Pino's leash

L. Bird pkeets at
Sun May 30 12:43:36 CDT 2004

>>If they're not gonna let him loose, they oughta save some money and get 
>>some average bassist who can stay in rhythm and on the changes.

>I couldn't agree more.  I think Palladino could be a decent replacement, if
either he or Pridden insisted he get mixed up.  I don't know who's keeping
him low in the mix - and maybe it's just him - but that needs to stop.  If
no one's willing to do anything about it, they really just ought to get
another guy.  But something isn't working right now.  There may be no
replacement for the Ox, but that doesn't give you an excuse to stop trying.

I can't say I think the sound is really bad.  Here's what I've thought about 
their efforts to fix things so far:

The first couple of shows in the 2002 tour didn't have enough of a rhythm 
background for Pete to play against.  He's always had a rhythm section that 
handled things, which left him free to play periodic inspired and artistic 
solos.  Once there was a hole in the background, then Pete felt the need to 
fill it up himself--that is, to play continuously.  This leaves him strung 
out as far as solos go, and removes a lot of the artistic quality from what 
he does.

The 2002 sound still wasn't quite as thin as say, Johanssen's band was at 
MSG, because I think this has to do with how Zak tunes the drums (everybody 
seems to go for penetration since the eighties, but Zak knows how to produce 
that old seventies mellow roar).  But, just the drums and even Simon's 
rhythm guitar failed to provide the proper background for Pete to work at 
his best.  Pino was too thin because he was playing eighth notes to 
Entwistle's sixteenth.  So now he's practiced, and this year he's playing 
sixteenth notes.  That fixes the hole, even if the bass sound is smeared.  
I'm happy, and I'd say Pete is too.

This is a minimum fix, of course, and it doesn't address the needs of bass 
fans who have memorized every nuance of Entwistle's riffs.  I think we'll 
have to wait for that, and surely we'll never hear it quite the same way.  
I'm sure it's a challenge for Pino to play as fast and continuously as he's 
having to play now, much less handle the solos.  It's going okay--the only 
time I thought he really looked stressed this time at MSG was for the MG 
solo.  Also, recall that Roger and Pete have stuck with Pino and said they 
don't expect him to imitate Entwistle.  Therefore, they feel they've got the 
right man for the job because of his unique talents (he's a super quick 
study) and abilities.  After a while, we may hear more personal 
interpretations from Pino, but I'd say that right now he's still feeling his 
way and he's NOT going to step out in front and do something stupid.

As far as bringing in another bass player goes, I think there would be 
serious problems with  it regardless of who tried to take on the job.  
Recall that there was some excitement when it looked like Greg Lake might 
take on the spot.  Everybody talked about how Lake's technique and attack 
were more like Entwistle's and how he was an established bassist that would 
bring his own style and challenge the band, etc.  But, once you hear him on 
a recording, he's not any more Whoish than Pino.  Plus, you'd figure he 
might have been offered the recent shows, and who do we see out doing it?  
It comes down to the fact that Pino has the giant cajones to get out there 
and do it, and anybody else is going to be concerned about not being ABLE to 
do it.  Who else is going to learn even The Who's hits well enough to get up 
there in front of thousands of people and handle them?


P.S.  I thought I heard bits of more songs in the NYC jams than were listed 
on the set list (promptly on sale at eBay).  Did anyone else think that?  
Maybe they were practicing for Pino's benefit?

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