‘He was a true artist’: The Who’s Roger Daltrey remembers the late John Entwistle

As the Who approaches the June 2002 anniversary of co-founder John Entwistle’s passing, Roger Daltrey remembers the bassist’s influence, his presence and perhaps his greatest performance.

“The bass had never been played that way,” Daltrey said, “until John Entwistle arrived on the scene. The bass had always been played: doop, doop doop, duh-doop. Before John Entwistle, that was a bass player. After John Entwistle, everything changed.”

Turns like those on the band’s seminal “My Generation” helped earn Entwistle the nickname “Thunderfingers,” even as he broke new ground on the role of a bassist in rock. Also known as the Ox, Entwistle died having contributed several original songs to the Who’s catalog as well, including “My Wife,” “The Quiet One” and, perhaps most famously, “Boris The Spider.”

“He was a pioneer, a mystical player,” Daltrey added. “‘My Generation,’ the solo on that one, when people first heard it, [they asked]: ‘How can you have a lead bass player?’ But it worked. He had the talent to carry that all the way through. He was a true artist, a true musician.”

Daltrey and fellow surviving Who member Pete Townshend this week announced a 2014-15 world tour, a multi-format film release of the band’s recent Quadrophenia-related shows and, perhaps, their first new studio album since 2006.

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