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Pete Townshend says John Entwistle was deaf in his final years

Pete Townshend John Entwistle

Classic Rock

Pete Townshend says John Entwistle was deaf in his final years

After decades playing live, many musicians face hearing issues when they get older and according to The Who‘s co-founder, guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend, the band’s late bassist John Entwistle “had gone so deaf” in his final years that he couldn’t even hear himself playing the bass guitar live. So according to Pete, many times he would play the wrong notes.


He said that in an interview with NME saying that “The Who” machine died when Entwistle passed away in 2002 at the age of 57.

Pete Townshend says John Entwistle was deaf in his final years

“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.”

“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,” Pete Townshend said.

The Who played a few benefit shows this year but has no scheduled tour dates in 2024. Meanwhile, Roger Daltrey continues to tour as a solo artist across the United States. He is playing songs from The Who, his solo careers and some covers. He even performed a version for the famous Creedence Clearwater Revival song “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” recently.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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