Dennis Sheehan, longtime tour manager of U2, was found dead in his room at the Sunset Marquis hotel today, apparently of natural causes. Sheehan was 68.
The famed rock band is in West Hollywood for a series of performances at the Forum and a performance tomorrow night at the Roxy.
Sheehan had been the band’s road manager for nearly as long as Paul McGuinness served as the band’s manager. An earlier story in WEHOville erred by stating that McGuinness, who stepped down as manager in 2013, had died.
“We’ve lost a family member. We’re still taking it in,” U2 frontman Bono said. “He wasn’t just a legend in the music business, he was a legend in our band. He is irreplaceable.”
“With profound sadness we confirm that Dennis Sheehan, U2’s longstanding tour manager and dear friend to us all, has passed away overnight,” said Arthur Fogel, CEO of global touring for concert promoter Live Nation. “Our heartfelt sympathy is with his wonderful family.”
The L.A. County Coroner’s Office said Sheehan died of natural causes, apparently a heart attack.
In 2008, Sheehan received the Parnelli Lifetime Achievement Award honoring his four decades in the live entertainment industry. Sheehan was born in Wolverhampton, England in 1947. When he was 12, he took up the guitar and through his teens played in bands around the country and later in Europe. He ended up on a different kind of gig with the Jamaican band Jimmy James and the Vega Bonds when during a big tour of Europe, the tour manager had to suddenly return to Jamaica. “I had driven my own band around, so I got the job,” he says. “I decided that this was a bit of a break, and that I wasn’t going to miss playing very much.” Thus his professional tour managing career was launched.
Sheehan was born in Wolverhampton, England in 1947. When he was 12, he took up the guitar and through his teens played in bands around the country and later in Europe. Sheehan assisted in many of Led Zeppelin’s biggest tours and also worked with Siouxsie and the Banshies, Soft Cell, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, and many others. In 1982 he began working with U2.