Milicent Carl

Written by Milicent Carl

Modified & Updated: 19 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


John Entwistle, known as “The Ox,” was not just an influential bassist and founding member of the legendary rock band The Who, but he was also a fascinating and enigmatic figure in the world of music. Born on October 9, 1944, in Chiswick, England, Entwistle’s talent and unique style earned him a place among the greatest bassists of all time.

In this article, we will delve into the life and career of John Entwistle, uncovering intriguing facts that showcase his musical prowess, innovative techniques, and larger-than-life persona. From his powerful bass lines to his unparalleled stage presence, Entwistle left an indelible mark on the rock music landscape.

Key Takeaways:

  • John Entwistle, “The Quiet One” of The Who, revolutionized bass guitar playing with his groundbreaking style and record-breaking performances, leaving an enduring legacy in rock history.
  • From his prodigious talent to his unique fascination with oddities, John Entwistle’s musical prowess and larger-than-life stage presence continue to inspire aspiring musicians and captivate fans worldwide.
Table of Contents

The Quiet One

John Entwistle, famously known as “The Quiet One,” was the bass guitarist for the legendary rock band, The Who. His stoic stage presence and ability to let his bass guitar do the talking set him apart from other band members.

Born with a Natural Talent

Entwistle was a prodigious musician, starting his musical journey at a young age. He began playing the trumpet but quickly transitioned to the bass guitar, where he discovered his true passion and talent.

A Pioneering Style

Entwistle’s bass playing style was groundbreaking and innovative. Known for his intricate bass lines, he pushed the boundaries of what could be achieved on the instrument, influencing countless bassists who came after him.

The Ox

Entwistle earned the nickname “The Ox” due to his immense musical strength and power on stage. His ability to create thunderous and melodic bass sounds earned him a reputation as one of the greatest bass players in rock history.

The Master of the Bass Solo

Entwistle was a master of the bass solo, captivating audiences with his technical prowess and melodic improvisation. His solos, like in the iconic song “My Generation,” became an integral part of The Who’s sound.

A Talented Songwriter

Besides his virtuosity on the bass guitar, Entwistle was also a gifted songwriter. He contributed several memorable tracks to The Who’s discography, including “Boris the Spider” and “My Wife.”

A Collector of Oddities

Entwistle had a unique fascination with collecting odd and unusual items. His collection included everything from rare guitars and instruments to taxidermy animals and military memorabilia.

The Thunderous Bass Rig

Entwistle’s bass rig was a monstrous setup of amplifiers and speakers, designed to deliver his deep and powerful bass tones. His equipment, including custom-made bass guitars, became the envy of bassists around the world.

A Record-Breaking Performance

During a 1975 concert in London, Entwistle broke the record for the loudest concert ever, with a sound level exceeding 120 decibels. His booming bass lines contributed to the band’s larger-than-life stage presence.

An Enduring Legacy

John Entwistle’s contributions to music will forever be remembered. His innovative bass playing and unique stage presence continue to inspire aspiring musicians and make him a beloved figure in rock history.


In conclusion, John Entwistle was a true legend in the world of music. With his unique style, unparalleled talent, and remarkable contributions to The Who, he left an indelible mark on the music industry. Whether it was his innovative bass playing, his charismatic stage presence, or his prolific songwriting abilities, Entwistle was a force to be reckoned with. His untimely passing in 2002 was a great loss to the world of music, but his legacy continues to live on through his timeless compositions and the influence he had on future generations of musicians. John Entwistle will always be remembered as one of the greatest bassists in rock history.


1. When was John Entwistle born?

John Entwistle was born on October 9, 1944.

2. What instrument did John Entwistle play?

John Entwistle played the bass guitar.

3. What was John Entwistle’s role in The Who?

John Entwistle was the bassist for The Who and contributed significantly to the band’s sound and iconic hits.

4. How did John Entwistle die?

John Entwistle passed away on June 27, 2002, due to a heart attack.

5. What were some of John Entwistle’s notable songs?

Some of John Entwistle’s notable songs include “My Generation,” “Baba O’Riley,” “Pinball Wizard,” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.

6. Did John Entwistle pursue a solo career?

Yes, John Entwistle released several solo albums during his career.

7. Was John Entwistle inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Yes, John Entwistle was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Who in 1990.

8. How tall was John Entwistle?

John Entwistle was approximately 6 feet tall.

9. Did John Entwistle have any nicknames?

Yes, John Entwistle was often referred to as “The Ox” due to his powerful bass playing.

10. What is John Entwistle’s lasting legacy?

John Entwistle’s lasting legacy is his immense influence on the world of bass guitar playing and his role in shaping the sound of rock music.

John Entwistle's captivating life story leaves readers hungry for more rock and roll tales. Discover 16 fascinating facts about Queen's bass guitarist, John Deacon. Explore Entwistle's nickname "The Ox," and its connection to Chinese astrology. Dive into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's induction ceremony to uncover more legendary musicians and their incredible journeys.

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