Yes Drummer Alan White’s Death After a Short Illness
With a heavy heart, we have to announce that the drummer of the rock band YES, Alan White’s death was announced by his family on their social media. He passed away on May 26, 2022, at the age of 72, peacefully at home after a brief illness.
He was born on June 14, 1949, in County Durham and was married to Gigi White. They had two children named Jesse, and Cassi. He began piano lessons at the age of six. White started to play the drums when he was only 12 and joined his first band a year later.
First, he joined the Downbeats, later the Blue Chips. After John Lennon saw a performance by another White band, called prog-rockers Griffin, he was recruited as drummer for the Plastic Ono Band.
White performed on eight songs on Lennon’s Imagine album, including the iconic title track. In Lennon’s single ”instant Karma”, he also played drums and piano and contributed drums to fellow ex-Beatle George Harrison’s album ”All Things Must Pass”.
Despite them, during his career, White worked with many artists including Billy Preston, Rosetta Hightower, and Doris Troy too.
In 1972, White became a member of Yes and remained their drummer until his passing. He joined the band for their tour to support 1972’s ”Close to the Edge”. At that time he was a replacement for the group’s original drummer Bill Bruford.
In total, he played in a variety of bands including:
- The Gamblers,
- Billy Fury,
- Alan Price Big Band,
- Bell and Arc,
- Terry Reid,
- Happy Magazine (later called Griffin),
- Balls with Trevor Burton (The Move),
- Denny Laine (Wings) and
- Ginger Baker’s Airforce
His band said that several health setbacks since 2016 had limited White’s appearances on recent tours when he joined the group on stage towards the end of each set to great applause.
He made his career debut with the band on 1973’s ”Tales from Topographic Oceans”. He played from the beginning of his career to the end for YES and cooperated in more than 40 studio and live albums, including their most recent full-length studio effort, 2021’s ”The Quest” which is the band’s 22nd studio album.
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Fans Mourn Over Alan White’s Death
“The news has shocked and stunned the entire Yes family,” the band said.
They added on their social media: ”It is with deep sadness that YES announce Alan White, their much-loved drummer, and friend of 50 years, has passed away, aged 72, after a short illness”.
Gigi, Jesse, and Cassi, Alan White’s family announced his death on his Facebook and Twitter accounts and also said:
Recently Alan celebrated the 40th Anniversary of his marriage to his wife Gigi and as he started his journey with YES in 1972, White had been looking forward to the forthcoming UK Tour, to celebrating his 50th Anniversary with YES and their iconic Close To The Edge album. But sadly he didn’t make it.
In a tribute, progressive rockers Yes said that they will dedicate their 50th-anniversary tour to White, their much-loved drummer when they perform in June.
Some fan shared his feeling and said: ”Now playing … So sad to hear about Alan White. He played drums and percussion on my favorite track of all time – the most perfect song ever recorded IMHO – and for that, he’ll always be remembered … Rest easy fella, and thanks for the music”.
Jonathan Lea shared his memory with White and said: ”I’m sad to hear that drummer Alan White has passed away. I very, fortunately, got to have dinner with Alan before a Yes show at House Of Blues about 20 years ago and he was very friendly, telling me all about the “Imagine” sessions at John Lennon’s house. Rest In Prog, Mr. White”.
Mike Portnoy ”Absolutely stunned to wake up to the news of Alan White’s passing. He was playing for the past 50 yrs was a massive influence on me & I’ve had the honor of spending much time together thru the years. My condolences to his wife Gigi, his family & the entire Yes camp”.
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