British Columbia

The Guess Who founding member suffers 'serious' stroke

Chad Allan, 74, is receiving treatment in hospital in British Columbia. His family hopes he makes a full recovery.

Chad Allan, 74, is receiving treatment in hospital in B.C.

Chad Allan, third from left, with his band in 1962. It would go on to become The Guess Who. (Chad Allan/Regenerator Records)

Chad Allan, an icon of Canadian music and founding member of the Guess Who is recovering in a British Columbia hospital after suffering a stroke.

"It's pretty serious but he is responding," said his publicist Jamie Anstey.

Originally from Winnipeg, Allan moved to the West Coast in the mid-'70s. He formed his first band, Allan and the Silvertones, in 1958.

Randy Bachman also joined and the band eventually evolved into the Guess Who. The band scored a hit with a cover of Johnny Kidd's Shakin' All Over.

Burton Cummings joined in late 1965.

Allan cut three records with the Guess Who before leaving in 1966.

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In 1971, he and Bachman reunited to form Brave Belt, which eventually became Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Allan, however, left the band before that.

Music pioneer

"So Chad's kind of eluded success but he's always been an amazing talent, an amazing guitar player, songwriter, singer and over the years has accomplished so much," said Anstey.

"[He's] such a pioneer and a piece of Canadian music history, it's amazing."

A man with white hair and glasses, wearing a navy suit, holds a certificate and has his arm around a woman with brown hair, wearing a white top.
Chad Allan, with his wife Christine, received the Order of Manitoba in 2015 for his contributions to the Canadian music industry. (Bill Hillman)

Allan released several solo albums between 1969 and 1992. In 2007, he released the album, Chad Allan and the Reflections — Early Roots, which is a compilation of the early '60s material.

For years, he's had trouble singing due to vocal cord damage, but has kept busy drawing, painting and playing instrumental music for seniors at care facilities.

In 2015, he was awarded the Order of Manitoba.

Allan, 74, was taken to hospital on Wednesday night. His wife Christine Allan is by his side. Anstey said they are hopeful Allan will make a full recovery.

"We're really praying for him, we're really rooting for him to make it through this. It's very difficult for his wife and family to deal," he said.

Allan's family is asking for privacy at this time.