Dingwall Basses The Best Basses In The World
John Entwistle, Died here in Las Vegas today June 27 2002.
I got the news about 3 hours before I was supposed to meet with him at the Aladdin Hotel's GRAMMY'S Art of Music Art Gallery where I was supposed to drop off a couple of guitars and show John a couple of new bass designs.
John will be sorely missed just as there could never be a replacement for Keith Moon there most certainly could never be a replacement for John Entwistle. John's Band "The John Entwistle Band" never had the success that "The Who" had.
When I was a teenager listening to "Happy Jack" "Boris the Spider" by "The Who". I never dreamed that someday, I would get to meet the band members and actually become friends with one of them.
I have met Roger, Pete and Zack several times, but briefly and in passing. However, I met John on an entirely different level. I became closer to John back in 1995 when his drummer Steve Luongo arranged for me to get backstage passes at the Ringo Starr Allstar Jam with my friend Felix Cavaliere from the Rascals and Mark Farner from Grand Funk. My wife Joanne took an instant liking to John and likewise he did to her.
We had discussed a joint venture together "Ebass" or Entwistle Bass Guitars. This was a business plan that involved John's designs for a bass and my ability to execute the designs and market them.
We had talked about it on and off for 4 years. We had discussed a dot com business that involved the sales of Basses only. One of the reasons I never pushed Basses on my World Class Guitars site was because in the back of my mind I fully intended to go forward with the deal. Too bad it never happened.
Life is short. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. It's easy to make that statement, I know.
As of February 2003 I have decided to push forward with a state of the art high end Bass guitar department. I will be stocking some of the finest basses in the world.
John, you will be missed..........
Ed & Joanne Roman
Built in the Ed Roman Custom Shop
The John Entwistle Limited Edition Foundation Bass
Available Only From Ed Roman & The John
Connect The dots on "The Who By The Numbers"
This Is The Bass
Born John Alec Entwistle on October 9, 1944, to Herbert & Maud "Queenie" Entwistle in Chiswick, England. Herbert Entwistle played trumpet. Queenie Entwistle played piano.
The Entwistle's marriage failed shortly after John' s birth. Entwistle spent most of his childhood living with his grandparents.
At three, Entwistle stood up at a local cinema to sing along with Al Jolson songs. Entwistle's grandfather took John to workingmen's clubs where John stood on chairs and sang Jolson standards.
At seven, Entwistle began taking piano lessons until 11. Then, Entwistle began playing the trumpet based on his father's knowledge of the trumpet.
At Middlesex School, Entwistle played a tenor horn purchased by the school. After school, Entwistle played in "Trad" bands. Entwistle picked traditional jazz so he could play the trumpet. Traditional jazz is where Entwistle met Pete Townshend. Entwistle and Townshend kicked around in a few bands together. Entwistle eventually went to a better band.
At around 14, Entwistle became a fan of Duane Eddy and John wanted to play loud like Eddy. Entwistle stated, "I just wanted to be louder. I really get irritated when people could turn up their guitar amps and play louder than me. So I decided that I was going to play guitar."
Entwistle also stated, "I did want to be a lead guitarist. The role of lead guitarist was the most glamorous to me. I wanted to make solo spots in a group. And you don't go from being a front man to a back man. But I always preferred the sound of a bass- it excited me the most."
Entwistle's family couldn't afford to purchase a bass guitar. So, Entwistle obtained a piece of mahogany that was in the shape of the popular bass of 1960, a Fender Precision body. Entwistle had the bass fretted like a Hofner bass.
Entwistle completed the bass on grandmother's best dining room table that permanently damaged the surface of the table. Entwistle then moved to a Fenton-Weill bass made by Entwistle and Fenton factory hands.
Entwistle then became a member of Roger Daltrey's band called the Detours. In fact it was Entwistle who recommended Pete Townshend to Daltrey to join the band on rhythm guitar.
In 1961, Entwistle graduated from Acton Grammar. Entwistle's family could not afford to pay for John's education. Sometime in 1962-1963, Entwistle found work with Inland Revenue Service, England's IRS.
Entwistle would sleep in the tax office after long nights of playing in the Detours. Entwistle became a filing clerk in the tax office because John was hoarse from spending the night singing "Twist and Shout" and "I Saw Here Standing There.".
At this time, the members of the Detours were Townshend on rhythm guitar, Entwistle on bass, Daltrey on lead guitar, Doug Sandom on drums, and Colin Dawson on lead vocal.
In late 1962 and early 1963, the Detours opened for Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, a power trio with a lead singer band setup. After a change of lead singers, the Detours decided to go to a power trio plus singer with Daltrey switching to lead vocal and Townshend switching to lead guitar. Entwistle would then change his sound to be more of a second guitar than as a traditional bass.
As one of the Detours, Doug Sandom said of Entwistle, " A John didn't like to upset anybody. He was the boy who was quiet, who wouldn't upset anybody."
Entwistle recalled that the Detours were, "the first band to use large amounts of equipment" because "we decided to be loud, to have a lot of impact."
Pete Townshend recalled that Entwistle was the first musician to play through Marshall amplifiers. "Once John had a Marshall he was so loud, I had to get one," said Townshend.
In February of 1964, the Detours decided to change their name to The Who because Entwistle saw on television an Irish band called the Detours.
In April 1964, drummer Doug Sandom left the band. Keith Moon became The Who 's drummer. Moon's addition changed Entwistle's role. Townshend remarked, "What's interesting in our group is that the roles are reversed. John's the lead guitar, and although I'm not the bass player, he produces a hell of a lot of lead work."
The Who were developing a powerful stage presence. Entwistle, though, just stood there as a straight quiet bass player. As Townshend stated, "John doesn't demand attention. For years, nobody even noticed John was there."
On the early Who stage presence, Entwistle stated, "The thing was at the back of our minds, we trained ourselves to think everyone else was below us. I never would have been able to walk on stage if I didn't think I was the best bass player in England."
At this time The Who were going through numerous management changes. The Who met Pete Meaden, a Mod. Under Meaden, the band's name was The High Numbers. The band dressed like Mods and appealed to Mods even though they were not Mods. The Mods were amphetamine takers who wore tab collars and Italian shoes and drove Lambretta scooters. The Mod credo was "clean living under difficult circumstances."
In August 1964, Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp took over management of the band. In October 1964 The Who again became the band's name.
Soon after, The Who began a Tuesday residency at the Marquee Club with the poster of Townshend in full arm swing declaring "Maximum R & B." Entwistle was using Marshall amplifiers in a stack.
The Who signed a record deal which forced them to write their own material. In January 1965, Townshend composed "I Can't Explain." The next single was "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere." During a live performance of this song on Ready, Steady, Go!, Entwistle's bass playing is fluid, loud, and rumbling. This live "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" can be found on The Kids Are Alright soundtrack album.
In December 1965, The Who released the My Generation album. The revolutionary title track featured an Entwistle bass solo using a Danelectro bass which strings break easily. Replacement strings required the purchase of a new bass guitar. Entwistle bought three basses in order to finish the song. Entwistle co-wrote "The Ox" (Entwistle's nickname within The Who), a Mod instrumental take-off on surf's "Wipe Out." Notably, the cover of My Generation has Entwistle wearing an Union Jack jacket.
Winter 1966, The Who released the album A Quick One (Happy Jack in the U.S.) with two Entwistle songs with John singing "Whiskey Man" and the perennial concert favorite, "Boris The Spider." Entwistle's compositions established his dark sense of humor. "Whiskey Man" is an Entwistle song that features a prominent horn, a grumbling bass and John's vocals. "Boris The Spider" was written after a drinking session with the Rolling Stones' bassist, Bill Wyman. Entwistle sings about a spider, "black and hairy, very small," that crawls up a wall only to be smashed in the final verse. On the title track, Entwistle sung the part of Ivor the Engine Driver. Entwistle's vocals, in particular his falsetto on the ending "You Are Forgiven" coda, are brilliant in live performances of "A Quick One."
Spring 1967, The Who began their first appearances in the U.S. Entwistle roomed with Keith Moon where the rock & roll's finest rhythm section repeatedly ordered caviar, lobster, and champagne that totaled over $5,000 at the time (about $40,000 in 1998 dollars). The Who release the single "Pictures of Lily" with the B-side of Entwistle's "Doctor, Doctor." On "Pictures of Lily" Entwistle played a French horn solo.
Summer 1967, The Who played the Monterey Pop Festival with Entwistle upset about The Who not having their Marshall amplifiers at the show thereby not having their wall of sound. At the conclusion of the Summer 1967 tour, Entwistle had to borrow money to upgrade from coach to first-class on the flight back to England.
Winter 1967, The Who released the album The Who Sell Out a tribute to pirate radio and its ad jingles. Sell Out had two Entwistle songs with John singing "Medac" and "Silas Stingy." Entwistle also co-wrote with Keith Moon the advertising jingles. Entwistle stated, "Me and Keith thought them up in the pub next door." In England, The Who release the single "I Can See For Miles" with the B-side of Entwistle's "Someone's Coming."
1968 was a year of inactivity for The Who. There were rumors that that Entwistle and Moon were going to form a band with Jimmy Page called Led Zeppelin. However, The Who stayed together releasing the single "Call Me Lightning" with the B-side of Entwistle's "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde," a homage to Moon's personality splits.
May 1969, The Who released the double album Tommy with two Entwistle with John singing "Cousin Kevin" and "Fiddle About." Both songs were about Tommy 's relations molesting poor Tommy. Entwistle's other contributions to Tommy were his beautiful French horn, his strong backing vocals and stabilizing bass runs especially on "Overture," "Amazing Journey," "Smash The Mirror," and "Tommy Can You Hear Me."
August 1969, The Who played Woodstock with The Who opening with Entwistle's "Heaven and Hell."
February 1970, The Who played at Leeds University for a live album. Live at Leeds is considered rock & roll at its finest particularly "Shakin' All Over."
Spring 1971, Entwistle released his first solo album, Smash Your Head Against The Wall. Summer 1971, The Who released the album Who's Next with one Entwistle song with John singing "My Wife" about marital discord that would become a Who concert perennial. Entwistle's bass playing on "Bargain" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" is revelatory and explosive. Fall 1971, The Who released the single "Let's See Action" with the B-side of Entwistle's "When I was A Boy."
In 1972, Entwistle released his second solo album, Whistle Rhymes.
Summer 1973, Entwistle released his third solo album, Rigor Mortis Sets In. In Fall 1973, The Who released the double album Quadrophenia composed by Townshend in its entirety. Quadrophenia is about the four-faceted Jimmy, a Mod from 1964-1965, who climbs on The Rock to examine his life. Each member of The Who has a theme. Entwistle's theme was "a romantic, is it me for a moment," about the quiet, reflective, and laconic aspect of Jimmy's personality. "The Punk and The Godfather," "5:15," "Doctor Jimmy" are the significant tracks.
Townshend on Entwistle's contribution to Quadrophenia, "On other albums, he worked off his frustrations by writing a couple of songs. On [Quadrophenia], he's done a fantastic piece of arranging work, sitting in the studio writing out and then dubbing on 50 horn parts."
December 1973 during The Who's tour of Quadrophenia, The Who smashed a suite at a Montreal hotel. The Who were arrested. Entwistle wrote a song based on the events called "Cell Number 7" appearing on his future solo album, Mad Dog.
In 1974, The Who played New York's Madison Square Garden. Tommy began shooting as a feature film. Entwistle went through some Who studio tapes to compile the release of Odds & Sods, a collection of Who B-sides and rejected album songs. Entwistle remarked, "we thought we'd have a go at some of the bootlegs. We thought it was about time we released a bootleg of our own." The Who released as a single, "Postcard," an Entwistle composition about life on the road touring. Entwistle formed a band named after his nickname, The Ox, and embarked on his first solo tour in December of England.
In 1975, Entwistle released his fourth solo album, Mad Dog. Entwistle formed a band named after his nickname, The Ox, and embarked on his first solo tour of America.
Fall 1975, The Who released The Who By Numbers with one Entwistle song with John singing "Success Story," that has a furious bass opening. Entwistle drew the cover for the album. Entwistle was also featured with intense bass soloing at the end of "Dreaming From The Waist." A stunning version of this song can be found on the CD re-issue of By Numbers.
In 1977, Entwistle played horn on Townshend's solo album, Rough Mix, on "Heart to Hang Onto."
Summer 1978, The Who released the album Who Are You with three Entwistle songs with John singing "905" and "Trick of the Light." "Had Enough" and "905" were part of an Entwistle science fiction rock opera. "Trick of the Light" featured Entwistle thundering on a nine string bass opening the song singing about an evening with a lady of the night.
September 8, 1978, Keith Moon, Who drummer, died in his sleep. Entwistle burst into tears upon hearing of Moon's passing.
In 1979, Entwistle completed the musical soundtracks for the feature films, Quadrophenia and The Kids Are Alright, The Who's bio-pic. Also, The Who added Kenney Jones as the drummer to embark on a tour. Unfortunately, a concert in Cincinnati resulted in 11 deaths due to a pre-show stampede for festival seating.
In 1981, The Who released the album Face Dances with two Entwistle songs with John singing "You" and "The Quiet One." Entwistle released his fifth solo album, "Too Late The Hero."
In 1982, The Who released the album It's Hard with three Entwistle songs with John singing "One At a Time" and "Dangerous."
In 1985, Entwistle performed with The Who at the benefit concert Live Aid.
In 1989, Entwistle appeared on Townshend's solo album Iron Man performing on "Dig" and "Fire." Entwistle with The Who toured which included two benefit performances of Tommy.
In 1993, Entwistle walked on for an encore with Pete Townshend during one of Townshend's solo concerts performing "Let's See Action" and "Magic Bus."
In 1994, Entwistle appeared at Carnegie Hall for Roger Daltrey's 50th Birthday as part of the Daltrey Sings Townshend shows. Entwistle then toured as the part of Daltrey's band for a tour called Daltrey Sings Townshend that also had a symphony orchestra.
In 1995, Entwistle toured America and Japan with the Ringo Starr All-Star Band which gave John "the dubious pleasure of knowing that he has performed 'Yellow Submarine' more times than Paul McCartney." In 1996, Entwistle formed a band called the John Entwistle Band that went a "Left for Dead" tour. Entwistle and The Who revived Quadrophenia as a theater piece for 1996-1997 tours.
In 1997 during the Quadrophenia tour, Entwistle sold his art, including the cover of The Who By Numbers to cartoons of rock stars such as Rod Stewart and the Rolling Stones.
In 1998, the John Entwistle Band toured America and was planning to release a live CD of the tour.
John Entwistle is simply a musician's musician; steady, reliable, and ever the professional.
Entwistle, also known as The Ox, Thunderfingers, and many other nicknames, is rock and roll's greatest bass player, ever. Entwistle uses an overhand fretting style that is unique. Entwistle bass playing in concerts is over powering and fantastic- find and listen to "Happy Jack," "Heaven and Hell," "Overture," "Young Man Blues," "Shakin' All Over," "Won't Get Fooled Again," "The Real Me," "5:15," "Dreaming From The Waist," "Trick of the Light," and "The Quiet One."
Entwistle has written some of rock's funniest songs, "Boris The Spider" and "My Wife" as well as the most sadistic songs, "Someone's Coming" and "Heaven and Hell," as well as poignant songs, "When I Was a Boy" and "Trick of the Light." Entwistle's heavy metal songwriting acted as a counterweight to Pete Townshend's arty, social criticisms.
Entwistle's lead vocals on "Twist and Shout," "Boris The Spider," and "My Wife" are superb. Entwistle is also one of the best back-up singers in rock, notably on "Summertime Blues" and "A Quick One."
John Entwistle has been married two times and has a son, Christopher, from his first marriage.
John Alec Entwistle died of an apparent heart attack on June 27, 2002 in a Las Vegas Hotel Room, the day before The Who were to begin a U.S. Tour.
The Ox and The Buzzard: The Early
With the sad and unexpected passing of John Entwistle this summer there has been an understandable interest surrounding the origin of the Buzzard, the bass he has played since 1985. The genesis of the Buzzard has, over time, devolved into somewhat vague or contradictory accounts. To clear the record and get the real story, I sought out the help of Hans Peter Wilfer and Geoff Gould, two gentlemen who were sequentially involved with John Entwistle during the creation of his first Buzzard basses.
Hans Peter Wilfer, the founder of Warwick basses, was approached by John Entwistle to create a special bass for him in 1985. John had some very unique ideas as to how the bass should look and play, so he sat down with Hans Peter and the two of them sketched out the design that the world knows today. Hans Peter came up with the idea of the distinctive "hand grip" on the lower horn, the stylized headstock and many other design specifics that make the Buzzard such a wonderfully unique bass. Then, after the basic body shape was agreed upon, Hans Peter and John sat in a London nightclub called Maggie's and decided to name the bass the Buzzard. In all honesty, Hans Peter says that many drinks were consumed that night and he cannot remember exactly who thought of the name the Buzzard, but he thinks it was John's idea. In the days that followed, Hans Peter then made a few prototypes for John to play and critique, and the design was further polished. The photo shown below is of one of those early prototypes, which shows an early headstock design. It was after the duo decided on the name Buzzard, that the headstock was changed to more closely resemble the beak of said bird.
One of The First Ready Buzzard Prototypes Created in
Another Early Buzzard Prototype With The Final Headstock
John's Most Famous Bass From The Cover Of His Book "Bass Culture"
Mod-era "maximum R&B" to rock operas and quintessential Seventies
hard rock, the
Who reigned across the decades as one of the
greatest rock and roll bands of all time. At their best, they
distilled the pent-up energy and chaos of rock and roll into its
purest form while investing their music with literary wiles and
visionary insight. In their prime they were a unit whose individual
personalities fused into a larger-than-life whole. Pete Townshend
provided the slashing guitar work and much of the material. Vocalist
Roger Daltrey injected the songs with expressive muscularity and
passion. Bassist John Entwistle anchored the band with his stoic
demeanor and expert musicianship. Keith Moon, one of the greatest of
all rock and roll drummers, embodied their explosive energy and
The Who evolved in 1964 from a group called the High Numbers, which included Daltrey, Townshend and Entwistle. They were joined by Moon, who'd played in a British surf group called the Beachcombers. The newly charged-up band came on as equipment-smashing Mods who brashly declared, "Hope I die before I get old," in their stuttering anthem, "My Generation." The early Who demonstrated a mastery of the three-minute single, articulating the frustrations of adolescence in such combustible classics as "Can't Explain," "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" and "Substitute." However, it wasn't until the 1967 release of "Happy Jack," an antic piece of art-school whimsy from the album of the same name, that the Who cracked the U.S. Top Forty. A turn toward psychedelia and consumerist satire yielded The Who Sell Out and its illuminating key song, "I Can See for Miles," which became the Who's biggest stateside single, reaching #9.
By the late Sixties, Townshend and the Who had turned their attention from singles to their antithesis. In 1969, they released the conceptual rock opera Tommy, a double-album about the spiritual path of a "deaf, dumb and blind boy." An excerpt from Tommy provided a concert highlight of the Woodstock festival and its subsequent film documentary. Always one of rock's most hard-hitting live acts, the Who documented this side of their multifaceted personality with Live at Leeds (1970), a warts-and-all concert recording packaged to look like a bootleg. From the ashes of Lifehouse, another would-be concept album that Townshend abandoned in midstream, came the Who's next studio recording: Who's Next, a flawless album of discreet numbers that helped define the sound and sensibility of rock in the Seventies. From "Baba o'Riley"'s album-opening, synth-propelled discourse on "teenage wasteland" through to Daltrey's electrifying scream on the closing track, "Won't Get Fooled Again," Who's Next stands as a virtual rock primer. From this they returned to the rock-opera format with Quadrophenia, a hard-rocking memoir and documentary of the group's Mod origins.
At all stages of its career, the Who has been a dynamic live act. During those decades when they were actively creating, the band was also outspoken and combustible. Group conflicts often fueled their best work, providing a volatile dynamic that never quite broke them up. Only the death in 1978 of Keith Moon - who overdosed on medication taken for his alcoholism - interrupted the original foursome's remarkable run. Amid much soul-searching as to whether they should continue, the Who recruited drummer Kenney Jones (formerly of the Faces) as Moon's replacement and recorded two more albums, Face Dances and It's Hard.
The Who undertook a lengthy and much-publicized "farewell" tour in 1982 but thereafter regrouped on a number of occasions, apparently having said farewell only to the notion of making new music together. (Townshend, Daltrey and Entwistle all pursued prolific solo careers both during and after the Who's alleged breakup, however.) Among other things, the Who revived their rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia for multi-night stands in big cities and, subsequently, full-fledged concert tours. Tommy was also successfully adapted to the Broadway stage in 1993, with Townshend's blessing and involvement, and won five Tony awards. The next year saw the release of an exhaustive box set, The Who: Thirty Years of Maximum R&B. Though still no new music was forthcoming, the Who's surviving principals - Daltrey, Entwistle and an admittedly hearing-impaired Townshend - turned up on the summer amphitheater circuit as recently as 1997. With each regrouping, the veteran band gave the lie to that youthful and impetuous line from "My Generation" about getting old.
|March 1, 1944
Roger Daltrey was born.
October 9, 1944
John Entwistle was born.
May 19, 1945
Pete Townshend was born.
August 23, 1947
Keith Moon was born.
October 29, 1965
The Who release "My Generation."
October 28, 1967
The Who hit #9 with "I Can See For Miles".
July 7, 1968
The Yardbirds break up, guitarist Jimmy Page forms the New Yardbirds and changes the group's name to Led Zeppelin, allegedly on the advice of the Who's Keith Moon.
DECEMBER 11-12, 1968
The Rolling Stones film the 'Rock and Roll Circus', with guests Eric Clapton, John Lennon, Jethro Tull and the Who.
June 6, 1969
'Tommy', the Who's rock opera, hits #2 in the UK and #4 in the US.
June 7, 1969
The Who's 'Tommy', a double-album rock opera, debuts on U.S. charts.
AUGUST 15-17, 1969
The year 1969 was the year of the rock festival. The largest was the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, held on the weekend of August 15-17 in the tiny town of Bethel, in upstate New York. An estimated crowd of 450,000 attended the event, which featured everyone from Jimi Hendrix and Joe Cocker, to Arlo Guthrie, the Jefferson Airplane, the Who, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, Ravi Shankar and Country Joe McDonald. If Woodstock marked the apex of the hippie movement in America, the Rolling Stones' free concert in Hyde Park did the same for England. Held on July 5, the show drew nearly 300,000 people, the largest gathering in England since V-E Day.
November 28, 1970
The Who hits #12 in the US with "See Me, Feel Me" from 'Tommy'.
November 12, 1973
The Who hits #2 with 'Quadrophenia'.
December 29, 1973
The Who hit #76 in the US with "Love Reign O'er Me" from their rock opera 'Quadrophenia'.
September 7, 1978
Keith Moon of the Who dies of an overdose of the drug prescribed to control his alcoholism.
October 4, 1978
The Who hit #14 with "Who Are You".
May 9, 1981
The Who hit #18 with "You Better You Bet"
March 1, 1982
Pete Townshend, Stevie Nicks, Mick Jagger, Adam Ant, Pat Benatar, the Police and David Bowie kick off the
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