In a poignant and heartfelt farewell to an era-defining legend, Chad Allan, one of the founding members of ‘The Guess Who,’ has passed away at the age of 80. His name may not have enjoyed the same household recognition as some of his former bandmates, but his contributions to rock music were nothing short of monumental.
Chad Allan, born Allan Kowbel, adopted his stage name as a tribute to a singer he deeply admired, Chad Mitchell. Under the moniker of Chad Allan, he led the formation of ‘Allan and the Silvertones’ in 1958. The band underwent a transformative journey, evolving into ‘Chad Allan and the Expressions’ before ultimately becoming ‘The Guess Who.’ Allan’s distinctive voice graced their iconic rendition of “Shakin’ All Over,” where his vocals resonated with rock enthusiasts worldwide.
This musical maestro hailed from Winnipeg, Manitoba, a place that would witness the birth of not just one, but two legendary bands. Alongside ‘The Guess Who,’ Chad Allan played an instrumental role in the inception of ‘Bachman-Turner Overdrive,’ another classic rock sensation. With chart-toppers like ‘American Woman,’ ‘Laughing,’ ‘These Eyes,’ ‘Takin’ Care of Business,’ and ‘Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’ under his belt, Allan undeniably etched an indelible mark on the annals of rock history.
Despite his pivotal role in shaping the sound of two iconic bands, Chad Allan’s name often remained in the shadows of former bandmates like Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman. His contributions, though perhaps less heralded, were no less significant. It was, as close friends and associates would attest, a testament to his modesty and humility.
Publicist and close friend, Jamie Anstey, fondly remembers Allan as a “wonderful, happy, and positive person who never really got the credit he deserved.” In an industry often dominated by flamboyance, Chad Allan’s understated brilliance shone through in his music.
In 2015, his home province of Manitoba recognized his immense contributions to Canadian music by inducting him into the Order of Manitoba. This prestigious honor underscored his undeniable impact on the country’s musical landscape.
As we bid adieu to Chad Allan, we are reminded that his legacy will continue to reverberate through the timeless melodies of ‘The Guess Who’ and ‘Bachman-Turner Overdrive.’ His music lives on, a testament to the enduring power of rock ‘n’ roll. Chad Allan, a legend in his own right, may not have always sought the limelight, but his music will forever shine brightly in the hearts of fans around the world.