October 22, 2020

1996-03-02 – The Courier News

1996 03 02 The_Courier_News_Sat__Mar_2__1996_

THE COURIER-NE‘WS

go for Entwistle

3-6 SATURDAY. MARCH 2, 1996

MW, solo the only way to

By ROGER CATLIN
The Hartford Courant

When it came time for The Who to
argue about whether to tour, one
member was always 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 fur-
ther Who touts “in the foreseeable
future"), the bassist known 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
embark on another half-a-Who tour
with Daltrey this year in Germany,
South America and Austraiia. “But
when Australia fell through, I thought
I’d go out and tour myself.”

Entwistle’s first solo tour in eight
years began this week in Connecticut.
It comes as The Who’s original albums
are being reissued in newly remas-
tered editions with extra tracks, and
Entwistle’s own five albums are being
readied for reissue, beginning with a
20-track best-of on Rhino.

“There seems to be a resurgence of
my solo stuff," Entwistle, 51, says
from New York. “I decided to remix
about 21 songs from my solo albums.

So 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
release a solo
album, in 1971.
“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

Entwistle

shared a similar fate as that of George
Harrison of the Beatles and Dave
Davies of the Kinks -— being over-
shadowed by the dominant songwrit-
ers in the band (in Entwistle’s case,
Pete Townshend.

Some of Entwistle’s material —
which showed a dark humor in com-
parison to Townshend’s optimism —-
ended up being centerpieces of Who
concerts anyway, such as “Heaven
and Hell" and “My Wife" from “Who’s
Next.”

If his writing wasn’t always appre-
ciated by the hand, his groundbreak-
ing bass-playing was. Because the
explosive sounds of The Who were
carried by three instruments, with
Townshend playing a lot of rhythm
guitar, many of the lead parts would

fall to Entwistle’s distinctive play-
ing.

His furious playing wasn’t always
noticed. “It was frustrating in a way,"
he says. “The stuff I was playing peo-
ple thought was Pete.”

Entwistle’s task wasn’t made easi-
er by working with Keith Moon, the
most explosive drummer in rock.

“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 could-
n’t actually hear him very well. I’d
have to look and see what he was
doing."

Entwistle’s life isn’t all music. He’s
putting on a traveling art show of car-
toons 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 the first of what
will be three books on the history of
The Who.

“It’s the funny stories that happend
to us,” he says “It's more like a novel
than a reference work.” The first
chapter, due next year, ends at the
close of The Who’s legendary 1957
US. tour with Herman’s Hermits, on
Moon’s let birthday, during which a
limousine somehow ended up at the
bottom of a swimming pool and the
band was forever banned from Hoh-
day Inns worldwide.

“I’ve done most of the research, but
it’s hard,” Entwistle says. “I have to
be in a good mood to write it. And one
phone call can put me in a bad mood."