Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Ox


So yesterday, as we all knew, was      OCTOBER 9TH 

Also known as the BIRTHDAY
of our beloved John Entwistle. 
(Also John Lennon, but I'll leave it up to Tumblr to give tribute to the man.)


Don't hate me coz I'm beautiful
   OH JOHN.  We've had quite the history. 
My best friend loves the Who, and at the tender age of 13 I was due to have a favorite (as most Thirteen-year-olds tend to have).  And I picked you, John.  Because of dem sexy hands, dat sexy hair cut, and most importantly DAT BASS. 

          They called him Thunder Fingers; or The Ox with good reason.  Have you ever stopped to listen to the solo in "My Generation", or notice the sheer power of the bass in "Won't Get Fooled Again"?  It's the dexterity and control he's got in his hands and fingers.  It's like a fucking storm of pure energy that pushes the rest of the song forward, and i've always loved Entwistle for that reason. When I started playing bass I looked up to a lot of different players (like Geddy Lee, Les Claypool, Roger Waters, ect...) and I realized how fucking difficult it is to play using your fingers.  Using a pick is one thing, and a lot of really good bassists can pull that off, (looking at you, Noel Redding), but there's just something raw about using your fingers to play so expertly that's appealing.

                Here's a video that I personally love, which is the isolated bass track of John playing "Won't Get Fooled Again" at one of their shows in England.  I would have linked just the audio, but being able to watch somebody play makes all the difference.  For musicians, it's a chance to observe and learn.  For everyone else, it's still a hell of a lot of fun.  I always love seeing what different kinds of instruments they play, (for you gear nerds here's a list of gear that John used from 1960-66, 1967-68,  1971-74 and 1974-1985.  It's got some great pictures as well as descriptions.) 

          1.  Boris the Spider
 2.  Substitute
        3. My Generation
                    4. Won't get fooled again 
                                                                       6. Talk Dirty (solo, off of his "Too Late the Hero" album)
                                               7. Young Man Blues (Excellent performance from Keith Moon, also)
                     9.Summertime Blues

Some of my favorites. 
 I'm sure there are tons more, and if you have any to contribute I don't mind a damn bit.

         The Who was a powerful band, especially through their live performances.  There's a certain feeling to be had when you see footage like that (from what you can find these days), and you can hardly fathom what it must've felt like to see them live.  Perhaps one day, when I'm teaching Rock n Roll history, the invention of the Time Machine will have been brought into existence, and I'll take my students on a field trip to see the Who at the Isle of Wight (and maybe even stick around to see Hendrix).  
         So it is with this that the Electric Church of Rock n Roll gives it's thanks to Saint Entwistle.  He's changed bass playing throughout time, and left a standard and many lessons to be learned by future bassists and musicians alike. 


(The day before yesterday was Johnny Ramone's birthday, but I was too busy dying with this HORRIBLE COLD I have acquired to have written a decent post for the man.  I love you though, Johnny.  You gave a kickass name to all bar-chord guitarists with bowl cuts)

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