This Day in Rock. John “The Ox” Entwistle.
John Entwistle was born on October 9, 1944, in Chiswick, England.
Growing up in London, Entwistle showed a talent for several instruments, including the piano, trumpet and bass guitar. He met musician and future Who bandmate Pete Townshend in high school, and the two played together in different bands.
In 1961, Entwistle joined the Detours, a group that also included Roger Daltrey. Later Townshend and drummer Keith Moon came aboard and the group changed its name to the Who in the mid-1960s.
Behind the scenes, he was also a talented songwriter, creating some of the band’s songs, including “Boris the Spider,” “Whiskey Man,” “Cousin Kevin” and “My Wife.”
Watch The Who performing ‘My Wife’, John singing.
In 1990 John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Who.
On June 27, 2002, one day before the scheduled first show of the Who's 2002 United States tour, John Entwistle died from a heart attack in Las Vegas, Nevada. Some of the group’s dates were canceled, but Daltrey and Townshend played out the remainder of the tour, performing in honor of their friend.
On Pete Townshend's website, Townshend and Roger Daltrey published a tribute, saying, "The Ox has left the building— we've lost another great friend. Thanks for your support and love. Pete and Roger".
Watch the very first concert, in Hollywood Los Angeles, after John Entwistle's death a few days earlier. Before performing "Bargain", Pete talks briefly about missing John.
In 2011, John was voted as the greatest bass guitarist of all time in a Rolling Stone reader's poll.