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Friday, 28 June, 2002, 00:28 GMT 01:28 UK
Quiet man who became rock star
L-R: John Entwistle, Kenny Jones, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend
Entwistle (L) was known affectionately as Ox
John Entwistle, who died on Thursday in a Las Vegas hotel, was a man of few words who let his bass guitar do the communicating.

Known affectionately as "Ox" he was one of the remaining three members of The Who and was set to join his bandmates on a US tour on Friday.

The Who first formed in London in 1964 and were one of the leading rock bands through the 1960s and 70s.

Entwistle, aged 57, born in Chiswick, London, paired up with The Who front man Roger Daltrey in a forerunner to the group in the early 1960s.

At the time he was still working as a tax clerk in the civil service.

He later decided to ditch the day job - and the rest is rock history.

Solo albums

The Who went on to become one of the most popular bands among teenagers in their day.

Hits such as My Generation, Substitute and Pinball Wizard - from their hugely successful stage musical Tommy - confirmed their status as rock legends.

John Entwistle
A talented musician, Entwistle also played the tenor horn
Their "Mod" style, which was later depicted in the rock opera Quadrophenia - for which Entwistle was musical director, gave rise to a generation of copycats.

Within Quadrophenia's "script", the bass guitarist is described as playing with an air of smiling nonchalance, yet still managing to produce a sound "like a bleeding VC10".

And the description, considered to be inspired by Entwistle, was attributed to the musician from there on.

Entwistle's own songwriting for the band was limited to a few B-sides and album tracks, but he did go on to release half a dozen solo albums.

He toured separately with his groups The Ox, Rigor Mortis, and the John Entwistle Band.

Entwistle took up music at an early age.

He began piano lessons at the age of seven, before switching to trumpet, then, at Middlesex School, the tenor horn.

Loud music

He was even a member of the Middlesex Youth Orchestra before his passion led him to embrace a different style of music.

Entwistle once said that he took up the guitar after becoming a fan of musician Duane Eddy as a teenager, and had loved playing loud music.

He said: "I really get irritated when people could turn up their guitar amps and play louder than me. So I decided that I was going to play guitar."

The Who became just as famous for their outrageous stage antics, trashing expensive equipment during live performances.

Tales of their bad boy behaviour became the subject of music legend.


A year later, drummer Keith Moon, who died of an accidental overdose, also once detonated a flash bomb that destroyed his drum set and damaged Townshend's ears.

Entwistle though, was not known for matching the behaviour of his fellow band members.

He stood out for playing without emotion - a stark contrast to the antics of Daltrey and Townshend.

Entwistle, who was married twice and has a son, Christopher, was also a talented artist.

On Friday he had been due to due to open an art show featuring his work at Grammy's Art of Music Gallery in Las Vegas.

Entwistle's art included cartoon-type portraits of himself and his bandmates.

He was due to unveil a new picture, featuring rock stars including Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.

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28 Nov 00 | Entertainment
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