The Who’s overshadowed founder John Entwistle on solo tour
By Roger Catlin
The Hartford Courant
hen it came time for The Who to argue
w about whether to tour, one member was al-
ways ready to go.
“I liked recording, but it wasn't my idea of what
rock 'n' roll was all about," says John Entwistle, the
band's co—founder and bass guitarist. “I like to go
out there and play."
So when The Who played its final tour in 1982
and its 30th anniversary really, really ﬁnal tour in
1989 (Entwistle says there will be no further Who
tours “in the foreseeable future”). the bassist
Wnown as the Ox found ways to continue touring.
He toured with former Who lead singer Roger
Daltrey in 1994. was a member of Ringo Starr's
All-Starr Band last summer, and was about to em-
bark on another half-a-Who tour with Daltrey this
year in Germany. South America and Australia.
“But when Australia fell through. I thought I'd go
out and tour myself."
Entwistle's ﬁrst solo tour in eight years began
two weeks ago in Connecticut. It comes as The
Who's original albums are being reissued in newly
remastered editions with extra tracks, and En-
twistle's own five albums are being readied for reis-
sue. beginning with a 20-traek best-of on Rhino.
"There seems to be a resurgence of my solo
stuff." Entwistle, 51. says from New York. “I decid-
ed to remix about 21 songs from my solo albums.
50 many people had been asking where they could
get them — and they've never been out on CD."
Entwistle was the ﬁrst of the original Who to re-
lease a solo album, in 1971.
. 18 0 TIME OUT / February 9, 1996
“Smash Your Head Against the Wall" was a reac-
tion in part to the frustration he had in getting his
own material on Who albums.
Though tracks like his "Boris the Spider" and
“Whiskey Man" had been highlights of Who albums,
Entwistle shared a similar fate as George Harrison
of the Beatles and Dave Davies of the Kinks — be-
ing overshadowed by the dominant songwriters in
the band (in Entwistle's case, Pete Townshend.
Some of Entwistle's material ~ which showed a
dark humor in comparison to Townshend's opti-
mism —— ended up being centerpieces of Who con-
certs anyway, such as “Heaven and Hell" and “My
Wife" from "Who's Next."
If his writing wasn’t always appreciated by the
band, his groundbreaking bass-playing was. Because
the explosive sounds of The Who were carried by
three instruments, with T ownshend playing a lot of
rhythm guitar, many of the lead parts would fall to
Entwistle's distinctive playing.
His furious playing wasn’t always noticed. “It was
frustrating in a way,” he says. “The stuff] was
playing people thought was Pete."
Entwistle's task wasn't made easier by working
with Keith Moon, the most explosive drummer in
“It wasn't difficult," he says. “But it was tricky
sometimes. When we started, it was way before
monitors and stuff like that. Sometimes I couldn't
actually hear him very Well."
Entwistle's life isn't all music. He's putting on a
traveling art show of cartoons he has drawn of rock
figures; it follows a lithograph of the cover he drew
for “The Who by Numbers" album.
He's also busy on a book on the history of The
The contributionsjohn Entwistle, far right, made to The
Who (pictured here in 1978) frequently were overlooked.