4 Jul 2019
Alan Rogan – A Tribute
Today we have some very difficult news. One of the most important people in The Who family, our guitar tech and dear friend, Alan Rogan, has passed away.
Alan has been with the band since about 1975-76, taking on the often-intense role as Pete Townshend’s guitar technician. For the next 40+ years, he became a core part of the innermost family here; few people have meant as much to our world as Alan. These last few years, he battled with cancer, and this last tour leg was the first one he’d been unable to attend. He’s dodged a few flying guitars in life – but he’s free of any such worries now.
His last months were spent around his home in England with countless friends and family visiting these last few weeks. His most notable work was the decades as one of Pete’s closest circle. Alan had also been George Harrison’s personal equipment wizard and a close family friend. Among other stellar roles was work with Eric Clapton, Ron Wood, Keith Richards, Hank Marvin of The Shadows, Joe Walsh and the Eagles, Yusef Islam, AC/DC, Tom Petty and so many more.
Alan grew up in Newcastle, a rough and ready location, where he loved attending ’60s R&B/soul concerts there, moving to a more happening London music scene in the early ’70s. One of his life’s great highlights was playing guitar on an Aretha Franklin session, but his greatest pleasure was outside his musical history – his two grandsons, Jett and Dax.
Much of our crew were hand-picked by Al, and we are honored to be part of his chosen family – spending many years with him all over the world. No words can express the hole left by this overwhelming and large personality, such a bold and funny charmer of a man. Alan was at home in a world of music legends and “big rock stars,” as he had confidence and a sparking persona that could keep up with the best of them. Although always working on the support team side, he was as big a star as anyone he worked with.
Our heartfelt thoughts go out to his family and his countless friends worldwide. The day after John Entwistle passed away, Alan told me “At the end, all we can ask is ‘A life well-lived?’” Indeed, Alan Rogan’s life was.
We’ll miss you, big Al . . .
On behalf of The Who’s crew, friends and family.