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Friday, 28 June, 2002, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
Entwistle's death 'devastates' The Who
John Entwistle
Entwistle played bass and sang backing vocals
The Who's Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey said they have lost "another great friend" following the announcement of the death of fellow band member John Entwistle.

Entwistle, 57, died in a Las Vegas hotel on Thursday, on the eve of the band's US tour.

It is believed he may have suffered a heart attack, although the cause of death will not be confirmed until after an autopsy is carried out on Friday.


The Ox has left the building - we've lost another great friend. Thanks for your support and love. Pete and Roger

Tribute on Pete Townshend's website

Las Vegas police said there was no reason to believe there was anything suspicious about the death.

The Who manager Bill Curbishley said Daltrey and Townshend were "devastated".

"The entire Who family is terribly saddened by John's passing," he said.

"Our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends and the millions of Who fans the world over."

The Who
Enduring act: Entwistle, Daltrey and Townshend
Entwistle's family said in a statement: "The tragic and untimely death of John Entwistle has left an irreplaceable void.

"A devoted son to his mother, cherished father to his son and loving partner to his girlfriend, he will be mourned deeply by his family and many friends.

The statement continued: "We, his family, are deeply grateful for the many tributes and messages of condolence that we have received.

"We are sure all will respect our request for a brief period of privacy in which to mourn and adjust our lives to this tragedy."


One thing is for sure, the rock band in heaven is a lot better now
Benoit Doyon, Canada

To read more of your comments, click here
Entwistle's death leaves just two of the original members of The Who - singer Daltrey and guitarist/songwriter Townsend.

Original drummer Keith Moon died of an accidental overdose in 1978.

Rolling Stones guitarist Bill Wyman said Entwistle was a "great friend for many years - the quietest man in private but the loudest man on stage".

"He was unique and irreplaceable and I am shocked and devastated," Wyman added.

Bearded Entwistle, affectionately known as "Ox," died at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, said coroner Ron Flud, of the Clark County Coroner's office in Las Vegas.

Also a talented artist, Entwistle was due to open an art show featuring his work at the Grammy's Art of Music Gallery in Las Vegas on Friday.

The Who were one of the biggest rock bands of the 1960s and 70s, with hits including the massive My Generation, Pinball Wizard and Substitute.

John Entwistle
Entwistle has been described as one of the most influential musicians of his time
Their rock musical Tommy, which stared a young Elton John as well as The Who front man Roger Daltrey and Entwistle playing himself, became a huge hit in the West End.

In addition to playing bass, Entwistle helped out on backing vocals.

His forays into song-writing were limited to album tracks and B-sides. He later released half a dozen solo albums.

Entwistle, born in Chiswick, west London in 1944, joined Daltrey in a forerunner of The Who in the early 1960s while still working as a tax clerk.

The band really took shape in 1964 and its stylised "Mod" outfits and haircuts spawned a generation of look-a-likes.

John Entwistle
Entwistle in 1975 when the band were at the forefront of the rock industry
They were among the original bad boys of rock with a habit of trashing stage equipment after each set.

With Entwistle, The Who continued to tour in recent years.

Two years ago on a tour they raised more than 1m for a teenage cancer charity.

The reverence given to the group by contemporary rock stars was proved when they were joined on stage for their last gig by Paul Weller, Noel Gallagher from Oasis and Bryan Adams.

The planned US tour was due to take in venues in various states in the US, including New York and California.

It is not yet known if the tour will continue without the bassist.

Entwistle was married twice, and has a son, Christopher, from his first marriage.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Navdip Dhariwal
"Occasionally John Entwistle stole the limelight"
The Rolling Stone's Bill Wyman
"I'll miss him, he was a sweet guy"

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28 Nov 00 | Entertainment
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