The Who's Pete Townshend apologises for comments on the late Keith Moon and John Entwistle

28 November 2019, 14:50 | Updated: 28 November 2019, 15:35

The Who's Pete Townshend apologises for comments on the late Keith Moon and John Ent
The Who's Pete Townshend apologises for comments on the late Keith Moon and John Ent. Picture: SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images

The Who guitarist has apologised for a Rolling Stone interview where he was quoted as saying "thank god they're gone".

Pete Townshend has apologised for comments he made about his former bandmates Keith Moon and John Entwistle.

The Who guitarist took to social media to clarify a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine about the late drummer and bassist, who passed away on 7 September 1978 and on 27 June 2002 respectively.

In a lengthy Facebook post, the My Generation rocker began: "My interview with Rolling Stone. Headline: 'Pete Townshend says “thanks God” Moon, John Entwistle are dead; they were fucking difficult to play with”’.

"This was said as part of an interview in response to a series of questions about Who history, the early days and how it is today. PETE! FOR FUCK’S SAKE PUT A LID ON IT!"

The guitarist continued: "No one can ever know how much I miss Keith and John, as people, as friends and as musicians. The alchemy we used to share in the studio is missing from the new album, and it always feels wrong to try to summon it up without them, but I suppose we will always be tempted to try. To this day I am angry at Keith and John for dying. Sometimes it shows. It’s selfish, but it’s how I feel

"But I am sincerely grateful to have had these second and third incarnations as a member of what we still dare to call The Who – once after Keith passed, then again after John passed. I do thank God for this, but I was being ironic in my own English way by suggesting it is something I am glad about. I can be grateful to be free as a player and writer, but sad about losing old friends. It does feel ironic, and it also makes me angry. Towards the end of my mother Betty’s life she drove me barmy, and there was a huge sense of relief when she finally passed, but I miss her very much. Love has so many facets."

See his full post below:

My interview with Rolling Stone. Headline: 'Pete Townshend says “thanks God” Moon, John Entwistle are dead; they were...

Posted by Pete Townshend on Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Speaking to fans of the band The Baba O'Riley rocker said: "I understand that a lot of long-time Who fans will be hurt by the way it comes across as a headline. I only hope that they know me well enough that I tell the truth as much as I can, but I also tell both sides and the upside is missing in the headlines."

Addressing the families of the late rockers, he added: "To those family members of Keith and John, especially Chris Entwistle and Mandy Moon, I apologise for the headlines – and for carelessly providing the words that were used – but in the past three months I have done so many interviews I am losing focus and patience. I forgive myself. I hope they can forgive me too. I loved their dads and still do."

He concluded: "Roger lost his rag at a press conference at Wembley about Brexit. I found it worrying, but I understood. We may be rock stars but we are also human. Roger and I have not changed very much over the years, but we do love and like each other these days. It’s really poignantly painful to imagine how things would have turned out had John and Keith had also been allowed to become older, kinder and wiser. The Who might have grown musically, or possibly just gone around in circles, but I assure you we would have deepened our love for each other as human beings and colleagues.

"As musicians? Who knows?"

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The Rolling Stone interview Townshend refers to saw him discuss working creatively with Moon and Entwistle on stage as "fucking difficult".

Asked if he ever got nostalgic looking at the photos of his late of his late bandmates on tour, he responded: "It’s not going to make Who fans very happy, but thank God they’re gone."

When asked why, he explained: "Because they were fucking difficult to play with. They never, ever managed to create bands for themselves. I think my musical discipline, my musical efficiency as a rhythm player, held the band together."

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