September 21, 2020

1996-02-10 – Daily Record

1996 02 10 Daily_Record_Sat__Feb_10__1996_

‘Who’ bassist finally in the spotlight

BY MARC D. ALLAN
nght-Rudder Tribune News

INDLANAPOLIS, Ind. — Rock ’n’
roll may have produced a greater
bass guitarist than J ohn Entwistle,
though no one comes immediately
to mind.

There are bassists in his league:
Chris Squire of Yes; Les Claypool of
Primus; Billy Sheehan (most re-
cently of Mr. Big); and funk players
Bootsy Collins, Larry Graham and
Louis Johnson. Like Entwistle, all of
them elevated their rhythm instru-
ment to lead status.

But Entwistle gets my MVP vote
for holding together The Who.

Sur'rounded by three creative but
volatile rock stars hell-bent on
grabbing attention. Entwistle qui-
etly made himself indispensable.
Careful listeners knew that while
guitarist Pete Townshend wind-
milled his arm, Roger Daltrey
twirled his microphone and Keith
Moon bashed his drum kit, Ent-
wistle merely kept the band going
-— all the way to the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame.

The Who was inducted in 1990.

Entwistle contributed a number
of excellent songs to The Whos
1epertoire,including Heaven and
Hell,” ‘My Wife” ”Cousin Kevin,

Fiddle About and “Boris the
Spider.” In the band’s final years,
his songs — ‘Y,ou‘ ‘Had Enough.”
Trick of the Light" -— rivaled
Townshend s for quality.

Beyond that he also played all
the brass instruments on The
Who’s records, drew the connect-
the-dots cover for the 1975 album
"The Who By Numbers" and found
the time to make five solo albums.

Entwistle rarely received the
recognition he deserved —— in part,
he says, because bass players “can’t
overindulge on a record” the way
they might in conceit.

‘I was appreciated by my fellow
musicians, ”he says from New Yo1k.
“But the general public didnt
really know (he knew what he was
doing).”

Did the band appreciate him“?
“Yeah, but they didn’t particularly
go out of their way to tell people
about it.” he says, laughing.

Listen to “The Real Me” on the
“Quadrophenia” album. The music
is almost entirely bass and brass.

All Entwistle.

He’s 51 now, a little hard of
hearing the blames this on wearing
headphones in the recording stu-
dio. not on performing loud con-
certs) but still enjoying music. as he
has for the past 45 years.

Entwistle developed his style —
an agile. involved. lead guitar-like
sound — quite by mistake.

“I saw this bass player playing ——
plucking the strings — with his
first two fingers,” he says. “1 fig-
ured. well. I should be able to do
that dead easy. I played trumpet
with my right hand, French horn
with my left and I played piano. So
I started playing with two fingers.

“I met the guy a couple of years
later — I was using all five fingers
by then — and he was amazed at
my finger style. I said. ‘I got it from
you, anyway.' And he said. ‘Oh, no, I
always played with my thumb.
When I had a big blister on my
thumb. I played with my first
finger When that got a blister I
plaved with my second t1nge1.lt
was all a fallacy

In clubs on this tour, audiences
get a close-up look at his technique.
They’ll also get to hear some Who
classics and songs from his solo
albums.

Meanwhile, Entwistle is keeping
busy with several side projects.
Walnut Street Gallery of Fort
Collins, Colo, has a traveling
exhibit of his rock 'n' roll carica-
tures on the road now.

And he's writing the first ofthree
books on The Who "from my point of
view."

“Remarkable. A moving lov

[1111-1 lulm. l‘\ URlx'l‘lel

111 BRIDGES1
[ADI SO

( ()I INTY
-® -_-_-

AYLA'U. SEVEN Mm " MEUA- P. ’ ME‘
«I AMBOY MULTIPLEX O HADL‘Y i MONMou
SA HE E 1 USE A‘.>’-F1T= {-11%} ‘

MAL. _ _‘ x: m as 44H :35 1111.. 3

(.l.ll
l" \I\11(1|)

* asnasunno 5.1% .u 11w - w ~£wro~
emu)“ s I HAZLET MUL mun CINEMA
8E~ NEIL: CINEMAS ‘ .{nrc . 2
385 '6 :‘L‘ Q 1’; MA." [1’ .1337 'uf L
SO .1 EM .1; s «I MIDDLEBROOK " Pt‘z‘fl

FREEHOLD 6
FREEHOLD
4o: OcOO

THE ”1 ROMAN

St|.A‘ kt 5
GALLERIA CINEMAS
011'“; O DUIOOLB‘
4-93 153..) o 1 o

J'v L:

/ EAST 1111111111111

“ ‘L [“3‘3'11)’:

GENERAL 511111.11:
* BLUE STAR
CINEMAS

”If Plh ' '1'7‘ AIM