us all.