Biography

The man who expanded the rhythmic background sounds of the bass guitar to a complex upfront sound that helped define a new form of rock music, John Entwhistle (affectionately nicknamed "the Ox") was arguably the most influential bassist in rock & roll history. His subtle humor and remarkable contributions to the Who's musical library not only stood out amidst the chaotic theatricals of bandmates Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, and Keith Moon, but also inspired a whole new generation of musicians who continue to expand on his unique style even today. Born in October 1944 in the London suburb of Chiswick, Entwhistle took to music early in life. Early schooling on the French horn and the piano helped to refine his musical sensibilities, and it was in grammar school that he and Townshend began to collaborate under the name the Confederates. The duo soon teamed with Daltrey to form the Detours, and upon completing the foursome with drummer Moon, the lineup that would eventually rocket to fame under the name the Who began to perform as the High Numbers. When Daltrey decided to give up rhythm guitar, Entwhistle's compensation grew increasingly loud and complex, bringing his pulsing sounds to the forefront of the Who's auditory assault and breathing new life into the public perception of the instrument's effectiveness in creating a new and innovative sound in rock music. Later releasing a series of Who albums and a handful of solo albums, Entwhistle's darkly humorous contributions to the Who resulted in such memorable tunes as "Boris the Spider," "The Quiet One," and "The Ox." Performing sporadically following a 1982 farewell tour, the Who's popularity continues to grow even years after the band stopped releasing original material. In late June 2002, just one day before the Who were to embark on a limited North American tour, Entwhistle died as the result of a heart attack in Las Vegas, leaving Daltrey and Townshend as the sole surviving members of the band's original lineup. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi