Originally Posted by SteelersFreak1
Every time I listen to Keith's drumming it amazes me how drumming that is so complex and insane really could fit into The Who's music. Put it together with John Entwhistle's amazing bass lines and The Who probably had the greatest or one of the greatest rhythm sections in rock history.
I concur wholeheartedly with this statement.
John was a bass playing genius and a BRILLIANT singer to boot. The way he approached his harmonies, wow. And his bass playing was simply awe-inspiring. Nothing needs to be added about John as a musician. If I am starting a band, he gets the bass spot sight unseed with no auditions.
I think Keith and John complimented each other brilliantly not only as players as you alluded to, but they also compliment each other as performers. John was a more stoic, business like player while Keith was so much flash and pinash. I mean, in a lesser band Keith and John would have stolen the show and taken the entire damn audience with them. In fact, in the 60s I would argue most bands wanted the bassist and drummer to do your job, keep a beat, and don't detract from the lead guitar player or our cute singer by offering any dynamics or pizzaz. The Who was come one come all...gives us what ya got.
The Who were a great enough band with a style and feel unlike no other, humble confidence in a guitarist, and smooth appeal in a singer that it was OK to have a drummer who could literally 'steal the show' and a bass player who was in the very least, 'the most interesting' bass player to listen to for 30 years after the Who first broke.
In short, it is my belief that the Who are the only band in rock history where each member was simply not replaceable, from the standpoint of style and substance and the moment Keith died that was it. Other bands the drummer could leave and no one would really notice or care (other than fans of said player/band, who just like that guy because he's 'in' that band). The only band that comes close to the 'no member is replaceable' smell test to the Who are Led Zeppelin.