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John Alec Entwistle (London9 October 1944 – Las Vegas27 June 2002) was an English bassistsongwritersinger , and horn playerwho is best known as bassist for the British rock band The Who. He is considered as one of the largest, most respected and most influential[1[2][3rock bass players of all time, especially since he had an aggressive and leading role in the songs he played. He influenced both contemporaries and younger bass players including John Deacon (Queen), Les ClaypoolSteve HarrisGeddy LeeLemmy Kilmister, Phil Lesh, Noel Redding, Billy Sheehan, Chris Squire and Mike Watt.

Entwistle developed with his style the potential of the bass guitar as a guiding musical instrument, using fierce pentatonic lead lines and a ' high ' sound that almost never was heard in the early sixties. He pioneered the use of steel bass stringswound around, which for him were made by the firm RotoSound[4]. Looking for a sound passing through the musical frenzy of The Who, Entwistle experimented with countless had to cut bass guitars. At the time of his death, Entwistle's collection consisted of more than 200 copies. The quest had its highlights at the time that Entwistle used the Alembic 's basses in the 1970s and the Status Graphitebasses in the 1990s -and zero.These are guitars, which he has used in his later career the most. He was since the early years of The Who known for its typical sound and his virtuosity as a bassist."Entwistle was actually the first bass player who ' released ' from the traditional Boom-Boom-rhythm", said Pete Townshend (The Who'sguitarist ) ever in an interview. Also, sound engineer Glyn Johnsof The Who who's Next , among other things, was full of praise for Entwistle: "he plays purely with the vocals with it". [5]


"What did for the guitar, Hendrix did Entwistle for the bass." [6[7



[hide]*1 early life

Life Course[Edit][]

Childhood and early musical career[Edit][]

Entwistle was born in 1944 in Chiswick (London). His parents, Herbert and Maude Entwistle, were both musicians and divorced soon after his birth. He was in his youth and was educated at his Grandma much on the Acton County Grammar School. On his seventh, Daniel Entwistle all lesson the eleven piano and he got his father's lesson in playing the trumpet. [8he joined the Middlesex Youth Orchestra, where he learned to play the Horn . As a teenager In the early 1960s he played in various jazzanddixielandbands, along with Pete Townshend. They played among other things in The Confederates, in which Townshend played banjo and Entwistle Horn, in The Aristocrats and The Scorpions. Around 1960 noticed Entwistle on that demand for bass players huge rose. He had never played guitar and made his own bass on his grandmother's dining table, following the example of the Fender Precision Bass (which he incidentally frette as a Höfner-vioolbas). In the 1960s, Roger Daltrey was lead guitarist for the band The Detours, while Entwistle then still worked at the Tax Office. After Daltrey Entwistle had seen lugging through the streets with his bass guitar and amplifier asked Entwistle Daltrey to play in his band. He did this and tipped Townshend as rhythm guitarist. After some shifts had found place in The Detours, found its final form in 1964 the band with drummer Keith Moon as. They had their name when already changed in The Who.

Full treble, full volume: The Who[Edit][]

[3][4]Entwistle with The Who in Ludwigshafen, 1967

In the mid-sixties was one of the first employing the Entwistle Marshallstacks. Pete Townshend later remarked that Entwistle began using the Marshalls to top Keith Moons gedrum to come out. Townshend had to also use them later about Entwistle's bass sound to come out.Both continued expanding and experimenting with their equipment, until both were making Twin Stacks with experimental 200W-amplifiers-while most bands used 50-100W amps with single cabinets. This in turn had a strong influence on the band's contemporaries, such as Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, which quickly followed. Ironically, however, was-while they only pioneered, but contributed directly to the development of the "classic" Marshall sound, that this total was adjusted on them personally-that they would use this equipment only a small number of years. Entwistle eventually switched to Sound City/HIWATT in his search for the perfect sound, with Townshend in its wake following.

John Entwistle also experimented throughout his career with the phenomenon of 'bi-amping', in which the high and low signals from the bass sound by separate routes led to more control over the actual sound from the amplifier. At one time it was his equipment such extended with speaker cabinets and other amplifiers, that it is affectionately called ' Little Manhattan'.

It was supposed to Entwistle's full treble, full volumeapproach to the bass sound in the basssolo in "My Generation". [9according to Entwistle was his original intention for itsDanelectrobas for the solo to use because of its characteristic sound. During the third recording session (the solo was not played during the first two) had Entwistle all strings broken. To his horror turned out none of the shops near Danelectro-strings to sell, so he bought a second Danelectro bass. The fourth session ended exactly equal to the third.According to Entwistle: "when it was decided to continue with the inclusion of " My Generation ", sat there for me no option but to go back to the shop and a third Danelectrobas to buy." Eventually he took a simpler solo with a Fender Jazz Bass and a guitar pick. This solo bass break is an important moment in rock history because it is one of the first (if not the first) is captured on a rock album. There is also a live recording of The Who from this period (c. 1965), which Entwistle plays a Danelectro on "My Generation" to give you an idea how this solo would have sounded.

Rarely was his talent in the studio clearly laid down on plates. As he said in 1999 : "... I am a live performer, I play live fifty times better than in the studio. (...) If you make a mistake, that four or five others in the studio must also start again. " However during the performance of The Who's "A Quick One While he's Away" (in which he played the role of Ivor the Engine Driver- 1968) showed that Entwistle's style and sound was developed, as well as during the whole concert recording of "Live at Leeds" (1970). At concertsguitarist Pete Townshend and Entwistle often changed by role, whereby Entwistle and Townshend the numbers opleukte with fast melodic bass lines provided for supportiverhythmic chords. Townshend said often that Entwistle was the lead guitarist of the band, while he, as rhythmic element in fact the drummer was. Moon on the other side, with all its bustle around the drum kit was like an equivalent of a keyboardist. Entwistle himself told in several interviews (including one with Chris Jisi of Guitar Player in 1989) that, according to modern standards, "The Who has no actual bass player."

On records like "who's Next" (1971) and "Quadrophenia" (1973) carried Entwistle – apart from the bass-also contributed to songs by a number of times to play Horn and to create an impressive brass section . This can be heard on the songs "My Wife" and "5: 15" respectively. However, Entwistle played during live performances rarely on the wind instruments. Instead, he played in "5: 15" an extremely extended bass soloists with which he the number brought near or even beyond the ten minute limit.

Then in the 1970s the punk rock rose, The Who came in somewhat calmer waters. This gave Entwistle the time to what to concentrate more on his solo career, which resulted in four solo albums. In 1975 he formed his own group, called The Ox, to his own pet name. [10by the end of the 1970s, early 1980s, Entwistle was asked to the soundtracks of the rockumentary "The Kids Are Alright" and the film "Quadrophenia" , to the advancing down on bootlegging .

Design and pursuit of perfection in late music career[Edit][]

[5][6]Roger Daltrey with John Entwistle (2000 in the background)

After The Who was disintegrated in 1983 , Entwistle went looking for a new bass guitar. After years to have played on the Alembics and known to have become with the defaults of the Basses (humidity in combination with the wood and the battery[11]), he wanted to try to produce a bass which corresponded to his wishes in terms of sound and looks. He approached Hans Peter Wilfer, the founder and Director of Warwick Basses, and they made together the design, which they later in the café "Maggie 's"Buzzard baptized. [12although the sound was good, were looking for Entwistle to more firmness in the bass. Therefore, he approached the company Modulus, which for him the neck of the bass in with carbon fibers reinforced plastic gutter. [13Later, Entwistle at the firm Status Graphite Buzzard whole in this material, where he left a casting. It took three attempts to pour him well, but the result was apparently well: Entwistle played the last years of his career only on this guitar. [14]

After a time no longer stuck with The Who to have played (the last time was for the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), The John Entwistle Band formed Entwistle with his bosom friend, drummer Steve Luongo. Godfrey Townsend (no ' h ', and no relative of Pete Townshend) played guitar and was lead singer. In 1996 the band went on the "Left for Dead"tour with Alan St. Jon on keyboards. After Entwistle "Quadrophenia"tour with The Who in 1996-97 , the band continued the tour had sitting out ("Left for Dead-the Sequel") in 1998 with Gordon Cotten on keyboards. After this second series of performances, the band released a "highlights" album, called "Left for Live".

The Who gathers again In 1999 and gave-as well as in the following year-a long series of benefit concerts in relatively small rooms. The tour ends, however, Grand, with a charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall inLondon for the Teenage Cancer Trust-Fund, later a cd/dvd of which (under the name "Live at The Royal Albert Hall" -captured video images on Entwistle's last album) came out. In 2001 gave Entwistle The Who together with during The Concert for New York City in October 2001, a concert of four numbers and in the same year, he played in Alan ParsonsBeatles tribute show "A Walk Down Abbey Road". Also Ann Wilson appeared In the show of HeartTodd Rundgren, David Pack of Ambrosia, Godfrey Townsend on guitar, Steve Luongo on drums and John Beck on keyboards.

In January-February 2002 John played his last concerts with The Who. These concerts took place in England. The last concert was on 8 February in the Royal Albert Hall.

Death and posthumous events[Edit][]

Entwistle died on 57-year-old age in hotel room 658 in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. His death came just before he would open an exhibition of his own paintings and one day before the scheduled first show of the tour of "The Who" by the United States.

At autopsy , it was found that Entwistle's death was due to a heart attack, caused by a non set amount of cocaine. Although the dose into his bloodstream was not large, the drug sure are coronairvaten — who were already weakened by his years of smoking addictiondrug use and drug-— were gathering, which led to the fatal heart attack.

The memorial service took place on 10 July 2002 in Saint Edward's Church in Stow-on-the-Wold (Gloucestershire). He was cremated and his ashes buried privately. [15On 24 October 2002 a memorial service in London was held in St Martin-in-the-Fields on Trafalgar Square.

Entwistle's huge collection of guitars and basses was at Sotheby's auction house in London by his son, Christopher Entwistle auctioned to the inheritance tax to pay off. Joy Division/New Order bassist Peter Hook is one of the people who some of Entwistle's bass guitars bought at the auction . Likewise were later his immense country house in Stow-on-the-Wold in the Cotswolds and a large number of his very personal belongings sold to tax bills to pay, an ironic end because Entwistle originally at the tax office worked until he resigned when The Who was successful.

[7][8]Pino Palladino in 2007

Bass Player Pino Palladino, who played on several of Pete Townshend's solo record, Entwistle's tasks took on stage about The Who, after the tour of the Usa according to the wishes of Entwistle's family continued. Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, the only remaining members, Whohave to view interviews that are on the "The Who Live in Boston"-dvd. It is also on that dvd displays a list of the works of art that he had made.

Although The Who, including Entwistle and Moon, has included a fair amount of instruments with numbers, they have always played as a four piece band. After the death of drummer Moon, was not only Small Faces/Facesdrummer Kenny Jones -member of the band and later replaced by Phil Simon Lambert and Zak Starkey -but also The Who added a keyboardist (John "Rabbit" Bundrick) to the live band. Something very similar happened when Entwistle died: he was replaced by Pino Palladino, and a rhythm guitarist (Simon Townshend -Petes younger brother) was added. Simon Townshend, however, a few weeks before Entwistle's death already took part in the rehearsals.


For more detailed information, see The Who (occupancy).

Style and technique[Edit][]




[13]Plectrum, balanced



The technique that Entwistle used, ranged from the use of his fingersplectra and tapping to using harmonics in his passages. He changes his way of playing between the songs and sometimes even during the songs. His finger technique consists of the hard down the strings and for this than to let go, what a high and twangy sound. On the strings with his fingers, his thumb position changes Entwistle by moving them from the element to the E string and even his thumb to levitate near this element. Entwistle has a separate plectrum technique: he loves the plectrum between his thumb and index finger, while the rest of his fingers outstretched for balance.

Entwistle also developed the so-called "typewriter" technique. Hereby he laid his arm on the top ' wing ' of his guitar (see the Alembic Explorer and the Buzzard Bass), making him the four fingers of his right hand (the thumb is not used) easily above could keep all strings and could play it in a percussive way, strings were the key, which gave a very characteristic sound. This way of playing the bass player gives the possibility to use three or even four strings at the same time or different fingers on one string. With this "typewriter" technique could create both percussisch as melodic passages were Entwistle. His Buzzardbas (and to a lesser extent also the Alembic) was built so that he could ' steps ' with his fingers on the strings as if he were typing on a typewriter was. This way of playing the guitar is unique, stands at the cradle of several other techniques, and should not be confused with the hammer-ontechnique of Eddie Van Halen and Stu Hamm or the slaptechnique of Larry Graham. [16a demonstration of this way of bass playing can be seen on the video called John Entwistle-Master Class, which is both a part of Arlen Roth's Hot licks instructional series,as Mike Gordon's film, Rising Low.

In Gordon's film is good featured all three that Entwistle used his fingers while playing. This allows him to create "clusters of nuts" in his bass lines, as well as the relatively easy playingtriplets.

What stands out to Entwistle's left hand is that he let his left hand when playing octaves on the slide, frets seizes, and uses the pentatonic scale.

Entwistle himself called his influences a combination of his school rehearsals on the Horn, trumpet and piano (giving his fingers got a tremendous force). Musicians who influenced him include rock 'n roll-guitarists Duane Eddy and Gene Vincent , and various American souland R & Bbassists such as James Jamerson-. As well as Jamerson, Entwistle is praised as a pioneer on the bass guitar.


The Ox[Edit][]

He was not because of his size or his tendency to all the time to stand still during the live performances called "The Ox", but because of his strong body conditions. It was his apparent ' skill ' to "more to eat, to drink or whatever to do more than the rest of them". However, In "The Who", in which the guitarist wild with his arms waving, a singer with his microphone continuously throws and a drummer who made the day Entwistle was upset about his drum kit, the quietest of the bunch. This is probably the reason why fans call him "The Ox".

The Quiet One[Edit][]

In 1981, when Face Dances was issued, there appeared a number of 3: 09, entitled "The Quiet One". The song was written by Entwistle itself and was also sung by him. A characteristic sentence was: "I ain't quiet, everybody else is too loud", which visually, a fact was at a band as "The Who". Nevertheless, Bill Wyman, who called long time bassist of the Rolling Stones has been him "the quietest man in private parts, but the loudest man on stage", which slapped on his musical violence. [17]



Entwistle's Whosongs conceal, as well as his solo material, a dark shade of humor, which is often inconsistent was compared to Pete Townshends somewhat introspectievere work. Although Entwistle Who-for all the albums, apart from "Quadrophenia" numbers has written, led his frustration due to the fact that The Who recorded everything as a band (and Roger Daltrey would sing his songs) that Entwistle as the first member of The Who released a solo album, called "Smash Your Head Against The Wall" (1971).


Solo Albums[Edit][]

  • 1971 • Smash Your Head Agains The Wall
  • 1972 • Whistle Rymes
  • 1973 • Rigor Mortis Sets In
  • 1975 • Mad Dog
  • 1981 • Too Late The Hero
  • 1996 • The Rock
  • King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents 1996 • in Concert
  • 1999 • Left For Live
  • 2000 • Music From Van Pires

On albums by others[Edit][]

  • 1971 • Smiling Men With Bad Reputations (Mike Heron)
  • 1975 • Flash Fearless Vs The Zorg Women Parts 5 and 6 (Alice Cooper and others)
  • 1976 • Any Road Up (Steve Gibbons Band)
  • 1977 • One Of The Boys (Roger Daltrey)
  • 1977 • Fabulous graphic designer and Art Director (The Fabulous graphic designer and art director)
  • 1977 • Rough Mix (Pete Townshend & Ronnie Lane)
  • 1978 • Mirror Stars (The Fabulous graphic designer and art director)
  • 1979 • Framed (Dave Lambert)
  • 1980 • McVicar (Roger Daltrey)
  • 1984 • Un Autre Monde (Téléphone)
  • 1985 • Wind In The Willows (Eddie Harden, Zak Starkey and others)
  • 1985 • you'll Never Walk Alone (Bradford City Disaster Fund)
  • 1989 • The Iron Man: A Musical (Pete Townshend)
  • 1991 • When you're A Boy (Susanna Hoffs)
  • 1994 • Celebration: The Music Of The Who (Roger Daltrey)
  • 1994 • Halfway Back From Anywhere (Ian Brusby)
  • 1995 • Looks Like Ringo, Sound Like John (Wiseguys Intl.)
  • 1995 • Ringo Starr and His third All-Starr Band-Volume 1 (Ringo Starr and others)
  • Baptizm of Fire ( 1997 • Glenn Tipton & Cozy Powell)
  • 2001 • The Deep End, Volume 1 (Gov't Mule)
  • 2002 • The Pioneers With Special Guest Pioneer John Entwistle (The Pioneers)
  • 2006 • Edge of the World (As Tipton, Entwistle & Powell) (posthumous)

Who-written songs[Edit][]

-B-side of "I Can See For Miles" in Uk and from "Magic Bus" in Usa
  • 1968 -"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"
-B-side of "Call Me Lightning" in USA and from "Magic Bus" in Uk


  • 1983 • The Best Of Music And Rhythm
  • 2003 • Songs From The Material World
  • 2005 • So who's The Bass Player? The Ox Anthology


Entwistle was prized for its dry humour, here are some of his statements:[18]

  • "We were later richer than that I thought it would. Now I'm too old to enjoy my money. "
  • "God was our lighting technician."
(About the Sun that came up and the stage lit up during the final of Tommy at Woodstock in 1969.)
  • "Netherlands is wet, flat and full of the same plane flight people."
(when after the introduction of Heaven & Hell; "No one knows where you are going after death." from the audience "The Netherlands!" was called.)
  • "I just wanted to know what it is like to be a failure."
(Why he started a solo career.)
  • "I myself, of course!"
(Who was his favorite bassist.)


  • Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton has also released material by for Entwistle's death on his solo collection "Edge of the World" (2005).
  • John Entwistle was appointed by Guitar Magazine as "Bass Player of the Millennium".
  • Entwistle was In 2004 by the magazine Rolling Stone Magazine posthumously named best bassist ever.