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Pete Townshend: "I Guess You Can Say I Invented the Guitar Tech"

Pete Townshend performs live with The Who in San Francisco, California on August 13, 2017
(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Back in 2019, Alan Rogan – a pioneering guitar tech who worked with a laundry list of rock legends, but most famously The Who's Pete Townshend – passed away.

In a recent, wide-ranging interview with Guitar.com (opens in new tab), Townshend touched on his relationship with Rogan, and how – early on – Townshend set his expectations at a certain level.

On Rogan, he said “I don’t think he shaped my sound, but I had never had a guitar tech before Alan came to work for me. And I remember I used to give him a hard time, like, ‘Listen, the guitar tech is supposed to tune the fucking guitars, not just put strings on them, man.’ 

"So, Alan is probably one of the first guitar techs. I guess you can say I invented the guitar tech!

“Because I can remember going to see Crosby Stills & Nash in a session, and they were restringing their own guitars," Townshend continued. "Or, in Stephen Stills’ case, he would only string some guitars, because there was this one Martin there that he said to me, ‘I’ve never changed the strings on this guitar, and I never will unless one breaks.’ That was part of the sound of them.”

Tongue in cheek (we would assume) quips aside, Townshend described Rogan as "fabulous. He was a great energy, he was funny."

Having released Who, their first album of new material in 13 years, in 2019, The Who recently compiled and released a Super Deluxe Edition of their seminal 1967 effort, The Who Sell Out.

You can pick up a copy of that album here (opens in new tab).

Jackson Maxwell
Associate Editor, GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.