We are sad to report on the passing of rock legend and drummer Alan White. His family made this statement on his facebook page:
“Alan White, our beloved husband, dad, and grandpa, passed away at the age of 72 at his Seattle-area home on May 26, 2022, after a brief illness.
Throughout his life and six-decade career, Alan was many things to many people: a certified rock star to fans around the world; band mate to a select few, and gentleman and friend to all who met him.
Alan was born in Pelton, County Durham, England on June 14, 1949. He began piano lessons at the age of six, began playing the drums at age twelve, and has been performing publicly since the age of thirteen.
Throughout the 1960s, Alan honed his craft with a variety of bands, including The Downbeats, The Gamblers, Billy Fury, Alan Price Big Band, Bell and Arc, Terry Reid, Happy Magazine (later called Griffin), and Balls with Trevor Burton (The Move) and Denny Laine (Wings).
In 1968, Alan joined Ginger Baker’s Airforce, a new group that was put together by the former drummer of Cream and other noted musicians from England’s music scene including Steve Winwood, formerly of Traffic.
In 1969, Alan received what he thought at the time to be a prank phone call, but it was John Lennon calling to ask Alan to join the Plastic Ono Band. The next day Alan found himself learning songs in the back of an airliner headed to Toronto with Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, and Klaus Voormann. The ensuing album, Live Peace in Toronto, sold millions of copies, peaking at number 10 on the charts.
Alan’s association with Lennon continued, recording singles like ‘Instant Karma’ and the subsequent landmark album, Imagine, with Alan providing drums for the title song, ‘Jealous Guy’, and ‘How Do You Sleep at Night’. Alan’s work with Lennon led to an introduction to George Harrison, who asked Alan to perform on the album All Things Must Pass, including the single, ‘My Sweet Lord’, released in 1970. Alan subsequently worked with many artists for the Apple label, including Billy Preston, Rosetta Hightower, and Doris Troy.
Alan joined YES on July 27, 1972, and with only three days to learn the music, YES opened their US tour before 15,000 fans in Dallas, Texas on July 30, 1972. Alan has been with YES ever since, and with the passing of founding member, Chris Squire, in June 2015, Alan is the longest continuously serving band member.
Alan is preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and May White (née Thrower), his sister-in-law, Mindi Hall, and many loyal furry companions. He is survived by his wife of forty years (May 15, 1982) Rogena “Gigi” (née Walberg), his children, Jesse (Emily), their two children JJ and Ellie, and Cassi (Kela), and sister-in-law Andrea Holmqvist (Robert).
Gigi, Jesse, and Cassi
With Chris Squire
“Run with the Fox” (1981)
With the Alan Price Set
A Price on His Head (1967)
The Amazing Alan Price (1967)
This Price is Right (1968)
With John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band
Live Peace in Toronto 1969 (1969) (drums)
Instant Karma! (1970) (drums, piano, backing vocals)
Imagine (1971) (drums on “Imagine,” “Gimme Some Truth”, “Oh My Love”, “How Do You Sleep?”, “How?” and “Oh Yoko!”; Tibetan cymbals on “Oh My Love”; vibraphone on “Jealous Guy”)
Some Time in New York City (1972) (drums on side three “Live Jam” at the Lyceum Ballroom in London on 15 December 1969 at a UNICEF charity concert)
With George Harrison
All Things Must Pass (1970)
Radha Krsna Temple (1971)
Progeny: Seven Shows from Seventy-Two (Recorded 1972, released 2015)
Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973)
Going for the One (1977)
Yesshows (Recorded 1976-8, released 1980)
Classic Yes (1981)
9012Live: The Solos (1985)
Big Generator (1987)
Union Live (Recorded 1991, released 2011)
Yes Years Box Set (1991)
Keys to Ascension (1996)
Keys to Ascension 2 (1997)
Open Your Eyes (1997)
The Ladder (1999)
House of Yes: Live from House of Blues (2000)
Symphonic Live (2002)
In a Word: Yes (1969–) (2002)
The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection (2003)
Yes Remixes (2003)
Songs from Tsongas (2005, 2014)
The Word Is Live (2005)
Essentially Yes (2005)
Live at Montreux 2003 (2007)
From A Page (Recorded 2010, released 2019)
Fly from Here (2011)
In the Present – Live from Lyon (2011)
Heaven & Earth (2014)
Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome (2014)
Like It Is: Yes at the Mesa Arts Center (2015)
Topographic Drama – Live Across America (2017)
Fly From Here – Return Trip (2018)
Yes 50 Live (2019)
The Royal Affair Tour: Live from Las Vegas (2020)
The Quest (2021)
With The Syn
Armistice Day (2007)
Circa: 2007 (2007)
Circa: Live (2008)
With Tony Levin and David Torn
Other appearances and sessions
The Downbeats: “My Bonnie” (single)
The Blue Chips: “I’m on the Right Side” (single) (1965)
The Blue Chips: “Some Kind of Loving” (single) (1966)
The Blue Chips: “Good Loving Never Hurts” (single) (1966)
The Gamblers: “Dr Goldfoot (and His Bikini Machine)” (single) (1966)
Happy Magazine: “Satisfied Street” (single) (1968)
Happy Magazine: “Who Belongs to You” (single) (1969)
Johnny Almond Music Machine: Patent Pending (1969)
Johnny Almond: “Solar Machine” (single) (1969)
Doris Troy: You Tore Me Up Inside (1969) – Single taken from her first album.
Doris Troy : Doris Troy (1969)
Billy Preston: Encouraging Words (1969)
Gary Wright: Extraction (1970)
Denny Laine and Balls: “Fight for My Country” (single) (1970)
Jesse Davis: Jesse Davis (1970)
Sky: Don’t Hold Back (1971)
Brian Short: Anything for a Laugh (1971)
Paul Kossoff: Back Street Crawler (1973)
Rick Wakeman: The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1973) With Chris Squire, Bill Bruford & Steve Howe
Rick Wakeman: Rick Wakeman’s Criminal Record (1977) With Chris Squire
Steve Howe: Beginnings (1975) With Bill Bruford & Patrick Moraz
Steve Howe: The Steve Howe Album (1979) With Bill Bruford & Patrick Moraz
Donovan: “The Music Makers” (1973)
Eddie Harris: E.H. in the U.K. (Atlantic, 1973) With Chris Squire & Tony Kaye
Johnny Harris: “All To Bring You Morning” (1973) With Jon Anderson & Steve Howe
Gary Wright : Headin’ Home (1979)
XYZ Project with Jimmy Page & Chris Squire. (1981 – “Believe It”, “Telephone Secrets”, “Fortune Hunter” (demos))
Chris Squire: Chris Squire’s Swiss Choir (2007; re-release of “Run with the Fox”)
“Comfortably Numb” on Pigs & Pyramids-An All Star Lineup Performing The Songs of Pink Floyd (2002) and Back Against the Wall (2005), with Chris Squire & Billy Sherwood, both produced by Sherwood
“In The Flesh” (+ Steve Porcaro), “Mother” and “Hey You” (+ John Wetton), on Back Against The Wall (2005)
“All My Love” on Led Box The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Tribute (2008 – CD2.05), with Tony Kaye & Billy Sherwood, produced by Sherwood
Abbey Road – a tribute to the Beatles; Various Artists (2009) with Tony Kaye and Geoff Downes.
Our deepest condolences go out to White’s family and fans everywhere. May his memory be a blessing.
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