Cocaine Cited in Entwistle’s Death
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LAS VEGAS (AP) _ John Entwistle, the 57-year-old bass player for the rock band The Who, died from a heart attack caused by cocaine use, the Clark County coroner said Thursday.
Coroner Ron Flud ruled the death accidental and said it was not an overdose.
``The heart attack we believe was brought on by the significant amount of cocaine″ that was in Entwistle’s system at the time of death, he said.
The exact amount of the drug remains unknown.
``Cocaine is a different animal,″ Flud said. ``It’s not like alcohol. There’s no way we can put a number on it. You’ve got a lethal drug on board at the time you have a bad heart. That’s a bad combination.″
Entwistle’s body was found in his bed at the Hard Rock Hotel on June 27, one day before the band was scheduled to kick off a three-month nationwide tour at the hotel’s concert hall.
Hotel officials declined comment Thursday, as did a spokeswoman with the band’s record label, MCA/Universal Music Enterprises. District Attorney Stewart Bell said no criminal charges were anticipated.
``From a legal point of view, there isn’t anything to be done because we don’t have anybody else who might be responsible,″ he said.
Entwistle was one of the band’s founders. Another original member, drummer Keith Moon, died in 1978 of a drug overdose at the age of 32. Authorities said he took too many pills prescribed to control his alcoholism.
Entwistle’s death was caused when cocaine caused the contraction of coronary arteries that were already damaged by heart disease, Flud said.
After the death, a musician in Entwistle’s own band said he had been on medication for a heart condition.
The Who, founded in London in the early 1960s, was part of the British rock invasion along with the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. Their parade of hits included ``I Can See For Miles,″ ``I Can’t Explain,″ ``Substitute,″ ``Pinball Wizard,″ ``Won’t Get Fooled Again″ and ``Who Are You.″
The group, which includes original members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, is scheduled to play a show Friday in Mansfield, Mass.
On the Net:
Pete Townshend site: http://www.petetownshend.co.uk