An Unanticipated Tribute

As a longtime fan of The Who, Dan Sygar was naturally sad dened to hear of the unexpected death of the band’s bass player, John Entwistle, on June 27. But his reaction was compounded by the fact that he was one of the last people to interview and film the musician.

Sygar, an associate creative director at Perich + Partners in Ann Arbor, Mich., hung out with the band in London on June 15 at its final rehearsal for a U.S. tour that was to begin June 28 at the Hollywood Bowl.

Sygar was working on a film short for Perich client JBL, one of the tour’s sponsors. The five-and-a-half-minute short, culled from six hours of footage, was to be shown in every venue on the tour. The agency was also charged with creating print ads featuring the band for JBL, a Los Angeles-based audio speaker company owned by Harman International.

The film was about 90 per cent finished when Sygar got word of Entwistle’s death. “Everything went on hold as we waited to hear what was going to happen,” he says. “I wondered if the film would see the light of day.” A call came 24 hours later, telling him the tour was on and the film needed to be completed on schedule.

Band management said nothing in it needed to be changed, but JBL executives got the OK to include a short tribute to Entwistle at the beginning. “It was an amazing experience, but unfortunately it was made even more so” because of Entwistle’s death, Sygar says.