LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - John Entwistle, the bass player for veteranBritish rock band The Who, died in Las Vegas on Thursday at age 57,just one day before the group was set to begin a North American tour inthe city, the Clark County Coroner said.
Entwistle, a bearded, taciturn type affectionately known as "Ox,"died at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, said coroner Ron Flud. Aninvestigation was under way into the cause of death, he added.
The Who, known for such hits as "My Generation," "Pinball Wizard"and "Won't Get Fooled Again," were scheduled to begin their three-monthtour in a small club at the hotel.
With Entwistle's death, The Who are down to just two originalmembers, singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist/songwriter Pete Townshend.Original drummer Keith Moon died of an accidental pill overdose in1978.
In addition to playing bass, Entwistle helped out on backing vocals.His songwriting contributions to The Who were sporadic, mostly limitedto a few album tracks and B-sides. He released a half-dozen soloalbums.
Entwistle, who was born in the London suburb of Chiswick on Oct. 9,1944, joined Daltrey in a forerunner of The Who in the early 1960swhile working as a tax clerk. The band ultimately took shape in 1964and made an immediate impression with its "Mod" stylings and itsexpensive habit of trashing all its stage equipment after each set.