Alan White, drummer of Yes and John Lennon, is dead

Yes drummer for 50 years, Alan White also played “ Conceived by John Lennon and Everything Must Go Through by George Harrison.

Yes drummer Alan White, who joined the progressive rock band in 1972 and remained with them for the next 50 years, died at the age of 72 due to illness.

Best known for his work on Yes, White also played John Lennon in the Plastic Ono Band (he can be seen in “ Instant Karma! “ug” Conceived ”) And with George Harrison Everything Must Go Through.

Throughout his life and his six -decade career, Alan has been a great thing to many people.his family wrote a statement confirming his death. A certified rock star for fans everywhere; a bandmate of a select few, and a gentleman and friend to all who met him “.

White was born in Pelton, County Durham, England on June 14, 1949. He began playing drums at the age of 12 and performed in clubs in London the following year. His life changed forever in 1969 when he received a call from John Lennon. ” I thought it was a friend who tried to make fun of me, so I hung up the phone.said White RollingStone in 2019. Eventually I got another call and he told me he was doing a gig in Toronto, asking if I was there to play drums and he could send a car to pick me up the next morning. »

Before you know it, White boarded a plane to Toronto with Eric Clapton, Yoko Ono and Klaus Voormann. Lennon made a fantastic live appearance at Toronto Rock and Roll Revival and needed a drummer. White played the gig with almost no rehearsal. ” Suddenly the chopstick was thrown in my hand and John counted, “1, 2, 3”White recalled. And we were one of the first. It’s a bit like a flash in the pan. »

Satisfied with his work, Lennon invited him into the studio to work Conceived. He was one of three drummers on the record, along with Jim Keltner and Jim Gordon, but he was chosen to work on the legendary title track. “ I remember at one point the song started with drums in the beginning and the band was playing, White said RollingStone. John was so good at playing it himself on the piano that I said, ‘Why isn’t the first verse like that?’ He replied: “That is a good idea. What do you think, Phil [Spector] ? ” Next time we tried it like that and John kept it. »

The experience of Conceived led him to record with George Harrison on All things must pass, also produced by Spector. White is on a lot of songs, even if the sessions are too intense with no proper credits. White admits to performing “ My Sweet Lord but it is disputed. ” It was a bigger groupWhite recalled. That was the group of Delaney and Bonnie, George and Eric. There were a lot of people in the studio every day for about three weeks. When we were all there, we decided who was playing what. George would say, “One of you is playing drums”. That’s how we record a lot of songs. »

A few years later, Yes broke up with founding drummer Bill Bruford. White was offered the job because bassist Chris Squire and frontman Jon Anderson saw him play with Joe Cocker and liked his job. They only had a gig three days later in Dallas, Texas, and had almost no time to rehearse. ” I spent the whole week listening to music and getting used to it. And then I found myself in Dallas hitting the stage with Yes with almost no rehearsal. “.

The musicians paraded Yes for the next few decades, but Alan White remained loyal to the group. His work has inspired new prog albums such as Stories From the Topographic Sea and Relayas well as their more pop work in the 1980s, including the worldwide hit single ” Owner Of A Lonely Heart “. White’s most recent studio work with Yes is the album The Searchreleased in 2021. He has been with the group for more years than any other member.

When the band went on a short hiatus in the early 1980s, White played Squire and Jimmy Page on a project they called XYZ, which means “Ex Yes and Zeppelin.” None of their music was officially released, but recordings eventually emerged.

Alan White continued to tour extensively with Yes in the 2000s, even after Anderson left in 2008. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

Health issues have sidelined him on recent tours, but he’s on stage for the final songs of the night. When he spoke RollingStone three years later, he hopes to be able to play full-length gigs with the band in the future. “ I had back surgery a few years ago. I’ve continued to improve since then and I’ve started playing more and more. It’s so good now and I feel good every day. I go ahead. »

He last played with the band on July 28, 2019 at The Mountain Winery in Saratoga Springs, California. The encore that night brought his career full circle: a cover of “ Conceived by John Lennon.

Andy Greene

Translated by the editor

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