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Pete Townshend apologizes for saying he's glad his old Who bandmates are dead

Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

On this, the day before we stuff our faces on some arbitrary Thursday, let us pause for a moment to give thanks, for the swiftness with which another celebrity controversy news cycle has come to its natural conclusion. It’s only been two days since Rolling Stone published its profile on The Who, in which band member Pete Townshend had nothing but unkind words to say about former bandmates Keith Moon and John Entwistle—both of whom have long been deceased. More specifically, Townshend said he “thanks God” that Moon and Entwistle are dead because “they were fucking difficult to play with.”

In the two days since, Townshend’s quotes have made the predictable rounds, been appropriately clowned, and inspired slightly more controversy than one might expect from the shit-talk of an old rockstar. Normally that kind of thing is cute, in the way that it’s cute when your mom gets drunk and tells you what she really thinks about her sister-in-law. But this is a slow news week, and thankfully, Townshend has seen fit to put this controversy to rest by way of issuing the inevitable public apology for the hurtful things he said. Sort of. In a lengthy Facebook post, Townshend said he understands that fans of The Who might be upset about his words, but “I only hope that they know me well enough that I tell the truth as much as I can, but I also tell both sides and the upside is missing in the headlines.” Townshend went on to share some fond feelings of Moon and Entwistle before addressing their families directly:

To those family members of Keith and John, especially Chris Entwistle and Mandy Moon, I apologise for the headlines – and for carelessly providing the words that were used – but in the past three months I have done so many interviews I am losing focus and patience. I forgive myself. I hope they can forgive me too. I loved their dads and still do.

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It’s so easy to forgive Pete Townshend that even Pete Townshend can do it! Truly, a Thanksgiving miracle.

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