Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Thoughts on Pete Townshend and John Entwistle

Yeah, we can slag Pete all we want about not loving John or whatever, but there's a point where I have to speak up. I just don't think you can really know much about the relationship between two people. Sure, you can hear what one person says or what the other says, but only two people know the truth and even then, there are always at least two versions (anyone here married???)

The twelve years before John died, Pete was going to A.A. And it apparently didn't come easy. As so many on this list know, when you are white knuckling your way through sobriety, it is not always helpful or fun to be around someone who is so blatantly doing the opposite. Their relationship was complex, and the situation by 2002 was extremely complex. It is just so not my place to judge Pete in his comments on this.

John had a choice. He didn't have to keep playing with Pete. He didn't have to abuse alcohol. He didn't have to abuse coke. He didn't have to sleep around. He didn't have to spend all his money. I'm starting to get the sense that he's being painted as some kind of victim.... of what, of Pete? If he is a victim of anything, he was a victim of himself, sadly, as many of us tend to be.

I choose to cut Pete a bit more slack then some others. And I respect your right to do otherwise, of course. Especially when there are just so many emotions that we are all wrapped up in for different reasons. We have the good fortune on this list of some of us having been close to members of the band and privy to information not always known on the outside. I have a lot more generosity of spirit for comments made here than those made in other places by people who know nothing about what was really going on.

This afternoon I was trying to get a handle on the intensity of emotion surrounding the John/Pete issue. Mostly the John issue. That Lauren, Steph, Adam, John Hughes and others feel the loss of The Ox makes it no longer The Who *really* makes me think and consider and try to understand that point of view. The thing I thought of as an analogy was the Daltrey Sings Townshend tour. Or, "Roger sings Pete" as I called it earlier today. At the time, The Who had been more or less dead to me, since '89. I had just had my daughter a few weeks earlier. At the time, the only thing I thought was "Roger without Pete? Uh, no thanks. I'm not interested." Now, cut me some slack because a month after childbirth you really aren't thinking clearly. I pretty much had post-traumatic shock after Dagny was born. But even so, I just thought it was not likely that I would be happy if I went. So, I thought, ok, maybe that's how it feels for some of the gang without John.

Of course, years later, I saw the tapes and thought it looked like a lot of fun. Now, I kind of wish I had gone. What was I thinking?

As far as the Whitesnake comment goes, ha!!! Hello? Anyone listen to "The Rock" If that wasn't 80's rock and roll, what is? :-)


1 comment:

Shane Waterford said...

What do you know that I don't know? I get a sense of true melancholy from Pete when it comes to the microscopic exposure I have, fans have, of John's death. I think the black hole where he once stood, and the associated bond of a life spent together, dedicated to one another regardless of attitudes wavering over time, really affected him emotionally. So I'm interested to know who used what evidence from where to determine Pete was not relieving our insecurity and good hope with enough concern and emotion? What made you feel he needed defended in other words? (Not why you defend him, what did others say that caused you to ying on some yang?)

Shane (stage name)

(real name Dwight Reggie, but its not)