Alan White Death: Yes, John Lennon drummer and collaborator dies aged 72

Alan White, drummer for progressive rock pioneers Yes, has died at the age of 72.

White, who also worked on projects with The Beatles’ John Lennon and George Harrison, died Thursday (May 26) at his Seattle home after a short illness. His family confirmed his death on his Facebook page.

“Throughout his life and six-decade career, Alan has been many things to many people: a certified rock star to fans around the world; Bandmate to a chosen few and gentleman and friend to all who met him,” they wrote.

A few days before his death, Yes had confirmed that due to ill health, White would not be taking part in the band’s forthcoming UK tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their iconic 1972 album Close to the edge.

Following the death of Yes founding member Chris Squire in June 2015, White became the group’s longest continuously working band member.

White joined the band in 1972, replacing original drummer Bill Bruford. Along with the rest of the group, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

White was born in Pelton, County Durham, United Kingdom in 1949. He began taking piano lessons at the age of six and began playing the drums at the age of twelve.

In 1969, John Lennon asked White to join the Plastic Ono Band and he appeared on both the song “Instant Karma” and the 1971 album Introducewhich included the famous title track as well as “Jealous Guy”.

In conversation with The Seattle Times In 2021, White said he thought Lennon’s call was a prank. “A voice announced, ‘Hello, this is John Lennon,'” White said. “I thought it was a mate pulling my leg, hung up the phone and went back to the kitchen.”

White also worked with George Harrison on the 1970 album All things must passincluding the single “My Sweet Lord”.

Alan White is survived by his wife Rogena “Gigi” and their children. Alan White Death: Yes, John Lennon drummer and collaborator dies aged 72


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