John Entwistle Biography

John Entwistle
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Quick Facts

Birthday: October 9, 1944

Nationality: British

Died At Age: 57

Sun Sign: Libra

Also Known As: The Ox, Thunderfingers, The Quiet One, Big Johnny Twinkle

Born Country: England

Born in: Chiswick, London, England, United Kingdom

Famous as: Guitarist

Guitarists Rock Singers

Height: 6'0" (183 cm), 6'0" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Alison Wise (m. 1967- div. ), Maxene Harlow (m. 1991 – div. 1997)

father: Herbert Entwistle

mother: Queenie Johns

children: Christopher Entwistle

Died on: June 27, 2002

place of death: Paradise, Nevada, United States

City: London, England

Cause of Death: Cocaine Overdose

More Facts

education: Ark Acton Academy

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John Entwistle was an English bass guitarist, songwriter, singer and music producer. He earned a lot of popularity as the guitarist for ‘The Who’, an English rock band. Known as one of the most influential bassists in rock music, he also played other instruments such as the trumpet, bugle, piano and Jew’s harp. He was invited by Roger Daltrey to join ‘The Who’; the band became very successful during the 1960s and 1970s. Some of his solo works include the albums ‘Smash Your Head Against the Wall’, ‘Rigor Mortis Sets In’, ‘Mad Dog’, and ‘Too Late the Hero’. Entwistle was voted in 2011 as the greatest bass guitarist of all time in a reader’s poll by Rolling Stone magazine. In their ‘100 Greatest Bass Players’ issue in 2017, he was listed at seventh position. In 1990, he was also elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as member of ‘The Who’. He passed away in 2002, at a hotel in Paradise, Nevada, just a day before the first show of ‘The Who’s’ 2002 United States tour.
Childhood & Early Life
John Entwistle was born in Chiswick, a district of West London, on 9 October 1944. His father, Herbert, used to play the trumpet, while his mother, Maud, used to play the piano. Though his parents’ marriage was a failure, divorce was very uncommon at the time, and therefore, his parents didn’t part.
From an early age, he began taking lessons in piano. He later switched to the trumpet as well. Eventually he switched to playing bass guitar, and also attracted the attention of Roger Daltrey who asked Entwistle to join his band ‘The Detours’, as a bass guitarist.
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Career with The Who
’The Detours’ eventually changed its name to ‘The Who’. They released their debut album in December 1965 titled ‘My Generation’. It included tracks such as ‘The Kids are Alright’, ‘I’m a Man’, and ‘The Ox’. Their second album was ‘A Quick One’ which released the next year.
The band reached success with their third album ‘The Who Sell Out’, which released in 1967. It reached 13th position on the UK Albums Chart. It included tracks such as ‘Armenia City in the Sky’, ‘Odorono’, and ‘Tattoo’. The album received a lot of appreciation from critics, and has also been viewed as Who’s best work by a few. It has been listed in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of ‘500 Greatest Albums of All Time’.
Their fourth album ‘Tommy’, which released in 1969, was also a success, and reached second position on the UK Albums Chart. In 1971, the band released their fifth album ‘Who’s Next ‘, which became their most successful work so far. The album was also able to reach 4th position on the US Billboard 200, as well as 1st position on the UK Albums Chart. It reached top ten in other countries including Canada, Denmark, France, Netherlands and Norway. The album also received critical appreciation.
Over the next few years, the band continued to release several other albums, most of which were quite successful. Some of them include ‘Quadrophenia’, (1973), ‘Who Are You’, (1978), ‘It’s Hard’ (1982), and ‘Endless Wire’ (2006).
In 2019, they released their latest album ‘Who’, which was a success, reaching 2nd position on the US Billboard 200, and at 3rd position on the UK Albums Chart.
Solo Career
John Entwistle was the first member of the band to begin a solo career. In 1971, he released his debut album ‘Smash Your Head Against the Wall’. Though the album didn’t do very well commercially, it earned Entwistle a cult following amongst his fans in the US. He continued to release several other albums though none of them managed to be much of a success. Some of those albums include ‘Mad Dog’ (1975), ‘Too Late the Hero’, (1981), and ‘Music from Van Pires’ (2000).
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Major Works
’The Who Sell Out’, the third album of Entwistle’s band ‘The Who’, was their first successful work. It was released on 15 December 1967. The album included tracks such as ‘Armenia City in the Sky’, ‘Odorono’ and ‘Mary Anne with the Shaky Hand’. The album has received critical acclaim, and has also been listed in Rolling Stone magazine’s ‘500 Greatest Albums of All Time’.
Another one of Entwistle’s successful work is his band’s fifth album ‘Who’s Next’. It reached fourth position on the US Billboard 200, and first position on the UK Albums Chart. It reached top ten in charts of various countries such as France, Norway and Netherlands. The album was also praised by the critics. It included tracks such as ‘Bargain’, ‘The Song is Over’, and ‘Going Mobile’.
Family & Personal Life
John Entwistle married Alison Wise, his childhood sweetheart in 1967. They had one child. They eventually divorced, after which he married Maxene Harlow. They divorced in 1997.
John Entwistle died in a room at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, in Paradise, Nevada, on 27 June 2002. His death took place just before one day of his band’s US tour of the year. According to the medical examiner, his death was caused by cocaine overdose, which induced a heart attack.

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