Brian Kehew's Backstage Blog

Roy Lamb, Who tour production manager, wins lifetime achievement award

Anaheim, California.

This week, as part of the NAMM (The National Association of Music Merchants’ convention for music stores, instruments, music sound companies etc.) our very own Roy Lamb was given his Lifetime Achievement Award!

The 2023 Parnelli Awards show is a ceremony to congratulate and celebrate those in the music touring business. Industry professionals from all over the world come and contribute to this lavish and entertaining event. For our Who crew, Roy is The Man – for many years, among the first in the building and often the very last one to leave. An incredibly long day. He’s done it all – as you’ll read in the programme pages from the event (plus photos of young Roy which we’ve never seen before.)

His resume or CV is endless and, really, any one of his “jobs” would be enough for most careers. Lighting work for The Stones, sound mixing for the Moody Blues. Helping to create Pink Floyd’s legendary circular screens of the 70s and catching their flaming airplane in a wet towel each night! (Except when the plane accidentally hit the pyro barrels and exploded, knocking Roy out and showering the area with hot shards of former barrels!)

“We need an elephant ONSTAGE,” Mick Jagger said – and Roy made it happen.

Roy started with The Who officially in 1981, and came back again later, I think in 2006 and ever since. He’s threatened to retire for many years now, the last time being Roger’s cruise shows this year; that was the plan. But he’s been convinced to do it “one more time” for all of us. And we’ll be under his wings on this 2023 European and UK tour this Summer. At some point, we know, this will all end for any of us. But it feels good to know that he’s always there taking care of us. Head of our road family, right there.

I cannot tell you how many times he’s taken charge especially on those strange and un-planned days when I run into the office during a show with the news:

“Pete’s just dumped his guitar into a trash can and run backstage”


“We currently have four inches of water onstage right now!”


“Roger’s left, he’s gone, done . . .”

.. . .and then he pretty calmly looks up, gets up, and starts to make it right. High function and, more importantly, calming. Because he HAS seen it all, from armies on the field to full power outages, bus drivers disappearing mid-tour., you name it, Roy’s seen it.

Watch the video – it’s long but GOOD. Roy himself makes an excellent speech. And you’ll love the wonderful video clips from our own Bill Curbishley, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend. (Another friend of Roy’s, someone named Robert Plant, also makes an appearance!)

Nice one, ROY! See you again very soon.


The Who Crew