Stripper found Entwistle dead after heart attack triggered by cocaine

The Who bassist John Entwistle died in a Las Vegas hotel room from a heart attack brought on by taking cocaine on the eve of the band's American tour, a coroner has ruled.

Entwistle spent the evening of 26 June at the Hard Rock Hotel with band members before going to bed with a female companion at 3am. A report from the US coroner's office said the woman, a stripper identified as Alison Rowse, woke at 10am to find the musician "unresponsive and cold to the touch".

At yesterday's inquest at Tewkesbury magistrates' court in Gloucestershire, Professor Alexander Forrest, Britain's leading forensic toxicologist, said: "Cocaine would not have caused death on its own. This was not cocaine poisoning. This sort of level would not have caused his death had it not been for the effects it had on his damaged heart." He estimated the 57-year-old rocker had used the drug three to four hours before his death.

Entwistle, who had been married twice, formed the Who in London in 1964 with singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend and drummer Keith Moon, who died of a drug overdose in 1978.

At their prime, the group produced the anthemic songs My Generation and Substitute, and the rock opera Tommy. After Entwistle's death, the Who cancelled the opening date of their reunion US tour and played a tribute to "The Ox" at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

Before the three-month tour, Entwistle was living with his long-time girlfriend, Lisa Pritchard-Johnson. His family and friends stayed away from yesterday's inquest, near his home at Stow-on-the-Wold in the Cotswolds, which went through written statements and evidence gathered by the Nevada authorities.

A picture emerged of a happy man who had health problems caused by high cholesterol and his smoking.

In a statement, Entwistle's only son, Christopher, told the inquest his father had been in high spirits and seemed healthy, with no symptoms of chest pain.

Tim Healey, his GP, said Entwistle had suffered from high blood pressure and high cholesterol for some years. The musician had been smoking 20 cigarettes and drinking six to seven units of alcohol a day but regularly checked his blood and cholesterol levels. Dr Healey said he had prescribed drugs to combat the heart conditions, which included hypertension and a narrowing of the coronary arteries, but he thought the treatment was working because Entwistle had not complained of any further symptoms.

Doctor Jeremy Uff, of Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, who examined the body upon its return from America, described Entwistle's heart condition as severe. He said: "There was severe ischaemic heart disease and the narrowing of the coronary arteries. There was evidence of long- standing heart disease. He had high cholesterol and all three coronary arteries were narrowed. One artery was completely blocked."

Lester Maddrell, the Cheltenham and district coroner, said Entwistle died from the effects of a small, moderate usage of cocaine superimposed on heart disease caused by naturally occurring coronary artery atherosclerosis. Dr Maddrell said: "It's not possible to reduce that verdict."

Suggested Topics
News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people

Sport
nflAtlanta Falcons can't count and don't know what the UK looks like
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg
music

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

News
The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Telecoms Engineer - Telecoms Admin - £35,000 - 5 month FTC

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 5 month Fixed Term Contract - Telecommunicati...

Norwegian Speaking Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 per annum + competitive OTE: SThree: Progressive in Manchester is seeki...

IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

Telecoms Engineer - Telecoms Administrator - London - £26,000

£26000 per annum + 25 days holiday & further benefits: Ashdown Group: Telecomm...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London