The Who guitarist Pete Townshend has taken to Facebook to respond to a barrage of criticism following comments he made during a recent interview with Rolling Stone, where he said that he “thanks God” that John Entwistle and Keith Moon are dead.
“They were fucking difficult to play with,” Townshend said. “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.”
Unsurprisingly the comments stunned the internet and garnered plenty of headlines and criticism worlwide. On his Facebook account, Townshend released a lengthy statement regarding the interview. “No one can ever know how much I miss Keith and John, as people, as friends and as musicians,” he reveals.
“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.”
He says that the comments merely reflected the frustrations he felt while performing music with such gifted and idiosyncratic musicians. He also stated that his comments were not meant to be taken literally. “I was being ironic in my own English way by suggesting it is something I am glad about,” he wrote.
“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.”