John Entwistle

ARTICLE ABOUT John Entwistle (The Who) FROM BILLBOARD, March 15, 1975

I really enjoyed this one from Billboard. Don`t know the name of the journalist unfortunately – if anyone knows please drop me a line.
Read on.

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What supergroup member is currently on the road singing original versions of ’50s- flavored rock, has a personal goal of making bass guitar acceptable as a lead instrument, is working on four careers at the same time and credits his family and horror comics for his famous black sense of humor?
The answer to all of the above is John Entwistle, bass player of the Who, generally recognized as one of the  three or four most successful rock bands in the world.
All of the members have worked on various solo projects over the years, but Entwistle has been most prolific  (four LPs) and is the first to tour as a solo.
“The Who have never worked enough for me,” he says. “I like playing concerts. I like going on the road and I  like to be able to play a lot of my own material.
“What I’m doing with these oldie types of songs,” he continues, “is basically playing the music I never got to play. In England you start working in pubs and you do the top 20 of the day, which is what the Who did. So  I never got to play the old rock.”
Entwistle’s first two LPs were more in the contemporary rock vein, but with his third LP, “Rigor Mortis,” he  began penning tunes centered around old rock and mixing them with standards. The current set, “Ox,” is all original  and is considered by Entwistle a mix of tributes and parodies, the music being the tribute and the words and parody. “I’d never be so pretentious as to say I’m writing serious words,” he says. “I like funny words.
“The whole oldies thing is a kind of experiment,” he adds. “I thought I’d take myself back in time and imagine I was writing in the ’50s. Then I’d try to update it as I went along, album by album, and work my way back to the present. The band is getting so much better, though, that the next LP will be a bit more up to date.”
Entwistle admits the tour has enjoyed a kind of built-in acceptance because of his position with the Who. “We didn’t exactly have to fight our way to the top,” he smiles, “but again, people still think of me as the Who’s bassist and they really don’t know what to expect. They seem to like it anyway, even though they’re not getting ‘Magic Bus.'”

While the current album is selling well, Entwistle is also working on what he calls his real solo LP, a set without Ox behind him. He’s also writing a book, getting set to go back in the studio with the Who (who will tour again as soon as an LP is finished) and is playing bass on friends’ sessions.
“Doing things on our own has probably helped the group stay together,” he says. “In the early days, the only obvious way to do your own thing seemed to leave the band. I think I did it the hard way, by staying with the group and still going out on my own and I think that set kind of a precedent for all of us. The Who still comes first, but we’re all free to do other things.”
Entwistle is concentrating on oldies at the moment “because I play a lot of old rock records at home and there’s never enough. I get frustrated, and I feel other people must, too. As for the humor in the songs, my family has a very sick sort of English sense of humor and I’ve always read horror comics. I now have a complete set of ‘Creepy Comics.’
On the musical situation in England at the moment, Entwistle says he doesn’t like it “because you’re not selling a group now, you’re selling a song. In England they find a hit formula and stick to it. All the songs make the charts but they all sound alike. Unless the best musicians begin changing completely, I don’t see anything new coming.”
Entwistle says his big goal now “is to get the bass accepted as a lead instrument. I take leads on stage, and it can be done well. I’ve always played bass, unlike many bassists who start with guitar. I used to go to the guitar shop when I was younger and I realized there weren’t many bass players around, so I’d stand a better chance with that.”
As for the future, Entwistle will go into the studios with the Who again soon and will be doing “some writing with the Who rather than myself in mind. There’s no conflict with Pete (Townshend). He writes solely for the band and I write mainly for myself.”
And he will continue to stand like a statue on stage. “I always thought we’d look like lunatics if we all jumped around,” he says, “and besides, someone has to play. But I once got very paranoid because the kids weren’t screaming my name. One night I had a few drinks and came onstage moving and they started screaming my name. So I thought, Okay, I’ll go back to standing still. They scream at anything that moves.”

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

 

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ARTICLE ABOUT John Entwistle (The Who) FROM SOUNDS, March 1, 1975

I really liked this interview with Mr. Entwistle. Some interesting facts are revealed too. Credit to Mrs. Charone for having this great talk.
Read on!

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Here`s to the next punch up

Everyone knows how difficult it was to get the Mona Lisa to smile – not to mention John Entwistle. Imagine Barbara Charone`s surprise when he cracked his stone face image.

The following words on John Entwistle will not mention the usual array of adjectives heaped on the infamous Who bassist. Nowhere on this page will you find any black print that reads morose, evil, creepy or other descriptions of that ilk. Just for a refreshing change we will expose the brighter side of John Entwistle.
For starters here`s some captivating trivia bound to fascinate even the most casual Who fan. At last we can now reveal that for a long time John`s lucky numbers were 127 and 8. So troublesome is this plaguing dilemma that for more than a few years all relevant hotel room numbers and telephone exchanges revolved around those very digits. Fascinating stuff this.

BEAUTIFUL

In addition to the usual assortment of beautiful guitars, and the unusual acquisition of a suit of armour that lurks mysteriously in his front room, John Entwistle owns four automobiles none of which he is able to drive. One of the cars in question of which he has never been caught even sitting in the driver`s seat, adorns a poster enclosed in his brand new album `Mad Dog.` The dog in question also belongs to John. Sneaky way of wending our way towards Ox isn`t it?
“What keeps the Who going,” John casually remarked propped up against the bar of a Wardour Street pub, “is the freedom for everyone in the group to do individual projects. This way if the Who ever broke up, we all have our own identity. Ox makes my position in the Who that much stronger.”
Balancing precariously on that very special working relationship the four men achieve, one wonders if Entwistle`s recent show of strength will offset that integral balance?

EVASIVE

“I would never want to disturb the balance of power in the Who,” John says being purposely evasive. “But Ox was the only move I could make. In the beginning Ox might have been a plaything but not now. I always talked about going on tour with the band but nothing ever happened. Now that I`m actually on the road, I realise it`s a feasible thing, not just a side interest. Ox is a definite thing that I want to do. And I want it to carry on as long as the band stays together,” – he laughs nervously, “throughout the rest of the Who`s career. It`s my means of playing my material onstage.”
“I`ll be less frustrated and more confident going back to the Who,” John matter of factly remarked sipping slowly on a brandy and American Dry. “Before Ox I couldn`t come to the front of the stage because I got so used to leaning back against my amplifiers and looking bored. I`ll still look bored,” he says snidely, “standing in front of the stage but I can`t change that. The only time I don`t look bored is when my mouth is moving.”
Wonderful sense of humour has our John, as he sits against the bar, mouth moving, boredom disappearing as he continues assessments and predictions of the past and future.
“I know I`m supposed to be the quiet one,” he says with a moving mouth, “but I think when I go back to playing with the Who again I won`t be standing back in the shadows. I`m quite used to standing out front now. Ox hasn`t changed my style of playing but it`s altered me a lot onstage. Doing announcements is completely new to me. I doubt if anyone knows what my natural voice sounds like. Some people in England do now but in the States they`ve never really seen me talk,” he laughs at the absurdity of it all.
“I am enjoying being the frontman but it`s hard work. The hard work isn`t onstage but off; doing interviews, radio tours. I`ve got a new record company, Decca, so I thought I might as well put on a happy, smiling face for the first album cause they won`t get that much cooperation from me for the second.”
What with the Who being, well rather popular, John must have been a bit apprehensive about going out on the road without his comrades of ten years, slightly worried that the audience would bombard the stage with verbal assaults like “where`s yer mates?”
“Sure most of the people that come to see me come expecting me to do some Who stuff but nicely enough no one has shouted out we want the Who. Only one person yelled out `Magic Bus` and I told him to get stuffed. Usually the requests have been from `Whistle Rymes` or songs like `Boris The Spider` and `Heaven And Hell.`

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“What I really mean to do more onstage with Ox is play bass solos. At the moment I`m trying to take over from guitar and keyboard solos on bass. I did do one but you probably didn`t notice because I push a button and the volume of my guitar suddenly doubles. No one notices cause the same thing has happened to Pete for years. People always wonder how he manages to play a lead phrase with his hands on a chord swinging his arms around and notes coming out but he`s using the same sort of guitar sound.”
Anyone with ears in good working condition must have noticed through the last couple years that Entwistle`s bass mastery has mysteriously improved. On `Quadrophenia` the prominent bass parts provided more than a solid underneath.
“I changed back to playing without a plectrum. `Tommy` was done with a plectrum but when `Who`s Next` came along I changed back to fingers. By the time we got to `Quadrophenia` I was used to recording with my fingers which makes me able to play much faster.
“`Quadrophenia` was really an instrumental album and you needed to hear the bass up, which seemed to hold the numbers together. I`ve always thought the bass had been light on all our albums up to `Quadrophenia`. Before that the only one I liked the bass sound on was `Live At Leeds`.”
Right now Ox are in America. When they return the band should be well oiled, running smoothly and ripe for perhaps a charity London gig, a possible benefit for the Battersea Dogs Home. Well something like that. While he`s away Decca have released the `Mad Dog` album, a curious assortment of past rock styles done up with a combination of serious and not-so-serious intentions. But the next Ox album should feature the band as it is in concert.
“That new album really started out as a `Rigor Mortis` album and then Ox was formed. We didn`t really know what directions we were going in till we played onstage. Now that we know it`s not going to be in that rock and roll vein. Obviously we`ll play some rock numbers, even the Who do that, but it will really be down to what we get together in the free form parts, improvising.

SPECTORISH

“It`s a nice change playing with a keyboard player. In the end it wasn`t worth having the bigger band. We`ve had two lady singers when we did that `Old Grey Whistle Test` because the single has female voices on it. Yeah I suppose the `Mad Dog` track was my sorta Spectorish number. I`ve always liked overdubbing lots of instruments. Unfortunately Spector discovered it first so everything after gets named after him.”
Aside from discovering multi-instrumentation and grandiose production after Spector, life for John Entwistle is good and productive. Unlike other musicians who sit back in their easy chair watching the caretaker keep the mansion tidy, Entwistle has been extremely busy taking part in the `Tommy` soundtrack album, mixing `Odds And Sods,` playing on `Fearless Flash` a rock musical of sorts, and producing the Sharks album that never was.
“I`ve spent the last year in the studio,” he says half seriously, “I have to be busy cause I can`t stand having free time. When the Who weren`t working I could have gone to the Bahamas for a month but I go out of my way to feel ill. When I`m healthy,” he says sardonically, “I feel ill.
“What I learned from producing that Sharks album is that I`m not built to be a producer. I started getting jealous, I wanted to play not suggest!”

OPPORTUNITY

But he will get the opportunity to play soon enough when the Who forge bravely into areas unknown this Spring to record their next vinyl effort.
“I`m really looking forward to doing the next Who album because it will be a straight album,” he says mustering up mild enthusiasm but secretly excited. “This next one won`t be such hard work cause `Quadrophenia` was difficult work. Some of those numbers had impact but others felt like padding. I like to hear the material rehearsed before we record which is what happened with the last album. The market will certainly be swamped with Who product soon,” he smiles slightly. “What with solo albums from Roger and Pete, the new Who album and the `Tommy` soundtrack.
“I don`t see the Who breaking up in the next six years, I hope,” he adds softly. “Nobody wants to break the Who up, not unless things started slipping downwards and we started to lose interest. But,” he predicted ordering another brandy and American, “that wouldn`t happen for at least three years.”
If time away from each other has given Who members individual self confidence, they should be able to reunite with renewed inspiration and enthusiasm. There will always be arguments, fights and squabbles as long as there is the Who and as even the most casual Who afficiando must know by now, the band do occasionally lose their collective tempers.
“The only time I got really angry was when we did a ten week American tour and came out of it with only £100 each,” John says in a burst of nostalgic recollections. “When I found that out I cut a mattress in half with a bowie knife. Every band has the same pressures but they don`t all come out of it.
“The thing about the Who,” John astutely concluded finishing up the last of the brandy, “is even when we did have punch-ups, we`d make up and get on even better.”
Here`s to the next punch-up.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Joe Cocker, Argent, Paul McCartney, The Troggs, Chaka Khan, Lindisfarne, Rupert Holmes, Black Oak Arkansas, Labelle, Return To Forever, Arthur Lee, Flying Burrito Brothers, Glitter Band, Andy Fraser, The Sound of Philly, Back Door, Ronnie Lane, ELO, Tom Paxton.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT The Who FROM SOUNDS, November 30, 1974

The Who is one of the few bands were all the members of the original band made solo albums. With the exception of drummer Keith Moon, who died too early, all the other members have made several solo albums. While waiting for the other members of The Who finishing their film “Tommy”, Bass player John Entwistle were planning a tour. This is a short interview from that period of time.
Enjoy!

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FIRST NIGHT NERVES, TEN YEARS ON…

or how, in times of beef crisis, SOUNDS/Mike Flood Page Productions offers you a large slice of Ox (cunningly disguised in a mushroom sauce as John Entwistle), co-titled “The Ox Lies Down In Battersea”

Just the day to go see the man who created Cousin Kevin and Uncle Ernie, the Whisky Man and a cast of assorted freaks and casualties. The rain was coming down like it was monsoon season and the streets of Battersea where the Who`s Ramport studios are to be found were awash and uninviting.
Inside the converted ecclesiastical building which houses the studios, Roger Daltrey was picking his way through lunch in front of the TV, Russ Ballard dropped by to see a journalist and the Ox, Mr Entwistle himself was settled into the control booth listening to the playback of some brass tracks he was laying down for the “Tommy” soundtrack.
Unlike my preconceptions he seemed a friendly slightly serious guy. I enquired if he didn`t feel haunted by “Tommy” and keen to see the back of it, but he was unperturbed by its refusal to go away, describing it as “a friendly ghost”.

John has laid down about 95% of the bass work on the album besides the brass, all of which he played except the saxophone parts, and he has a role as, would you believe, a bass player, and one of Tommy`s disciples. But on his mind now is his own project, the Ox.
Originally conceived as a twelve-piece, the group has shrunk to a four-piece augmented by a sax player and two girl singers who will play three British dates before Christmas, around fifteen in January and February before leaving for a twenty city tour of the States where it emerges he has a substantial cult following that has produced sales of around 100,000 a time for his solo albums, and earned him number one bass player title in several polls and even number three in the brass section once.
His most successful albums have been, he admits, the sick ones. “They dribble into the charts for a bit and stagger around for a while.”
His own material on three albums so far and reportedly on the forthcoming Ox album betray a bizarre imagination steeped in a black vision of the world. Did he ever stop to ask himself why he wrote like this. I was keen to know. “I`m gradually getting out of that, I must be getting happier or something.

“That early stuff, I was encouraged by Kit Lambert to write…horrible songs really; songs about people with phobias and hang-ups, about spiders and alcoholics who see imaginary people, and stuff like that.
“My first album was about birth, death, reincarnation, the devil, heaven and hell; and the second solo album was about people with things wrong with them: someone whose wife runs off and commits suicide, and a fellow with a dominant mother, a peeping Tom, someone who finds out his girlfriend is married with three kids to a weight lifter.
“Kit Lambert realised I had an ability…he actually wanted me to write a children`s album…stuff like `Boris The Spider` and `Whisky Man` was appealing to 11 and 12 year old kids.”
He conceded that the “Rigor Mortis” album had marked a move from “Sick subjects to slightly sick things; but the latest album isn`t that black, though it`s still got that black undertone to it.” Some kind of concession to public sensibility I suppose.

“I think the sickest album that could ever be released is the stuff I`ve written with the Who. The `Ox` album released on Bactrack is all my numbers with the Who, and the fellow who actually spliced it together said he felt like jumping out of the window after he finished.”
I asked if that had been his original intention: “It was in those days, but I`m gradually getting out of it now. The Ox album is the most commercial thing I`ve done; it`s quite varied in its music. The whole reason for me forming a band was so that I could get a direction musically, so that I could actually write for that band.
“Our strongest thing at the moment seems to be going into free form stuff – improvising on a riff. Once we start working out our own riffs I shall use them to write new material; in the same way that Pete draws on the Who.”

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In some ways it might seem surprising that someone who is a part of a band as good as the Who should ever want to take his own band out on the road, the Ox thinks otherwise. “There`s a lot of numbers of mine that the Who don`t feature on stage, and also a lot of stuff from my solo albums that have never been performed, four albums worth, that`ve never been performed before an audience.”
The amount of stage equipment, especially keyboards that the Ox will have, means there will be one and a half times the amount of speaker cabinets that the Who use. It doesn`t sound a very economic way to tour. “Oh it won`t be economic. I just want to play to the audiences; I`d only have to pay it in tax if I didn`t use it, so why not. Why should the government get it? The audiences can have it instead.”
Rehearsals have been going on for three weeks now and there are only five days left, but John feels confident about the band. He plans to use tapes like the Who onstage for a couple of the new numbers, one of which involves six percussion tracks, and another based around twelve acoustic guitars, both impossible to do on stage.

But tapes present their own problems: “It`s like a deadly perfect musician who plays exactly the same thing every night.” With the Who they found the solution was to use a tape with cue-in clicks through Keith`s headset and for him to cue the group; with the Ox John will do the cues.
He is looking forward to playing two and three thousand seater halls, something the Who can no longer do. Again there is a problem about the likely response. “Why should they be content with 25 per cent of the Who when they can have 100 per cent? Really, you`ve got to make it not 25 per cent of the Who, but 100 per cent of something else.”
This tour is a project John has been eager to do ever since Rigor Mortis and the tour that never came off, but Who commitments have made this the first practical opportunity to do it, and then when the Ox tour is over and the others return from their separate projects in March or thereabouts he`ll be back on the road with the Who, and a new album which Townshend is due to be writing in January and February, everything is planned six months in advance these days.

The Who schedule seems to be fairly light as regards live performance these days, I asked John why: “The main reason we haven`t been doing so many dates is material. We started doing “Quadrophenia” and we found it didn`t work as a work onstage so we picked the best numbers. Then we found that the stage act was exactly the same as the one we`d been playing except for three or four numbers.
The thing is once the Who get tired of a stage act they just don`t want to play it; so it`s really all down to new material all the time. With “Tommy” we spent two years on the road, with “Quadrophenia” it was two months. With the next album we may spend six months on the road or two years.”
John plans that his own immediate next spell of writing will be directed towards the Who, but he also has another more long term scheme up his sleeve which has been fermenting for a couple of years, in between all his other work.

He is very cagey about saying too much: “I`m writing a sort of a…..I`m not gonna call it an opera, `cos it isn`t. It`s gonna be a single album, and the whole album tells a story, a science fiction story. It`ll be very involved. I`m still rewriting numbers from it, though it`s only half written.”
But the immediate future is the tour, his first heading a band, a responsibility he is not too worried about: “After the first gig I`ll be all right. I`m confident the band`s really incredible, but it`s that first gig…I just want to see people`s reaction.” Must be strange, ten years in a top line world beater band like the Who and getting anxious about your first gig, all over again.

Status Quo on tour with Snafu. Nice ad!

Status Quo on tour with Snafu. Nice ad!

I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Nico, Steve Gibbons Band, Gentle Giant, Hawkwind, David Essex, Bob Dylan, Sweet, Fanny.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be around or upwards of 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.