Fishing lines: He sure could play a mean bass

Optimists say that when you die, you go to a place where you are surrounded by everything you wanted in life. If that's true (and I have no inside knowledge one way or the other), then John Entwistle should be surrounded by predatory fish at this very moment.

Not a lot of people know this, but Entwistle, least frenetic member of The Who, liked fishing. No, change that. He was passionate about it. The Who's singer, Roger Daltrey, in a eulogy to the former bass player, said: "If John had had it his way, we would probably have been on the road 365 days a year. No, make that 351, as he would have still wanted to have his two weeks' fishing."

Entwistle, awarded the accolade of Greatest Bass Player of the Millennium, had one small edge over the rest of us. He had money. This not only allowed him to go big-game fishing in exotic places such as the Bahamas and Hawaii (I'm told the Florida Keys was his favourite), but also gave him the chance to remind himself of those more restful days.

In his vast house at Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucester-shire, Entwistle built himself a pub he called the Barracuda Inne. Well, you could put a few bottles of sangria in your front room and do the same. But Entwistle had a bit more space than you or I, and he filled it with fish.

Whenever he caught a shark, tuna, marlin or sailfish, he had a life-size, glass-fibre model made and shipped from Florida to Stow, where he displayed it on the wall or hanging from the ceiling. When he died last year, more than 100 of these fish decorated not just the Inne but also the billiard room, bathrooms and bedrooms. (Not one of the models was of a guitar fish, a shark-like member of the skate family. I can't explain why.)

I move in slightly less rarefied circles, and never got an invite. But I've seen photographs. The Barracuda Inne is, or was, an extra-ordinary sight, like being inside a vast aquarium where everything was predatory (a bit like life, I guess).

All good things, alas, come to an end. Entwistle died aged 57 on the eve of The Who's 2002 tour of America. The family, who tolerated rather than adored his angling passion, emptied the tank. And at Sotheby's in London this week, Entwistle's shoals of fish, along with his vast array of guitars, were sold at auction.

The hammerhead sharks, wahoo, roosterfish and barracuda unsurprisingly were less coveted than those guitars, one of which sold for £95,200. (The whole sale raised £1,093, 372.)

Displaying an 8ft hammerhead or a 10ft marlin would probably mean evicting one or two members of the family. Still, the downside would surely be outweighed by the benefits: wonderful talking point, no inane chattering, scares annoying children, cheap to feed. And it carries a small part of John Entwistle's soul.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Investigo: Group Financial Controller

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Investigo: A growing group of top end restaurants l...

Ashdown Group: HR Generalist - 2 week contract - £200pd - Immediate start

£200 per day: Ashdown Group: Working within a business that has a high number ...

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Recruitment Genius: Business / Operations Manager

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well-established and growi...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible