"Bewildering technique that went way beyond any standard root/5th ideas": Listen to John Entwistle’s isolated bass on My Generation

Bassist John Entwistle of the rock and roll band "The Who" performs onstage in February 1975.
(Image credit: Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

John Entwistle, affectionately nicknamed ‘The Ox’ for his stoic onstage profile, revolutionised the role of the bass guitar. In the face of Keith Moon’s drumming antics, Roger Daltrey’s whirling microphone and Pete Townshend’s windmill rhythm guitar, his signature bass style was one of the musical cornerstones that made The Who such an influential force.

Recorded at Leeds University in 1970, the isolated rhythm track below is of The Who’s must-listen hit, My Generation. Despite the original Live at Leeds album featuring just six songs, Entwistle’s short answering phrases in his solo section were enough to inspire a whole generation of bass players.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.