Sunday, February 21, 2016

Passings: Allan Rouse, The "Gatekeeper" For the Beatles at Abbey Road Studio

Allan Rouse, whose name can be found on many of the archive projects by the Beatles released over the last twenty years, has passed away.

Rouse worked on the Anthology project and the reissue of the Beatles' catalog on CD along with a number of other projects.

While there is no information on his cause of death and little about his life the legacy as an employee of Abbey Road Studio, there is much appreciation in a statement issued by the two surviving Beatles, Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Allan Rouse, who passed away yesterday and in particular Fiona his wife who cared for him with such tenderness and consideration following his illness.

Allan joined Abbey Road studios in 1972 and during his time there made an invaluable contribution towards preserving the music and legacy of The Beatles. He worked on all the releases with extraordinary dedication and loyalty.

We will also miss his acerbic wit that was actually part of his charm. Allan did not suffer fools gladly but once you earned his respect he could not have been more co-operative and helpful.
Allan was a true friend of the band and of everyone at Apple, and will be remembered with great affection by those of us who were lucky enough to spend time working with him.

From Paul, Ringo, Olivia, Yoko and everyone at Apple.
Giles Martin, son of producer George Martin, also wrote a remembrance of Rouse:
It’s very sad to hear about the passing of Allan Rouse, known as the “gate-keeper” for The Beatles at Abbey Road. He looked after and cherished everything that was recorded by the band and my father all those years ago. Only Allan knew where everything was and only Allan was trusted with preserving the tapes and the legacy of the most successful band in the history of recorded music.

My father spent hours with Allan working through the tapes for The Beatles Anthology. From the outset my dad loved his deadpan humour. It was this, linked to his incomparable knowledge of the music, that made trawling through all of the tapes a pleasure for my father during the project.

When embarking on The Love show I worked with Allan very closely. It was he that developed the technique of using vari-speed to manually lock each four track generation. This enabled me to create the multi-channel mixes that we used to create the new surround mixes of The Beatles. Having Allan come to my room and react to the work I was doing was always a pleasure. His honesty in everything made me respect his opinions that were always based on his love and respect for the band.

More than anything else we will miss Allan as a friend. Our best wishes are with his wonderfully compassionate wife Fiona who cared so well for him during his illness.

Giles Martin.


Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure to work as consultant on a Beatles-related project at Abbey Road back in the mid-2000s. Allan appeared somewhat skeptical of my involvement at first - and it was clear that I was going to need to earn his respect. Fortunately, after several hours of working together in the control room of Studio 2, Allan began to slowly warm up to me. The lights were off in the actual studio, so I could not see anything outside the control room window. Though I was anxious as a child to see the famous Studio 2, I said nothing as I wanted to maintain a professional demeanor. By the end of my first day there, it was late at night and it appeared that I wasn't going to have a chance to see the actual studio in which the Beatles recorded so much amazing music. I thought to myself, "Well, maybe tomorrow." As we packed up to leave for the night, Allan suddenly said, "You haven't seen the studio yet, have you?" And even though it was late and I'm sure he'd rather be on his way home, he took the time to turn on the lights and take me down into the studio to let me look around. He probably had done this a thousand times for other visitors over the years, but he clearly understood the emotional - and almost spiritual - importance of that studio to a Beatles fan like myself. And he was very generous with his time as he let me explore both Studio 2 and Studio 1 for quite some time, answering questions and letting me open up cabinets, play their pianos, and just absorb the incredible history and significance of Abbey Road Studios. I am sure he long forgot any remote memory of my time with him that week. But I will certainly never forget it. Thank you, Allan!

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