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Died On This Date (June 27, 2002) John Entwistle / The Who

Posted by themusicsover on June 27, 2010

John Entwistle
October 9, 1944 – June 27, 2002

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John Entwistle was best known as the bass player for the Who.  His loud and fast style of playing was as important to the group as the voice of Roger Daltrey; the songwriting and guitar of Pete Townshend; and the sloppy but essential drumming of Keith Moon.  If one of those parts were missing, the magic of the Who would have never happened.   Entwistle also played the trumpet, piano, and french horn; wrote great songs and sang.  Playing the bass like a lead guitar, would influence such greats as Geddy Lee, Phil Lesh, Flea, Tommy Stinson and Billy Sheehan.   He even went as far as being the first known bassist to use Marshall stacks in concert, a practice normally reserved for guitarists.  The Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman once described Entwistle as “the quietest man in private but the loudest man on stage.”  Entwistle stayed with the Who during their 30+ year run, staying busy during band hiatuses with his own side projects or on tour with Ringo Starr.  But he apparently had a difficult time managing his own money and some have said that each time the Who reunited, it was out of the love that Daltrey and Townshend had for him – their way of helping him out of financial straits.  It was one day before the start of one of these tours that Entwistle was found dead in his Las Vegas hotel room.  It was June 27, 2002, and John Entwistle was dead of what was ruled a heart attack caused by a relatively small amount of cocaine.  It should be pointed out that the Who were such a powerful four-piece live band, that it took an added keyboardist and a second guitarist to, in later years, take the place of John Entwistle and original drummer, Keith Moon.

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