John Entwistle, bassist for legendary U.K. rock act the Who, was found dead of an apparent heart attack today (June 27) in a Las Vegas hotel room, according to a spokesperson for the Clark County Coro

John Entwistle, bassist for legendary U.K. rock act the Who, was found dead of an apparent heart attack today (June 27) in a Las Vegas hotel room, according to a spokesperson for the Clark County Coroner's office. He was 57.

The Who was to begin an extensive North American tour at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel tomorrow night.

The Vegas show has been canceled but the rest of the tour was undecided, said Beckye Levin of promoter Clear Channel Entertainment. "I was told he passed away in his sleep last night," Levin said, breaking into sobs during a telephone interview.

Who manager Robert Rosenberg said he was "saddened and shocked."

There was "nothing suspicious" about Entwistle's death, a Clark County fire spokesperson said.

Entwistle's passing leaves guitarist Pete Townshend, 57, and vocalist Roger Daltrey, 58, as the Who's lone surviving members. Drummer Keith Moon died of a drug overdose on Sept. 7, 1978, at the age of 31.

Entwistle was born in Cheswick, England, on Oct. 9, 1944. He was playing in bands by his mid-teens and joined the High Numbers with Townshend, Daltrey, and Moon in 1963. The group changed its name to the Who in 1964 and began a recording career that went on to include some of the most influential albums in rock history.

The bassist's rigid on-stage demeanor served as a counterpoint to the maniacal drumming of Moon and Townshend's flamboyant guitar strumming. Although his songwriting contributions were minimal, Entwistle did pen a number of familiar tracks, including "Boris the Spider" (from "Happy Jack," issued in the U.K. as "A Quick One"), "My Wife" (from "Who's Next"), and "Trick of the Light" (from "Who Are You").

He recorded several solo albums, including 1971's highly regarded "Smash Your Head Against the Wall," and in later years toured as the leader of the John Entwistle Band.


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y. & AP



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