Our Dear Friend, Rob

As many of you may have heard our webmaster Rob Lee passed away suddenly over the weekend. He was much loved by the whole Who family and he will be missed not only by us but by the many friends he made in running the website for the last seven years.


Pete and Roger have sent the following messages

From Pete


I will always remember Rob Lee as kind but firm. If he was a gangster we would have called him cruel but fair. He never flinched from telling everyone involved in The Who the truth as he saw it. We valued his ideas and his opinions. He was afraid of no one.
In his last months, the winter in the UK has been very stormy. He emailed me often to say how much he loved walking on the beach with his dog, the wind and rain making him feel more alive than ever before. So his last days were spent by the sea in the south of England, where he has always dreamed of living.
When I heard about his death I suddenly realised I loved him. I knew I liked him, and he irritated me sometimes – but I hadn’t realised I cared so deeply about him. He was a great friend to me and so many others.
Of course we will miss him. But he is irreplaceable in his his work for The Who, on the website and on all aspects of our career. He helped Roger and I work together in new ways, and without him we couldn’t have reached the accord we enjoy today.
Wherever he has gone, I hope they don’t do PowerPoint presentations, we may never hear the last of it.  I know there is an ocean up there, out there……..but I hope there is plenty of breeze, some shingle and a dog to take for walks.


From Roger


Boy.. I’m going to miss him so much.
He has been such a support to me over the last few years and will be impossible to replace.
Not just for his friendship and council,but for his creativity.
Without his input   last years Quadrophenia production might never have taken place.
I would speak to him regularly about everything under the sun with honesty and humour.
I loved him dearly.

26 thoughts on “Our Dear Friend, Rob”

  1. Gina B says:

    Truly the sea, Ruby, Sinbad (which as a kitty likely didn’t like the sea) is what Rob Lee took pictures of for us out here nearer than far got to see and it brought everyone kind of closer, as close as we might could be, just never as fast as Ruby can run along the shore where the sunrise touches her paws.

    Robert was lucky to us here to interview Roger and Pete. He was unlucky to weather the technical glitch storm of ornery complaint on the forum (I think it was in there I made an alliance; poor unintended situation that it was).

    Grateful to my toe bones to have seen / heard Quadrophenia twice. Now I know more.

    Very sorry.

  2. Giantsfan says:

    I hope there is a place for his animals amongst his circle of family and friends. I have five dogs already and live in the States, but I just wanted to speak for the critters as Rob has gone on and cannot.

    Rest in a Peace, Sir Rob.

    1. Barbara Ehlers says:

      My brother, Rob, a few months ago, asked me if I would have Ruby, his very much loved dog and his best friend, if anything happened to him. Ruby is very used to staying with us – she was our guest when Rob went away, and my dog stayed with Rob when we went away. So I am privileged to have Ruby now, forever.

  3. Bomber says:

    I can’t begin to relay how much I will miss Rob Lee. We shared so much of our personal lives behind the scenes. The birth of my kids,his joy at the birth of his Grandchild, his reaching out to me in tough times. I have, over the years enjoyed working with Rob. We have been through a lot. He taught me so much about music and visual production but more importantly, about life in general. I agree with Pete. Rob was kind and firm. My heart goes out to all of his kids. He was very proud of them. I already miss him terribly. He was a great friend and I loved him very much.

  4. Duke says:

    Heard about this last nite. My condolences to his friends and family.
    Rest well.

  5. Barry says:

    Never met him, but warmed to his photo instantly. Condolences to all who knew him.

  6. Lisa says:

    love light and healing to his family.

  7. mary doshak says:

    God Bless and keep him, prayers for Rob and his family, and the band. He will be missed… :'(

  8. Lynda grace says:

    I was deeply saddened to hear of Mr. Lee’s passing.
    He had helped me out a couple of times here with patience and kindness. He was very dedicated.

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of his loved ones , and his furry loved ones.
    Endless sunsets and ocean breezes, Godspeed Mr. Lee.

  9. Coe says:

    Fly with the Angels…..may the thought of the love, support and friendship he shared with so many give comfort to his family and friends….R.I.P.

  10. Rob knew better than anyone how it felt to hit rock bottom. He’d been there. Whenever a friend did, he knew what to say. Most of what I started would not have got finished without him in my ear. He was like a personal trainer for the mind. He always had time.
    I loved him so much. I’ll miss him long.

  11. Paul says:

    So sorry to the entire Who family!

  12. a11who says:

    So sad and stunned to learn of Rob’s passing. I only knew him in his capacity as The Who site webmaster but over the past few years we exchanged PMs, emails and personal Tweets about issues on the site, Who stuff and things that made us both laugh or cry. I found him to be an ideal administrator of the Who chat forums – he would allow people a lot of free rein but was swift to step in if he felt it necessary. He was a key player in The Who family and the saddest part of this news is that I felt he would have played a great part in, and thoroughly enjoyed, any 50th anniversary celebrations and tour by the band. Rob came across as a wise, kind, good humoured and genuine bloke. To his family, I can only say thankyou for sparing him to spend so much time with us fellow Who fans and please know that you are in our thoughts as you come to terms with his passing: Rob was part of The Who family and you, his nearest and dearest are part of that family too.

    So long, Rob, it was a privilege to have known you.

    Gary (a11who).

  13. Rae Cline says:

    This is very sad news indeed. I worked closely with Rob Lee on the recent Quadrophenia tour – as did the whole AEG Live interactive team. I can honestly say it was one of the most pleasurable experiences I’ve had on any tour. Rob was sweet, smart, funny, quick, collaborative and boy oh boy did he ever love The Who. His passion was infectious – as were his notions of what was Whoish. To please Rob was to feel proud of a job well done. I will miss him. I already do.

    – Rae

  14. Luile says:

    A great lost to all Who family (including us..the fans). He understood what a WHO web site should be. For me the original form, was a vivid place to be for a WHO fan not only to write about the band, but about ourselves too.

  15. Kymba says:

    While I never had the pleasure of meeting Rob, I do have the pleasure of knowing of him. He sounded like a remarkable fellow. My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.

  16. midnighter99 says:

    If there are words that exist for this moment, I’m not sure I want to know what they are. I do know I’ve never attempted writing something I wished so dearly I didn’t have to write. But here goes:

    Rob was a unique individual. But somehow the sum of his numerous talents seemed too vast for but one personality to contain. In many ways, he was like a one-man band. Brilliant editor. Inventive writer. Dedicated musician. Visual artist. Ever the craftsman. “I wear a lot of hats,” I can hear him chuckling. My time with him at has been so precious, there simply are no words that will bring to life what it has meant to me. I cannot thank him enough for giving me the space to create within, nor for his ongoing support for the Town Hall Forum, his enthusiasm for the ‘Mayor of Whoville’ character, and the steadfast editorial guidance that has always been honest and yet gentle, and so invaluable. He gave me free reign to create, yet there isn’t a piece I’ve ever gone over with him that didn’t emerge so much the better for his input. Beyond Town Hall, the other work it’s been my privilege to do here over the years
    with him, Bomber, Barb, and Rie, has been so meaningful. The very last word I had from Rob was on Friday, and it was quite simply, “Thanks.” I’d like to thank him now, if only there were a way.

    Very early Monday morning, I sent Rob what I could never have known would be my final mail, regarding some site issues I believed he’d be interested in. A few hours later, still no reply, which was completely atypical…Rob was a man who never seemed to sleep. You could reach out to him at midnight, 3 AM, or over breakfast (UK time, US time, didn’t matter), and more often than not, there he was. I don’t know how he kept up the schedule. I do know that in my life, I have never known anyone more dedicated. I know he loved his work, he thrived on it, and it was a large chunk of a life that he loved. He was also the proudest Dad on the planet, and cherished his children more than anything else. If I can be happy about anything at all at this moment, it is these things.

    As to Rob’s personal friendship and what that’s meant to me, again – words refuse to properly characterize. Through many non-Whoish matters, Rob was just as present with me, and his guidance and support were just as strong. In three years of my father’s illness, and at the time he passed, Rob was there for me. Always had the perfect words. Never failed. And there were so many wonderful times, and laughs that spilled like fine wine from a bottle you could never imagine ever going empty.

    Yesterday was maybe the longest day of my life, and certainly one of the most horrible. This morning, I woke after a brief period of razor-thin sleep to find that the curtain covering the window near my bed had somehow slipped its rod in the night. At first, I thought I was in a dream as I gazed out and up to see a profusion of snowflakes whizzing through the air, falling from a grey-metal New York City sky barely within my sightline. I reflected on my friend Rob, and on a WHO song I know he loved: “Fragments.” Watching the steady flow of flakes, the lyrics fell just as rapidly into my head. “Are we breathing out/Or breathing in/Are we leaving life/Or moving in…” The flakes fell, each individual, different from every other counterpart, and yet flowing from but one source. “We are tiny pieces/Falling now and settling/Like snowflake crystal/Building on the city street….Snowflakes falling…Snowflakes falling.” I sat there for a while, the song in my head, simply entranced by these tiny dancers, pirouetting from a place barely glimpsed, in a seemingly endless and yet decidedly joyful spiral.

    If it was a sign, it was as good a sign as I could ever hope for.


    No goodbyes. Get some rest, old friend, and I will see you later. Love you, Rob.

    Love to you, Pete, Roger, and all of Rob’s friends and family members. You are all in my thoughts, prayers, and always, in my heart.

    I can hear Rob telling me it’s time to wrap this up. I can hear him saying: “ONWARDS” – as impossible as that seems right now.

    I can see him smile, I can hear him laugh, and, in the window I’m facing, snowflakes are still falling.

    1. nicola galgani says:

      John such kind,emotional words you shared with us. I feel for you, the who, the who community and all robs family and friends. He seemed like an exceptional,awe inspiring man. Xx

  17. Elaine Deuel says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Robert Lee’s passing. He has done such a fine job in his role of webmaster and it’s clear he was so much more to Pete and Roger. He will be missed.

  18. suzanity says:

    My grief is small compared to that of those who knew Rob well, including Pete and Roger and especially his family.

    Small, maybe, but real. Reading the messages here and elsewhere on the site helps very much; as always, thank you.


  19. Giantsfan says:

    Some remarks by Pete Townshend prior to the VH1 Rock Honors in Los Angeles in 2008, which includes Rob Lee, and which addressed the loss of another member of the greater Who family, Meg Fox.

    Perhaps we can consider Pete’s words then in relation to the loss of Rob, as well.

  20. keith altham says:

    Just to say how deeply saddened I was by the news of Rob’s death with whom I had been collaborating with on project for Roger. It was so unexpected it knocked the legs right out from under me and although I had only known him a few months made me feel I had lost a dear friend. He had a lovely wit and humour and enormous energy and vitality. So very sad for his family and close friends. He was easy to love.


  21. Ted Maloney says:

    Of course I didn’t know Rob, but I’m really sad to hear this news. He seemed to be a keystone in the structure of the Who’s recent presence on the web and elsewhere. I was just reading his comments on the Lambert-Stamp movie. I’m sure the Who meant a lot to him and vice-versa, but I will keep him and his family especially in my thoughts as he begins the next stop on his cosmic journey.


  22. Ian Hardinge says:

    I never met Rob, but thanks to his tireless efforts, he managed to arrange a single VIP ticket for the Quadrophenia show in Los Angeles last year, when such tickets were not generally available. I travelled from Australia for the show, and I think this example shows the lenghts he would go to look after a fellow Who fan. Thank you sincerely Rob.

  23. Donna says:

    I am so saddened to hear of Robs passing. He was a kind generous person and went out of his way to make things happen at the website and for the fans. We organized a few things together and I can tell you there’s no other person that will go out of the way like Rob. He always had good ideas and not just talk, he made them happen. Rob RIP you were the best 🙂

  24. Chris Charlesworth says:

    Really sad to hear this news. I got to know Rob quite well when he was setting up this site and asked me to help with some of the biographies and archive material. Lovely guy, committed Who fan… will miss swopping e-mails about this and that. RIP Rob old mate.

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