A new authorized biography of late Who bassist John Entwistle, titled The Ox, is out today.
The book was written by veteran British rock journalist Paul Rees with the full cooperation of Enwistle’s family, who gave the author access to John’s own notebooks and notes for a planned memoir he’d started writing prior to his 2002 death. Entwistle died at age 57 from a cocaine-induced heart attack.
Rees tells Rolling Stone that he decided to do a book about Entwistle about five years ago, after writing a two-part feature about him for the U.K. magazine Classic Rock.
For the article, Rees reached out to John’s only child, son Christopher Entwistle, who explains to Rolling Stone, “It just barely scratched the surface of what Dad was like.”
“A few months later [Paul] came back to me and said, ‘Can I do a book?’ [and] my mother and I thought it would be a good idea,” Christopher adds.
Christopher also tells the magazine that he wanted the book to feature an accurate depiction of his dad, who went all-in on the rock star lifestyle, indulging in heavy drug and alcohol use, extravagant spending and numerous extramarital affairs.
“My father wasn’t an angel,” says Christopher. “But he was a lovely bloke, generally. I didn’t want it to be a fluff piece…I wanted it to be the story.”
The Ox features interviews with various Entwistle friends and family members, but two people who didn’t contribute to the book are The Who’s surviving members, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend.
“They worked together brilliantly, but they were never friends,” Christopher says Townshend and Daltrey. “Well, they were at the very beginning and at school…But afterwards they were just completely different people.”
The Ox is available in hardcover, digital and audio editions.
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