Yes Drummer Alan White Dies At 72


Drummer Alan White, longtime member of progressive rock band Yes, died Thursday at his home in Seattle. He was 72.

A cause of death was not immediately disclosed but, in a statement shared on Facebook, his family said he had “a brief illness.”

Only days ago, Yes announced that "due to current health issues," White would not be part of its forthcoming 50th anniversary Close to the Edge tour. "Alan was really looking forward to playing live again," read a statement at the time, "preparing to celebrate 50 years with Yes."

White is being remembered on social media. "His playing for the past 50 yrs was a massive influence on me & I’ve had the honour of spending much time together thru the years," tweeted musician Mike Portnoy.

University of Ottawa prof Stuart Chambers shared on Twitter that "Alan White was a drummer without equal and the nicest guy you could ever meet. A class act in every respect."


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Born in England, White was playing in a band by the time he was 13. He shelved a plan to become an architect when, at 17, he was chosen to tour in the Gamblers and record with Griffin.

In 1969, John Lennon invited White to join the Plastic Ono Band for a gig at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival Festival, which was held at Varsity Stadium. As a result, White is featured on the Live Peace in Toronto 1969 album.

White ended up playing on Lennon’s 1971 album Imagine as well as on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass.

White replaced original Yes drummer Bill Bruford in 1972. He was inducted with the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

Although he played on dozens of records during his career, he recorded only one of his own – 1976's Ramshackled.

"Throughout his life and six-decade career, Alan was many things to many people: a certified rock star to fans around the world; bandmate to a select few, and gentleman and friend to all who met him," read the statement from his family.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years Rogena and children Jesse and Cassi among other family members.

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