Allan Roth, who brought live music to Herman’s Hideaway, the longtime, popular spot on South Broadway, died Monday. He was 79.
“We are still processing the news we received … and with great sadness we regret to inform you that our patriarch Allan Roth passed away peacefully Monday,” the music club said on its website. “Allan was a visionary businessman, an iconic pioneer in the music world, a loving father, grandfather and family man, and a compassionate friend to many.”
Roth died with family and friends at his side, the club said. “Our heart-felt condolences go out to his family.”
Roth’s father, Herman Roth, purchased Cunningham’s Lounge in 1962, a shot-and-beer joint serving workers at nearby Samsonite Luggage and Gates Rubber Company. In 1982, Allan, after running a successful bar in Boulder and his own talent agency, joined forces with his dad, and Herman’s Hideaway was born.
The pair worked together for 16 years, and Herman’s hosted international and local acts including Phish (first Denver show), Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Jane’s Addiction, Flobots, the Fray, Tab Benoit, The Subdudes and The Jinns.
Herman died in 1997 at age 91. A tribute concert was held in his honor and the bands included Bad Rufus, Chris Daniels, Hazel Miller, The Simpletones, Nina Storey and Wendy Woo.
“I don’t know how we’re going to fit them all,” Allan Roth told The Denver Post at the time. “Everybody’s lining up. Even bands from out of town want to play. It’s just incredible. It shows what kind of a guy he was.”
The family connection at Herman’s continued in 2001 when Allan’s son Mike started helping with the day-to-day operations. A few years later, Allan was diagnosed with colon cancer, according to the website. After two serious battles with cancer, Allan had been cancer-free for about 10 years.
In a 1992 Denver Post story on Herman’s Hideaway, Allan Roth cut to the chase when talking about the club’s longtime success. “Entertainment is everything here,” he said. “It’s not so much coming to Herman’s as it is coming to see the band. It doesn’t matter what style of music they play, as long as there’s some quality there.”
Herman’s has hosted more than 32,000 bands over the course of 36 years, according to its website. “We feel like it’s our responsibility to continue providing a great stage and superb sound for the local scene to grow.”
Roth is survived by three sons, Michael, Justin and David; and three grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sherry. He was the former husband of Kay Roth.
A graveside service will be held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Rose Hill Cemetery. Contributions may be made to walkingmusic.org. Musical events to celebrate and honor his life will be announced.