Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend — the two surviving members of the Who — will resume their planned arena tour on Monday (July 1), only four days after the sudden death of their bassist, John Entwistle. The tour will now be a tribute to Entwistle, according to a statement issued by Who manager Bill Curbishley. ”We are going on,” Townshend posted in the diary section of his official website. ”Pray for us John, wherever you are.”
The tour, which had been scheduled to start Friday in Las Vegas, will instead begin Monday at Irvine, California’s Hollywood Bowl. A Bowl spokesperson confirmed the performance, and said that the band may be planning to replace Entwistle with a session musician. The two canceled shows will be rescheduled, and further details are forthcoming, according to Curbishley.
Entwistle’s family is said to be in ”full support” of the band’s decision to continue the tour. ”He lived for music and will always live within the Who’s music,” son Christopher Entwistle said in a statement. ”This is what he would have wished and our love goes out to the remaining band members and … the Who family.”
Entwistle apparently died in his sleep of a heart attack, though the Las Vegas coroner has yet to announce an official cause of death. Entwistle, 57, was found Thursday afternoon in his room at the city’s Hard Rock Hotel, which had been set to be the site of the tour kick-off. Townshend and Daltrey paid tribute to Entwistle in a statement on Townshend’s website: ”The Ox has left the building,” they wrote, using the bassist’s nickname. ”Thanks for your support and love.”
The death of stoic bass virtuoso Entwistle marks the second loss of a member of the Who; drummer Keith Moon died in 1978. Like Moon’s frantic percussion, Entwistle’s complex, melodic lines were an indelible part of the Who’s sound, providing the instrumental heart of songs from ”My Generation” to ”The Real Me.” Entwistle also took lead vocals on most of the songs he wrote for the Who, including ”Heaven and Hell,” ”Boris the Spider” and ”My Wife.”