Rogan, Johnny 1953-

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Rogan, Johnny 1953-


Born February 14, 1953, in London, England. Education: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, B.A., 1977; Acadia University, M.A., 1980; graduate study at Oxford University, 1980-82. Religion: Roman Catholic.


Office—Rogan House, P.O. Box 12728, London SW1P 4FB, England.


Writer, 1981—.


Timeless Flight: The Definitive Biography of The Byrds, Scorpion (Essex, England), 1981, revised edition, Square One (England), 1990.

Roxy Music: Style with Substance, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1982.

Neil Young: Here We Are in the Years, Proteus (London, England), 1982.

Van Morrison: A Portrait of the Artist, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1984.

The Kinks: The Sound and the Fury, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1984.

The Kinks: A Mental Institution, Proteus (London, England), 1985.

Wham! Confidential: The Death of a Supergroup, Omnibus (London, England), 1987.

Starmakers and Svengalis: The History of British Pop Management, Queen Anne Press (London, England), 1988.

The Football Managers, Macdonald's (London, England), 1989.

(Editor, with others) The Guinness Who's Who of Indie and New Wave Music, Guinness (London, England), 1992.

Morrissey & Marr: The Severed Alliance, Omnibus (London, England), 1992, revised edition, 1993

The Smiths: The Visual Documentary, Omnibus (London, England), 1994.

The Complete Guide to the Music of The Smiths & Morrissey/Marr, Omnibus (London, England), 1995.

(Editor, with Chris Charlesworth) The Complete Guide to the Music of R.E.M., Omnibus (London, England), 1995.

(Editor, with Chris Charlesworth) The Complete Guide to the Music of Bob Dylan, Omnibus (London, England), 1995.

(Editor, with Chris Charlesworth) Queen: The Early Years, Omnibus (London, England), 1995.

The Complete Guide to the Music of Neil Young, Omnibus (London, England), 1996.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: The Visual Documentary, Omnibus (London, England), 1996.

The Complete Guide to the Music of John Lennon, Omnibus (London, England), 1997.

The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited—The Sequel, Rogan House (London, England), 1997.

The Complete Guide to the Music of the Kinks, Omnibus (London, England), 1998.

The Complete Guide to the Music of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Omnibus (London, England), 1998.

Neil Young: Zero to Sixty: A Critical Biography, Calidore (London, England), 2000.

Van Morrison: No Surrender, Secker & Warburg (London, England), 2005.

Morrissey: The Albums, Rogan House (London, England), 2006.


Johnny Rogan described himself to CA as an "independent spirit." He writes his books without prior commissions and seldom pursues what he calls "journalistic bread and butter" writing. A profile in Dublin's Hot Press magazine echoed similar profiles over the years: "Johnny Rogan has been described as ‘pop's most eccentric biographer,’ and after spending an afternoon in his company, it's not too difficult to see why. Everything about him—from his gigantic beard to his cool rationalization of his bizarre working methods (which once included writing for a whole year without speaking to another human being)—radiates an off-kilter sensibility, albeit an extremely affable and friendly one. Rogan is probably the most noted biographer in the music industry today, as well as being one of the most well-known rock writers around. Since 1979, his full-time vocation has been to sift through the minutiae of rock music. His CV includes critically-lauded biographies of Neil Young, Van Morrison, The Kinks, George Michael, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Roxy Music. But he is best known for his 1992 biography of the Smiths, Morrissey & Marr: The Severed Alliance. The book which dealt with the break-up of the Manchester four-piece in detail, provoked huge controversy in the music press upon publication. Morrissey himself was moved to comment: ‘Personally, I hope Johnny Rogan ends his days very soon in an M3 pile-up.’ Mercifully, however, Rogan has remained in one piece. "He also went on to write another volume, Morrissey: The Albums. Guardian reviewer Tony Naylor found nothing new for Morrissey fans but added that "for those of us who "remain fascinated," Rogan has written "an engaging, clear-eyed commentary."

Rogan has written two volumes on Van Morrison. During the two-decade period between, he collected research gleaned from interviews with former wives and bandmates, relatives and friends. He reaches back to Morrison's Belfast childhood and his early years breaking into the music business. In reviewing Van Morrison: No Surrender, Guardian reviewer David Sinclair wrote: "As well as providing mini-biographies and thumbnail sketches of virtually every supporting character in the cast, and interviewing a substantial proportion of them, he also provides a parallel socio-political history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, which is further amplified in nearly 100 pages of densely detailed notes appended at the end of the book." A Kirkus Reviews contributor called Van Morrison: No Surrender "a reflective, associative piece of social history," in addition to being a "nearly breath-by-breath biography."



Hot Press (Dublin, Ireland), April, 1998, profile of Rogan.

Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2006, review of Van Morrison: No Surrender, p. 449.


Guardian Online (Manchester, England), (May 28, 2005), David Sinclair, review of Van Morrison: No Surrender; (September 30, 2006), Tony Naylor, review of Morrissey: The Albums.

Times Online (London, England), (May 1, 2005), Adam Sweeting, review of Van Morrison: No Surrender.