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Who survivors mourn Entwistle

Entwistle: Musical ability  

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The two remaining founder members of The Who have paid tribute to their fellow band-member John Entwistle, who died on the eve of the band's North American tour.

"The Ox has left the building -- we've lost another great friend. Thanks for your support and love. Pete and Roger," read a message on Pete Townshend's Web site from himself and Roger Daltrey.

Tributes flooded in on Friday to the respected quiet bass player of the group -- "the George Harrison of The Who," one critic said.

Rolling Stones guitarist Bill Wyman described Entwistle as "the quietest man in private but the loudest man on stage."

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"He was unique and irreplaceable," Wyman said.

Ray Manzarek, keyboardist for The Doors, described him as "one of the great, great rock 'n' roll bassists of all time. A real genius."

Rocker Sammy Hagar added: "He just was the most humble rock star I have ever met, besides having the best hands of any bass player in the history of rock and roll."

"As a musician, he did for the bass guitar what Jimi Hendrix did for the guitar," said Steve Luongo who played drums in The John Entwistle Band for the last 15 years.

Harriett Brand of MTV Europe told CNN that fans were mourning the man who was to them "the king of the bass playing rock musicians."

"He was the anchor of the group. He was a steadying force especially when Keith Moon was in the group who was known as the real wild man or rock 'n' roll."

The Who
The Who, from left, Daltrey, Townshend, Entwistle and Moon, in an undated file photo  

British newspapers also saluted a rock legend on Friday.

Neil McCormick, rock critic for The Daily Telegraph's rock critic, described John Entwistle as "probably the greatest bassist in rock and roll".

"He had a unique sound," he said. "He played the bass like it was another lead instrument. He did long, complex runs that went up and down the guitar. His contribution to The Who was similar to George Harrison's contribution the Beatles. He wrote some unique songs.

"The Who have been absolutely on the ball for the last few years, and they are probably the greatest live act in the world.

"The band hasn't made an album in more than 20 years, but they had agreed to make one last final album. It's really sad that John died before completing that."

Dominic Mohan of Britain's tabloid The Sun called him "a quiet charmer."

He said: "John was truly a rock legend. He played on My Generation with the immortal lyric: 'Hope I die before I get old.' Unfortunately he did."


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