Back in early 2002 The Who looked to make a comeback, regrouping and heading out on tour with renewed energy. But before the tour could quite start, legendary bassist John Entwistle collapsed and died of a heart attack … certainly not helped by years of cocaine use.
In various interviews he lamented somewhat at how long it took for The Who to ‘get rich’ compared to some of their contemporaries – which wasn’t helped by their pioneering of the ‘rock & roll lifestyle’. He also lamented the level of recognition given to bassists such as Stanley Clarke and Jaco Pastorius compared to himself, which is something I never understood – he has always been in the pantheon of great rock bassists, but seeking comparisons to artists in another genre who could carry an entire instrumental show with the bass as lead instrument seems to be a bit much.
Entwistle personally led me to switch from playing the guitar to playing bass, and I have always loved his approach to the instrument. His style, sound and methods were one of a kind and he is sorely missed. To celebrate, here are 10 videos celebrating the man and his music:
Here is his composition ‘The Quiet One’ with The Who
An interview from Conan O’Brien in 1996:
Showing his solo prowess on 5:15 from 2000:
From pre-tour rehearsals that would be his final live footage:
A great 1975 live version of his classic ‘Boris the Spider:
A clip from a documentary focus on Entwistle
The classic My Generation from the Smothers Brothers show with Entwistle’s solo:
The bass-heavy ‘The Real Me’ from Quadrophenia from a live rehearsal in London in 1979
A section from an old VHS ‘Bass Master Class’ by Entwistle shows his chops and style:
Entwistle made only one music video, for the title track of ‘Too Late the Hero’, a song I’ve always loved:
OK, so perhaps I couldn’t stop at 10 … here is an intriguing look at the Entwistle country estate and his massive bass and guitar collection:
What are your thoughts and memories of John Entwistle?