Pete Townshend says John Entwistle was deaf in his final years

Many musicians experience hearing problems after decades of performing live; Pete Townshend, co-founder of The Who and guitarist and songwriter, claims that late bassist John Entwistle “had gone so deaf” in his last years that he was unable to even hear himself playing the bass guitar live. Pete claimed that as a result, he frequently played incorrect notes.

In an interview with NME, he claimed that Entwistle, who was 57 at the time of his death in 2002, was the reason why “The Who” machine passed away.

Pete Townshend says John Entwistle was deaf in his final years

Pete said, “A lot of the time when we’re on the stage together, it’s not all that comfortable and you can see that. And it’s sad to say that a lot of dedicated Who fans come to every show in order to see Roger hit me in the face again, for me to smash him over the head with a guitar. Or for one of us to drop dead”.

“I think it’s been over for a long time. The Who machine died when John Entwistle died, because we were hanging on by a thread in a sense. John had already left the building in the way that Keith had already left the building. John had gone so deaf that he couldn’t hear himself play. So although he was still very virtuosic, a lot of the time he would be making mistakes and he couldn’t hear it.”

He added, “There was this sense that he was on his way out. Roger and I had a decision to make as to whether or not we would try to keep the flame burning, the brand going, when he died. We were about to do a tour so we decided to do it. And that tour worked out to be quite successful.”

The Who has no planned tour dates in 2024, but they did play a few benefit shows this year. In the interim, Roger Daltrey is still performing solo across the country. He’s performing songs from his solo careers, The Who, and some covers. He recently even gave a performance of the well-known Creedence Clearwater Revival song “Have You Ever Seen The Rain.”

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