It was with great sadness that we heard about the passing of Paul Rogan. Paul was truly a “character” in the finest sense of the word. Folks who knew him know exactly what this means. And for those unfortunate folks who never had a chance to meet him or hear him perform, well, we’re sorry.
The following thoughts were supplied by Paul’s son, David:
One does not look back on the talented life of Paul Rogan without immediately reminiscing on his breathtaking reenactment of the Kingston Trio’s – “Scotch and Soda”. Many would argue that his voice delivered an even more alluring performance of the song than the original. If you only saw the passion on his face when he performed, you would understand the famed lyrics “do I feel high”.
Here's Paul Singing the Aforementioned "Scotch and Soda"
Paul at a very young age, had grown weary in his practice of the violin. Though he always appreciated the sound that it produced he began to lose interest in playing. His mother refused to let him give up on music and allowed him to pick another instrument. Thus, came the birth of his passion for the 12-string guitar. He became inseparable with his Martin 12-string and it wasn’t long before he was turning heads as he strummed the chords, serenading friends and strangers with beautiful tunes.
Through the unique and untraceable steps he took in his life, a defining moment came when he met and befriended a man named Dave Milan. Together they would form a traveling guitar and harmony duo called New Foundation. They would play every night in bars, clubs, Red Lions and Black Angus’ across the states hitchhiking to make it to their next destination. They got by with limited money, eating the one free meal the venues would provide and finding the cheapest pillow to rest their heads. It was obvious that he lived spontaneously for the love of music.
By 30 he determined his life needed more balance and after completing college, he became a commissioned officer in the US Army. This put a temporary delay in his music career. It wasn’t until many years and 3 children later that he found himself stationed in Washington and living on a peaceful, small, homey island in the Puget Sound, Anderson Island. Being the lively, humorous personality that he was, he developed many friends and stumbled into a group of friends who had found joy in playing Bluegrass music in their living rooms during their free time. They were a newly founded group that humorously called themselves Not Quite Right. Before long they became one of the biggest raves on the island and performed live in numerous concerts. The band had recorded a couple albums, and Paul left a huge mark singing songs like “Sunny Afternoon”, “Cotton Jenny”, “Six String Music”, and of course the staple “Scotch and Soda”.
Paul was unbelievably talented in music, but his gift was superseded by his commitment in being a great friend and an even better father. He left a mark on everyone who knew him and gave selflessly to others. His legacy continues in all our hearts as he rests “higher then a kite can fly”.
Thoughts from Rick Anderson about Paul Rogan:
When Paul retired from the Army and moved to the island, around 2001, he joined Not Quite Right, which at that time included Bob and Karen Wilson, Carol Paschal, Sam Grubb and me.
"Not Quite Right", Front Row, l-r, Carol Paschal, Karen Wilson; Back Row, l-r, Rick Anderson, Bob Wilson, Paul Rogan.
It soon became apparent that our “sound” would be built around Paul’s booming 12-string Guitar, which he had played professionally for many years.
Besides that, Paul had a magnificent baritone voice which was ideal for harmonizing and singing lead as well. We always enjoyed performing with Paul as he had a great stage presence and always lightened things up with his antics.
NQR thrived with Paul, who always practiced diligently and strove for perfection in our arrangements. NQR faded away after Paul’s neuropathy set in. Sad to lose such a gifted friend and neighbor.