John Entwistle | The Who and Warwick

Some people are just born with natural musical talent, and John Entwistle was one of those people. Considered by many (including us) to be one of the world’s greatest bass guitar players, Entwistle gained recognition and respect across the globe as part of legendary rock band The Who. Nicknamed ‘The Ox’ and ‘Thunderfingers’ due to the speed at which he could move his fingers across a four-string fretboard, Entwistle’s career spanned decades, which was acknowledged when he was voted ‘Bassist of the Millennium’ in Musician magazine at the end of the 20th century.

Surprisingly, the French Horn was Entwistle’s initial instrument of choice. However, after being introduced to rock ‘n’ roll via the music of US guitarist Duane Eddy, which featured a unique ‘twangy’ style of guitar played in a low register, he soon put down the Horn and picked up a bass guitar – albeit a home-made one.  He played in various school bands with his friend (and future fellow The Who band member), Pete Townshend and later joined Roger Daltrey’s group, The Detours.  Six months later, he persuaded Daltrey to let Townshend join too, and The Who was formed in 1964.

Entwistle gained a reputation for being an outstanding songwriter, but it was his unique lead style of bass – which complemented Townshend’s more rhythmic playing and also kept the band in time – that made Entwistle utterly legendary.  If anyone was in any doubt about the talent of this still, often passive figure on stage, the bass solo showcased in The Who’s third single ‘My Generation’ secured Entwistle as one of the most skilled guitarists on the planet.

His penchant for making guitars in his youth led to various partnerships with guitar makers in the 70s – such as Ned Callan and Wal Basses, but it was in 1985 that Entwistle’s famous Buzzard design was created via a collaboration with his great friend (and founder and general manager of Warwick), Hans Peter Wilfer. The Buzzard design had various modifications after its initial creation – including the introduction of a graphite neck to accommodate Entwistle’s unique playing style – but the model became his trademark bass, forever cementing Entwistle and Warwick together in bass guitar history.

Check out this stunning example; the flamed maple top and ovangkol wings of this Infinity model make it a joy to behold.


Serial Number L-111158-04
Year 2004
Colour Natural
Body Finish Satin
Body Wood Ovangkol Wings + Flame Maple Top
Neck Finish Satin
Neck Wood Maple
Fretboard Wenge
Frets 24
Scale Length 34’
Weight 8lbs10oz/3.9kgs
Electronics Active MEC
Pickups MEC Single Coil + Humbucker

Facts and links about Warwick Bass Guitars

  1. The Warwick Infinity model was introduced in the 1990s and made in Germany.
  2. The innovative semi-hollow, chambered body, f-holes and pick up configuration of the Infinity makes it slightly lighter in weight than other guitars whilst still offering an outstanding, vintage sound.
  3. See footage of Entwistle playing one of his famous bass solos at a charity gig with Meatloaf here:
  4. Watch a Warwick Infinity Guitar being made here:
  5. See Tony Garnier (bass guitarist in Bob Dylan’s band) play and talk about why he loves the Warwick Infinity Bass five-string: