“I think a bass solo can be as exciting as a guitar solo – if not more”: Listen to John Entwistle’s live bass solo on The Who’s 5:15

John Entwistle of The Who on stage, performing their album 'Quadrophenia', Ahoy, Rotterdam, 11th May 1997. He plays a Status Graphite Buzzard Bass guitar.
(Image credit: Photo by Rob Verhorst/Hollandse Hoogte/Redferns)

With his virtuosic technique and stoic onstage profile, John Entwistle revolutionised the role of the bass guitar in rock music. His solos on Who classics like My Generation, Success Story and The Real Me became landmarks for bass players everywhere. “I really believe in the bass as a lead instrument,” he told Guitar Player back in 1975. “I think a bass solo played with a trebly sound, can be as exciting as a lead guitar solo – if not more.” 

Recorded in May 1973 at London’s Ramport Studios, The Who’s Quadrophenia told the story of a disaffected young mod over the course of a double-album of blistering rock anthems and introspective ballads. Entwistle, who arranged and played the horn lines on Quadrophenia, also served as musical director for the Quadrophenia film, which starred a young Sting as Ace, head of the mods.

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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.

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