Personalities | The Who | Reunited & Revitalized (2002) | Key Events
The year began on a bright note, with the announcement of two shows at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, together with three warm-up shows, the first of which saw Townshend destroy his guitar and throw it to his son, watching from the front row. In June the band reconvened at Townshend’s Oceanic Studio for tour rehearsals, which included two new compositions as well as outings for some rarely played older tunes. Some of the rehearsals were streamed live on Townshend’s website. This was to be the last time that John Entwistle would play with the band.
John Entwistle Dies
John Entwistle, whose constitution had earned him the nickname of ‘The Ox’, died of a heart attack in his room at the Hard Rock hotel, the night before the band was due to open its North American tour at The Joint, in the very same hotel. The tour commenced instead on 1 July at the Hollywood Bowl, after a difficult and sad weekend of rehearsals in Burbank, for which Pino Palladino was drafted in on bass. As with the death of Keith Moon, the tabloids concentrated on the more lurid details of John’s death, often overlooking his sublime artistry as a musician.
US Tour Begins
The band continued the tour in the shadow of John’s death, with 27 concerts in North America spread over four visits between July and September. The shows were understandably emotionally charged, as Daltrey and Townshend came to terms with the loss of their childhood friend. After the first leg, the band returned to the UK for Entwistle’s funeral, which took place on 10 July in his home village of Stow on the Wold. The tour finished in Toronto, the location of the band’s final show in 1982 before they split. A similar feeling of finality surrounded them this time.
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