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Pete's April 10 diary text

10 April 2004 
Speaking Ill? 

Back to Diary Dates   
 I got back from a short break after the Royal Albert Hall show for Teenage 
Cancer (thanks to all off you who supported that event so magnanimously, 
especially those of you who travelled from abroad). A letter awaited me from John's 
mother Queenie. She was greatly upset by a statement I made in my recent 
interview with UNCUT magazine which for some reason they chose to amplify as a sub 
heading. I think I am still very angry about John's death, and some of that 
came out. I certainly don't judge John on any level at all. The details of his 
death are fairly public now, but no one really knows the exact atmosphere 
around it. All we can hope is that Roger is right, and that John died as he lived - 
a definitive rock star.
I feel very sad to have upset Queenie and have apologised to her as best I 
can. She says other fans were also disturbed. Let me just say that I do not 
think of John in the way it appears I might through that particular comment in the 
UNCUT interview. (It was very crude indeed I'm afraid: about John sometimes 
wanting to be in another group, wanting a more intense rock star lifestyle with 
groupies etc than the Who was giving him in the final years. Somehow, 
incredibly, Jackie Onasis was part of the angle!!!). Morally speaking, he was 
certainly never worse than I was; I suppose I got beaten in a different way, and - 
thankfully - my personal crash in rock n roll came early enough that I was able 
to save my health.
I remember John only as a great genius of the bass guitar. A true innovator 
who was still able to astound me with his dexterity and invention. Probably he 
was a better musician than I will ever be. I also genuinely loved him, he was 
a supporter and proper friend of mine from the age of 13. We first met even 
earlier than that. He was funny, generous and caring. We shared a great passion 
for dogs.
John, typically in very few words, thanked me lovingly recently for allowing 
him his dignity back by touring with the Who - the one place he really truly 
shone. I think in 1982 John was as relieved as I was that the Who were going to 
stop. He very much enjoyed working with his own band, and was always the most 
sociable and accessible member of the Who, he loved to mix with people and 
talk. However, recently all of us who worked with him, but who were 
unfortunately not close to him day by day were worried about his health. He was truly a 
very quiet and secretive man and none of us were entirely sure what was going 
on. It has emerged since his death that several people very close to John fought 
hard to help him - as I felt I did by touring with him. We are all still 
deeply shocked by our loss, and I think I can speak for many of us when I say that 
we are angry too. But it is an aimless and probably quite futile anger. For a 
while I was even angry with the Las Vegas hotel chain in which he died! I had 
to apologise to them too.
I am sorry this stuff keeps rearing its ugly head. Jimi Hendrix, Peter 
Meadon, Kit Lambert, Keith Moon, the Cincinnati Eleven, John Entwistle. I suppose we 
have to accept that everyone has to die in the end, but in every one of the 
cases above I have at some point said things in pain that I have later 
John was a celebrity. He is still celebrated, and in and around the Who, as 
long as Roger and I continue to work under the Who name, he will be honoured.
Sorry Queenie.