Chad Allan Obituary, Founding Member of Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Remembering Chad Allan: Obituary for Founding Member of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Explore the life and legacy of Chad Allan, the multi-talented musician and founding member of iconic bands The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Read about his contributions to Canadian music, his untold influence, and the tributes from friends and bandmates.


Chad Allan, the prolific Winnipeg-born musician, known for his role as a founding member of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, passed away at the age of 80. Despite not achieving the same level of recognition as some of his bandmates, Allan’s impact on Canadian music was substantial.

Born Allan Kowbel, he adopted the stage name Chad Allan, a tribute to the singer Chad Mitchell. Allan’s musical journey began with Allan and the Silvertones, evolving into Chad Allan and the Expressions before becoming The Guess Who. His vocals on the band’s cover of “Shakin’ All Over” played a pivotal role in putting Winnipeg on the Canadian musical map.


Although he left The Guess Who in the mid-1960s, Allan continued to contribute to the music scene. He co-founded Brave Belt, which later transformed into Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO), alongside Randy Bachman. While Allan played on BTO’s early albums, the band achieved greater success after his departure.

Chad Allan’s impact extended beyond his musical contributions. His work on CBC-TV’s Let’s Go and appearances on shows like Music Hop and Where It’s At showcased his versatility. Despite not achieving widespread fame during his lifetime, Allan’s influence on Canadian pop music remained significant.

Friends and bandmates paid tribute to Chad Allan, with Burton Cummings describing him as an inspiration to bands in Winnipeg. Randy Bachman remembered Allan as a quiet, gentle soul who played a vital role in his early music career.

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Chad Allan’s later years were spent on Canada’s West Coast, where he continued to release solo albums and perform locally. His life, dedicated to music, endured until he suffered a stroke six years ago. Survived by his wife, Christine, Chad Allan’s legacy lives on in the hearts of those who appreciate his profound contribution to the Canadian music landscape.

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